Higgs Cemetery
Barry Co., MO

Photos Submitted by: Donna Cooper

See notes that were submitted by: Ralph and Betty Higgs Lamberson

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The Higgs Cemetery is located on a hill above a spring which runs into Pogue's creek. It is located North of Highway W on farm road 1060 (Twp 24 Range 28W section 33) In the 1970's the farm was owned by Lloyd Dilbeck. The property to access the Cemetery now belongs to Debra Aldridge.

849 Warranty Deed
Julia A. (Higgs) Brite
Et Al to Barry CO.
for cemetery filed for record May 12th 1890 at 9:30 O'clock
Charles Bryan Recorder
State of Missouri
County of Barry

On this the 36th day of April 1890 before me personally appeared Julia A. Brite,________, Zachariah Higgs and Betty his wife (by their attorney Thomas McDuffa Higgs) , James K. Higgs and Martha J. Higgs his wife, Alexander Higgs and Margaret E. Higgs his wife, Thomas M. Higgs and Mary Higgs his wife, S.R. Higgs and Martha Higgs his wife, James A .Duncan and Eliza Duncan his wife, Charles B. Duncan and Julia R. Duncan his wife, Julia Baker and James Baker her husband, F. M. Duncan (single). To me known to be the persons described in an who executed the foregoing instrument and acknowledges that they executed the same as their free act and deed. In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and affixed my official seal at my office in Barry County the day and year as above written.

Charles S. Bryan

Deed Book 44 page 174 - "It is understood that this deed is made to the said hand for the graveyard for the parties of the first part and their heirs." The plot consists of one half acre.

Artelia E. Higgs - dau. of A. H. and M. E. Higgs
Nov. 9, 1871- May 6, 1876

Ettie E. Higgs - dau. of N. E. and J. Z. Higgs
Sept. 27, 1820 - Feb. 3, 1821 (I am not certain of this date this is what it looked like, It may very well be a 7?) ( It is possible it is a memorial stone?)

Adaline E. Higgs - dau of J. and M. Higgs
April 17, 1825 - Feb. 20, 1862

James K. Higgs and Martha J. Higgs
1833 - 1922 1839 - 1905

Harve Higgs and Belle Higgs
1871 - 1942 1877-1942

Shoopman - son of A. J. and M. J.
July 9, 1873 - Oct. 8, 1885

Mary Geneva Higgs - dau of Thos McD and MD Higgs
April 1, 1872 - Mar. 25, 1875

Alexander and Margaret E. Higgs
1839 - 1904 1844 - 1912

Tollie Higgs
1908 - 1926

John Higgs and Martha Higgs John and Martha Higgs are the Great Grandparents of virtually all the Higgs who live in Barry County today.

John Higgs

Aug, 1792 Jan. 23, 1802
May 16, 1883 - Sept. 22, 1889

There are several unmarked graves. Many are supposed to be slaves and their descendants who came with John Higgs to Missouri in 1852. One is definitely Aunt Katy Higgs, a black lady, who chose to stay with John and Martha after emancipation to live out her life. She died in 1898. See Higgs book for more info on slaves birth and record.

Information from page 75 and 76 of The Higgs Family Maryland to Missouri by Betty Higgs Lamberson, published in 1978. Ralph & Betty Lamberson
The black families that could be buried In the Higgs Cemetery
The blacks that were in the lot (#3) that John Higgs reportedly brought from North Carolina to Missouri are: Fereby, Sally, Peggs, Frankey, Lucy. Elvia, Wilcher (Melcher?), Pricilla, Alfred, Katy, Jordan, Pointer, Arch, Aaron, Abby, Parthemia, Edie, Cherry.

