Pre-restoration                           2007 restoration      


   Pre-Restoration “50 Years of Growth”                            2007 Restoration “Cleared and Honored”


Old Pace Wiggins Cemetery


Some Background: The ”Old Pace Wiggins Cemetery” is in Johnston County in Zebulon, NC. It is located south of the Five County Stadium on Highway 39, a quarter mile south of the railroad crossing. A few relatives started the journey of clearing 40+ years of growth (Brush, Vines, Sweet Gum Trees, Sticker Bushes, Ticks, and Red Bugs) on a very cold day on December 8th 2006. These few individuals had visited the site for many years to pay respect to their relatives buried at the cemetery.   Then during the summer of 2006 after a family reunion they visited the site. While visiting the site this time I Doug Lucas, Jr. (over age 40) grandson of Martha Wiggins (Buried at the Site) saw sadness on the face of Albert “Jake” Wiggins (my Great Uncle in his 70’s), Andrew Lucas (my Uncle in his 70’s), and Carolyn Wiggins Askew (my Cousin in her 60’s). At that very moment a spirit came over me to bring joy to these special people in my life while they are living, by joining together in unity to restore our families’ cemetery. We hope to bring a sense of dignity and honor to all who recognize that by our remembering our family that are buried there, and restoring the historic cemetery; WE ARE SAYING, “ALWAYS LOVED, NEVER FORGOTTEN”.




Vision and Goal: The vision and 3 goals established by seeking wisdom from elders in restoring the cemetery focused on getting the job done in a organized, simplistic, and short timeframe. 

  1. Recognize (Research Historic Data – Began Sept. 2006)
  2. Restore      (Delicately clear off the grave site – Began Dec. 8th 2006)  
  3. Respect     (Unify family to Maintain and Visit Site – Kick-off set for September 1st, 2007).


Note: See Appendix Eastern Wake Newspaper notice of the Restoration Project in January 2007.     .

Special Thanks: “Many are called, but few answer the Call”. Thanks to those who answered the call to restore the cemetery and to those who will help Maintain it. Lubertha Wiggins Bullock, Andrew Lucas (Ever Ready Battery), Rudolph Williamson (Swings a Big Ax!), Roger and Mariam Wiggins, Phillip Wiggins, Jake and Shirley Wiggins, Carlton Driver, Stan and Carol Massey, Naomi Pace Scarboro, Harriet Pace Richardson, Tiffany and Kwame Rich, Crystal Lucas, Chester M. Pace, April Wiggins and Asia Brantley, Larvette Wiggins, Sheila Wiggins, Zell Lucas, Carolyn Wiggins Askew (Endless support) Joe Bullock, Vivian Bullock, Jim Wiggins, Garland Williamson, Denise Sherman (Eastern Wake Newspaper), Jennis Toney Carpenter (William Toney Funeral Home), John Mintz (N.C. State Archeologist), Debbie Blake (N.C. Office of Archives and History), William Bagley (Johnston County Genealogy Web Project). Lastly, a “Special Thanks” to my wife Cynthia and my daughters Christina, Faith and Sarah for being patient with me for spending so much time on something that they know is important to me. 




The cemetery historic site has been called the "Old Pace Wiggins Cemetery" (Also referred to as the "Old Pace Wiggins Cemetery Graveyard") for many years by those who are familiar with the location.  The cemetery is over 100 years old and was previously owned by members of the Pace and Wiggins families.  It is located adjacent to farmland in the O'Neals Township of Johnston County (Zebulon, NC), on the right-hand side directly off of Hwy. 39 and about a 1/4 mile south of The Five County Stadium. 

The Pace and Wiggins families owned large parcels of land dating back to the early 1900's and maintained a very close bond throughout the years. Deed Records show Mr. J.W.O Pace and Leila Pace sold the property on which the cemetery is located to Mr. Oliver Wiggins on January 2nd, 1917. The land was subsequently deeded by Mr. Oliver Wiggins and Flossie A. Wiggins to Ms. Lubertha Wiggins (Their Daughter) on December 10th, 1956. The land was then sold on June 26th, 1973, Less and Except (Excluding) .2 acres to preserve the cemetery plot. It was sold to the Driver family who has been very supportive of the cemetery restoration project to this date.

Their use to be an old dirt road that led directly to the site, but it has been rerouted. Access to the cemetery is possible by turning right of Hwy. 39 and proceeding up the dirt road (Their is a fence to your left with farm animals and Chickens) to the top of the hill. (A trailer home will face you). Turn right and follow the dirt road around 3 curves and look to you left. You should see an Island of trees in the center of farmland which is the cemetery. Visiting the cemetery is allowed, but be respectful of the landowners and delicate with the cemetery grounds.

As of December 8th, 2006 (Date restoration began), the cemetery was overgrown with bush, vines and trees which made it virtually impossible to walk or see. It was infested with insects (ticks, spiders, red bugs etc.) due to the untouched area for many years. In the beginning it appeared to be only 15 or so grave sites, but as we cleared away we discovered a history of 60 or more graves. The majority were sunken graves with no markers and a few had metal markers (rusted) with no names.

The graves that we can identify include:

1. J.W.O. Pauce: (Correct Name is Pace): Born: August 12th, 1868  -  Decease: December 11th, 1960. (Buried in a large metal crypt right before a large Cherry tree.  Owned the cemetery land prior to 1917) (Funeral services performed by Toney Funeral Home)


2. Perlie C.: Born: June 22nd, 1903  -  Decease: January 14th, 1992 (Tombstone reads Daughter of James Thomas “Born 1872 or 1877” and Edna Pace “Born Est. 1885.)


