2010-11-25 / Local & State

Descendants Spruce Up 18th Century Grave

By Lindsay R. Mellott STAFF WRITER

Margaret Kendall’s newly cleaned 19th-century limestone grave marker Margaret Kendall’s newly cleaned 19th-century limestone grave marker The 18th century gravesite of Margaret Kendall, the first white women to die of natural causes in the Great Cove, was spruced up recently by some of her Johnston- Kendall descendants.

Margaret Kendall died in 1750 and was buried south of Union Cemetery in Ayr Township on what is now the Moore Family farm. This fall Linda Johnston Mellon and husband Jim Mellon, along with Julie Ward, cut trees and brush from the enclosed gravesite, and Linda worked with her cousin, Margaret Johnston Unfred of Grand Junction, Colo., to get Margaret Kendall’s 19th century tombstone professionally cleaned.

Mellon says the cleanup came about after Unfred, whose mother, Mary Johnston Keltie, was born in Fulton County, visited family graves here to gather information for a Johnston genealogy update and had difficulty reading some family tombstones.

Right: The Ayr Township grave of Margaret Kendall, who died in 1750. An 18th-century stone marker sits behind the later limestone marker. Right: The Ayr Township grave of Margaret Kendall, who died in 1750. An 18th-century stone marker sits behind the later limestone marker. The two women, along with other Johnston cousins, paid to have Margaret Kendall’s later limestone marker, erected by her great-grandson, James Kendall, powerwashed. Margaret Kendall’s 18th century stone marker sits directly behind her limestone tombstone.

Throughout the years many people have helped to care for Margaret Kendall’s grave. In the 1980s, some Johnston-Kendall descendants, including the late Anne Johnston Lodge, raised money to have an iron fence erected to enclose the gravesite. Mellon says that fence now needs wire brushed and painted.

Margaret Kendall has many descendants living here, and Mellon would like to welcome any help from them or any others who share her interest in preserving her gravesite for future generations.

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