Duncan-Melvin-Carathers Cemetery2003

Duncan-Melvin-Carathers Cemetery

Located in Johnson City, TN on Market Place Blvd, between Knob Creek Rd., and West Oakland Ave., a street that replaces part of Denny Mill Rd, and near Lowe’s Store. It was cleaned in 1985 by the Dirty Street Fighters. George and Margaret Holley kept the cemetery mowed for 9 years. After which, the Dirty Street Fighters graciously mows it once a month during the summer months. The developer of the land, purchased from the Marion Sell heirs, has built a treated wood fence around the graveyard in 1999.
At least a hundred graves are in this cemetery. Many are limestone rocks and some misplaced over the years of neglect.
GPS Location:  36.20.41N 082.24.16W; Elevation:  1630 ft.

Burt, Jasper Lucian[No date]20 May 1909[No Marker]
Carathers, Charlie R.12 Feb 187224 Oct 1876Son of J.M. & E. Carathers
Carathers, David21 Nov 183809 Feb 1910[Shares marker with Elizabeth A. White Carathers & Sarah Carathers]
Carathers, Elizabeth23 Sep 181829 Apr 1886Wife of John M. Carathers
Carathers, Elizabeth A. White22 Nov 184621 Oct 1879[Shares marker with David Carathers and Sarah Carathers]
Carathers, James C.13 Dec 187431 May 1876
Carathers, Sarah Ferguson26 Feb 183212 Oct 1907[Shares marker with David Carathers and Elizabeth A. Carathers]
Coleman, Gina Tester08 May 196406 Apr 2008Daughter
Duncan, BarbaraApril _, ____DC May
Duncan, Chas.May 174830 May 1818[Original stone at the Knob Creek Museum. New marker being set 5/27/03]
Duncan, L. [Luranah]April _, ____Wife of Chas. Duncan. [Original stone at the Knob Creek Museum. [New marker being set 5/27/03]
Duncan, Rawliegh23 Apr 180628 Jan 1823
Duncan, RuthNo dateDC 1846Aged 58 years.
Duncan, Sarah18 Jan 181606 Aug 1839
Duncan, Soloman05 Aug 181904 May 1839[Stone very difficult to read]
Fulmer, Elizabeth A. Carathers03 Oct 183027 Apr 1912Wife of John Fulmer.
Fulmer, Elizabeth Carathers23 Sep 184829 Apr 1886Wife of John Fulmer. [*John W. Fulmer-Elizabeth A. Caruthers m. 25 August 1853.]
Good, Adam[No date][No date][Wooden cross]
Good, Laura [Tester]25 Jul 192610 Feb 1998[Shares marker with Ross L. Good] Wed Oct. 9, 1965.
Good, Ross L.14 Jun 1923[No date][Shares marker with Laura Tester Good]
Goodman, Eliza Carathers30 Oct 184212 Aug 1904Wife of George Goodman. [Shares marker with Mary G.R. Goodman]
Goodman, Eugenel05 Oct 188204 Aug 1886
Goodman, Mary G .R.04 Dec 187608 Apr 1911[Shares marker with Eliza Carathers]
Hughes, Dora B.18721958
Lane, Agnes Pauline[No date]02 Dec 1926Dau. Of Guy and Martha Lane
Lewis, Albert Mc11 Aug 193220 Oct 1963
Melvin, James R.02 Jan 181722 Oct 1887[Shares marker with Nancy E. Melvin. *J.R. Melvin--N.E. White, m. 24 Dec. 1840]
Melvin, Mahala29 Oct 180407 Mar 1875[Shares marker with Susanna Melvin]
Melvin, Margaret27 Mar 184825 Dec 1915[Shares marker with William Melvin]
Melvin, Mary E.05 Oct 186313 Apr 1938
Melvin, Nancy E.23 Oct 182311 Nov 1871[Shares marker with James R. Melvin]
Melvin, Raleigh28 Apr 180?28 Jan 1828[Marker in poor condition]
Melvin, Raleigh26 Oct 1841Sept. 28, 1858Son of J.R. & N.E. Melvin
Melvin, Ralph22 Apr 180628 Jan 1823[Marker missing 2003]
Melvin, Stacy A.18 Jan 185725 May 1933
Melvin, Susanna10 Jun 181015 Jul 1872[Shares marker with Mahala Melvin]
Melvin, William29 Nov 185303 Mar 1919Shares marker with Margaret Melvin
Miller, Sarah J. Carathers05 Nov 183301 May 1906Wife of John Miller
Radford, Gavin Sctoo02 Jul 200902 Jul 2009
Smithpeters, Lucretia18 Jul 184612 Feb 1912Wife of W.G. Smithpeters
Smithpeters, William Micial06 Dec 187225 Jan 1941Age 69 yrs. 1 mo. 19 days
Stevens, M.[No date]15 Nov 1826
Stevens, W.[No date]15 Nov 1826[Marker missing 2003]
Stout, Dorothy Tester[19 Aug] 1922[July 6] 2008[Morris-Baker Funeral Home Marker]
Stout, Tol G.22 Nov 192430 Aug 1993[Husband of Dorothy Tester]
Tester, Alvin Earl, Sr.17 Aug 193409 Jan 1998U.S. Air Force. Beloved husband of Brenda Dulaney Tester [ Marker missing 2003]
Tester, Clydie [female]19161955
Tester, Dorothy A.[No date]30 Apr 1909Daughter of Howard R. & Nell McCarty Tester. [smothered]
Tester, Howard R.19241976[Shares marker with Nell McCarty Tester]
Tester, Iva G. [Wilson]18991960[Shares marker with Norman Cicero Tester
Tester, Lucie M.24 Oct 192327 Nov 1974[Dau. of Burt Tester]
Tester, Mabel19201924
Tester, Nell McCaty19111990[Shares marker with Howard R. Tester]
Tester, Norman Cicero18941940[Shares marker with Iva G. Wilson Tester]
Tester, Paul Norman17 Aug 193008 Aug 2012[Shares marker with Ruth Thomas Tester]
Tester, Rebecca19391952
Tester, Ruth Thomas12 May 192607 Mar 2004[Shares marker with Paul Norman Tester]
White, D. Kirt15 Mar 185621 Feb 1922[No marker 2003]
Young, JApr 1845Oct. 1845[No marker 2003]
Young, Mary S.18 May 183513 Apr 1875Wife of U. [Hugh] P. [Patton] Young [Jr.] *Hugh Young-Mary A. Caruthers m. 30 Dec. 1857.
[Top broken off]My 6 1819 AD WSD

Surveyed, transcribed and donated to the Washington County TNGen Web May 2003 by George & Margaret Holley, Lori Craiger, Donna Briggs and Betty Jane Hylton members of the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee. Deeds researched and updates by Gordon Edwards in 2017.

Copyrighted 2012 by the Cemetery Survey Team of Northeast Tennessee. No part may be copied without written permission from the Cemetery Survey Team.

Additional information:

None of the deeds reviewed made any mention of a burial ground. During the development of Marketplace Blvd and related plat (Plat Book 18, Page 22), the burial ground was indicated, but no deed reference was provided. It was noted as the “Tester Cemetery” on the plat. Descendants of Cicero and Ida Tester have used one corner of the burial ground in recent decades. An adjacent property has a right of way called out to access the burial ground.
Deeds referenced below contain the burial ground within the called parcel.
Deed Book 24, Page 533 (1844) – Heirs of John Duncan to Henry Bashor. 180 acres. Prior deeds for partition of the Charles Duncan tract were not researched.
Deed Book 37, Page 495 (1860) – Henry Bashor Peter Bashor. 33-1/2 acres.
Deed Book 40, Page 122 (1866) – Peter Bashor to Isaac Branscom. Peter and Isaac were partners in the Bashor-Branscom Mill.
Deed Book 41, Page 279 (1869) – Peter Bashor to Isaac Branscom. This was a partition of their several parcels. Lot #2 was conveyed to Isaac. Also reference DB41/281 which became Peter’s shares, but not inclusive of said burial ground.
Deed Book 41, Page 529 and Deed Book 46, Page 6 (1869 & 1876) – These were deeds of trust to Nathan Shipley, etal. Branscom lost three parcels, including the subject parcel. Clerk & Master deeds were found for two of the three parcels – the burial ground parcel deed was apparently not recorded. The deed trail picks up – see description below.
Deed Book 118, Page 249 (1914) – Wm Perry Hunt to James W. Sell. This deed is for the exact parcel shown in DB46/6 that contained the burial ground. Within this deed, it is indicated that William Hunt obtained title by inheritance from his father, David Hunt, who had gotten the parcel from Nathan Shipley. The deed making that bridge of ownership has not been located, but the trail appears clear.
Deed Book 300, Page 456 (1952) – Heirs of James W. Sell to Marion Sell. Tract #1 – which has the exact calls.
Deed Book Roll 143, Image 1318 (1998) – Mary Pauline Sell (widow of Marion) to Marion, Jr and Frank Sell. Marion, Jr and Frank were the developers of Marketplace Blvd.
Deed Book Roll 495, Image 1514 (2006) – This deed mentions the right of way – shown in Exhibit B, Item 19. This parcel is adjacent to and between the burial ground and the public roadway and is commonly known as the Ashley Furniture parcel.

