Barry's Relatively Speaking: Crossways Groves

Posted on Jul 05, 2012

Barry's Relatively Speaking shares the personal experiences and stories of genealogists found in the Everton Genealogical Helper Magazine collection on J. Coleman shares the following experience.

While researching for Riddle ancestors, the opportunity came to visit Tichomingo County where my Riddles lived and died. Now, hopefully, I would find out all the answers to my questions. Soon, however, I had one that topped all of miner

As I visited relatives, asking questions, I was always asked,' 'Was he the one buried in the Crossways grave?" Or, "Are they the ones buried in the crossways graves?" All knew there were "crossways graves" in the family cemetery, but none knew who were buried in them. Soon I was beside myself! What was a "crossways" grave? Why would anyone be buried this way?

I hurried to the cemetery. Sure enough, among many Riddles were three crossways graves. All other graves faced East and West except these which plainly faced North and South. Marked by native rocks, no names were on them.

It took more years of work before the mystery was solved. My ancestor, his wife, and their slave had agreed that "While they were in the world, the world was always cross-ways with them, so when they died, they wanted to be buried crossways to the world".

Today, a marker proclaims their names to the "crossways" world.

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