More than 30 buried at historic Eppington Plantation - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

More than 30 buried at historic Eppington Plantation

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CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -

There are new details into a major history-finding project in Chesterfield. Historians at the Eppington Plantation have just announced new findings revealing just how many are buried at the cemetery. President Thomas Jefferson's sister-in-law lived at Eppington and it's believed the President's daughter is buried there.

It's the conclusion of a four month study that now sets the stage for the next chapter in preserving history at the historic Eppington Plantation.

Researchers were called to the plantation's cemetery in July. They brought state of the art ground penetrating radar to help uncover untold stories. Now, the data is in.

"52 pages of highly technical data and charts," pointed out General Don Gardner with the foundation.

He says the results are surprising.

"There are many more people buried in that cemetery than we expected," he added.

The findings show 16 infants are buried there and 19 adults.

"We, of course, can't tell their names," Gardner said.

They also can't tell just where Thomas Jefferson's daughter, Lucy, may be buried, though she's believed to be there somewhere. Still, the foundation says this is no lost cause.

"What we wanted to do is identify the extent of the cemetery."

They did just that. Even though there are many more bodies here than the current half a dozen tombstones suggest, there's an interesting discovery about the cemetery that sits on acres and acres of land.

"The enclosure is about the exactly the same size."

So the project is being called a success. The last time there was a professional survey of the property dates back to President Franklin Roosevelt's administration.

"Several men that were employed by the works progress administration during the administration came to Chesterfield County and did a detailed survey of everything they could read, see and understand without disturbing the ground," Gardner said.

 Now, years later…

"We've got a much clearer picture of what's there."

Now county leaders say they can move forward in determining if existing monuments need to be replaced, and then purchase new ones now that we have a better idea just how large this historic cemetery truly is. The study also found there are three vaults in the cemetery that may contain multiple bodies. Several members of President Jefferson's family are also believed to be buried on site.

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