Photos of the Du Bignon Burial Ground
Jekyll Island, Georgia

Photos by Henry Mitchell, April 2006.

du Bignon Burial Ground

The du Bignon family burial ground, near the Horton – du Bignon house ruins.



du Bignon Burial Ground

Georgia historical marker text:

POULAIN DU BIGNON AND
DU BIGNON BURYING GROUND

This burying ground contains the bodies of several members of the du Bignon family, descendants of Le Sieur Christophe Poulain de la Houssaye du Bignon, native of Saint-Malo in Brittany, one of four Frenchmen, former residents of Sapelo Island, who purchased Jekyll Island in 1791. Poulain du Bignon became the sole owner a few years later.

In his youth du Bignon was an officer in the French army in India and served for years fighting against the domination of Great Britain. Later he commanded a vessel of war sailing under the French flag. He died in 1814 and was buried near du Bignon Creek with a live oak tree as his only monument.

Sea island cotton was the principal crop planted on the du Bignon plantations on Jekyll Island, and a large acreage was devoted to its cultivation.

The du Bignon family owned Jekyll Island until 1886, when they sold it to a group of millionaires who immediately formed the famous Jekyll Island Club.



du Bignon Burial Ground

Georgia historical marker text:

Le Sieur Christophe Anne Poulain du Bignon
(1739–1825)
Horton – du Bignon House
du Bignon Burial Ground

Beginning with Poulain du Bignon, five du Bignon generations made Jekyll Island one of Georgia's most romantic Golden Isles. This tabby ruin and burial ground alone remain from Jekyll Island's century (1794–1886) as the du Bignon Plantation. Christophe Poulain, native of Lamballe, Brittany, was a much-decorated French naval captain whose loyalty to Louis 16th in the French Revolution forced him to flee his patrimonial lands. In 1792 on his ship, the Sapelo, he brought his family to the hospitable Georgia coast. With four other French royalists, he purchased first Sapelo Island and then Jekyll. By 1794 he acquired Jekyll as his own plantation and enlarged Major Horton's house as his manor. Sea Island Cotton recouped his fortunes and supported a Georgia dynasty of landed aristocracy like that established by his forebears. In 1825 Poulain was buried near du Bignon Creek with a live oak tree as his monument. His son Henri added honors to the island plantation as he made the “Goddess of Liberty” reigning queen of coastal racing boats. And when Henri's grandson, John Eugene du Bignon, sold Jekyll to a group of millionaire capitalists, with them forming the Jekyll Island Club, Poulain du Bignon's island began a new chapter in its fabulous history.



This guide to Jekyll Island is sponsored by Mitchells Publications.