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Descendants of Charles Massie and Mary Davis

I have wanted for some time to be part of an effort to clean up and repair the cemetery at Spring Valley where our ancestor, Charles Massie (1727-1817), lived and operated an apple orchard.  When I was there some time ago the rock wall that once enclosed and defined the grave sites was falling down and undergrowth had pretty much taken over.  Many of you have visited this cemetery and will know the need to do some work on it.  Some cleaning was done several years ago when the DAR met there to install a memorial at Charles’ grave.  Nothing has been done since. 

The present owner of the surrounding orchard, Mr. Henry Chiles, has agreed for us to do some beautifying work there and, I think, would appreciate our fixing up the plot.  Dr. Cecil Massie introduced me to Stephanie Ramsey, the great grand-daughter of Pauline Gash Massie, who works for Mr. Chiles.  She has expressed an interest in this project.  I thought it would be worthwhile for us as a family to set up a fund to do some repair and regular maintenance to this beautiful and historic cemetery. 

Many of the stones have fallen over and need to be set up.  Also the rock wall needs extensive work.  Possibly we can hire some further work done if you, like me, are too old to use a scythe or chainsaw.  To do so will require that we have some funds available for expenses.  I do not think that one or two should bear the cost and labor for this worthy endeavor.  This is a lovely cemetery in a wonderful setting and we should preserve its beauty and honor those from whom we descend.

It has been discovered that Charles was NOT the Revolutionary War Patriot as awarded.  There was a Charles who was in the war who died or was killed in December of 1776.  Our Charles had two sons who were in the war and Charles undoubtedly contributed to the war effort otherwise. 

The cemetery is located off Rt151 near the old Rockfish Valley High School, by way of Rt635 on Rt634 (Spring Valley RD).  You can also go in from Rt29 at Covesville by Rt633 to Heards and then Rt634 down to Spring Valley Farms. They now have a pick your own cherry fruit stand there and the stand is right at the cemetery.

We have structured an association for the purpose of renovating and maintaining the cemetery of our oldest known (with certainty) ancestor, Charles Massie, 1727-1817.  His son, John Massie came to Amherst County and married Susannah Wright from whom most of us descend. 

Constitution and By-Laws of the Spring Valley Cemetery Association 

Article I - Name

 The name of this body shall be the “Spring Valley Cemetery Association” hereinafter referred to as the Association.

 Article II - Purpose

 The sole purpose of this Association is to serve in restoring, beautifying and maintaining the rock enclosed cemetery located in the valley commonly known as Spring Valley.  This cemetery is an historic site containing the known graves of Charles Massie, born 1727 that died in 1817, who purchased the property in 1768, along with others of his immediate family.  This cemetery is not, and it is anticipated that it will not be used for further internment of others, including descendants of the Charles Massie.  

Included in such purpose is: purchasing, leasing, receiving by gift or bequest, and otherwise acquiring, owning, holding, improving, or any interest needed to carry out the above and to insure the welfare of this Association. 

Article III - Membership – Voting 

Section – 1.  The membership of this Association shall be the interested descendants of Charles Massie born 1727, died 1817, and who is interred in the cemetery located in Spring Valley, Albemarle County, Virginia.  These descendants are many and widely scattered, and in some instances unknown.  It is recognized that each has the right of representation as members in this Association; however because of the difficulties encountered in accessing each and all in the decision making process, the management of this Association shall be vested in a Board of Trustees.  

Section -2.   There should be no less than nine and no more than twelve trustees.  Initially the founding trustees shall be selected from interested family members who volunteer to serve in that capacity for a period of two years.  Subsequent trustees shall be elected by the membership at a called meeting published in the Nelson County Newspaper. 

Section -3.   Trustees shall be selected by the membership and will serve for a period of five years and may succeed themselves at the pleasure of the membership.  Vacancies on the board may be filled by majority vote of the remaining trustees until the next meeting of the membership. 

Section -4.    Descendants shall be defined as those persons who by blood descend directly from one of the children of this Charles Massie and the legal spouses of these descendants.  Decisions regarding qualification shall reside in the Trustees where conflict occurs.  

Article IV – Support 

 Much of the work of this body depends upon the good will and voluntary work of its members.  Often other phases of the work including maintenance, upkeep, and beautification of the cemetery require financial support.  It is thus important that family members support by contributions the work that cannot be done by volunteers.  For this purpose a bank account will be maintained for the repository of funds. 

Article V – Meetings 

From time to time meetings of the membership shall be held.  Meetings shall be announced in the Amherst and Nelson County Newspapers for two weeks in advance of such meetings.  Notification of the site of such meeting will also be publicized.   

Trustees shall meet at least biannually and otherwise as necessary for the performance of their function.  Trustees shall consider a quorum to be five trustees and the majority rule in making decisions.  A record of trustee meetings will be kept and available for the information of any member. 

Article VI – Officers 

The officers of this Association shall be the President, Vice-President and Secretary- Treasurer.  These positions may be combined in any combination at the pleasure of the Board of Trustees. 

Article VII – Trustees 

Control and Management of the Association shall be vested in the Board of Trustees who shall make such rules and regulations for the management of the assets of the Association and for any other matters dealing with the cemetery as it deems proper. 

VIII – Amendments 

This constitution may be amended or a new constitution adopted by a two-thirds vote of the members present at a general meeting of the membership, provided proper and adequate notification of such meeting is made.  Any change to be voted upon at such meeting shall be sent in draft form, mailed to all Trustees at least 30 days prior to such meeting.  

By-Laws, Rules and Regulations 

Article I – Operating Procedures


Section 1.  There may be many differences of opinion as to the renovation, beautification and maintenance of this cemetery and its enclosing walls.  Differences should be presented to the Trustees for resolution.  Their determined resolution shall be final unless overturned by a meeting of the membership.  If a conflict is not satisfactorily resolved, any three members may request a called meeting of the general membership and the Trustees shall call a meeting within 60 days. 

Article II – Duties of Officers 

Section 1.  The President shall preside over the meetings of the Association.  He may be a Trustee, and as such preside over the meetings of the Board of Trustees.  He shall perform the duties incident to the office. 

Section 2.  The Vice President shall act in the absence of the President and assist that officer as he may direct. 

Section 3.  The Secretary-Treasurer shall keep a record of the proceedings of the Board and as Treasurer keep an account of all money received by the Association, and deposit the same in the bank to the credit of the Association.  Disbursements shall be made under the Treasurer’s signature.  He shall make a report of his disbursements and the financial condition of the Association to the Trustees at their meetings and to the membership at their meetings. 

Article III – Amendments 

These By-Laws may be amended or a new By-Laws adopted by a majority vote of the members present at a meeting of the membership.  Proposed changes shall be mailed in draft form to all Trustees at least 30 days prior to the membership meeting that the change will be voted upon.