Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday -- James Rudolph Culley

 In an attempt to locate one more Culley grave marker, I returned to the CD my brother-in-law had sent following the 2005 George Family Reunion. I came across this photo of James Thomas Dove and Martha Dove Carter's grave markers . . . but low and behold . . . in the background was one more Culley stone.

James Rudolph Culley. Not all of the grave marker is visible; but from what is showing, it appears that he served in the Navy during a World War. No dates can be seen. Unfortunately, an attempt to enlarge the date plate at the base of the grave marker provided no more clues as it was too out of focus to decipher.

My next step was to go to the Craven County Register of Deeds website to see if records could be found there. I located only two records.

James Rudolph Cully was born in 1925 to Martha Ann Carter and Joseph Bing Cully [Book 1925/Page 1264]. He died in 1956 [Book 1856/Page 512].

I then went to Ancestry.com to see if any other information might be available.

When I pulled up the 1930 Census report, I discovered that this was our cousin Dorothy Culley Lee's older brother. I had worked on some other related grave markers found in the Piney Grove Cemetery in previous posts. [See also: Martha Carter Culley, and Lucinda F. Culley Carter]

According to his death certificate, James Randolph Culley was born in North Harlowe, NC on November 24, 1925 to Joseph B. and Martha (Carter) Culley. His wife's name was Florine; and as the informant, she was recorded as living at 120 Woodworth Avenue, Yonkers, NY. James had been a machinist in the Cable Industry, a veteran of World War II. He died on July 15, 1956 at Highway 101 3 miles East of Cherry Point. His residence, however, was Yonkers, Westchester, NY. He died instantly in an auto accident of multiple internal injuries. A note states: "Passenger car ran off roadway." Time of death was 1:30am.  He was buried at Piney Grove Cemetery on July 29, 1956.

One can only imagine the heartache that such a tragedy precipitated. 
He was just two years older than our cousin Dorothy: 
he was the second child born, and she was the third. 


  1. This is fascinating!! What a priceless thing to have a disk of the tombstones...I will have to go out there one day to take pictures...LOL..I have this death certificate.

  2. Thank you! Now you know how it fits in. I have more Carter, Dove and Sparrow grave markers on that CD; but I also have some photos I took at the George Family Cemetery. I know the connection to very few of them, so it's great when we can link up a story and a connection to a stone!