Saturday, April 25, 2015

Magnolia Cemetery - "Graveyard Working"

On Saturday, 18-Apr-2015, Magnolia Cemetery in Ragley, Louisiana held a “Graveyard Working”, or Cemetery Cleanup Day.  This day is when family members and friends meet at the cemetery to clean and perform maintenance to their family’s graves.  It rained the night before, so the turnout was light. Nevertheless, a few brave souls showed up to help clean and preserve this graveyard.

Magnolia Cemetery is in the Ragley community, which is located in the SE part Beauregard Parish.  Magnolia is an old cemetery with graves dating back to the 1880’s or earlier.  The cemetery is divided into two sections by a chain link fence.  The section on the east side is where the oldest graves are located.  Two sides of the cemetery are bordered by tall pine trees and another side by Magnolia Church Road and the Masonic Lodge.

There are many Burnett’s and associated families buried in this cemetery.  Two of Alfred and Julia Burnett’s children are buried there; Sidnah and James Jefferson.

George Gilley and Pheriba Davis Gilley are buried at Magnolia Cemetery too.  Three of George and Pheriba’s children married children of Alfred and Julia Burnett and a fourth child married a grandchild of Alfred and Julia.

 Augustus Hodges and Alizenith Insall Hodges are also interned at Magnolia Cemetery.   Many of the Burnett’s in the Ragley area are related to this Hodges line.

During the cemetery cleanup day, we were able to clean the graves and headstones of James Jefferson Burnett, wife Leona, and Sidnah Burnett Gilley.  Below is a map of where James Jefferson and Sidnah’s graves are located and some before and after photos of the cleanup.

Aerial view showing grave location of James Jefferson Burnett and Sidnah Burnett Gilley.
James Jefferson and Leona Burnett graves before and after clean up. Photos by Michael Burnett.
Sidnah Burnett Gilley headstone before and after clean up.  Photos by Michael Burnett 18-Apr-15.

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