Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Current Affairs: Graves on School Construction Site Belong to Lynn Family

In late August of this year, InsideNova published news of the graveyard found at the 12th High School construction site in the Coles District of PWCo.  On that day, I visited RELIC at the Bull Run Library to ask if they knew whose family was buried there.  At that time, they did not – nor did the County School Board seem to be making any effort to identify the family.  Upset that the identities seemed to be of little concern to The Powers That Be, I remember pointing to the aerial map of the site and remarking “Look at where that is!  It could be a Lynn cemetery!”

Now, isn’t that ironic? 

On Saturday, November 19th, after sleuthing through deeds and chancery records, Don Wilson and the phenomenal staff at RELIC identified the cemetery as that of William Lynn and his wife, Cordelia (Keys) Lynn.  It is a Lynn cemetery after all and, as fate would have it, William and Cordelia are my third great-grandparents.

How do I feel about this?  I’m understandably upset but also somewhat elated.  One of my brick walls had been my 2nd Great Grandfather, John Henry Lynn.  He served during the Civil War in Co. A of the 4th Virginia Cavalry, survived the war, was married and had children, and died in 1884.  Unfortunately, I was never able to discover where he was buried; there were no obituaries for him – only the County death record – and he is not interred with his wife Edna Ann (Cole) Lynn and their daughter Martha.  So where did he go?  Very probably to be buried with his parents, in the site that is now being disinterred by archaeologists of Wetland Solutions on behalf of the County School Board.

I spoke with NBC-4 yesterday as well as with reporters for InsideNova and the Potomac Local News about the issue.  (And many thanks to the local news media for keeping this topic in the public eye!)

No, but really – how DO I feel to learn that one, and possibly two, generations of my ancestors are being disinterred from their resting place to make way for a high school football stadium?  Frustration, disappointment, anger, and most of all helplessness.

Why can’t the County School Board adjust their plans to accommodate the cemetery, as previous county schools have done in the past?  And if the cemetery must be moved (which is in process even as I write this), where are the remains to be reinterred – and as a blood relative, do I have any say in the matter?


  1. Replies
    1. Can I ask who is M.W. Lynn? I am Cheryl Lynn daughter of Howard Moore Lynn and sister to Carolyn Lynn.

  2. Is Elizabeth Lynn, d/o William and Elizabeth (Reid) Lynn, who married Matthias Cole related to this Lynn family??

    1. Yes. She would have been a cousin. The Lynn family believed to be interred at the 12th High School grave site (largely due to deed and chancery records), would have descended directly from Michael Lynn, the brother of William Sr. who married Elizabeth Reid.