Forgotten Church Cemetery Gets Support From Descendant
CHARLOTTE, N.C.--"Right here, this is Daniel Rice and here is his wife Margaret McClure." Conrad Hunter pointed out the head stones of his great great grandparents. Their bodies were laid to rest in the Bethel Methodist Church Cemetery in Northwest Charlotte.
As a kid, he was fascinated with history and used to visit the cemetery...and his relatives all the time."It was pretty much like this then. It was overgrown a long time ago," he said. But, Hunter's focus on his family's roots eroded as he grew older, went to college and formed his own family.
Then Rosyln Wright came into his life. She tracked him down after she discovered more than 50 graves from that cemetery behind her home. Hunter says he supports North Carolina lawmakers who are looking into the possibility of requiring religious cemeteries to keep records of their burials.
"I don't see why a church can't make a record, they aren't taxed," said Hunter. That way his ancestor, a signer of the Mecklenburg Declartion of Independence back in 1775 aren't forgotten."We all kinda share a narrative. A collective myth of what America is. It's nice to have your part in it," Hunter said.
An attorney is working to protect that cemetery. State lawmakers will look at the possibility of registering religious cemeteries during their next session.