‘Badly bitten by the genealogy bug’

Beth Cadieu tells of arduous, patient search for family cemetery

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Blah, blah, blah.

In the early going, Beth Cadieu found stories of her family’s ancestors only “mildly interesting.”

Submitted photo The lone, unmarked tombstone that was the only indication of an old family cemetery in July 2012.

Submitted photo
The lone, unmarked tombstone that was the only indication of an old family cemetery in July 2012.

After being told her family was originated in Kent, England, and that the Reynolds-Hine tree branched into the United States by way of Virginia in 1590, Cadieu tucked that nugget away.

“I forgot about it,” Cadieu said Monday during a 45-minute presentation before the Richmond County Historical Society at Rockingham City Hall.

Then one piece of family lore couldn’t be answered. In an academic exercise, Cadieu, now of West End, searched for the answer. And searched. And searched.

“There was one family tidbit that always bugged me,” Cadieu said to the three dozen genealogy fans in attendance. “My grandfather’s father was a Reynolds, and so was his mother …”

No relation, she was told. But the woman born Elizabeth Reynolds Cadieu wanted proof, and that began a journey which continues to end with a new beginning.

“I was badly bitten by the genealogy bug,” Cadieu said.

Cadieu sought out the family cemetery. She learned it was located between Ellerbe and Mangum, somewhere off Cartledge Creek Road and Big Mountain Creek. But old descriptions of the Gee Hines homestead failed to account how neglect had overtaken the area.

Submitted photo This image shows the plot cleared (January 2013), white crosses erected and the granite tombstone reassembled.

Submitted photo
This image shows the plot cleared (January 2013), white crosses erected and the granite tombstone reassembled.

When alone in the woods looking for tombstones, Cadieu said, things can look awfully different. Still, she searched. She joined Ancestry.com and “spent many, many hours on the Richmond County genealogy website, and also the North Carolina archives.”

Cadieu also read books published by the historical societies in Montgomery and Richmond counties for additional glimpses into the family and its final resting place.

Field work, Spanky and Little Bit

With academic references in mind and in hand, Cadieu strapped on her hiking boots and took to the woods in the summer of 2012 to locate the Gee Hines home place and the family cemetery. She was alone.

“I very bravely go out in the woods, and spend hours and hours,” Cadieu said. “I realized pretty early on, the land doesn’t look anything today like it did back then.”

She was, Cadieu acknowledged, “a little bit discouraged.”

Cadieu returned to the books — specifically, My Pee Dee River Hills by Chris Florance — to assess and re-evaluate the description of the property.

“I can still recall the large, airy rooms, their high ceilings and plastered walls – the first such walls I had ever seen – the fancy stairs that terminated in a shelf-lined library on the second floor, and the great kitchen with a fireplace as tall as I was that reached form corner to corner. Outside, peeling yellow paint fell in flakes when I learned against the fluted columns supporting the wide porch (that) wrapped around most of the house that once had been the pride of the Pee Dee River hills … there had indeed been slaves to maintain this once-splendid house and the 1,000 acres of land that supported it.”

“So,” Cadieu said, “I continued my search. I spent a lot of hours walking through the woods in that area.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Local genealogist Sandra Elliott, left, talks with Beth Cadieu Monday after her presentation at the Richmond County Historical Society's monthly meeting.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Local genealogist Sandra Elliott, left, talks with Beth Cadieu Monday after her presentation at the Richmond County Historical Society’s monthly meeting.

Still flummoxed, Cadieu took the next step she could see.

“Very bravely, stupidly, I took names off of mailboxes,” Cadieu said. I called some of those people. Some of those people were very nice. Some of those people hung up on me.”

That didn’t surprise her. After all, her greeting went something like this: “Hello, my name is Beth Cadieu and I’m looking for a cemetery.”

Finally, Cadieu came into contact with Dorothy “Dotsie” J. Reynolds. She referred Cadiue to the Big Oak Hunt Club, which owned most of the land in the area, and to John Lentz, of Ellerbe, and a logger. Lentz put her in touch with Ronnie Reynolds, son of George Reynolds.

