In the Central Avenue Division West of Rose Hill Cemetery (block 8), is the burial ground for some members of the ROSS family. You can't miss it. Several of the tombstones are tall and ornate, to be sure, but what always strikes me is their stark white color. They stand out prominently among the surroundings.
There are at least eleven family members buried in this lot purchased by John B. Ross. The patriarch of this branch of the family was Mr. Luke Ross. He and his wife, Mary Grimes, came to the Macon area from Martin County, North Carolina in the early 1800s. John was a son of Luke and Mary.
As was written in his obituary (Macon Weekly Telegraph, 24 September 1844), "For some weeks previous to his last and fatal illness, he [Luke Ross, Esq.] seemed to have a premonition of his approaching dissolution." The family burial lot was purchased by son John about four months prior to Luke's death. But what might be even more telling, is the sale of the plantation known as Ross' Place even earlier in the year. It was described in the local newspaper as being "two miles above Macon, on the East side of the Ocmulgee River, containing 400 acres -- 250 acres cleared, 200 of which is first rate Corn and Cotton Land, under tolerable good fence."
This coincides with what was written by G. S. Dickerman in the The House of Plant about 1900 regarding the settlement of the Luke Ross family in middle Georgia:
It was about this time or in 1821, that Mr. Luke Ross having come from North Carolina with his family and all his effects, arrived at old Fort Hawkins and proceeded to select a place for his future home. The spot decided upon was on the east side of the [Ocmulgee] river in what is now East Macon, and about two miles distant from Macon itself...
The rest of the marked burials in the Ross lot belong to John B. Ross and his immediate family. Col. Ross was born 1808 in North Carolina, and first married Ann Lane Holt in 1834, Macon. She was a daughter of Tarpley and Elizabeth "Betsy" (Flewellen) Holt. This union produced five children: William Henry (b. abt 1837), Tarpley Holt (1840-1848), John Franklin, Ann Flewellyn (d. 1892), and Carolina Virginia.
Tarpley Holt and John Franklin Ross are both buried in the family lot at Rose Hill. John "died on the field of honor" in Kentucky, 1862. He was just nineteen years old.
After Ann's death in 1844, John married Martha Leonora Redding in March of 1845, Macon. She was a daughter of William Chambliss and Margaret (Flewellyn) Redding. Martha's mother was a sister to Ann's mother. John and Martha produced six more children: Mary Matthews (b. 1846), Nora (d. 1855), Viola (b. abt 1850), Margaret Redding (1852-1917), Fanny Elvira (d. 1898), and Martha Florence (1857-1922).
Nora and Martha Florence Ross are buried in the family lot at Rose Hill Cemetery.
After the death of Martha Leonora (Redding) Ross in 1858, John waited eight years before marrying for the final time. His third wife was Mary Ann (Lamar) Longstreet. Mary was the daughter of L. Q. C. Lamar, and the widow of James Longstreet.
John had three more children with Mary: John Bennett Jr. (b. 1867), Thompson Lamar (b. 1870), and Donald Graeme (b. 1877). The final son was born just a couple months before the death of his father.
John B. Ross was laid to rest beside his first two wives in Rose Hill.
The other two marked burials in the Ross family lot are for Graeme Dickerman Plant (1894-1964) and his wife Elizabeth Davenport (1897-1988). Graeme was a grandson of John B. and Martha (Redding) Ross. The parents of Graeme, Margaret Redding Ross and Robert Hazlehurst Plant, also rest in Rose Hill – in a lot adjacent to the Ross family.
Video of Ross Family Burial Lot in Rose Hill Cemetery, from 2009:
History of this branch of the Ross family available here: