We've made two visits to the Miller/Claypool cemetery in Mathias, WV, and taken pictures both times. This page documents what we found there and gives access to a number of the pictures and the details of the various gravestones. (The page describing our original 2004 trip's findings may be found here).

The following map is based on a quick hand-drawn map I did at the cemetery during the 2006 visit, using the poles in the chain link fence as reference points. It should not be taken as a strict survey, but it gets the positioning pretty close. I have pictures taken from just in front of each fence pole, if anyone wants to verify the details. The map is clickable.

Unknown stone labelled 'James (1701)' Displaced Footstone labelled 'Jane'. Unknown Claypool labelled 'Rachel' John Claypool James Claypool Margret Claypool's Grave GC and CC footstones Unreadble Fallen and Broken stones by 'E. Howard' Real Jane Claypool Grave James Claypool (1701) Ann Dunbar Cahoon Eleanor? Blizzard Miller-Claypool Cemetery
Clicking on any named grave should display a page about that grave.

Text color Usage
Slate Gray Observed Facts
Blue My earlier errors
Light Grey Recent alterations
Between our two visits, there were some changes. One of the original stones had been reset in the ground and 4 modern markers were set at the feet of it and the three stones next to it. What we discovered during our second visit suggests to me that a number of errors were made by whoever reset the stone and added the new markers. The new markers are indicated in lighter grey in the map above.

Our discoveries also indicate that my own earlier identification of two stones badly defaced by time and weather were wrong. In one of these I agreed with whoever added the modern markers. In the other we disagreed. My two errors are shown in blue in the map.

To make the photos posted here, we used a trick taught to us by a team of professionals and academics that the National Blue Family Association helped finance to conserve a Blue family graveyard—we spread shaving cream on the stone and then gently wiped it away. The pictures below show various stages of wiping the cream off of Jane's stone. Even the third has little left and is a bit more readable than before we cleaned it off.

Since I started writing this page I have learned that the use of shaving cream is rather controversial and that many professional conservators would not recommend it. While the claims on both sides of the controversy sound a bit overblown, I am by nature conservative on such things and so will refrain from the practice at least until I find some credible scientific evidence that it is in fact safe. So, if the use of shaving cream is offensive to you, rest assured that it is a one time aberration.

Pedigree of Grave Occupants With the exception of Elenor Blizzard, the well-attested named graves on the map above form a moderately tight family tree. We have James and Jane, their three sons John, James and George, George's wife Catherine and young James's wife Margaret and her sister Ann. Ann's niece completes the set, though we don't yet know how precisely to connect her. In the chart to the right I've added Rachel, whom the layer of the modern markers proposes is present and James Cahoon, just to provide Ann's surname. Both are grayed out slightly.

Clearly the story is incomplete. The two left most graves (and here I take the stone stone recently reset to be a part of the same grave as the tall stone beside it) are as yet unidentified. My guess would be that they are a married couple, perhaps William and his wife Martha Dunbar, he being the elder brother of James, John and George and she being the sister of Margaret and Ann. That leaves us the mystery of where Rachel's grave is, though. As Martha remarried, William and Rachel are a real possibility. But all this is speculation unless we can find evidence.

Location of the Cemetery

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The map to the right shows the location of the cemetery. It is up the hill on the west side of the road. It is not visible from the road and is no longer marked with a sign, so finding it can be a bit of a chore. The picture below shows the view as you travel north on rt. 259. There is a footpath to the left of our van, and the cemetery is on the bluff directly behind the car.

Good luck!