PARSHALLVILLE CEMETERY

 

The Parshallville Cemetery (a part of the E ½ of the NE ¼ of Section 6, Hartland Township, Livingston County, Michigan) is located on Parshallville Road in the village of Parshallville. On January 5, 1853 for consideration of $1.00 Isaac and Seraphina Parshall transferred 3 acres and 16 rods for a burying ground to the trustees of the First Baptist Church and Society of Hartland. (Liber 27, page 263, Registrar of Deeds office, Livingston County, Michigan) On June 8, 1928 the Baptist Church trustees for consideration of $1.00 transferred the cemetery to the Parshallville Baptist Community Cemetery Association, a corporation of Parshallville, Michigan. (Liber 88, page 162 Registrar of Deeds office, Livingston County, Michigan) Today the care of the Parshallville Cemetery is in the hands of the Hartland Township Board.

 

The Parshallville Cemetery is 150 years old this year. The cemetery has been in continuous use since the beginning. The cemetery contains old stones, new stones, broken stones, sinking stones, dirty stones, and faded stones. As in most old burying grounds, there are missing stones. The cemetery is in need of restoration work. Plans are under way to make it happen – one step at a time. Last year (2002) the cemetery received a new fence. This year (2003) a wrought iron arch (1853 Parshallville Cemetery) was added at the north entrance.

 

Numerous visits have been made to the cemetery as well as visits to the Hartland Township Hall, the Livingston County Registrar of Deeds office and area libraries. Interment records for this cemetery are scant at best. A reading of the tombstones becomes the most accurate way to determine burials in this cemetery. Over a period of months beginning February 10, 2003, I have visited the cemetery at different times of the day and in varying weather conditions. Many tombstones that appear totally illegible during the day can be read as night descends with the aid of a flashlight. Many thanks go to two friends, Pat and Jackie Morcom. They have spent many hours, flashlights in hand, helping me with the readings of the tombstones.

 

Between 1940 and 1950 the Philip Livingston Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution read all the tombstones in the rural cemeteries in Livingston County. The Parshallville Cemetery was read in 1947 and published in volume III, pages 86-93. For the stones that have become illegible or disappeared, the DAR reading is referenced. These three volumes of Livingston County, Michigan tombstone readings can be found at the DAR Library, Washington, DC; the Carnegie Library, Howell, Michigan; the Library of Michigan, Lansing, Michigan and Burton Collection, Detroit Public Library, Detroit Michigan.

 

The main body of the Parshallville Cemetery is in rows. However, several of the rows come to a dead end. The numbering of lots begins with Lot 1 inside the south entrance and numbers to the north. These lots are not uniform in size and the numbering of the lots is not sequential by row. Behind the south opening is a raised lot with concrete edging. From the oldest map this appears to have originally been Lot 1. There are no markers on this lot and no visible evidence that markers ever existed here. Directly behind this lot is a marker that says BABY. New lots were added on this end of the cemetery in 1962. These new lots are uniform in size and have no walkways between them. They are numbered 174–201. These lots go up the hillside. The drive into the cemetery is through the north entrance. Along the north side of the drive are lots 153-167. Lot 167 is closest to the entrance. It is on your left and behind the flagpole. You will find it useful to follow the Parshallville Cemetery Map link and print the map. The map is a drawing of the cemetery with numbered lots. No names appear on the map.

 

For this reading, I entered through the north gate and turned to the right. You may do the same by clicking on the gate.