Salt Pond

Cynthia S. Nold sent an email with additional information and clarification about this church cemetery and other information she has gathered:

With Andrea's suggestion that I input directly on Salt Pond (African) Baptist Church a.k.a. Negro Baptist Church, I thought I'd input a couple other things mostly on African American cemeteries.

I've been doing some Find A Grave listings since I started in Nov. when I found a little virtually destroyed Ray County family cemetery on line, and I had tombstone photos I posted to it.

I found another "Salt Pond" church, and this gets confusing because of repeating "Salt Pond," there being now three. I found this one doing some obscure reading and will later scout to see if there are tombstones. A house occupies the lot where the church once was. The easiest way to show you this is to give Find A Grave link. So read the cemetery page and then click on interment. Of course, there is more than one burial but in total only a few because of the church and cemetery being used for such a short time. This burial was noted and written about because the people were "important."

Note: I put Salt Pond African Baptist Church on Find A Grave using Banta files. The 1980s tombstone survey names had been sorted out by Methodist and Baptist. I found a few more burials using family name association to find death certificates. I noticed in the past two weeks that several African Americans were using Find A Grave for family history/genealogy, so I feel good about what I've done.

I found where Camp Creek was/is. I found two death certificates stating burial at Camp Creek and had no idea what to do with them until I did some research. Ironically, one of the burials is a Reverend and likely preached there. The other is of a land owner nearby who probably helped found the church. I made an educated guess that the cemetery was on church grounds. That area has grown up in trees undisturbed. Hiking in to look for tombstones is a project for better weather. Again, the best way to show you is to link to fFnd A Grave. Read the cemetery page information then click to see interments. The map is on George Talton's page.

Next to the Blue Lick cemetery with name information: Finis, Finney's, Finnis, Finish. The name of the creek has changed back and forth through time. I did some research over a period of a month and concluded that Finis Creek is preferred and Finnis Creek is a.k.a. This is the story. In the 1830s a family group surnamed Buie obtained land patents in Section 4 just north of where the cemetery developed later and along a then nameless creek. Finis was a traditional family first name. A black and a white historian told me Finis was pronounced with a long "i". In 1857 a Finis Buie patented land next to the other Buie holdings and at the place where the creek forks. It really was his creek. If I have the right Finis in a family full of Finis, this might be the young man who died shortly after, about 1863. I doubt, however, that the family named the creek for him as a memorial, more like a joke or an acknowledgement.

Along come surveyor and map makers, and a late 1850s map names it "Finney's Creek." However, there were only a couple of prominent Finneys in the county, ministers, who were no where near the creek. A map a couple decades later labels the creek "Finnis Creek." Later maps named it "Finney's Creek" again, and that is the label it wears today under U.S. Geological Survey – all a name mistake.

In the meantime, the undertaker who filled out death certificates for burials at the "Sematary" (as he spelled it) started with "Finnis Creek." Through time, he kept spelling "Sematary" but changed the name of the cemetery to "Finish Creek." So we have four names, three of them in error, but spelling used to be phoenetic. That's why we have Boone's Lick and Boonsboro a few miles apart. I would also suggest that people stopped using the long "i" pronunciation, went to short "i", and the double "n" spelling (Finnis) fit better with that. My strong suggestion is that the cemetery be named primarily as Finis Creek with Finnis Creek a.k.a. and secondary.

These cemetery research explorations have been assisted by Andrea and by Marvin Wilhite, historian, who has undertaken comprehensive cemetery research this winter. He is using 1871, 1876, 1896 and current plat maps along with histories, etc., to try to locate all the cemeteries in the county. Currently I am trying to find Pinnacle Gap. Wilhite says the histories say the cemetery is south and west of the church on Coon Hollow Road southwest of Miami. I have enlisted my son to help since he is friends with the people who own the old Pinnacle Gap African church site and live on it, as well as the school site and other property there. Son formerly found no evidence of a cemetery where it was stated to be. I'm going to call Department of Natural Resources at Van Meter to see if they have any clue about a cemetery on their property south and west of the church. Looking at about 20 death certificates, I see evidence that some of these families would not have been able to afford permanent markers. My son did find an African American cemetery about ¾ mile north of the church, and it is not listed or named anywhere. He got several tombstones photos, earliest 1877. The cemetery appears to have been used into the early 20th century. More research and on the ground exploration is needed to name or identify it.