Local tradition indicates that this is perhaps a “slave or Indian” graveyard.
Zachariah Lyle Burson (1817-1894) was married second to Nancy Johnston Baker (1841-1917). His first wife, Susanna Emma Hale died in 1856. Z. L. and Susanna are buried at Old Jonesborough (Rocky Hill) Cemetery. Nannie J. Burson died in Florida and is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Hillsborough County.
GPS Location: – +36° 21.300, -82° 26.475
LOCATION – About 75’ behind the house located at 3260 Knob Creek Road.
DEEDS – Z. L. Burson acquired several hundred acres in the general vicinity. These conveyances were over several years prior to the Civil War. The first two noted below are pertinent to the graveyard location and make up most of the 127 acre farm noted in the third deed below.
Deed Book 24, Page 495 (1844) – John Crouch to Z. Burson – 270 acres, the southeastern corner of which would be where the burial ground is located.
Deed Book 26, Page 321 (1846) – John Crouch to Zach Burson – 70 acres, which is the southern part of the 127 farm sold by Burson in 1893.
Deed Book 68, Page 574 (1893) – Z. L. and Nannie J. Burson to Samuel L. Howell – Deed excepts a 30’ X 80’ burial ground located “…..by the side of the lane on the Morrell line…..”. Conveyance of 127 acres.
Deed Book 133, Page 58 (1918) – a partition, with the southern section of about 88 acres conveyed to Joseph F. Howell.
Deed Book 209, Page 201 (1931) – Joseph F. Howell to his daughter, Mary L. Howell Saylor. A 24 acre parcel that reserves the “Burson grave yard”.
Future deeds have remained silent on the graveyard and the property remains in the Saylor family.
BURIALS – Names are unknown. A local resident remembered that many years ago, about 6 to 8 planted fieldstones were visible. During a recent surface examination, 3 limestone styled rocks were found, laying randomly and one planted stub was found. The area has several depressed and uneven areas, although not viewed as definitive graves. This property has been farmed/hayed, but not tilled, for many years.
Bills of sale for slaves were found for Z. L. Burson. As a slave owner, it could be very possible that this burial ground contains the graves of slaves.
Surveyed, transcribed and donated to the Washington County TNGen Web September 2015 by Betty Jane & Bob Hylton, Donna Briggs, Elaine Scott Cantrell, and Gordon M. Edwards, members of the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee.
Copyrighted 2015 by the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee. No part of this work may be copied without written permission from the Cemetery Survey Team.