Payne Gap Cemetery Directory
Late in 2021 at the Mills County Historical Commission meeting, the group’s leaders asked me to update records for the Payne Gap Cemetery that will be a part of a new edition of Mills County Texas Cemeteries. As a “retired” librarian interested in local history and living in the schoolhouse next to the cemetery, I naturally jumped at the challenge. I’ve developed an Airtable database that facilitates comparing and reconciling three different sources for information about those buried at the cemetery. The database allows me to capture entries as they appear in Mills County Texas Cemeteries book, a list developed by the Payne Gap Cemetery Association, and Find a Grave. Once entries from all sources have been captured, I compare the three and come up with a cardinal entry that I hope represents the best information about an individual.
It’s a painstaking process that sometimes leads to dead ends and sometimes leads to exciting discoveries. In the case of a monument with the inscription “Mrs. Nannie Carswell, Wife of B.B. Carswell, Died Dec 4, 1889,” I started hunting for her birth date, which led me to discovering a section written by Cleo Carswell published in The Four “F’s” of Moline, Texas: Facts , Folks, Fun, Failure (1980). Mrs. Carswell identifies Nannie Carswell’s husband as Bob Carswell. She also reveals that a group of Carswells moved to this area in the late nineteenth century from San Augustine County in East Texas. With that geographic information and Bob’s name, I was able to locate more information about Nannie Carswell in ancestry.com. It turns out that her name is Nancy “Nannie” Medford Carswell (1857-1889), and her birth date is May 25, 1857. She apparently died in Payne Gap at the age of 32 and was put to rest at the cemetery here. She was married to Robert “Bob” Burns Carswell (1858-1900). They had one child, Ellie “Ella” Carswell (1886–1970). A relative, Laura Carswell, died just a few days earlier on November 29, 1889, and she is recognized as the first buried at the cemetery.
Note: The view below shows the latest information about those buried at the Payne Gap Cemetery. You can choose how you want to sort the records and also apply filters. Please leave a comment with any additional information or corrections.