3. Mary Pace: Born: tbd   -   Decease: May 30th, 1939 (Data from weathered metal marker. Estimated to be 76 years old at time of burial.)


4. Mr. Oliver Wiggins: B: Est. 1886  D. tbd  (Wife’s name was Flossie. Father of Lubertha Wiggins Bullock)


5. Mr. Clinton Wiggins: Born: December 7th, 1883 - Decease: August 27th, 1963.  Son of Albert Wiggins and Lavenia Pulley. Husband of Lucy Brantley Wiggins. They had 11 children.  Zettie, Billy, Martha, Arnell, Lester, Effie Mae, Raul, Lessie Mae, Chester, Albert, Clarence Wiggins.

6. Ms. Lessie Mae "Wiggins" Butler: Born: May 15th, 1924 - Decease: June 27th, 1957.  Daughter of Clinton Wiggins.

7. Ms. Martha "Wiggins" Lucas: Born: March 3rd, 1913 - Decease: November 24th, 1954.  Daughter of Clinton Wiggins.


8. Ms. Louise Lucas: Born: April 4th, 1946  -  Decease: May 29th. (Daugther of Melvin and Martha “Wiggins” Lucas. Grand daughter of Clinton and Lucy Brantley Wiggins)


9. Marvin Lucas, Jr.: B. March 16th, 1954   D: January 1st, 1955   (Son of Marvin Lucas and Audrey Horton Lucas. Grandson of Melvin and Martha Wiggins Lucas.)


10. Plummie R: Born: May 10, 1914  -  Decease: May 22nd,1914 (Tombstone reads “Son of Richard and R.D.L. Horton)


11. Jettie:  Born: May 24th, 1910  -  Decease: July 11th, 1921. (Tombstone reads Daughter of Richard and R.D.L. Horton.)


12. Maggie Pettus: B. tbd,  D. September 21st, 1955 (The tombstone reads Victoria #30, JRGNJU


13. Ms. Margaret Mitchell:  Born: Could not Determine  -  Decease: May 22nd, 1930  (Tombstone reads Wife of Joe Mitchell. Her maiden name was Margaret Wiggins)



Those confirmed to be buried at gravesite through relatives and community members, but unsure of grave location.  (No Markers):


14. Mr. Joe Mitchell: B. tbd; D. tbd  (Husband of Margaret Mitchell. Stated to be 102 yrs. old at burial.  Estimated to be last one buried at site in 1980.)


15. Mr. Weldon Pace: B: July 31st, 1884  D: April 13th, 1937  (Husband to Willie Ann “Howard” Pace B. March 19th, 1888 , D. April 1st 1962.)  He had 14 children. Narcissie, Lissie Bell, Robert, Arrendy, Dallas, Otha, Earlie, Snobia, J.H., Neva, Weldon, Jr., Annie, Naomi, Harriet Pace) (Harriet Hicks was Weldon’s Mother and Norh Pace was his Father)


16. Ms. Annie Pace: B. January 16th, 1926; D.1950 (Daughter of Weldon and Willie Ann “Howard” Pace)


Information provided by: Douglas Lucas, Jr. (Grandson of Martha Wiggins)

Contact number: 770-374-1603

 Email:  [email protected]



Note: We will add more names to this list as we uncover names of those buried at the cemetery.





I. ANNOUNCEMENT: January 2006. As shown in the EasternWake Newspaper for burial data and location information.


Descendants of the Pace and Wiggins family of Zebulon and O’Neal Township are requesting any information from the community that might help in identifying individuals buried at the Old “Pace and Wiggins Cemetery located off of Hwy. 39 south of the Five County stadium.  An initiative to properly restore and register the cemetery began on December 9th by cleaning the site of trees and brush developed over a 30 year period.  Many unmark graves and those with unreadable markers have been discovered and require the assistance of anyone who can provide names of people buried at the grave site. Tombstones that have been identified include the following names: Maggie Pettus,  Lessie May Wiggins, Martha Wiggins Lucas, Clinton Wiggins, Perlie C., Alex Merritt, Plummie R. Horton, Jettie Horton, Margeret (Wife of Joe Mitchell) and J.W.O Pace.  The family will continue the restoration of the cemetery on February 23rd and 24th.   If you have any information that can assist this family in this effort, please call Doug Lucas at 770-374-1603 or email me at [email protected]








From North Raleigh/RDU and points west:
Take I-540 East to US 64/US 264 Bypass East (Exit 33).  Follow approximately 8 minutes and merge onto US 264 East.  Take Hwy. 39 exit and turn right; the stadium is on the right.

From Raleigh:
Take the I-440 Beltline to the US 64/US 264 Bypass East (exit 14).  Follow for approximately 17 miles and merge onto US 264 East.  Take Hwy. 39 exit and turn right; the stadium is on the right.

From Rocky Mount/Emporia, Va. and points north:
Take I-95 to US 64 West to Stadium Exit at Hwy. 39. Turn left and follow Hwy. 39; the stadium is 3 1/2 miles ahead on the right.

From Smithfield and points south:
Take US 301 to Hwy. 39 (just north of Selma). Turn left and follow Hwy. 39; the stadium is on the left.

From South Carolina via I-95:
Take I-95 north to exit-81 (I-40 west). Follow I-40 to exit 301 (US 64 East/US 264 East). Then exit onto US 264 East. Take your second exit (Hwy. 39) and turn right; the stadium is on the right.

From Wilson and points east:
Take US 264 West to Stadium Exit at Hwy. 39. Turn left and follow Hwy. 39; the stadium is on the right.

From Greenville, NC:
Take US 264 West to NC-91/US 264-ALT exit, follow signs for US 264-ALT until merging with US-264 West. Follow exits to Five County Stadium.

City Map