Unity Cemetery

This blog post is part of a series about my trip to Plymouth, NC for the 44th Annual McNair Family Reunion.

In my last post I wrote about visiting the home of my 3rd – great grand uncle Dred Wimberly. Well, I also wanted to stop at nearby Unity Cemetery since this is where Dred is buried.

entrance to Unity Cemetery

Unity was easy to find but my heart breaks at the condition of the cemetery. There are stones grown over, hidden by trees, cracked and broken, and even more disparaging states.  Unity Cemetery is the oldest black cemetery in Rocky Mount and definitely needs to be preserved.

a few stones in the cemetery

The only reason I know Dred is buried there is because of another genealogist who lives in the area. A few years back we’d correspondence about Dred and she was able to send pictures of his grave(waving thanks to Carole!) With my limited time, I couldn’t search for Dred’s marker as I’d ideally like, but I am eternally grateful for the pictures for he and his wife.

Dred Wimberly grave marker – photo by Stephen Hart

Grave marker for Ella Bertha Wimberly – photo by Stephen Hart

Also buried in the cemetery is one of the founders of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Anna Easter Brown. Anna moved to Rocky Mount in 1925 and was quite active in the community.  I wonder if she knew Dred?

It was so quiet in the cemetery; very peaceful. I only wish the conditions were better. But, I am glad for the chance to see it and family research wFor the family research I would like to follow-up and find out, with the help of local genealogists, exactly where he and others in his family are buried in the cemetery. 

Comments (2)

  1. I truly understand your thoughts in regards to the condition of this cemetery and the time needed not only to visit but, to care for such a large graveyard.

    Contact the city, hopefully, the Deeds office staff may have a “perpetual cemetery care” program. Basically, the county obtains moneys from families, through Wills, that provide extremely modest amounts of funds for cemetery care. Then find someone or group, which based on my own experience will be hard, who will take up the task of perpetual cemetery caretaker. Sadly, there are very few people or groups who are willing.

    Here is a link to show you what I do in regards to cemetery preservations:


    Best of luck in your search for your Ancestors.


  2. Taneya Koonce (Post author)

    Hi Jack. I think there is a local group who is looking into preserving it. I hope they can get the kind of support they need locally to make it happen. Thank you for the link!

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