Saturday, April 26, 2008
Marking the Days
I came across this very old tombstone in People’s Cemetery off of Springbrook Road outside of Unicoi, TN. I’ve never done much in the way of genealogy research, so I was amazed at all resources available online. It didn’t take long to find records pertaining to Christopher, a fourteen-year-old boy who died 212 years ago. Here's what I found... Christopher McInturff, Jr. was born March 25, 1782 in Shenandoah County, Virginia -- the eighth of ten children of Christopher and Christina McInturff. Around the time North Carolina ceded her western lands to the federal government (1790) to create the Tennessee Territory, the family moved to a large plot of land (550 acres) on Buffalo Creek at the foot of Buffalo Mountain (near the cemetery).
Christopher died the same year Tennessee became the nation's 16th state. At that time an enormous swath of northeast TN was called Carter County – from this huge area, two additional counties were later created: In 1838, Johnson County was separated out of Carter County and in 1875 Unicoi County was established out of parts of Carter and Washington Counties. I didn’t find much about this family's involvement in local history – but I can only imagine how difficult life on the frontier was for these early settlers. I find it touching that in making Christopher's tombstone, they counted and celebrated each of his days.