Family saves and preserves cemetery


The Fergus/Related Families “Gathering” place was chosen because of the cemetery at Cookeville, Putnam County, Tennessee. We wanted to do restorative work and call attention to the need for funds to adequately fence the cemetery and build a gravel road from the highway.

John Walter, a wonderful self-taught cemetery restorationist, helped restore our almost extinct Ditty/Fergus Family Cemetery on a private farm. Three years ago I was searching online for help in restoring a rapidly disappearing cemetery when I found a newspaper article about John Walter and his work. John met with our group of five cousins descended from different lines of our immigrant ancestor, Francis Fergus, who is buried in the cemetery. We had not met before but worked together for the common cause of saving the cemetery. Francis’s gravesite is marked with a DAR memorial marker placed there in 1941, the 100th anniversary of his death. We have, happily, saved the cemetery.

Reported by Cynthia Russell, Traverse City, Michigan.


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