Holman Cemetery


Also known as Burnam-Holman Family Cemetery

Comprising three cemeteries from west to east:
the Holman Family Cemetery, the Burnam Family Cemetery, and a cemetery for African-Americans

The following is taken from The Burnam and Holman Families, Burnam-Holman Family Cemetery, copyrighted 1995, with the permission of the author, Norman C. Krischke. The full text can be viewed at the Fayette Heritage Museum & Archives.

The size of nine dead trees at the cemetery suggests that the cemetery was located in a beautiful grove of live oaks. The cemetery proper is 35 feet wide and 144 feet long, excluding the Morgan stone which is 30 feet to the north.

The Jesse Burnam and the George and John Holman houses were probably located about 200 yards south of the cemetery in a grove of live oak trees.

Six of the Black graves are marked with concrete slabs mounted on a concrete base. There are many more Blacks buried here including slaves.

Jesse Burnam first settled on the Red River in Texas and from there went to Independence, Texas, and then to Ross Prairie in Fayette County. His wife, Temperance [Nalle], died at Ross Prairie in 1833 and is buried in an unmarked grave. They had nine children: William Owen, born in 1813; Mary born 1816, John Hickerson 1817, Minerva 1821, Nancy 1822, Amanda 1823, Robert Thompson 1826, Jesse Bennett 1831 and isabel 1832.

Jesse received the thirteenth land grant issued in Stephen F. Austin's Colony 16 August 1824 which was south of the Colorado River in Fayette County. He was one of Austin's "Old Three Hundred" settlers in the colony. He moved his family there in 1834 and built a house, storeroom and outbuildings. He had a ferry on the Colorado River. Sam Houston's army burned the buildings and sunk the ferry in 1836 to prevent Santa Anna's army from using the property and supplies.

He married Nancy (Cummins) Ross, widow of James J. Ross, 1 August 1837. (James Jeffries Ross died in January 1835.) Nancy brought three children to the marriage: Eliza, born in 1833; Anderson born 1835 and Mary, born early in 1837 after her father died. Jesse and Nancy had seven children: Emily 1838, Henry L. 1840, Sadie 1842, Gideon 1844, Waddy 1847, Adelia 1850 and Alice 1853.

Minerva J. Burnam, born 4 January 1821, died 26 November 1836 and was the first to be buried in the Burnam Family Cemetery. Henry L. Burnam, son of Jesse and Nancy (Cummins) Burnam, was born 4 October 1840 and died young. He is buried in the Burnam Cemetery. This information was provided by Mary Smith Fay in her article, "Jesse Burnam, Texas Veterans in the War of 1812". John Hickerson Burnam, born on 9 October 1817, was at Gonzales in 1842 when the Mexican Army demanded the "Come and Take it Cannon". He died 19 March 1842 of exposure in the service and is buried in the Burnam Cemetery.

There are three concrete headstones without inscriptions in a 15' X 9' X 1' high sandstone lined plot. It is believed the three deceased Burnams named above are buried in this plot.

Burnam sold his original acreage to John T. Holman 9 December 1844 and moved 3.5 miles down river where he established a new place called Burnams Station. John T. Holman married Mrs. Amanda (Burnam) Alexander 14 December 1844; Amanda was Jesse's daughter by his first wife and widow of Jerome B. Alexander who was killed in the Battle of the Salado with Nicholas Dawson's men in 1842.

When Jesse Burnam sold his old place to George T. and John T. Holman in 1844, the deed specifically stated that a piece of land "two rods square, 33 ?33 feet, so as to include the grave yard is reserved" which proves the Burnam family Cemetery is at the designated place. John's name only is on the deed, however, it is believe George was included in the sale and together they developed their plantation which they called the "Holman Valley".

George Tandy Homan and John Thompson Holman, brothers, came to Galveston, Texas from Virginia in May 1836, shortly after the Battle of San Jacinto. George lived briefly at Oakland, Colorado county and John clerked in a general store in La Grange. John went on a expedition with John H. Moore.

George married Nancy Burnam, daughter of Jesse Burnam, on 22 December 1840 and John married Mary Maud (Hickey) Shields, young widow of John T. Shields, on 5 August 1841. Both married three times.

John and Mary (Shields ) Holman had one child, Nathaniel "Natt" Holman. Nathaniel married Mary Lewis and they had a son, John Henry, who is buried in the Holman Family Cemetery. John's first wife died at San Felipe and he married Amanda [Burnam] Alexander 15 December 1844.

The Holmans eventually built a plantation house on a low hill in a grove of oak trees where Jesse Burnam had his home, store and outbuildings which were burned in 1836. The house was a southern, manor-type house with two stories, four chimneys, upper and lower galleries, gables and four rooms on each story. It is reasonable to believe both George and John with their families lived in the house. There were also outbuildings: a carriage house, barn, smokehouse, blacksmith shop and a separate building detached from the main house which served as the kitchen. The house and out buildings were to the south of the present visible family cemetery.

George and Nancy had four children: Jesse Austin, born in 1842, who wrote a history of Jesse Burnam in 1882 and 1921, Charlotte born in 1846 and twin boys who died at birth in 1848; Nancy died at the same time. George's second wife was named Martha, maiden name unknown, who died about 1849. George and Martha had one child, Mary Ellen, George and Sophronia [Ivey, his third wife] had four children, Sarah, John Thompson, Dorothy and George Tandy. George, Nancy, the twin boys, Martha, Mary Ellen, Sarah and John Thompson (son of George) are buried in the Holman Family Cemetery.

