Clay County Cemeteries
Clay County is dotted with cemeteries. While most remain active, some have been inactive for many years. No doubt, many people were interred during British and Spanish colonial times, but no grave locations are definitely known until the establishment of the first cemetery at Garey’s Ferry (Middleburg) in 1810.
Two important cemetery sources have been used by researchers for many years. During the Great Depression, the WPA Writer’s Project kept people busy on hundreds of transcription efforts, among them, a list of veterans buried in Clay County through 1939.
Another source is Betty Spencer’s “They Are Here: Cemeteries of Clay County,” which she printed in 1973. The publication is available at the Archives and has been the authoritative cemetery encyclopedia for nearly forty years. Now, most of the interment information is listed in our interments list, after successive volunteer projects have re-enumerated each of the cemeteries. However, for those who have an interest in the details, it still contains information not found elsewhere, including information about markers found with illegible names and some historical notes.
We also maintain a database of information about each current and historical location which you are welcome to consult at the Archives. Most cemeteries also have a vertical file of clippings and donated materials from families.
One cemetery in particular, Magnolia Springs, is owned and maintained by Clay County. It is inactive.
There is a loose end that perhaps you will one day tie up. Martha Chalker, who lived in Middleburg through the Seminole Wars, remembers a case of measles among the Army members which claimed the lives of many troops. She relates in a 1980 interview with Truett (St. Augustine Historical Society), that the troops were buried in shallow trenches at the end of Main Street. No record has yet been found of this site.
Books at the Archives
A History of the St. Johns River Baptist Association 1879-1979
WPA Grave Registration 1940-1941