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Recently Discovered Grave Reveals Another Minister Buried at Fairview

By Robin Foster

Myrtle Greg.jpg

As 2014 winds down, the efforts to restore Fairview Cemetery in Greenwood, South Carolina and identify those whose graves lie under the debri has not slackened. The grave of infant, Myrtle Greg was discovered in a fenced off section in the cemetery. She died on December 2 of 1911 or 1914 which is at any rate before death certificates were first recorded in 1915.

The names of her parents were inscribed on her headstone: Rev. E. R. Burgess and C. L. Burgess. It remains yet a mystery as to why Myrtle had a different last name than her parents, but after a little research, we have discovered more about Rev. E. R. Burgess and his wife.

Because we are planning a presentation on ministers buried in Fairview sponsored by the Fairview Cemetery Project, we have been working hard to research to document each one we can before February 21, 2015. By searching South Carolina Death records, 1821-1960 at Ancestry.com, I was able to find the death certificate of Rev. E. R. Burgess:

E. R. Burgess.jpg

Ancestry.com. South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

Notice that the death certificate names the places he is buried: Sodom Cemetery. We have discovered that Sodom Cemetery is a previous name for Fairview Cemetery. In the process of looking for death certificates of those who have headstones in Fairview Cemetery, we have noticed that some of the earlier death certificates say Sodom Cemetery or New Cemetery. So with that information, we know that Rev. E. R. Burgess is probably buried in what is today Fairview Cemetery.

Next, I went to Newspapers.com to look for an obituary and Card of Thanks:

Rev E R Burgess obit 1926.jpg

Card of Thanks:

Rev E R Burgess Card of Thanks 1926.jpg

Next, I went to the census where I discovered the E. in Rev. E. R. Burgess stands for Elisha, and his wife in 1920 was named Carrie. They also both appear on in the 1919 Greenwood City Directory. Fairview Cemetery Project researchers will continue to find more documentation on Rev. Elisha R. Burgess and his family. As for now, I have added him to our list of documented ministers buried in Fairview Cemetery. For a complete list, visit our homepage.

UPDATE 19 December 2014:

We found the death certificate for Carrie Lee Burgess, Myrtle's mother. Her obituary also has Sodom Cemetery which we know that is a former name for Fairview.

Carrie Lee Burgess death cert 1919.jpg

Ancestry.com. South Carolina, Death Records, 1821-1960 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008. Original data: South Carolina. South Carolina death records. Columbia, SC, USA: South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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