May 30 Memorial Day Event at Fitzgerald Family Cemetery

May 30 Memorial Day Event at Fitzgerald Family Cemetery

Honor Pauli Murray’s grandfather and Civil War veteran, Robert G. Fitzgerald, at a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fitzgerald Family Cemetery – Kent Street near Morehead at Maplewood Cemetery.

Honor Pauli Murray’s grandfather and Civil War veteran, Robert Fitzgerald, at a Memorial Day Ceremony at the Fitzgerald Family Cemetery.   Learn more about the history of Maplewood Cemetery and visit the Pauli Murray-Richard Fitzgerald house at 906 Carroll Street.

MONDAY, MAY 30, 2011

10 a.m. – 12 noon

Open to Everyone

800 Block of Kent Street near Morehead Avenue at Maplewood Cemetery.

This cemetery contains the graves of several pioneering African American citizens of Durham including Robert G. and Richard B. Fitzgerald.

Both brothers served on behalf of the Union in the Civil War. Robert came to North Carolina to teach newly freed African Americans. Robert and his wife Cornelia Smith Fitzgerald are grandparents to the nationally known lawyer, writer, poet, human rights activist and Episcopal priest, Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray.  Pauli Murray wrote eloquently of the family and early Durham history in her 1956 book, Proud Shoes: The Story of an American Family. Richard Fitzgerald became very wealthy as one of Durham’s first brickmakers. He operated a kiln next to the cemetery. Many tobacco warehouses and Erwin Cotton Mill in Durham and Central Prison in Raleigh are made of Fitzgerald brick. In addition, Richard Fitzgerald was a founder and the first president of Mechanics and Farmers Bank.

Parking Available at

First Calvary Baptist Church

1311 Morehead Avenue

Please Leave a Comment

4 Responses to “May 30 Memorial Day Event at Fitzgerald Family Cemetery”

  1. I have been researching Mebane and Bumpass families of Durham from the early 1900’s and recently found Caroline Bumpass Shaw married to Fred C. Shaw in 1894 both of whom are buried at Fitzgerald Cemetery.

    How was Fred Shaw related to the Fitzgerald family? I also see that according to records that Fred was a contractor. Are there records of his work?

    Posted by: Carol Petett | April 20, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Reply
  2. I’d like to bring a number of people to this program on Memorial Day but would like to give them more specifics. Is it a fully planned 2 hour program with speakers? other events?

    Many thanks for your work, Leah

    Posted by: Leah Rutchick | May 22, 2011 at 4:50 pm | Reply
    • I am a great grandson of Richard Fitzgerald and am trying to make contact with family in Durham, who I never got to know. I am the son of Dwight Wilson and the grandson of Sarah Fitzgerald, who married Allen J. Wilson of Raleigh

      Posted by: Dwight Wilson | January 13, 2012 at 9:21 am | Reply
      • Hi Dwight,
        My name is Darlene Smokes. I am the grandaughter of Thelma Fitzgerald Smith of Durham NC. Her father was Willam Fitzgerald who I think was the son or Grandson of Richard Fitzgerald. My cousin Willam Fitzgerald Jr(Butch) and Alan Fitzgerald live in Durham. Please send me your contact information.

        Posted by: darlene smokes | February 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm | Reply