• Contact

    Have a question? Email Me!
  • Get Social

  • Categories

  • Blog Archives

  • Header Photo Credit

    The Jubilee Singers. (1875). Image courtesy of the New York Public Library.
  • Advertisements

Greenwood Cemetery (West)

Today I took a field trip over to Greenwood Cemetery West and took pictures. My original goal was to go back to Mt. Ararat, but they had that side locked. Greenwood was right next door so I went there.

Greenwood Cemetery (& the West division of it ) is the final resting place for a number of Nashville’s black citizens. The cemetery is pretty large and will take me some time to get through, but I took close to 150 pictures today. I will be adding them over time to the FindAGrave listings so that they may hopefully be of use to others.

As I was leaving the cemetery, I did see this mausoleum and had to go and see it. While I recognized the McKissack name, it didn’t come to me immediately who they were. The oldest black-owned architectural firm in the US is McKissack & McKissack, founded in 1905 is still in operation today. The firm was founded by Moses McKissack III and many family members were involved. For more information about the history of the firm, there is information online in the Profiles of African Americans in Tennessee book and the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture.

In the mausoleum are buried:

I’ll be adding the McKissacks to my surnames to watch out for in my research. I have already started a family tree for them on my site.

Leave a comment


  1. Rick W

     /  November 21, 2008

    Do you take requests? My wife is trying to find out her family history, but has run into a lot of roadblocks. Her family came from Nashville and is probably buried there. Some names include Robert J. Perkins and Lizzie Perkins. Not sure of their dates of death. There are a number of other Perkins who are related. Thank you. Rick

  2. Shirley Yarbrough

     /  October 26, 2010

    Found a death certificate for my grandfather: Alfred Yarbrough burried Ararat( Now Greenwood west) Do you have a pic of his gravesite. Buried June 1930

  3. Shirley Yarbrough

     /  October 26, 2010

    Looking for Alfred Yarbrough death 2/22/30 buried 3/4/1930

  4. plt

     /  December 10, 2011

    Hello, I just found out that the Woodfork or Woodfolk family members might be related and that Gilford Manor could be my great-great-great-great grandfather. If possible..are they located in the cemetery too?

  5. Kenneth Rhines

     /  February 10, 2012

    Hello, My name is kenneth Rhines and i also have been doing some geneology work on my family history, From my own research for about 15 years, i have found out that my family has been in the Nashville area since the 1880s maybe a little earlier. My great grandfather, J.P. Rhines, John P. Rhines, or John Porter Rhines was a noted attorney and civil activist in Nashville from the turn of the century until his death on June 25, 1930. According to his death certificate he was buried at Greenwood Cemetery. Quite possible, he was a colleaque to James Napier, Z Alexander Looby and Coyness Ennix. I found out that he was help obtain a charter for the local Elk Lodge there and was a member. He attended Fisk University and also (now defunct) Central Tennessee College/Walden University during the 1890s. I called Greenwood, but they said that they didnt have any records of him and a lot of the records were burned by a fire they had. I am so close to learn more about him and I refused to give up my search. Also, his wife Minnie Barnett Davis-Rhines was a schoolteacher at the Fireside School there as well. She died in Sept of 1930 and her funeral was held at Howard Congregational Church. If anyone want to correspond with me, you can email me at krhines31@yahoo.com. Im Kenneth Rhines

  6. Beth Simpson

     /  May 23, 2012

    Hi! My name is Beth Simpson. I’ve been trying find some information about my great- grandfather who is believed to be Reverend Samuel H. Simpson, who died in 1976. He was on the National Baptist Publishing Board, and married to Norvell Simpson. It was said that she died years before he did. Orginally he was born in Victoria, Texas and later moved to Nashville, TN where I assume he may have been buried.

    However, I haven’t been able to find an obituary for either of them. Prior to him moving to Nashville, he was a revilist who traveled from state to state. I was able to locate a picture of him by the LPMBC History website. That is Lake Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Nashville where he pastored at prior to his death.

    I spoke with Rev. Bruce Maxwell who was his successor several months ago. He confirmed that the late Rev. S. Simpson was indeed from Victoria, Texas. And that they had known each other for quite some time. He mentioned that Rev. Samuel Simpson never spoke of an illegitimate child; who’s mother was from also from Victoria. That illegitimate child would be my grandfather. It was said that Rev. S. Simpson was married at the time he, and my great- grandmother conceived my grandfather. My grandfather’s name was Reverend Jewel Simpson. If you are able to help me with this please respond.

    • Hi Beth,

      I’ve found something for you and will send you an email.

      • Beth Simpson

         /  June 13, 2012

        Hi! Taneya-

        I just checked my emails, and I’m very glad to hear that you were able to find something out for me. Now, it feels like it may be getting somewhere with my research. I’ve already emailed the Tennessean Library with my request for information. As soon as I’m able to get a copy of the obiturary I will get back with you.

        Thanks for all your effort,


  7. Brenda Harding-Jones

     /  June 4, 2012

    Hello…..trying to find grave of my father- James A. Harding, buried June 1954 behind the Purity milk co….I think they have ran or built over some of the graves. Most of my family buried there. Harding’s I have brought 2 graves closed to the green house there,

    • Hi Brenda,

      I’ve taken pictures of some of the graves in the “old” section of the cemetery that is Mt. Ararat and is indeed behind the Purity Milk Company. I don’t know whether they have built over graves, but have you tried contacting Greenwood about it?

  8. Beth Simpson

     /  January 8, 2013

    Hi! Taneya-

    I’m writing to thank you for the information you provided for me to obtain the obituary of my said grandfather. Although it didn’t provide any information related to his next of kin, it’s a blessing just to know of his existence, and that it’s something I can further look into.

    If you can still go out and take the picture of his grave site, this would be greatly appreciated. He’s buried at the Greenwood cemetery. For further reference, if need be, his body was at K. Gardner & Sons Funeral Home. If there’s anything else you need me to do before this can happen, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Thanks again,


  9. Lynda Gregory

     /  February 6, 2013


    I have been going through death records for Gregorys buried in Nashville and adding them to Find-A-Grave. Many are listed as being buried in Greenwood, do you know between the years of 1900 and 1940 which Greenwood cemetery the death record would be referring to? I want to make sure I list these folks in the correct cemetery.

    Thanks for any guidance,

    Lynda Gregory

    • Hi Lynda,

      Greenwood Cemetery proper is probably where they were buried. I don’t believe Greenwood West came about until later, however, I would recommend you contact the cemetery and ask for sure when the “west” side opened up. Their contact information is online at http://www.greenwoodcemeterytn.com/contact.html.

      • Lynda Gregory

         /  February 6, 2013

        Thanks so much for your speedy reply! I will check with Greenwood to be sure.

  10. Elijah Claybrooks

     /  May 11, 2013

    My oldest sibling , my sister Stephanie Claybrooks died in the early 70’s. I do believe she was buried in this Cemetary. I was told that back then they were buring people on top of each other in the same grave back then. Is there some kind of insight that you could give me on how I can locate my sister’s grave ?

  11. Hi Elijah – I would recommend contacting the cemetery. See the URL in my comment just a couple ones above yours. Thanks!

  1. Genealogy Activities Synopsis - January 2008 « Taneya’s Genealogy Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: