Smith Family Cemetery

Suffolk (formerly Nansemond Co, VA)

An African American cemetery sits in the shadow of 21st century residential construction in what is now the City of Suffolk.  It became Virginia's largest city (by area, not population) when Suffolk annexed all of Nansemond County, causing that county to cease to exit.  The residents of this cemetery would be surprised to learn that their final resting place is in a city.  They were farmers, living off the land.  Harrison Smith, the oldest cemetery inhabitant with a marked tombstone, would have been born a slave.  He is first found enumerated as head of household in the 1870 Nansemond Co, VA Census.   Mary A. Smith was the wife of Harrison's son, Harrison Smith Jr., who remarried the widow Harriet after Mary's 1904 death.  Married in about 1876, Mary bore 7 children with 4 still living in 1900.  Both father and son resided in what was then designated as the Sleepy Hole district of Nansemond County.   Harrison Smith is surrounded by family.  Judging by the fresh flowers marking many graves, there must be family members continuing to live in the area.  May they provide continuing protection from the encroachment of residential construction.  The cemetery is located near Balleytown at the corner of Nansemond Parkway and Route 627.  There is a bend in the road.  Its on the left hand side right at the corner if you are heading north on 627. Cemetery photographed 17 June 2005 by Chuck Rippel


Harrison Smith

Died June 25, 1896

Aged 85 Years

1870 Nansemond Co, VA Census, Sleepy Hole Township, PO: Suffolk, p. 285, #211-216, Harrison Smith (48, VA, Works on Farm), Martha (35), Harrison (18), Elizabeth (4), John (2), Rex Williams (53)

1880 Nansemond Co, VA Census, Sleepy Hole, p 144B, ED 56, Supv District 1, #149-178, Harrison Smith (50, VA, Farmer), Martha (45), John (13), Elizabeth (11), Mary (8, VA)


Mary A. Smith

Born September 19, 1857

Died April 18, 1904

Age 47 Years

1880 Nansemond Co, VA Census, Sleepy Hole Township, p 145, ED 56, Supv District 56, #158-190, Harrison Smith Jr. (27, VA, Farm Laborer), Mary (20, VA, Keeping House), Lucy (6, VA), Jane (2, VA)

1900 Nansemond Co, VA Census, Sleepy Hole Magisterial District, p 211A, ED 31, Sheet 7, #135, Harrison Smith (Apr 1855 VA), Mary (Sept 1856), Lucinda (Apr 1877), Martha (Dec 1881), Eugene - female (Feb 1884), Mary (Jan 1885), William Copeland - Boarder (Jan 1864)

1910 Nansemond Co, VA Census, Sleepy Hole District, ED 16, Supv Dist 2, Sheet 6a, p. 260, #91-91, Harrison Smith (56, VA, Laborer Truck Farm, Married 3 years - 2nd wife), Harriett (60, VA), Rochelle Everett (Granddaughter, 15, VA), Flossie Hale (Granddaughter, 13, VA), Sudie Cobb (Granddaughter, 3, VA)



Lucinda J. P. Smith

Born April 3, 1877

Died April 26, 1903

Lucinda J. P. Smith was a daughter of Harrison Smith Jr. and his wife Mary A.  She was the granddaughter of Harrison Smith Sr. and his wife Martha.  She never married.



James A. Eason

US Army  -  World War II

April 6, 1919

May 8, 1989

James A. Eason was a son of Augustus Eason and his wife Martha (Smith).  If my assumption regarding his mother Martha's parentage is correct then he was a great grandson of Harrison Smith Sr.




James W. Howard

September 30, 1923

February 15, 1989



Henry Taylor

September 8, 1941

June 11, 1974



Willie A. Eason Sr.

June 22, 1917

June 17, 2003


Husband of Martha Eason

Augustus Eason

February 20, 1937

1920 Nansemond Co, VA Census, Sleepy Hole, pp 243-244, ED 23, Sheet 8B, #162-162, Augustus Eason (47, VA, Farmer), Martha (39, VA), Mary L (8), Rosa P (6), Young A (3 3/12), James A ( 1 5/12), Harrison Smith - Boarder (19)

Augustus Eason's wife Martha was probably the same Martha who was a daughter of Harrison Smith Jr. and his wife Mary A.



Mary L. Pinner

October 2, 1912

December 24, 1995

Mary L. Pinner was probably the same Mary L. who was a daughter of Augustus Eason and his wife Martha (Smith).

03/03/2007 08:57:06 PM