From Washington County Tennessee Wills, 1777-1872 by Goldene Fillers Burgner, c1983:

JAMES MELVIN January 28, 1860
Wife Stacey. Children: James R., Susan & Mahala – 80 acres including spring and orchard. Wit.: Azariah Peoples, William C. Melvin. Exec.: James R. Melvin. Probabed July Term, 1860. Signed: James Melvin.

Wife, Hannah. Children: Joseph, John, Rheba (or Rhoda) Melvin. Executors; Hannah Melvin, James Melvin. Wit.: Ed G. King, John Range, William Duncan. Proven April Sessions, 1817. Signed: Joseph Melvin.

CHARLES DUNCAN April 14, 1817
Wife, Susannah. Children: John, William, Robert, Sarah, Mary, Stacy, Elizabeth, Margaret, Lovarry, Raleigh. Executors: Susannah Duncan, William Dunc. Wit.: T.V.Y. King, Richard Carr, William Car. Proven July Session, 1818. Signed: Charles [his mark] (v) Duncan.

* From Washington County, Tennessee, Marriages 1780-1870 by Goldene Fillers Burgner, c1985:

More information about these families can be found in History of Washington County, Tennessee, 1988by Watauga Association of Genealogists andRobert Young, Sr.: Patriot and Pioneer by Fred and Dessie Little Simmons, 500 Hillrise Blvd., Johnson City, TN c.1984.

From Washington County, Tennessee Death Record Abstracts 1908-1916 by Eddie M. Nikazy.

p. 222 Infant Tyree, male, parents: Moses Miller and Nellie Tyree, death cause: “born dead,” buried: Caruthers Cemetery, died: 3 Mar 1916, record (1916): 153.

p.154 Infant Miller, female, parents: Moses Miller and Nellie Tyree, death cause: “stillborn,” informant: Zacharias Tyree (Johnson City), buried: Carather Creek, died: 17 Feb 1915, record (1915): 86.

1850 Census Washington County, Tennessee

446-468 James R. Melvin 33, Nancy 26, Raleigh 9, Elizabeth 6, May M. 2.


Submitted by Margaret Sherfey Holley, 1069 W Oakland Avenue, Johnson City, TN 37604-2120

May 27, 2003 Edward Duncan, South Haven, MS and Joseph Duncan of Chattanooga, TN, [fourth great-grandsons of Charles and Luranah Duncan] with the help of George and Margaret Holley placed a new marker for Charles and Luranah Duncan in the Duncan-Melvin-Carathers Cemetery, Market Place Blvd, Johnson City, TN.


Charles 1748-1818 Luranah 1752-1828


American Revolution

Pioneer Settlers in State of TN

[On other side]





Charles Duncan was one of eleven children of Marshall and Mary Ann Duncan. He had four land grants on Knob Creek with a total of 769 acres.

His will dated 14 April 1817, witnessed by H.G. King, Richard Carr, and William Carr, probated July 1818 (Washington Co. TN will Book 1, p.117) named his wife Luranah who was to have the land and farm where he then lived during her life or widowhood; all his land was left to his sons William, John and Robert to be divided equally among them; William and John were to have the profits from the saw mill since they built it at their own expense; and further named his sons Raleigh, Marshall, and Joel and his daughters Sarah, Mary, Stacy, Nancy Elizabeth Margaret (no commas between) and Lorany; and specified that if Robert died without lawful issue, then Robert’s share of the land was to be divided among all the children. Although Lurarah’s name has sometimes been read as “Susannah,” Charles named a daughter Luranah and his son William named a daughter Lieuranah. Charles Duncan’s inventory was filed 9 Aug 1828 (Washington Co. TN Inventory Book 1, pp.64-69), which indicates that his widow Luranah was deceased by then. The home Charles built in the Knob Creek Community is still standing and is marked as a pioneer homestead. The original house is contained within the present home of John Sherfey; now owned by John’s daughter, Margaret and husband, George Holley. The log house was restored in 1995.

More information about this pioneer family can be found in Some Duncan Families of Eastern Tennessee Before 1800, 1991 Revision by Mary Ann Dobson.