There are many Cox ancestors buried at Old Johnsonville Methodist Church Cemetery. The cemetery is located south of Johnsonville, South Carolina, off of South Georgetown Highway.
Here is a photo of Johnsonville Methodist Church itself. The church was founded in 1915.
The first plot I will cover is that of my great-grandparents. Another Cox family plot, much older, exists in the cemetery. I will cover it in a later post. My great-grandparents were:
- Robert Dudley Cox, Sr. (b: 27 Jan 1885, d: 9 Dec 1967)
- Helen Louise Dietz (b: 29 Jun 1889, d: 6 Aug 1981)
Their plot is about 8 feet by 6 feet rectangular, marked by marble stones. In the center is a bench style headstone, which I believe mark Robert and Helen. The reason I say “believe”, is that I could not find the names on the headstone, but there were two depressions in front of it. It is possible the markers with their names have sunken and grown over. I did not try to feel around on the ground for them. On the headstone is a quote from the Song of Solomon, 2:17: “Until the day break and the shadows flee away…”
The headstone of Robert and Helen is in proximity to another headstone, that of a son:
- Horace Harlow Cox (b: 1 Jan 1917, d: 1 Jan 1945)
Horace’s headstone is within the confines of the plot’s marble markers.
No other closely related Cox members are within the plot.
All roads lead to Johnsonville, South Carolina. At least for this humble genealogist. The areas surrounding Johnsonville are “ground zero” for my Cox family line, going back as early as the mid 1700s. So naturally, it was the destination of my first “official” genealogy trip.
If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that genealogists are giving. I was given a guided tour of Johnsonville by a local Cox cousin, Carl B. Skinner. Carl and I share Archibald James Cox (b: 1773) as a common ancestor. Carl has done extensive research on the Coxes of the Johnsonville area. The earliest known Cox of the area is a William Cox, b:1710. According to land records researched by Carl, he can be located to the area off Sand Pit Road, near Lynch’s River.
During my trip, I snapped a photo off of Sandpit road. It’s not much to look at, but it’s where it all started. It was most likely farmland at one point, but is overgrown with trees now. With this photo comes some sadness. Cox relatives of the area say that a Cox family cemetery plot once existed, but has been lost to farming and digging in the area. What mysteries were explained there? Unfortunately we’ll probably never know. Interestingly, a Johnson family plot is not far from the ancestral Cox lands, and still stands.
During my visit, I saw many cemeteries full of my kin, and met a few more living cousins of mine. In fact, the Cox family is so strongly entrenched into the area, that many of the people still living there are distant kin to me. In a passing conversation with a gentleman at my hotel, I explained my business in the area. “Wow,” he said, “you can always go home!” Indeed.