Buckingham County deed books contain only one known reference to Martha Bryant McFadden. On the 12thof November 1878, Martha purchased her family cemetery for $50 from William M. and Fanny Perkins:
“… eight acres of land situated in the County of Buckingham and state of Virginia adjoining Frank Ware, Wm. McFadden and others, the said acres to include the family graveyard of the family of Martha A. McFadden who was Martha Bryant and being compactly situated around it, the said eight acres to be cut off at the expense of the said McFadden from the Bryant tract so as to make the graveyard as near in the center as may be practicable.” (1)
The purchase was made almost eight months after the drowning deaths of Martha’s husband, Allen McFadden, son James McFadden and grandson, James Woody. Newspaper accounts in the weeks following their deaths indicate their bodies were not recovered. Martha’s purchase of the cemetery strongly suggests that their bodies were later found and interred in the family burying grounds.
The deed specific references to Martha’s maiden name of Bryant and the Bryant tract, as well as the proximity to William McFadden infer that this was perhaps an historic burial site for Bryants and McFaddens. Eight acres is a very large family cemetery.
This cemetery does not appear to be associated with any of the Bryant or McFadden cemeteries found in the four volumes of Buckingham Burials. More research into the Bryant, Perkins and McFadden real estate transfers may shed light on the cemetery location. Sadly, the Buckingham County records burned in 1869 and pertinent deeds were probably destroyed. The location of the McFadden Cemetery may remain a mystery.
Rest in peace Allen McFadden, James McFadden and James Woody.
(1) Buckingham County, Virgina, Deed Book 3, p. 231.