lost cemetery of suwannee co., fl
(Mims Family Cemetery c1858 - c1950)
Legal Description: 2A IN A SQ IN NE COR OF SE1/4 OF NE1/4
Updated 27 Jun 2003

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Driving directions to this cemetery: From Live Oak, take CR 51 (Mayo Road) 6.5 mi. to CR 250 (Dowling Park Road). Go west on CR 250 for approximately 4 mi. You will see a small Mims Cemetery sign on the left side of the road. Turn down this lane. The cemetery is located at the end on the right. Location: 301433N 0830755W


We do not "own" the data on our ancestors that is found in the public domain, i.e., birth, census, marriage, death records and other published documents. However, we do own the private family stories that have been given to us, along with the format in which we choose to place this "public" data. Therefore, extract the data that you need to supplement your own family research, but do not copy or use the entire formated data. This would be a copyright infringement, and you would not want to suffer the consequences of that. If there is something in any of my family histories that you would like to use in a publication, you MUST get written permission from me. Having said all this, if you want the data to compile histories to hand down to your children or grandchildren, God Bless YOU and yours!
Please be courteous enough to cite where you got this information.

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James Daniel Mims, Sr. passed away on 24 November 1998 after a short illness. His family, relatives and friends will continue his dream of restoring this cemetery. Your help will be appreciated.

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        Just a few hundred yards off the Dowling Park Highway in a small community named Clayland is a quaint little cemetery. That is, if you don't see the broken and scattered tombstones. It is heartbreaking to see the tole that time, and descendants of those interred here have allowed to take place.

Click here to go to the cemetery photos.

        The community is named for theClayland Baptist Church, located just down the highway from this cemetery. (Coming soon: history of this church.)

        About two years ago research was begun in order to establish the history of who, when, and why this cemetery exists.

        In 1997 at the Mims Family Reunion which is held yearly at the Clayland Baptist Church, the families undertook what was to become a daunting effort of "Restoration by the year 2000", which will include land clearing and tombstone restoration. Clayland Church is located 2 miles further west on the Dowling Park Road, on the left.

The Mims Family Reunion is just one of the small reunions that take place in this church. Most of the residents of this community are still farmers, in the lower to average income group. It is now realized that this restoration will require the participation of ALL DESCENDANTS of these departed ancestors. If you recognize your ancestral names in the lists below, we urge you to come forward and assist in making this a presentable burial ground for your loved ones too. If you don't see your surname, but would like to help, bless you.

        We have three great plans; 1. Donation of Money, 2. Donation of Time, and 3. Supervise!

        A Cemetery Fund has been set up at the CNB National Bank in Lake City/Live Oak, Florida.

Suwannee County assistance was requested and denied.

The Mims Family Cemetery was still in use in the 1940's. Therefore, it is surmised that these two acres hold many undiscovered gravesites. The cemetery is "owned" by the descendants of those interred here. Therefore at present any descendant may be buried in this cemetery if they wish, at no cost.

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If you would like to make a donation or assist in restoring this cemetery, please contact:
    William J. "Bill" Ragan
    19779 - 124th St.
    Live Oak, FL 32060
If you would like more information on this cemetery, or would like to share or correct any information, please contact:
    Mrs. James Daniel Mims, Sr.
    RR 11, Box 556
     Lake City, FL 32024;
    Phone: (904)755-6467
     E-mail: mavism@isgroup.net
I will be happy to share any of our research data. Please contact me.

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Tentative Mims Family Cemetery List

        After months of research we have a tentative list of those we think were interred in the Mims Family Cemetery. We believe there are many more, probably never to be discovered. With the aid of family descendants, census and other official public records, we were also able to give some of the descendants of these departed loved ones.

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       As you read the following research data, please remember it is still in the early stages, and may have errors and omissions.
The data will be updated as new information is found


We hope the GOFF descendants will come forward to help in this cemetery restoration.

Will of Jehu Goff

Jehu b. 1818NC d. 1883FL m. (1) Jency (Clifton) b. 1820GA d. 1860FL
Jehu and Jency had eight children.

  1. GOFF, James b. 1845/46 (no data)
  2. GIFF, Mary b. 1847/48
  3. GOFF, Jehu, Jr. (1848-1921) m. Harriet (ROBINSON?) JOHNSON
  4. GOFF, George W. (1852-?)
    m. 1880 Mary E. McLEOD (1858-?)-
        i. GOFF, Ruby (1881-1964) m. Lafayette Dickens Newland
        ii. GOFF, Ella (1883-1965) m. John Laughton Crews
        iii. GOFF, Samuel Loy (1885-1956)
        iv. GOFF, Bertie (1887-?) m. J. Frank Gatlin
        v. GOFF, George W., Jr. (1890-1960)m. 1911 Mary Maud PARKER
        vi. GOFF, Annie (1890-?)
        vii. GOFF, Hugh (1895-?)
        viii. GOFF, Jessie (1897-?) m. Ashlie FAIRCLOTH
  5. GOFF, Winfield Scott (1852-1897) m. 1875 Eliza A. DEES - Children:
        i. GOFF, Andrew Joseph (1875-1935) m. Dora Jane INGRAM
        ii. GOFF, Zilpha (1882-1951) m. John D. CLINTON
        iii. GOFF, Lewin J.(1879-?) m. Ava JONES (1885-1970)
        iv. GOFF, Loy (1885-?) m. Rosa B. MILLS
        v. GOFF, Mattie (1887-1948) m. Wm. F. COX, Sr.
        vi. GOFF, George (1890-?)
        vii. GOFF, Sumner (1893-?)
        viii. GOFF, Homer (1896-1961) m. Verna _______
  6. GOFF, Francis (male) (1858-?)

    Second wife of Jehu Goff
    + Eliza Jane REID (1845-1924-bur. Orange Ch. Cem., Suwannee Co., FL)
    Jehu and Jane had six known children:

  7. GOFF, Maggie (1862/63-?)
  8. GOFF, Virginia "Jennie" (1869-1955) m. Robert Axson LANDEN
  9. GOFF, Dangerfield (1869-?)
  10. GOFF, Alexander (1871-1948) m. 1891, Annie DEAN (1875-?) Children:
        i. GOFF, Claud Arduff (1893-1943) m. (1) Saisie Evelyn YOUNG
        ii. GOFF, Alexander Phil, Sr. (1899-1969) m. (1) Mary LANIER m. (2) Addie MCLEOD
        iii. GOFF, Woodrow m. Agnes _____
  11. GOFF, Adaline (c1875-?) m. 1890 Joseph LANDEN
  12. GOFF, Henrietta (c1876-?) m. 1894 Scott E. NEWMAN
  13. GOFF, Filmore (Millard) (1877/78-?)
  14. GOFF, Sallie (1880-1952) m. (1) Alex P. LANDEN m. (2) Aden Eugene TAYLOR
  15. GOFF, Babe (1883-?)

It is believed that the property where Alexander (later, his son, Woodrow) lived, and the "Old George Goff Place" that the Sherman and Tomlinson family purchased in 1946 was part of the extensive Jehu Goff, Sr. holdings. Jehu was a land surveyor, and his name was found on numerous land transactions and other court documents in the county, including ones for the Mims families.
UPDATE: In 2001 George W. Davis, the GG-grandson of Jehu Goff, Sr. purchased the George W. Goff/Sherman Tomlinson farm. He had already inherited the estate of his uncle and aunt, Woodrow & Agnes Goff. We hope George will relocate in the area of his ancestral holdings in the Clayland Community, Suwannee Co., FL.

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Are you a HALL descendant? If so, we would really like to hear from you.

       Sarah (O'STEEN) HALL, b. 1810 d. 25 Mar 1883? is buried in the Mims Family Cemetery. We are not sure of her death date, since each time we visit this cemetery, the pieces of stone are found in different places. We do know that she was the sister of Mary (O'STEEN) MIMS, and the wife of Rev. James T. HALL. It is believed that she and at least one of their children are buried here. James T. HALL m. Sarah O'STEEN 23 Dec 1830 Hamilton Co., FL.
Known children:
James b. 1840
Elizabeth b. 1849
Isaac b. 1854.

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(Working on this Surname - Would greatly appreciate the descendants help.)
John M. MESSER was born 1863. He married Mary MIMS 13 Jan 1885 in Suwannee Co., FL, d/o James MIMS, Jr. and Louisa HINTSON (HINGSON). She was born 08 Mar 1858 in Suwannee Co., FL, and died 23 Mar 1891 in Suwannee Co., FL.
Nothing is known of John's ancestry. On the 1885 Suwannee Co., FL census, he was listed as "Gardener" with a value of 700/200.
Mary is buried in the Mims Cemetery, Suwannee Co., FL. It is not known if there were any children of this marriage.

