It is April 30, 2003, a sultry spring afternoon. The stillness is broken only by the rising hum of 10,000 mosquitos, constant gardians of this deep-woods cemetery. Step gingerly as you draw close, and be on the lookout for the deadly snakes that would quickly have you resting beside these Pressley ancestors.
Grave StatisticsYou have visited the cemetery by clicking the picture above, right? You saw eight markers, all that survive, but eleven or more people are actually buried in the Pressley Family Cemetery.
The cemeterey's gravestones represent the following eight people. (These links are the same as you found in the interactive cemetery.)
Eleanor (Orr) Pressley (1760s before 1821) was the widow of William Pressley (buried elsewhere), and mother of Margaret (Pressley) Zuill and John Pressley, above. After William's death, she married a Mr. Boyd. John Gotea Pressley, in his 1885 Family History, confirms additional burials, in speaking about Eleanor:
"As wife of Boyd, there was born to Eleanor a daughter, Sarah Boyd. I do not know whether [Eleanor] survived Boyd or not, but she left her three children living.
"Before her death, she selected what was then a beautiful spot under some large oak trees...as a burial ground. She is buried there.... This was the family burial ground till I left S.C. There repose till the resurrection day, besides Eleanor, my grandfather and grandmother Pressley, and all their children and grandchildren bearing the name in S.C."
Based on this passage, the following four people should also lie in the cemetery in unmarked graves, perhaps explaining why the south side of the cemetery appears empty, with all the marked graves crowded into the north side.
- Eleanor Orr (1760s before 1821). Eleanor Orr was a teenager during the Revolutionary War.
- John Pressley (~1809 - 1810). From John Gotea Pressley:
"John Pressley, first son of John and Mary B. Pressley, died in infancy. He fell back while in the arms of his black nurse, Maria, and broke his back."
- William Pressley (~1808 - 1831). Also from John Gotea Pressley:
"William Pressley, son of John Pressley and Mary Barr Brockington Pressley, married Elizabeth McGill Gamble (1808 1892) in 1828. He died young and before my recollection, leaving his wife and a daughter, Sarah Pressley (Oct. 14, 1829 - Oct. 16, 1892)"
- A fourth grave may hold the second, unnamed child mentioned in William's will. This child, unknown to John Gotea Pressley, died quite young and around the same time as William. (This child could also be buried beside William, elsewhere.)
In addition to these four, there's a possibility that some or all of the following people are also buried in the cemetery:
- Sarah Boyd, Eleanor Orrs daughter who died quite young, having never married.
- Any other children of Eleanor Orr and William Boyd who might have died in early childhood.
- Mr. Boyd himself. The cemetery was on his property. If his death preceded Eleanor, his passing might have been the impetus for Eleanor to start the graveyard. If his death came later, he may have wanted to join his wife in eternity.