Old Union Cemetery - 200+ Years of Burial

One of the Oldest Church Cemeteries in White County & Surrounding Region

Cemetery Decoration - Sunday, August 20, 2023

Beginning with Potluck Lunch

The Old Union Cemetery is one of the oldest church cemeteries in White County, TN.  No one knows for sure when the first burial in the Old Union Cemetery occurred, but it is likely that burials began there even earlier than the church and cemetery were officially established in 1811.  Although, the marking is not clear, the oldest existing marked grave carries a date of 1808 or perhaps 1818.  

However, there are many unmarked graves and even more graves that are totally hidden under the sod.  In some spots where there appeared to be no grave, funeral home grave diggers discovered human remains.  I think we assume that there are now-hidden graves in any section of the old part of the cemetery where no grave markers are visible.  J.M. Passons once showed me a spot where several Civil War soldiers were buried.  He said that he remembered seeing them marked by simple cedar markers, just cedar sticks.  Now there is no visible indication of those graves.  

There are more than 40 Hastons (by birth or marriage) buried at Old Union.  And if it was possible to count all of the families closely related to Hastons, the number would go much higher.  

It is likely that the “comb/tent grave phenomenon” originated in southern or southwestern White County.  The Old Union Cemetery has one of the largest number of comb graves of any cemetery in Tennessee, with 102 combs.  The Mount Gilead Cemetery has 138 and the Mount Pisgah Cemetery has 126All of these cemeteries are within 10 miles of each other.

A Few of the Haston Graves

Page 140 of The Fred Clark Book of Cemeteries of White County, TN, Volume II (2003)

There are 19 pages with all the names of the known graves in the Old Union Cemetery, including some genealogical information.

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