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Mims Probate Records (coming soon)
Mims Land Records
For more information on the family units, please go to Mims Descendants

        Research is on-going to establish the original owner of this property. We believe it was owned by James MIMS, Sr. & Mary (O'STEEN), his wife, who probably moved there about the time that Suwannee County was formed from Columbia County. They were married in Hamilton Co., FL in 1828 where they were granted and purchased property; living in that county until about 1858 when they sold that property and moved to Suwannee Co., FL.

        James and Mary had at least 10 children, all born in Hamilton Co., FL. Three of their sons, Valentine, James, Jr. and William Jasper were in the Civil War. William Jasper died in a CSA hospital, and was buried in the Confederate Cemetery at Mobile, AL.

  1. Valentine MIMS was wounded at Dallas, GA., and at the war's end moved his family to Texas, where his widow, Eliza MIMS drew a CSA Widow's pension. His son, William Archibald MIMS, returned to Suwannee County, where he married Mary CARMICHAEL, daughter of Duncan Greenberry and Sophronia Vashti (LEAPTROT) CARMICHAEL.
  2. James MIMS, Jr. continued to live in Suwannee Co., where he and his first wife, Louisa (HINTSON/ HINGSON) had at least four children. Louisa may be buried in the Mims Family Cemetery, but her grave has not been found. Their daughter, Mary (MIMS) MESSER, wife of John M. MESSER/MERCER is buried in the Mims Family Cemetery. The surname MESSER was later changed to MERCER in some records.
            James MIMS, Jr. and his second wife, Margaret SMITH, daughter of Harriet (BOATRIGHT) SMITH QUIETTE had three sons. One died in infancy, and may be buried in the Mims Family Cemetery. The burial place for James MIMS, Jr. is unknown, but it is likely he too was buried in the Mims Family Cemetery.
  3. Sarah A. MIMS married William C. WATSON. According to "Biographical Rosters of FLa's Confederate and Union Soldiers", there were two William C. Watson's, probably the same person. One is listed as having died in 1895 and is buried in the "Mims Cemetery, Newburn, Suwannee County." This compiler believes he was probably buried in the Mims Family Cemetery, since there is not one located in the Newburn community.
  4. Elizabeth MIMS - She married first, S. BLACK. Her second marriage may have been Edward C. SESSIONS, after her sister, Rebecca died. It is believed Rebecca may have been buried in the Mims Family Cemetery.
  5. Nancy "Nan" (MIMS) HART is buried in the Mims Family Cemetery.
  6. William Jasper MIMS died in the CSA War at the age of 20.
  7. Martha Jane (MIMS) BLACK SESSIONS, first married John BLACK. Her second marriage was to Abner M.R. SESSIONS.
  8. Elizar MIMS is found on the 1850 Hamilton County, FL as being three years old. She does not appear with the family group on the 1860 census, and it is presumed she died between 1850 and 1860. She may be buried in the Mims Family Cemetery.
  9. Rebecca Mary Amanda (MIMS) SESSIONS married Edward C. SESSIONS.
  10. Thomas Nuten MIMS married Cornelia A. SESSIONS in Suwannee Co., FL. It is believed this family moved to Alabama, then later to Texas. We believe Thomas and Cornelia had a son in AL by the name of A. MIMS. We do not know the fate of Cornelia. Perhaps some SESSION researcher will come forward with this.
            Thomas Nuten's second wife was Martha J. ALLEN whom he married in TX. (The spelling "Nuten" appears in his hand on his father's probate records.)

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Thanks to Martha Sessions Jackson, Pat Sessions and Sharon Driver Wright for "caring enough to share" some of the following information.

Abner Mitchell Rutherford SESSIONS was born 1844 in Madison Co., FL, and died 26 Aug 1931 in Suwannee Co., FL. He married Martha Jane MIMS BLACK 14 Nov 1869 in Suwannee Co., FL, daughter of James MIMS and Mary O'STEEN. She was born Nov 1844 in Hamilton Co., FL, and died 06 Aug 1915 in Suwannee Co., FL.
They are both buried at the Mims Cemetery., Suwannee Co., FL. Her tombstone was found (see photo), but his has not been. His death certificate states he was indeed buried beside his wife.

