Births Deaths Marriages, Maternal Kin, North Carolina, Photographs

Family cemeteries, no. 8: The Nicholsons.

The map was not entirely clear, but the graveyard was definitely on Barnards Mill Road, which branched off Harmony Highway somewhere above Hunting Creek. Though morning, the sky was dark with impending rain. I kept an eye on the left side of the road. A bridge over the creek … an unmarked road … “Bridge Out.”  Wait, wasn’t the cemetery by a bridge?  I backtracked and turned off the highway. After a half-mile or so, the blocked bridge and a path, marked No Trespassing, leading into the woods. I am not a fool. I trotted up to the closest house and knocked. A middle-aged woman peered through a window, then motioned me around to the side door. “I’m looking for a cemetery near here. Welch-Nicholson.” She gestured behind me and smiled. Up the hill across the road, a low stacked-stone wall inset with a simple iron gate surrounded the remains of a hundred years of Nicholsons.


My great-great-great-great-great-grandfather James Nicholson bought a mill on the creek in the late 1820s and probably established the graveyard. His father, Revolutionary War veteran John Stockton Nicholson, who was born 1757 in Princeton, New Jersey, and migrated to North Carolina circa 1800, is buried Muddy Creek Friends cemetery, Kernersville, North Carolina. He died in 1838.


John was married twice, to Mary McComb, then Catherine Anne “Caty” Stevenson. Mary bore one son, the James Nicholson above. Caty bore ten, including John S. Nicholson Jr. Mary McComb Nicholson is buried near John Jr., whose stone is shown above. Caty is buried at Muddy Creek.

James Nicholson married Mary Allison in 1815; their children were Thomas Allison Nicholson and John McComb Nicholson. Thomas A. Nicholson married his first cousin Rebecca Clampett Nicholson, daughter of John S. Nicholson Jr. and Mary Fultz.

Thomas Nicholson’s broken gravestone is propped next to that of Rebecca.



Thomas and Rebecca’s oldest child James Lee Nicholson, my great-great-great-grandfather, is also buried here. He died a few weeks short of his 30th birthday in 1871.

Photos taken by Lisa Y. Henderson in December 2013.


9 thoughts on “Family cemeteries, no. 8: The Nicholsons.

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  3. Jeff Esely says:

    Hi, John Nicholson Sr. is also my ancestor. My research shows him and Caty buried in Muddy Creek Friends Cemetery, Kernersville, NC. The Find A Grave web site shows pictures of their head stones. Research indicates John Nicholson Jr. and his wife Mary Huff Nicholson are buried in the Welch- Nicholson Cemetery. I am going there this month. Were you able to read the dates on the John Nicholson Stone?

    • Hi, Jeff. Thanks so much! You’re absolutely right. I went back through my photos, and this is John Junior’s stone — the dates are 1787-1868. John Jr and James, both of whom are my 5th great grandfathers are there. I’ll correct the text. Thanks again! — Lisa

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  5. Connie Herringdine says:

    I found this cemetery in 2008, but when I went back a week ago, I couldn’t find it. My great great grandfather and other Parks relatives are buried here. I thought it was just .5″ mile into Barnard Mill Rd. from Hwy 21, according to a map my grandfather made in 1969, and my memory from 2008. Your help is appreciated. Did they move the road? The name of the road in 1969 was Nicholson Mill Rd.

    • From Hwy 21, turn left on Barnard Mill Rd., maybe a half-mile in the road curves toward a bridge over the South Yadkin. There’s a house just before the curve and one just after, both on the left. Between the houses is a small road marked Eleanor Ln on Google Maps. The graveyard is just up that road on the left.

      • Connie Herringdine says:

        Thank you so very much! Just didn’t go quite far enough. Next time I’ll get GPS co-ordinates so anyone can find it.

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