Tombstone Tuesday: Annie, Resthaven Cemetery, Washington, Wilkes Co., GA

My son and I recently took a wandering trip through South Georgia from Elberton to Washington to Augusta and finally to Savannah and Tybee Island. (Since we live in the very Northeast corner of the state, pretty much everything is South Georgia to us.) While in Washington, a volunteer at one of the local museums directed us to the Resthaven Cemetery where many of Washington’s prominent early citizens were buried. On the outskirts we found a section of burials that were headed largely by unmarked stones.

At first, we thought this might be the poorer section of the cemetery, but then we spotted a stone marking the grave of Annie, no surname.

The stone reads: Annie Died 7 February 1856 Aged 37 Years.

While I don’t want to jump to conclusions, I have to wonder if Annie wasn’t a slave, and if that particular section was used for the burial of slaves. There could be other explanations. It’s likely local historians know the purpose behind this section, but we, unfortunately, were not in a position during our visit to seek such learned persons out.


5 Responses to “Tombstone Tuesday: Annie, Resthaven Cemetery, Washington, Wilkes Co., GA”

  1. I recently walked through the cemetery and was wondering the same thing. Did you ever get any answers?

    • I never followed up on that. We’ll be in the Washington-Wilkes area this winter for high school basketball, so I may have a chance then.

  2. My Ancestors were owned by Thomas WINGFIELD who migrated to Wilkes County from Hanover, VA in 1783. The WINGFIELDS were prominent planters. Every African-American in Washington-Wilkes descends from the first 23 slaves who arrived with WINGFIELD. Many, if not most of the white WINGFIELDS are buried at Resthaven, and when I stumbled upon your post tonight, a heaviness I can’t quite explain settled in the middle of my chest. I don’t know if “Annie” belongs to my family line or not, there’s a very good chance she could. Nevertheless, I’ll claim her as mine and bid her peace & ease.

    Luckie | Our Georgia Roots

  3. Yes, Annie was a slave. Sadly, one of the only slaves that had a grave marker at Resthaven. All of the cement blocks you see now, are markers, placed by either the county or state, when a crew came through and xrayed the area (I’m sure it has a fancier name than xray, but you get my point.). I would love to know who these people are. We know they are slaves, but that’s just not good enough for me. I am a white woman, who loves history, good bad and in between, and I claim Annie. I hope she is sleeping peacefully in Resthaven, surrounded by those who loved her. But, I must also say, not all of the slaves came from the originals brought here by Wingfield. I would love to know who all the others are, and how they came to be buried at Resthaven. That part of the cemetery was nearly forgotten for a long time.


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