The pieces were starting to fall into place.

“Ronnie put me on the phone to his mother, Myrtle,” said Cadieu. Myrtle was 92 years old at the time and has since passed away.

“She was the most pleasant person. She had been to the house. She described the house. She talked about walking to the cemetery … but she was not able to go with us to try to find cemetery.”

Ronnie Reynolds met with Cadieu one Sunday afternoon.

“We looked … (and) walked around the woods a long time,” Cadieu said. “We tried to find the cemetery. We had no luck, but we did have a good time.”

The home place was, finally, found. What was left was “just like Myrtle had described it,” though most of the home had been torn down in the 1950s.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Beth Cadieu holds up one of the many references used to find the Hines-Reynolds family cemetery in Richmond County.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Beth Cadieu holds up one of the many references used to find the Hines-Reynolds family cemetery in Richmond County.

Still, though, no cemetery.

“I went back one Sunday, along Big Mountain Creek. I was just tired. I was discouraged. I was defeated. I went back to my car. I sat down on the bank and, low and behold, up drives old Ronnie Reynolds.”

Cadieu said Reynolds had a light in his eye and a spirit that promised a breakthrough that afternoon. Then up drove two individuals called Spanky and Little Bit.

The two agree to assist Reynolds and Cadieu with the search.

“All of the sudden, Spanky stops and says, ‘well, here it is.'”

Cadieu could make out a single tombstone, but Spanky and Little Bit were ready to return to their regularly scheduled routine.

As the group left the area, Cadieu worked feverishly — and quickly — to mark the branches of trees with tape so she could find her way back.

Protected

A logging company had ravaged the area, Cadieu surmised. Felled trees covered much of the stones in the family cemetery. Her best guess, she said, is that when loggers realized the area was a cemetery, they abandoned the area — not even staying to pick up the timber already on the ground.

With the help of her father, Neal Cadieu, Beth and other family members erected crosses and posted warning signs to help visitors to the area understand that it was, in fact, a cemetery. As a protected cemetery, the land is not to be defaced, desecrated or covered up in any way.

 

 

Filed in: Farm & Ag, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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  • Jay Hudson

    My g-g grandmother was Marie Elizabeth Reynolds. She,and my g-g grandfather, John David Hudson’ and other family members were buried at the Sugar Loaf Cemetery on Cagle Cemetery Road , just past the bridge at Big Mountain Creek

  • Beth Cadieu

    That’s very interesting. Who were her parents? Have you been to Sugar Loaf Cemetery? If so, is it still accessible?

  • Barbara Mozingo

    Hello Beth
    A few weeks back, I received a call from one of our Reynolds kin asking why Neal Cadieu would be interested in the “Hines” family. (Your Dad had asked a question on one of the genealogy sites I think.) Now I know, lol. My maiden name was Griffin but my mother was a Hines…I am documenting details of my grandfather ” Bob Hines’ ” murder almost entirely from the Rockingham Post-Dispatch articles from 1939 – 1944. The journalist was detail oriented and I believe has given us as clear a description as we will ever find about what happened the night of his near-decapitation. Yesterday I read that Billy Covington worked at the Post-Dispatch during those years & I am betting that he may have written the articles. Anyway, really enjoyed your article & am hoping that you or your Dad may have some info on Billy Covington. Many thanks for the work you & your dad did at the “G” Hines place. I looked for it several times many years back.

    • beth cadieu

      The State Archives contains a private collection entitled “London, Isaac Spencer Collection, 1769 – 1964.” Go to Private Collections and then Private Collections FInding Aids and click on the “L.” Scroll down to “C” and you will see:

      PC.1254.15 Covington, William H.

      William H. Covington wrote many articles on Richmond County history for the Post-Dispatch, and many of them are included in a subject file, which bears his name.

      You might be able to request a copy of that file.

