Genealogy Face2Face: Back to Life - Community Project Restores Historic African American Cemetery

  • Thu, August 03, 2023
  • 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
  • Zoom Video Conference

Genealogy Face2Face - Presented by Clayton Library Friends

Genealogy Face2Face is an informative and fun Zoom hangout that features genealogical speakers, discussion, and sharing. This program is open to both CLF members and guests free of charge. Our goal is to promote the Family History Research Center at the Clayton Library Campus, its collections, and genealogical research.

Title:  Back to Life - Community Project Restores Historic African American Cemetery

Synopsis of Program: On the east side of Conroe, beyond the city’s noise and commotion, wilderness was still in control. Looking eastward from North 10th Street, dense woodland appeared to stand untouched, both foreboding and unwelcoming. But mankind had been there before – and was still there. An old cemetery lay in ruins, hidden in the thicket of woods and briar bushes.

Under the tangle of branches, vines, and Texas-sized thorns sprawled a forgotten cemetery of Conroe’s African American population. It was accidentally rediscovered in 2011 by a local historian Jon Edens recording headstone inscriptions in the historically White, Oakwood Cemetery just to the south; over an old fence he saw broken and fallen gravestones, forgotten and disappearing. From this chance discovery, the African American resting place known as the Conroe Community Cemetery has since been slowly resurrected from oblivion. Gravestones have been renovated, unmarked graves have been located, new memorials have been placed, and dignity and respect for the cemetery’s deceased is being restored, one grave at a time. What time and nature conspired to forget is now being remembered and honored.

Speakers will be John Meredith of the Conroe Community Cemetery Restoration Project and Genealogist Cindy Cheney. For more information see

John Meredith

John Meredith is a retired Petroleum Geologist with 30 years’ experience as a geologist.  His first degree was in Archaeology and has participated as a volunteer in archaeological digs.  Since his retirement he has been the President of the Lone Star Chapter of The Sons of the Republic of Texas and Registrar for the Freedom Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.  John has been active as a historian and genealogist.

Cindy Cheney and her husband Tom are the parents of three children, all which are married.  They have been blessed with 9 grandchildren.  Cindy grew up in a small community in Wyoming where there were 52 nationalities represented.  Her love for family history began as she searched for her Slovenian ancestors.  Helping others gain a love for family history became a passion as she worked with indexing records so that others might have success in finding their ancestors.  She has taught numerous classes on both indexing and building family trees.  Currently she is involved in projects that are bringing societies and service organizations together to work in new and different ways.

Handout:  Back to Life CCCR Project Handout

Registration in advance of the meeting will be required. Pre-register now by following this link.

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