Burks Chapel, Rodney, and Rock Creek Cemeteries (Decatur County, Indiana)

Burks Chapel Cemetery

The Burks Chapel Cemetery is a small plot right next to the road on W. County Road 750 S.  I believe it is privately owned but being near the road the last time I visited it was a simple thing to park and enter. (I guess we’ll find out on our cemetery tour if the owners object to a group of visitors!).

Burks Chapel Cemetery location

In this cemetery rests one of the early progenitors of many descendants of the family:  George Robbins.  George, the son of Absalom and Mary (Ogle) Robbins, was born in 1792 and lived until 1888.  He and his wife Nancy Pruitt were said to be the parents of at least eleven children.

George Robbins
Jonathan and Margaret (Spilman) Robbins

George’s son Jonathan Robbins, with his wife Margaret Spilman, are also buried in this cemetery.  Among the other related family names here are:  Bower, Coleman, Cripe, Flint, Scripture, Skinner, Vanderbur, and Voiles.

Rodney Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

The Rodney Cemetery is located next to the Rodney Friendship Separate Baptist Church in Christ (so reads their sign), in a fairly wooded section of Decatur County, along S. County Road 60 SW.  I have not been able to find any additional information about this church but the cemetery seems old, but with recent burials too.

Rodney Cemetery location

Micajah Robbins (1788-1865), another patriarch of the family and eldest son of Absalom and Mary (Ogle) Robbins, is reportedly buried in the Rodney Cemetery, but his grave seems to be unmarked.  Notes by a grandson, John W. Holcomb, state: “Macajah m. Elizabeth Hanks a cousin of William Hanks.  They were my Grandfather and Grandmother.  They are buried at Rodney Cemetery near their home.”  (Micajah’s wife was actually Elizabeth Vickery).  It’s possible that the grave was marked at one time but the stone was lost over the years, perhaps even buried below the surface of the lawn today.

Levi and Sarah (Lemasters) Robbins

There are other Robbins family members buried at Rodney, including Micajah’s daughter Nancy (Robbins) Evans and family, and descendants of Micajah’s brother George, including Levi W. Robbins (1841-1930) and some of his family line.  Other related family names found in the cemetery include:  Bower, Giddings, Harrison, Martin, Shoemake, and Stone.

Rock Creek Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

Rock Creek Cemetery, which is also spelled Rockcreek, is located towards the southeastern corner of Decatur County, along W. County Road 1100 S, next to the Rock Creek Baptist Church.

Rockcreek Cemetery location

William (“Rock Creek Billy”) Robbins is buried here.  “Rock Creek Billy” being one of those many early Robbins family nicknames to distinguish this William from all the other Williams!  This gentleman was the son of Jacob and Rachel Robbins and brother of the Jacob Robbins who emigrated to Oregon in 1852.

William (“Rock Creek Billy”) Robbins

“Rock Creek Billy” Robbins was married twice, first to Mary Moffett, then following her death, to Elizabeth Ferguson, and altogether he fathered perhaps as many as twelve children.  As happens in the Robbins family, there were intermarriages, so his oldest daughter Eliza Catherine (“Katty”) Robbins was married to her cousin, once-removed, Job Robbins, son of George (see above about Burks Chapel Cem.). 

Besides finding the Robbins surname in the cemetery, you will find many other family names such as:  Deweese, Evans, Ford, Harrison, Hockersmith, Holcomb, Ponsler, Rork, Spencer, Sutton, and Taylor.

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

Sunday, July 31st, the day after the Robbins Bicentennial Reunion this summer in Westport, Indiana, will feature a tour of some of the Decatur County cemeteries where our Robbins ancestors are buried – I’m hoping some of the readers of this blog can join us.  I’m planning to do several posts highlighting some of the cemeteries we hope to visit, focusing on those with the oldest forebears of all the various branches of the family.  But I might add:  every cemetery in Decatur County holds someone of some relation to the Robbins family.

The Mount Pleasant Cemetery is privately owned and accessed through the owner’s property.  So, while the schedule of the tour is yet to be worked out (and it can be done as a group or a “self-tour” once we have a map, directions, and descriptions uploaded to this blog and our reunion Facebook page) it makes sense to have a set time for a single group visit to this private cemetery (arranged for 11am that day).

Mount Pleasant Cemetery (Decatur County, Indiana)

This cemetery holds, I believe, the earliest county burials of the Robbins family and their in-laws.  It is located on the original land tract of John Robbins (1795-1881), son of William and Bethiah (Vickery) Robbins, south of Greensburg on South County Road 60 SW.  John’s land patent for the property was issued in 1823.

Here is a map showing the general location relative to Greensburg:

And a close up courtesy of Google Earth:

The cemetery isn’t limited to Robbins family members and in-laws (Kirkpatricks and Andersons, specifically), but other families with later connections to ours:  Barnes, Cheek, Evans, Ferris, Hunter, Ketchum, Kitchin, Marsteller, Paramore, Snook, Travis, and Vanderbur, among others.

All of the Robbins family buried in the cemetery are descendants of William and Bethiah through five of their children:  Marmaduke Robbins, Mary (Robbins) Kirkpatrick, John Robbins, William Robbins Jr., and Charlotte (Robbins) Anderson.  Note that three of these siblings married Anderson siblings, children of Sarah Anderson (also buried in the cemetery).

I believe the earliest Robbins known to have been buried in the cemetery, and probably the earliest burial of anyone there, was Nathaniel Robbins in 1824, the infant son of John Robbins, original owner of the cemetery property.  Only a year later he was followed by his grandmother and matriarch, Sarah Anderson.  I would not be surprised if the death of young Nathaniel is what spurred John into setting aside a tract of land for the cemetery.

William Robbins, our Revolutionary War ancestor, was laid to rest in 1834, while his wife Bethiah joined him in 1850.  You can read more about William’s war experiences in my blog post here.

William Robbins grave in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Decatur Co., Indiana

Polly (Robbins) Kirkpatrick and her husband John, both of whom died in the 1850s, are buried there, along with two of their grandchildren Burrell and Martha.

John and Ruth (Anderson) Robbins, parents of the aforementioned Nathaniel, lived very long lives, until 1881 and 1871, respectfully.  Several of their Paramore grandchildren are also buried there.   And, while Nathaniel represented the earliest Robbins burial, John and Ruth’s son William Anderson Robbins was one of the later family burials, in 1907.  Long before that point many of the Robbins family members had started being buried in the huge Greensburg cemetery, South Park, as well as in other cemeteries around the county.

William and Elinor (Anderson) Robbins are buried in Mt. Pleasant, along with some grandchildren, as are Abraham and Charlotte (Robbins) Anderson and family.

There is a possibility that Marmaduke Robbins, another son of William and Bethiah, is buried in the cemetery, as he died about 1838 and his grave has not otherwise been found. FindAGrave lists his son Jacob F. Robbins and wife Catherine Myers as both being buried in Mt. Pleasant (with Catherine’s 1899 newspaper death announcement stating:  “Internment at Robbins cemetery, south of Greensburg”).

We are fortunate that the property owners take pride in the cemetery and feel a deep sense of responsibility for its preservation and maintenance and are always warm and welcoming to visitors.  In speaking with one of the owners this week she said she’d make sure it was all “spiffed up” and ready for our visit!