Ball-Wilson Cemetery, Wayne County, West Virginia, United States

My nephew Johnathan and I went on a trip looking for the burial site of my 4th great-grandfather James Wilson (b. 1766, d. 1857-02-11). My father Charles Sherman Wilson had told me about this cemetery in "Ball's Gap".

We found the cemetery and captured some GPS data. Here is a link to the data I posted on OpenStreetMap.

The path to the cemetery is fairly rough. I would estimate it is 20% slope and 100 yards from the road to the cemetery.

Photos of the site:

Many of the later burial's are Ball. Toward the middle to back there are Wilson family burials. Most stone's in the back are missing or crumbling. Most burials can only be recognized by the sunken earth. We did not find James Wilson but we did find his son Allen. I suspect James and/or other children are in there but we were unable to find any evidence.

It appears that the cemetery cannot be accessed by public road from the North. If you'll notice on the map, Northeast of the cemetery a few thousand feet, on Old N&W Railroad Road, there is a bypass near Rutherford Road. A railroad tunnel that collapsed decades ago is being bypassed. That bypass road appears to be private and posted as such. The only public route we found was approaching from the Genoa to the South and traveling North on Old N&W Railroad Road (County Highway 52/55).

Right to left.
Row 1
Noe, Grace B., b. Jul 21, 1896, d. Nov 27, 1951
Noe, Samuel J., b. Dec 23, 1885, d. Oct 8, 1963
Row 2
Walker, Mary Jane Ball, b. Nov 17 1851, d. Mar 19 1931
Walker, Viola, b. 1879, d. 1881
Walker, William F., b. 1881, d. 1884
Row 3
Ball, L?na A., b. Jul 23, 1915, d. Nov 20, 1945.
Row 4
Lewis, Brenda K., "Baby", Sep 9, 1955
Watts, Arlen, b. Jun 23, 1908, d. Jul 15, 1949
Row 5
Watts, Madelyn, b. Jun 23, 1939, d. Jan 19, 1941
Watts, Arlene, b. Dec 18, 1941, d. Jan 1, 1942
Row 6
Ball, Theron, b. Nov 9, 1875, d. Nov 5, 1963
Ball, Rebecca J., b. Jan 28, 1888, d. Jul 28, 1936
unknown * 5
Emery son of L.L & Alice Morrison, b. J?n 8, 1887, d. Aug 6/?, 1889
Ball, Melissa, b. 1858, d. 1940
Row 7
unknown, b. Aug 30, 1871?, d. Feb 10, 1893?
Wilson, Elizabeth, b. Aug 10, 1871, d., Feb 10, 1891
Wilson, Virginia, b. 1820, d. <stone is broken in half across this date>
Wilson, Allen, b. 1820, d. Apr 15, 1862.
Morrison, J.L., b. Aug 19, 1862, d. Sep 7, 1891
unknown with tin marker
Row 8
unknown * 5
unknown son of Jackson G/?. A/?. Ball, b. 9/?3/?, 188?, d. Aug 28, 1882/?
unknown * 2
Row 9
unknown * 2
Row 10
unknown * 4
Row 11
unknown * 6
Row 12


  1. Both my husband and I are related to different Ball brothers generations earlier. He is related several ways to James P Wilson. So guess we are related in multiple ways
    We did find several Wilsons in a cemetery on Romney ridge it is misrepresented I believe as a Lambert cement art. Owner was nice and let us drive up. Hope you can check it some time

  2. Thanks for your great post. I too am related to James (P) Wilson (not sure where the "P" came from) via his son, Charles, his son Mordecai, his son, George Edward, his son, Morda Lee, and then me, James Roland Wilson. Thanks so much for your post on this info. It would be a good guess that James (P), death 1857, is buried in the Bell for his son, Allen, death 1862, is buried there. But records so that Sara, James (P)'s wife. died 1876 and at that time Sarah was living with her daughter.Elizabeth Lambert. Keep up you good work.

    1. Thank you. While I cannot prove it, I suspect James is buried in that cemetery as well. I'll have to look it up in my data but I'm pretty sure James reportedly lived in/around Ball's Gap late in his life. Just under the ridge that the cemetery is.

      I'll probably visit the site again in the future and do some more surveying of the area and take better pictures. My time was limited the first time around. My first goal was just to find it and capture some basic GPS coordinates so the site could be put on the map.

      I'm not sure where the P came from either. It is discussed often but I do not think anyone had traced it to anything official.

    2. Eventually I will get around to posting my tree and data. My line is James > Alexander > Smith > Kenis > Denny > Charles Sherman > Charles Dee (me).