Syracuse Hill Cemetery of Meigs County, Ohio

Location: Sutton Township, Meigs County, Ohio
Also known as Snowball Hill Cemetery
Directions: From Pomeroy, follow Rt. 124 (north)east along the Ohio River to the village of Syracuse. Continue driving through the village and near the outskirts of town turn left onto Snowball Hill Rd. (Turn right and you will find yourself in the Ohio River!)
GPS: N39.00091 W-81.96014

When I visited Syracuse Cemetery in the summer of 2010, the steep, unpaved road to the cemetery, Snowball Hill, had recently washed out and it appeared several truckloads of large rocks had been deposited there to make the road passable. It's not a long drive to the top of the hill where the small cemetery is located but a set of good tires would be a good idea.

The size of Syrcause Hill Cemetery is restricted by its position atop the hill, though it appears to be a still-active burial ground. The majority of Gilliland burials are situated in a family plot that can easily be spotted from the somewhat circular access road and will be on your right not far from the entrance.

Report and photos by Kate Maynard, 2010

(Click on a thumb for larger image.)

The Gilliland family burial ground.

The Gilliland family burial ground. The stone wall surrounding the plot is quite broken up.

Pedestal marker for James and Jane Gilliland

Pedestal marker for James and Jane Gilliland

James was born in Pennsylvania January 5, 1813 and died at Syracuse, Ohio on February 18, 1873. I am unaware of his ancestry and would welcome more information.

As you can see from this photo, which shows the base of the pedestal marker, the ground beneath the family plot has for many years been slowly shifting downhill.

James and Jane Gilliland

Reverse view for the pedestal marker for James and Jane Gilliland. Jane's inscription faces the road. Kentucky-born Jane (Chain) Gilliland was born February 18, 1818 and died February 7, 1886.

George W. Gilliland and Jennie

George W. Gilliland, 1844-1917, and his wife Jennie, 1851-1927

George was born to James and Jane (Chain) Gilliland and Jennie was born Sarah Jane to Matthew and Eliza Cunningham of Washington County, Ohio.

George was a Union veteran who served with Co. C, 4th W.Va. Infantry. The couple had no children of their own but supposedly had an adopted daughter, Ethel, for whom I have no additional information.

George's marker

The government-issue marker for George W. is completely jammed against the stone wall enclosure and only the top portion can now be read.

Elizabeth Gilliland McDonald

Elizabeth Gilliland McDonald, July 11, 1854-Sept. 18, 1880

Elizabeth, wife of A. J. McDonald, was a daughter of James and Jane Gilliland and sister to George W. Across the bottom of the stone is an inscription for an infant daughter, Mary Jane, born June 26, 1880 and died November 4, 1881.

Mary Jane

Mary Jane

Within the family plot, a dislodged and barely readable marker for "Mary Jane". I believe this was a footstone for Mary Jane McDonald, infant daughter of A. J. and Elizabeth Gilliland McDonald. The loose stone is now sitting atop the stone wall.

Two loose stones

Two loose, now-unreadable stones propped against the stone wall of the family plot.

Favmily burial plot

Another view of the Gilliland family plot, illustrating how the shifting ground has damaged the surrounding wall and dislodged some of the markers. The large granite stone in the foreground is that of George W. Gilliland and wife Jennie.

Mary Ann

Mary Ann Gilliland (1841-1917) Lallance and her husband, Adam

This stone, though not in the Gilliland family plot, is a short distance beyond it on the left side of the access path.

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