Children of Abner SESSIONS and Martha MIMS BLACK are:

   i. Aethre (Ruth?) SESSIONS, b. 1874, Suwannee Co., Fl.

   ii. Altha "Allie" SESSIONS, b. 1876, Suwannee Co., Fl. m. William F. Byrd
Child of Altha SESSIONS and William BYRD is:
      a. Ida BYRD, b. Abt. 1897 m. (Unknown) DRIVER

   iii. Malissa SESSIONS, b. Abt. 1877.

   iv. Helena M. "Mellie" SESSIONS, b. January 1879, FL. m. (Unknown) Ward
Children of Helena SESSIONS and (Unknown) WARD are:
       a. Florence WARD, b. October 1898.
       b. Idy WARD, b. Abt. 1900.
       c. Clayton WARD, b. Abt. 1904.
       d. Janie WARD, b. Abt. 1906.
       e. Bryant WARD, b. Abt. 1908.
       f. Eava WARD, b. Abt. 1909.

   v. Andrew SESSIONS, b. 1881, Suwannee Co., Fl. m. Allice (Unknown)
Children of Andrew SESSIONS and Allice SESSIONS are:
       a. Abner SESSIONS, b. Abt. 1907.
       b. Lowen Allison SESSIONS, b. Abt. 1909.

   vi. Abner Newton "Newt" SESSIONS, b. 20 Aug 1884, Suwannee Co., Fl.; d. 19 Dec 1960, Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL. m. Lola Lee Gilley
Children of Abner SESSIONS and Lola GILLEY are:
       a. Retha SESSIONS, b. 02 Jul 1905, Columbia or Suwannee Co., FL; d. 14 Aug 1986, Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL. m. Hiram C. CRAWFORD
Children of Retha SESSIONS and Hiram CRAWFORD are:
           1. Infant CRAWFORD, b. Abt. 1922; d. Abt. 1922.
            2. Edwin Lamar CRAWFORD, b. 21 Jul 1923; d. 19 Dec 1947.
           3. Veda Mae CRAWFORD (Private) m. Eugene Nolan STIFF
           4. Opal Juanita CRAWFORD (Private) m. Bob "Bill" WILDMAN
           5. Jack O'Donald CRAWFORD (Private) m. Carolyn (UNKNOWN)
           6. Harold Morgan CRAWFORD (Private) m. Carol (Carolyn) DICK
           7. Ruby Murlene CRAWFORD (Private)
           8. Hiram C. CRAWFORD, Jr. (Private) m. (1) Carol (Unknown); m. (2) Dot OAKERMAN
           9. Betty Lee CRAWFORD (Private) m. Jim ROBINSON.

       b. Eben Relford "Ed" SESSIONS, b. 06 Dec 1907, Suwannee Co., FL; d. 09 Mar 1993, Largo, Pinellas, FL. m. Edna Quincy HUDSON
Children of EBEN SESSIONS and EDNA HUDSON are:
           1. Relford O'Donald SESSIONS, b. 04 Oct 1929, Live Oak, Suwannee Co., FL; d. 31 Mar 1962, Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL; m. Ramona BRANNON
           2. Gwendolyn Ione SESSIONS (Private) m. Capt. Richard Thomas "Mac" McDONOUGH
           3. Wallace Wade SESSIONS (Private) m. Patricia AnnetteSULLIVAN
            4. Karen Suzette SESSIONS (Private) m. Edward Henry Jacob BACH

       c. Gladys Jewel SESSIONS, b. 29 Nov 1909, FL; d. 23 Sep 1990, Largo, Pinellas, FL. m. Milton Alvin POOLE
Children of Gladys SESSIONS and Milton POOLE are:
           1. Mary Blanche POOLE (Private) m. Earl E. WILLIS
           2. Betty Ann POOLE (Private) m. (1) Hughie RENFROE (2) Dozier CURLS (3) Bill (UNKNOWN) (4) Bobby (UNKNOWN)
           3. Simpson POOLE, b. 09 January 1931; d. Abt. 1939.
           4. Lola Meriece POOLE (Private) m. (1) Carl (UNKNOWN) m. (2) Bill GARRETT
           5. Lillian Naomi POOLE (Private)
           6. William Newton "Buddy" POOLE (Private) m. Margaret (UNKNOWN)

       d. Robert Jefferson "RJ" SESSIONS, b. 11 Aug 1912, Live Oak, Suwannee Co., FL; d. 26 Apr 1996, Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL. m. Valrie Ann LASHLEY