The Higgs blacks who were found near Springfield, Missouri in 1870 and 1880 Census.
Some of these persons were listed as Black and some as Mulatto.
They all took the Higgs name
1870, Green County Census
Eda age 45 - born abt. 1825
Lucy 20 - b. Abt. 1850
Allen 20 - b. abt. 1850
Peggy 35 - b abt. 1835
Ferba 47 - b. abt. 1823
Joe 56 - b. abt. 1814

1880, Green County Census
Edith age 47 - b. abt. 1833
Allen age 28 - b. abt. 1852
Melcher, age 35 - b. abt. 1845
Bastie Eliza age 50 - b. abt. 1830
Archer 60 - b. abt. 1820
Meany E. age 45 - b. abt. 1835
Joseph age 65 - b. abt. 1815

Feriby age 64 - b. abt. 1816
Blake age 20 - b. abt. 1860

I have listed only the names which were old enough to have come from N.C. to Missouri with John in 1852. All these people have descendants. The purpose of listing them is to eliminate them from ones who might be buried in the Higgs cemetery in unmarked graves as they were still living after the War and residing in Greene County MO. Family Legend tells us "that a slave called Joe was purchased in Cassville after the Higgs came here? They named a Hollow for him, near Butterfield, called "Old Joe's Hollar" As in other families of the time, younger generations were named after elder generations.

The Higgs records also include a Negro birth record kept in the family bible, it is on page 116 - 117 of the Higgs book. I do not quote it in its entirety here.
Only the ones who were most likely brought to MO about 1852 are listed here.

Pointer was born 9th of December 1827 - Age when came to MO abt. 25
Archer was born 11 of January 1813 - abt. 39
Caty was born 12 of June 182? - abt. 30
Sarah was born 17 of Nov. 1813 - abt 39
Feraby was born 5th of Oct. 1820 - abt 32
Cherry Do was born 1st of January 1791 - abt. 61

We know that Katy was buried in the Higgs Cemetery. By process of elimination we can say that the only others that could be buried there in unmarked graves are: (Of Course this does not take into account of any children of any of these persons who might have died during the ten years they were in Barry County from about 1852 to about 1862.)

Sally, Elvia, Priscilla, Alfred, Jordan, Pointer, Aaron, Abby, Parthenia, and Cherry - Cherry would have been 71 in 1861, she may be buried in the Higgs Cemetery as she did not turn up in Green county in 1870. The others from Lot #3 are found in Green County in 1870 and 1880.

I corresponded with Calvin Higgs, a black man, from Denver, Colorado, for several years, during the late 1970's and early 1980's. I helped him reconstruct his family history. His grandmother was Feraby born Oct 5, 1820 in North Carolina. He was a son of Calvin Higgs, Sr. who was murdered and robbed on his way home from his job at a hotel at night in downtown Springfield, MO. His Father was descended from Joseph and Feraby Higgs and they are buried at a small church yard (Mt. Comfort Cemetery) North East of Springfield just off Highway KK.

According to Goodspeed's History of Barry County, reprint page 38: "There were 248 slaves in Barry County at the time of the Civil War and John Higgs owned 14 valued at $5000. A. S. Harbin had 13 valued at $7800 and W. G. Townsend had 13 valued at $5000", no one else had as many as 10.

The estate of Leonard Higgs in the May term of court in Granville County, N.C. in 1851 lists in the Petition for settlement the following Negro Slaves.

This list gives some of the Mothers and their children. Many of these did not come to Missouri but were property awarded to the other heirs in lots #1, #2 and #4.

"Charles, Peggy, Jordan, Gabriel, Alfred, Jim, Arch, Merryman, George, Pointer, Fielding, Tarlton, Dred, Essese, Isham, Eaton, William, Aaron, Sam, Cambridge, Arch, Jin, Amy, Chaney, Parthena, Jane, Harriet, Eady, Abby, Leah, Silvey, Patty, Rhoda, Caty,
Rosa, Cherry, Eliza, and her children Priscilla and Wilcher, Milly and her children Mississippi and Edward, Betsy and her children Charlotte, Phillis, Sarah, Allen and Woodson, Mary and her children Jordan, Barbary, Mary, Ann and Caty, Phenby, and her children Sally, Peggy, Franky and Lucy, Chole and her children Lucky, Mimy, and Hard, Mariah and her children Chirley, Hannah, Winny and Patsy, Martha and her children Madison and Milly, ___, Mina and Jenny"

As any family, newer generations were named after the older generations. Which can confuse. Also the penmanship and spelling can also be hard to decipher.


