Atoka Cemetery, Novice, Coleman County, Texas

Genealogy > Mysteries: Genealogy Holmes Needed…

On this page: Mysteries of Atoka Cemetery 

Latest update: Tuesday, 02 March, 2021

Below are questions and mysteries, the solutions of which are buried in the memories and the mementoes of the AtokaCemetery family and community. If you know the answer to a question below, please share.

Gravesite Locations

We need the row and plot location of the following people

Note: Location readings begin at the northeast corner with row 1 and plots read north - south; the main gate is on the south side. To augment the location please also include the names on the gravestones on all side. 


Mary Ellen PETTERSON BARTLETT (1880- 1906)

Mary Ellen PETTERSON BARTLETT is the only PETTERSON or BARTLETT buried in Atoka Cemetery. Why was she buried here? She was married December 1895, had three children and died 1906 at the age of twenty five (25.) The 1900 US Census indicates she lived in Hill County, TEXAS with her husband and first of three children. In the 1910 US Census Mr BARTLETT was a widow living with his son in Eddy Co, NEW MEXICO (with no mention his two daughters by Mary Ellen.)


The Infant Daughter BIRDWELL is buried with her mother and father. Baby BIRDWELL is reported "from various records, to be buried in this cemetery "as a child of the same parents. Both were born and died with days of each other. Are these children the same child or are they siblings, subject to bad record keeping?

BIRDWELL Infant Daughter

    b. 19 Feb 1916 d. 23 Feb 1916

    Row K, North to South O

        “BIRDWELL, Infant - Feb 19, 1916 - Feb 23, 1916 - "dau of Mr. & Mrs. E. M. Birdwell"

        BIRDWELL, Mattie B. (Pringle) - Sept 19, 1887 - Apr 16, 1956 (CS)

        BIRDWELL, Eli M. "(Kit)" - Oct 28, 1886 - July 9, 1959(CS)"


    b. 10 Feb 1916 d. 16 Feb 1916

    Grave Stone Unidentified (No Row)

    “BIRDWELL, Baby - Feb 10, 1916 - Feb 16, 1916 - dau of Eli Moore & Mattie (Pringle) Birdwell"


The Atoka Cemetery, Coleman County, Texas Cemetery Directory makes the following listing:

row 8 (south to north):

    BUSH, Ruth (Kegans) - 1873 - 1914 - "Mama" (CS)

    BUSH, Jasper G. - 1871 - 1961 - "Dad" - (MASONIC) (CS)

    (BUSH, Miss (no given name) - Apr 10, 1896 - Sept 14, 1914 - unmarked)

    BUSH, Bessie - Nov 8, 1893 - Feb 1, 1904 (CS)

    BUSH, Carl - Sept 2, 1895 - May 19, 1903 (CS)

Who is eighteen-year-old Miss BUSH? Does a marker exist between the two common stones? Could she belong to the BUSH couples on either side?


Luther Adam DEAKINS and wife Ada BIRDWELL DEAKINS are buried beside two other DEAKINS, who have not been placed in the DEAKINS family tree. Who are Baby DEAKINS, and F.B. DEAKINS?

    DEAKINS, Adam L. - Nov 22, 1874 - Mar 17, 1966     (CS)

    DEAKINS, Ada (Birdwell) - Jan 11, 1880 - Mar 14, 1969 (CS)

    BROOKS, Joseph E. - June 11, 1898 - May 19, 1969 - "Texas Pvt US Army WWI"

    BROOKS, Cordie M. (Deakins) - Sept 25, 1900 - May 6, 1950 - "wife of Joe Brooks"

    DEAKINS, Baby - (no dates)

    DEAKINS, F. B. - Oct 5, 1892 - Sept 12, 1899

We believe Baby DEAKINS may be a child of Luther Adam and Ada. However, To date, we have not identified the     family of F. B. DEAKINS.


Cynthia Ann JENNINGS WILLIAMS is the only JENNINGS and the only member of her family tree buried in Atoka Cemetery. Why was she buried in Atoka Cemetery?


The three (3) KELLYs buried in Atoka Cemetery have yet to be connected in a family tree.


There are three branches of the KINCAID Family Tree in Atoka Cemetery; they have yet to be connected, although the two branches intertwine by marriage several times.

KINCAID Branch 1: Robert KINCAID (b. 1821, NORTH CAROLINA) married Sarah Catherine CHASTAIN (b. 1823).

    Several of their family are buried in Atoka Cemetery

  • Several of Louisa (Sarah) Emaline SLATE's siblings and half siblings are buried in Atoka Cemetery.

KINCAID Branch 2: Alexander Jackson KINCAID (b. abt 1830, TENNESSEE) married May A. CANTWELL (b. abt 1833,


  • Their daughter Octavia Jane KINCAID married Edward Harold CHASTAIN, not yet connected to Sarah Catherine CHASTAIN.
  • Their son George Anderson KINCAID (b. 1866, TEXAS) and his wife Sarah Elizabeth PENDLETON SLATE (b. 1868, TEXAS) are buried in Atoka Cemetery.
    • Several of their family are buried in Atoka Cemetery.
    • Sarah Elizabeth PENDLETON's first husband -- who is also Louisa (Sarah) Emaline SLATE's half brother -- Enoch Lewis SLATE is buried in Atoka Cemetery.

KINCAID Branch 3. John Robert KINCAID (bc. 1877, GEORGIA) married Susanah (Susan A.) MURRILL, whose parents

James Henry MURRILL and Polly SLATE MURRILL are buried in Atoka Cemetery.


  • Lilia V. LAIRD ATTAWAY, a member of the ATTAWAY Atoka Cemetery Family Tree, and her brother Opal LAIRD are buried in Atoka Cemetery; in addition Opal's wife Pearl is also buried in Atoka Cemetery.
  • Alice Ruth LAIRD PARKER married into the PARKER family tree, as the wife of Mike Ray PARKER. However, she has yet to be connected to the other two LAIRDs buried in Atoka Cemetery.