           1. Martha Heloise SESSIONS (Private) m. Minyard David JACKSON, Jr.
           2. Brenda Joyce SESSIONS (Private) m. Randall Warren REAGAN
           3. Patricia Joann SESSIONS (Private) m. Glen Eugene DAVIS

       e. Inez SESSIONS, b. 19 Jan 1915, FL; d. 15 Jan 1989, Clearwater, Pinellas Co., FL. m. Harold ANDERSON

           1. George Newton ANDERSON, b. 27 June 1945; d. 1995.
           2. Rosa Lea ANDERSON (Private) m. David BOUTWELL

       f. Park Trammel SESSIONS, b. 10 Jul 1917, Live Oak, Suwannee Co., FL; d. 13 Feb 1986, Largo, Pinellas Co., FL. m. (1) Geraldine GILMORE (2) Minnie Ola BASS
Children of Park SESSIONS and Minnie BASS are:
           1. Park Trammel SESSIONS, Jr. (Private) m. (1) Margaret SHEPHARD (2) Michelle BRAY (3) Peggy (UNKNOWN) (4) SANDY (UNKNOWN)
           2. Sandra LouiseSESSIONS (Private) m. Waylon Jessie NELSON
           3. Barbara Jean SESSIONS (Private) m. Wayne NELSON
           4. Robert Eben SESSIONS (Private) m. Estelle HENDERSON
           5. Daniel Wright SESSIONS (Private) m. Suzanne Marie MAJEWSKI

       g. Darvin Newton SESSIONS, b. 27 Nov 1923, FL; d. Dec 1923, FL.

       h. Reuben Wright SESSIONS (Private) m. HAZEL MARIE
Children of Reuben SESSIONS and Hazel MARIE are:
           1. Ronald Wayne SESSIONS (Private) m. (1) Lottie (UNKNOWN) (2) Nina (UNKNOWN) (3) Linda (UNKNOWN)
           2. Donald Lee SESSIONS (Private) m. Marge WILHITE
           3. Bonnie Lorraine SESSIONS (Private) m. (1) Michael SHEPREW (2) Timothy BOLLES

      i. Lola Vivian SESSIONS (Private) m. WALTER DARING
Children of Lola SESSIONS and Walter DARING are:
          1. Walter DARING, Jr. (Private)
           2. David DARING (Private
           3. Robert DARING (Private)

       j. Daniel Newton SESSIONS, b. 27 May 1928, Live Oak, Suwannee Co., FL; d. 17 Mar 1984, St. Petersburg, Pinellas Co., FL; m. (1) Eva TISCHLER; m. (2) Joan Ann FINNAGAN.

   vii. Elizar SESSIONS, b. Abt. 1886.

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(Working on this Surname - Would greatly appreciate the descendants help.)

Ref. 1. Huxford Mag. Jul 1963, pg 524 - (1-266) James S. Watson & William C. Watson, minors, vs. John H. Watson and B. W. Walker, Executors of James C. Watson, et.al. In Muscogee (Co., GA) Superior Court, May term, 1846. Plaintiffs are the minor children of said William C. Watson, deceased. James C. Watson was appointed their guardian 5 Mar 1833, and sold their estate. The guardian died in the spring of 1843, testate.

Tentative Ancestry Outline:

Descendants of William C. Watson, Sr. (wife unknown)
WATSON, William C., Sr. b: Bef. 1800 d: Abt. 1833 m. (_________)
1. WATSON, William C. b: 1828GA d: 22 Apr 1900 Suwannee Co., FL m. 26 Nov 1857 Suwannee Co., FL MIMS, Sarah A. b: Bet. 1834 - 1837 Hamilton Co., FL

  1. WATSON, Delancy C. b: Bet. 1858 - 1859FL m. 24 Apr 1888 Lafayette Co., FL Samuel J. Boothe
  2. WATSON, Mary Ann b: Bet. 1864 - 1865 FL
  3. WATSON, Alice b: Bet. 1866 - 1867 FL
  4. WATSON, John b: Bet. 1867 - 1868 FL
  5. WATSON, Robert b: Bet. 1872 - 1873 FL
  6. WATSON, Valentine b: Bet. 1876 - 1877 FL
2. WATSON, James S. b: Abt. 1826
WATSON, James C. b. Bef. 1800
WATSON, John H. b. Bef. 1800

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