      • Barbara Mozingo

        Beth, thank you for the info…At one time your Daddy was looking for Malachi Watkins Hines’ mother’s name…tell him that according to records in Family search.org, her name was Mariah Watkins Hines…please pass that info to him. This is the one & only time I have seen her name.
        Thank You
        Barbara Griffin Mozingo

        • Barbara Mozingo

          Beth, have another question for you,,,I thought the Hines were Scotch Irish and the Hines/ Reynolds hook-up was in Richmond County…am I incorrect? Many Thanks…Bg mozingo

  • Jay Hudson

    Beth,

    William Riley Reynolds ‘ born 2 October.1852 was Marie(Mary) Elizabeth Reynolds father.

    Her mother was Sarah Ann Baldwin, born 1838, died 25 March, 1896

    Jay

    • RON GOODMAN

      Beth, I don’t know if this group of Reynold’s are related to your Reynolds or not. My grandfather Goodman’s(RW Goodman’s father) sister Annie Goodman was married into the Reynolds family that lived in the Roberdel area. They lived in the two story house that was at the top of the Roberdel Village. It sets back off the road and has recently been remodeled. I recently had some contact with this family. I can probably find the recent information if this is your Reynold’s group.
      Here is the information on Annie Goodman Reynolds family:
      0. ANNIE ELIZA4 GOODMAN (JAMES ALFRED3, ALFRED JAMES2, JAMES1) was born July 16, 1896, and died April 15, 1936 in NC.

      She married ELMER J. REYNOLDS.

      Children of ANNIE GOODMAN and ELMER REYNOLDS are:

      i. LLOYD5 REYNOLDS.

      ii. DORIS REYNOLDS, m. HERMAN BENNETT.

      iii. GROVER REYNOLDS.

      iv. FRED REYNOLDS.

      v. ANNIE REYNOLDS.

      vi. RUTH REYNOLDS.

      44. vii. WOODROW WILSON REYNOLDS, b. February 17, 1920; d. February 08, 1990.

      viii. WADE REYNOLDS, m. DIXIE.
      Ron

      • Beth Cadieu

        I don’t know how Elmer Reynolds fits into my family tree unless the house you speak of was originally owned by Sena (Acenath) Reynolds and her brother William T. Reynolds. They purchased it in 1892. It sat on a half acre of land in Roberdel near the Roberdel Baptist Church.

    • Beth Cadieu

      William Riley was a son of John Otto and Winnie Harrison Reynolds. John Otto was a brother of my gggrandfather, Jacob.

      John Otto has clearly marked stone at Possom Tail Cemetery. One of his other sons, David Lee, has beautiful white granite tombstone in “my” Reynolds/Hines cemetery which is on land presently owned by descendent of another of William’s brothers, Allen Harrison Reynolds.

      William Riley evidently married a second time to Sarah Millie Elliott. He died 24 Jan. 1930 and is buried at Eagle Springs Methodist cemetery.

    • beth cadieu

      William Riley was a son of John Otto and Winnie Harrison Reynolds. John Otto was a brother of my gggrandfather, Jacob.

      John Otto has clearly marked stone at Possom Tail Cemetery. One of his other sons, David Lee, has beautiful white granite tombstone in “my” Reynolds/Hines cemetery which is on land presently owned by descendent of another of William’s brothers, Allen Harrison Reynolds.

      William Riley evidently married a second time to Sarah Millie Elliott. He died 24 Jan. 1930 and is buried at Eagle Springs Methodist cemetery.

  • Cami Hudson

    We are distant relatives then. I’m a descendent of William Riley Reynolds. I’ve been able to track 11 generations further back from him. I was unaware of his brothers. Very interesting. Your gggrandfather, Jacob is named after their great-grandfather Jacob Reynolds born Bet. 1743–1746 in Cumberland County, NC who married Elizabeth Allen

  • Beth Cadieu

    In your research do you have the father of John Otto and Jacob Reynolds as being John Reynolds (b. 1789) who married Nancy Griggs? I have come across conflicting information that Jacob’s father was Nicholas Reynolds, but I am pretty sure that is not correct.

    What name do you have for the first Reynolds immigrant in our family line to North America?

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