George Tandy Holman died 6 February 1865 and Sophronia, his widow, married William T. Roberts 16 February 1870.

Amanda Holman, John's wife, died 10 November 1863. At the time the community property included 3299 acres of land, 60 horses and mules, 200 head of cattle, 250 hogs, 1000 sheep, furniture, tools and crops. John and Amanda had nine children: daughter born in October 1845 who lived only ten days, Virginia born in 1847, Henry C. 1848, John Thompson,1850, George Tandy 1852, Robert Burnam 1854, Millard Fillmore 1856, Bennett Burnam 1858, Edward 1861.

John Holman married Emily Burnam 5 November 1866, his third wife and sister to his second wife, Amanda. They had four children: Sadie 1867, Betty May 1870, Ida 1872 and Alice 1873.

Amanda, Emily, 10-day old daughter, Henry C., John Thompson (son of John T.), Edward and Betty May are buried in the Holman Family Cemetery.

After his third wife died in 1875, John moved to Weimar and built a house in the northwest part of town. The house has an historical marker erected in 1976. John Thompson Holman died 23 June 1900 and is buried in the Weimar City Cemetery.

Harry Stuart Holman of Virginia compiled and published a book on the Holman family which is a masterpiece of genealogy.

Norman Krischke supplied the following list of burials in the Holman Cemetery:

Baker, Eliza J.
about 1833
16 Jan 1851
Daughter of James J. & Nancy (Cumins) Ross. Unmarked.
Burnam, Henry L.
4 Oct 1840
died young
Son of Jesse & Nancy (Cummins) Burnam. Unmarked.
Burnam, John Hickerson
9 Oct 1817
19 Mar 1842
Son of Jesse & Temperance (Nalle) Burnam. Unmarked.
Burnam, Minerva J.
4 Jan 1821
26 Nov 1836
Daughter of Jesse & Temperance (Nalle) Burnam. Unmarked.
Holman, ___
Infant daughter of John T. & Amanda (Burnam) Holman. She lived only ten days. Unmarked.
Holman, ___
about 1848
Twin son of George T. & Nancy (Burnam) Holman. Unmarked.
Holman, ___
about 1848
Twin son of George T. & Nancy (Burnam) Holman. Unmarked.
Holman, Amanda
about 1819
10 Nov 1863
John T. Holman's second wife, daughter of Jesse & Temperance (Nalle) Burnam and widow of Jerome B. Alexander.
Holman, Betty May
10 May 1870
29 Oct 1874
Daughter of John T. & Emily (Burnam) Holman
Holman, David
20 Oct 1911
Son of Handy & Queen Holman. Died of malaria. Unmarked in black cemetery.
Holman, Edward
Mar 1861
14 Jul 1864
Daughter of John T. & Amanda (Burnam) Holman
Holman, Emily
5 Oct 1837
9 May 1875
John T. Holman's third wife, daughter of Jesse and Nancy (Cummins) Burnam and widow of Haywood Hunter.
Holman, George T.
30 Jul 1816
6 Feb 1865
Son of John Thompson & Dorothy (Moorman) Holman and brother to John Thompson Holman, 1818-1900.
Holman, Handy
16 may 1926
Husband of Queen Holman. Died of nephritis and age. 97 years old at death. Colorado County Death Record Book 4, page 25. Unmarked in black cemetery.
Holman, Handy
15 Oct 1896
27 Jun 1950
Military stone: Texas, Pvt, 15 Co, 165 Depot Brigade, World War I. son of Handy & Queen Holman, FC Death record. Black Cemetery.
Holman, Henry C.
15 Dec 1848
24 Apr 1875
Son of John T. & Amanda (Burnam) Holman
Holman, John Henry
27 Jan 1869
13 Feb 1869
Son of Nathaniel & Mary (Lewis) Holman
Holman, John Thompson
22 Feb 1850
Son of John T. & Amanda (Burnam) Holman. Unmarked.
Holman, John Thompson
about 1851
Son of George T. & Sophronia (Ivey) Holman
Holman, Martha
about 1827
George T. Holman's second wife, maiden name unknown. Unmarked.
Holman, Mary Ellen
15 oct 1849
26 Aug 1875
Daughter of George T. & Martha Holman
Holman, Nancy
22 Feb 1822
George T. Holman's first wife, daughter of Jesse & Temperance (Nalle) Burnam. Died in child birth. Unmarked.
Holman, Queen
No information. Concrete, no inscription. Wife of Handy Holman 1829-1926. Black Cemetery.
Holman, Sarah
about 1850
Daughter of George T. & Sophronia (Ivey) Holman
Johnson, Willie
17 Jan 1941
Military stone: Texas, Pvt, 165 Depot Brigade, World War I. Husband of Mattie (Brown) Johnson, married 10 Dec 1919, and son of Lloyd Johnson. Died of meningitis and influenza. Fayette County Death Record Book 7, Page 492. Black Cemetery.
Morgan, William David
Aug 1801
Feb 1856
"In Memory of my Brother. Son of William & Elizabeth Morgan, born in South Carolina." Buried 30 feet north of Burnam-Holman Cemetery.

These and all the photos of the Holman Cemetery were taken in January 2008 and contributed by H. H. Howze.

Related Links

Jesse Burnam
Handbook of Texas Online

Reminiscences of Capt. Jesse Burnam
Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, July 1901
Texas Historical Association website

Burnam's Ferry
Handbook of Texas Online

Holman, Texas