McCool (McCoole) Burials in Back Creek Quaker Cemetery, Gainesboro Virginia

Last week I visited the Quaker cemetery in Gainesboro, Virginia. It is the historic site of the Back Creek Meetinghouse (more info below), associated with the Hopewell Monthly Meeting. Previously, I had researched the cemetery transcription lists but had not found any McCools. I decided to look myself and here is what I found:

John McCoole tombstone

John. M. Coole departed this Life the 8th of the 2nd Month 1815 Aged 69 Years and Four Months.

BackCreek 015

John M.Coole AG 45 ANd died ON THE 9 day of APRIL 1829


Alivia L McCool

ALIVIA. L. M.COOLE died ON THE 10 day OF April 1823

Nancy McCool



Interestingly, these four tombstones were transcribed with the surname “Coole.” I can understand why they were but it is obvious to me that they are McCools/McCooles.

  1. John McCool, son of James McCool and Ann Wright, was born in the 8th month of 1745 and died in 1815 (from Quaker and McCool family records). The white tombstone shows the deceased age of 69 years and 4 months on the 8th day of 2nd month 1815. The math is close; the implied birth from the tombstone would be 10th month of 1745.
  2. The second John tombstone (Iohn McCoole) shows age 45 at death on 9 day April 1829 (year was hidden underground). Records show John McCool, son of John McCool (above #1) and Eleanor Lewis was born about 1784. Therefore, tombstone info corresponds with family history.
  3. Olivia was James’ mother. John had a daughter named Olivia (she was born in the early 1780s and married Jacob Weaver in 1811). Not sure if Alivia L McCoole’s tombstone is this person.
  4. I am also not sure about the Nancy tombstone. The previous three were together, so obviously the same family. Nancy’s plot was in the row above the other three and 6 plots to the right. There was a Nancy, daughter of Gabriel McCool (son of James McCool and Ann Wright) and Elizabeth Wright. In records, she is listed as Nancy Ann McCool and married Daniel Wright. She is listed as dying before 1825 which fits the tombstone date of May 4 1823. Why would she have not been listed as Nancy Wright?
  5. No other tombstones from the same time frame (before 1830) showed a middle name or initial. If the “Cooles” were the only family to have middle initials put on their tombstones (which I doubt), what is the chance that four members would have the same middle initial (M)?
  6. Nor have I seen any other “Coole” records from the McCool era. I do not think there were any Cooles living in Back Creek area.

By the way, I jotted down info from adjacent plots in the McCool row. Looking at the tombstone inscriptions, there is Mary Crumly 45 d. 1813, John Stonbridge 11 d 1805, Mary Stonbridge 62 d. 1805, Alivia McCoole, John McCoole 69, John McCoole 45, Sarah Davis 43 d. 1822. I will have to research if there is any relation between Crumley, Stonbridge, Davis, and McCool. I did not jot down info about plots surrounding Nancy. I will have to re-visit.

Hope this information is useful or at least interesting to the McCool researchers. Leave a comment if you have further details about these McCool (McCoole) ancestors. The John McCool line is not my direct so I have not spent a great deal researching it.

From p. 209 of “Hopewell Friends History” by John Walter Wayland: “Back Creek meeting house, built in 1777, was located near the present village of Gainesboro, Frederick Co., Va. The Friends’ burial ground there has in late years been enlarged into a community cemetery, surrounded with a fine stone wall, and incorporated. Back Creek Meeting was laid down in 1829. There was also a Back Creek meeting in Randolph Co., N. C.”


3 Responses to “McCool (McCoole) Burials in Back Creek Quaker Cemetery, Gainesboro Virginia”

  1. 1 Charles McCool November 17, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    Further information about #1. The 2 month difference in dates can be explained by the calendar change in 1752/53. Before 1753, the 8th month referred to October (not August). Now the dates match up perfectly. John McCool was born in October 1745 and died February 8, 1815. Cool.

  2. 2 Karen Lewis August 21, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    I have also been to the Quaker Cemetery in Gainsboro, VA.
    My ancestor James McCoole was married to Ann Wright. He was buried in the cemetery, but it is my understanding the “older” burials were moved, as they were unmarked. James died in 1751. I think your listing as John M. Coole is John McCoole (not an middle initial)., etc, for the others. I missed seeing the stones where I was there several years ago. Other information can be found in the Hopewell Friends History 1734-1934, Frederick County, VA.

  1. 1 Travel Tip: 8 Great Ways to Learn About Your Family History on Trips « McCool Travel Trackback on October 21, 2011 at 10:44 am

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