  • Why are there six (6) MITCHELLs who are "reported" to be buried in Atoka Cemetery, but who have no gravestones or markers. See the Ralph TERRY list below.
  • Twins are usually born on the same day, but why did the twin girls of James Floyd MITCHELL and Gillie N. DICKERSON MITCHELL die on the same day?
  • Several references indicate William Felix MITCHELL and his wife Amanda Jane CRADDOCK MITCHELL had a son Willie MITCHELL, born 1885 in Coleman and died 1888 in Coleman. Was he buried in Atoka Cemetery? If not, where?
  • Did Sarah Ann HARGROVE MITCHELL, wife of Rev. Richard Floyd (R. F.) MITCHELL, make the trip from LOUISIANA to Coleman Co, TEXAS? Is she buried in Atoka Cemetery?
    • Sarah Ann is enumerated in the 1880 US Federal Census in Ouachita Parish, LOUISIANA.
    • In his 1987 newspaper article in the Coleman, Coleman Co, TEXAS "Chronicle and Democrat-Voice," Jack SHIELDS wrote, “They came to Texas from Alexander, La. in 1880 in oxen-drawn wagons, settling in the Atoka Community about a mile northwest of the Atoka Cemetery… Rev. Richard Floyd and Sarah Ann Mitchell are buried in the Atoka Cemetery along with many of their kinfolk." However, we have yet to discover the source of SHIELDS' claims.
    • Several family trees indicate Sarah Ann HARGROVE MITCHELL died in 1885, but to date, a document of her death has yet to be discovered. 
    • In the 1988 survey of Atoka Cemetery, GATES, TERRY and TERRY published as follows, "The following are said, from various records, to be buried in this cemetery. Most are taken from Coleman County death records… MITCHELL, Sarah Ann (Hargrove) - 1827 - 1885 - wife of Rev. R. F. Mitchell."
    • Sarah Ann's widower Rev. Richard Floyd MITCHELL remarried 24 July 1886 in Runnels Co, TEXAS [S164]
    • In October 2013, Sarah Ann's 2G Granddaughter Rita Ray [S164], wrote, "You have listed Richard Floyd's wife, Sarah Ann (Hargrove) Mitchell, but I am not convinced she made the move from Louisiana to Texas; I got conflicting information on this point from various relatives."
    • As an interesting aside, according to FindAGrave, there are dozens of MITCHELLs and HARGROVEs buried in Hasley Cemetery West Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana USA.

In the GATES, TERRY and TERRY survey published in 1988 [], James Floyd MITCHELL and wife Gillie Nannie DICKERSON MITCHELL are included as buried in the Atoka Cemetery.

    - (MITCHELL, James Floyd - 1865 - 1950 - marked with rock) [Row C, North to South I]

    - (MITCHELL, Gillie Dickerson - no dates - marked with rock) [Row C, North to South J]

In 2013, Ralph TERRY quoted the source of the inclusion of James Floyd MITCHELL and Gillie Nannie DICKERSON

MITCHELL in the Atoka Cemetery survey: "The source for our placement of the graves of James Floyd and Gillie Mitchell at Atoka was Violet Tyson, a grandchild of Rev. R. F. Mitchell. She identified these graves as being those of James Floyd and Gillie Mitchell between 1980 and 1988, when we were doing surveys of the cemeteries of Coleman County. Also, in "A History of Coleman County and Its People, 1985," "The Rev. R. F. Mitchell Family," by Violet Tyson, she writes, ' ... Mitchells buried in Atoka Cemetery are: ... James Floyd Mitchell (1863-1950), wife Gillie (Dickerson) Mitchell, ... '" However, in 2013 Casey PIPKIN submitted the following change to the Atoka Cemetery Family tree, "James Floyd Mitchell is buried along with his wife Gillie in Clovis NM in Mission Garden Cemetery. page=pv&GRid=65302007&PIpi=68790376"

After following the censuses forJames Floyd MITCHELL and Gillie Nannie DICKERSON MITCHELL and finding the death certificate for Gillie, there can be no doubt, they are buried inMission Garden Of Memories Cemetery, Clovis, Curry Co, NEW MEXICO and not in Atoka Cemetery, Coleman Co, TEXAS. There was a consideration the NEW MEXICO headstone might have been a memorial with the actual graves in TEXAS, but Gillie's death certificate is very clear; she is buried in Clovis, Curry Co, NEW MEXICO.



Barabara PENDLETON was born and died in 1924; her headstone indicates, "infant dau of Mr. & Mrs. John Pendleton," but

which John PENDLETON? Barbara is not buried with any PENDLETONs. Who is Barbara PENDLETON?


The Errant Headstone of Mary B. SARTOR



Who is "TAYLOR, Baby girl - died Feb 10, 1908 - age 8 ds"


WILBER, Ann S., b 25 DEC 1825 d. 06 Mar 1896, is buried by herself, (but several plots from BIRDWELLs and COOPERS); she seemed to be the only one of her family, until her third great grandson, Eric ASHLEY, contacted Atoka Cemetery during his search for Ann Staton MURRILL ASHLEY.  Ann S. WILBER is Ann Staton MURRILL ASHLER WILBER and is buried among her MURRILL, SLATE, and CHILDRESS family. Read more about Ann and the research

Ralph Terry List of burials with No Grave Marker

Atoka Cemetery, Coleman County, Texas Cemetery Directory

"The following are said, from various records, to be buried in this cemetery. Most are taken from Coleman County death records. Spelling is as found in the records, which could be inaccurate. We have added the mother's maiden name in parentheses."

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