From an Excerpt from a book, Slaves in the Family by Edward Ball, page 14 sums up what many of us who are descendants of these Slave owning families feel.

"The subject of the Plantations stirred conflicting emotions. I felt proud (how rare the stories) and sentimental (how touching the cast of family characters!) At the same time, the slave business was a crime that had not been fully acknowledged. It would be a mistake to say that I felt guilt for the past. A person cannot be culpable for the acts of others, long dead, that he or she could not have influenced. Rather than responsible, I felt accountable for what had happened, called on to try to explain it. I also felt shame about the broken society that had washed up when the tide of slavery receded."

Betty Higgs Lamberson, Revised Jan. 2008
Higgs Bible - Page 1

Higgs Bible - Page 2

These two photos are from the Higgs Family Bible, They were photographed in the 1970's by Fields Photo at the request of my Uncle Oren Seth Higgs.
They are two pages of four, (The other two are births of My Higgs Ancestors.) The bible was purchased at Leonard C. Higgs of NC, Estate sale in 1851 for 50 cents
it has been traditionally passed down to the youngest Higgs son since then. I am not that ... I am not sure of the Bible whereabouts at this time.


The two pages I am sending, I believe are important to Barry County History as it is a register of Blacks who were slaves (that is hard for me to say) in the John Higgs family.

The record was commenced when the Higgs family lived in North Carolina. one fourth (about 20) of those owned by the family in 1851 before they came to Missouri in 1852 with John Higgs. At the time of the Civil War John had 14 slaves according to Goodspeed's.


This is the only time that the photo has been sent anywhere, I did use a transcribed version in the Higgs Book I wrote in 1978.


The best part is the fact that sometime in the 1970's I helped a black descendant, (Calvin Higgs, Jr. of Denver) to find his ancestry from that record, we corresponded for a number of years until he died. This is basically his story. His Grandmother is the Feraby mentioned in the Bible record. His father Calvin Higgs, Sr. was born in 1864, We do not know whether he was born in Barry County before his family left at the time of the Civil war ... or just exactly when they knew that they were Free! They went to Greene County and moved into Springfield. In any case he would have been a baby in arms.

Letter - 1

Letter - 2

Letter - 3

Letter - 4
Higgs Estate Papers - 1

Higgs Estate Papers - 2

These two pages from the Granville county NC Court House in Oxford, North Carolina. I do not know if they are still housed there or perhaps now in the Hall of records in Raleigh, NC. There were about 10 pages in all. along with a very long inventory of other property of Leonard Clark Higgs born in Maryland 13th of December 1756 and died in Granville County, NC the 11th day of December 1850. His estate was settled during the May term of court 1851 in Granville County.

Leonard's son John K. Higgs came to Barry County about 1852 bringing his wife and family of 12 children and Lot # 3 of slaves. At the time of the civil war the slaves left the family farm and moved to Green County, near Springfield. All left except Aunt Katy who was the family cook. she chose to stay with John and Martha because John bought or exchanged her family members assigned in other lots, to other heirs, so they could all be together in Mo. See Lot #3 in the total which I think supports this family story. Aunt Katy is listed in the Barry County census of 1870 and 1880 along with two other black women Sarah and Rosa Howerton. Aunt Katy died in 1898, age unknown, but had been in Barry county 46 years. She is buried in the Higgs family cemetery, there is no stone but according to the Higgs family account book a coffin was bought for her costing $14.00.

The reason I chose these two pages, to document the ones who came to Barry County MO, and to define the mothers of some children listed in the court papers for future generations of researchers.

Betty Higgs Lamberson


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