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Showing posts from 2016

Esse Quam Videri (More Latin in the Cemetery)

This past summer, I translated a couple of Latin phrases I've come across on tombstones in cemeteries.  Today, I have one more to add: Esse Quam Videri This translates to "To be, rather than to seem to be." Interestingly, this phrase was adopted as the state motto by North Carolina in 1892. And contemporaneously, the character of Stephen Colbert on his Comedy Central show, had as his motto a play on this phrase.  V ideri Quam Esse , or “to seem, rather than to be," was engraved on his set's fake fireplace. Ellen Turner, memorialized on the elaborate and angelic tombstone pictured above and below, was laid to rest in Magnolia Cemetery at Charleston, South Carolina.

McDowall & Wragg Mausoleum at Charleston, South Carolina

This mausoleum, located at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina, houses members of the McDowall and Wragg families. Andrew McDowall was born 25th January 1790 in Scotland, and died 4th October 1866.  His wife Pamela was born 25th November 1797, and died 17th June 1875.  Their eldest daughter Caroline is there, as well.  She was born 22nd June 1816, and died 10th November 1858.  An obituary from page 2 of the 23rd November 1858 Charleston Courier (available online at GenealogyBank ): Obituary. DEPARTED THIS LIFE , at Savannah, on Wednesday, 10th November 1858, in the forty-second year of her age, Mrs. CAROLINE WRAGG, wife of Dr. JOHN A. WRAGG, formerly of this city. it is a beneficent constitution of nature, that the ordinary approach of death is manifested, by disease, old age, or some failure of human organization.  By this process, so to speak, not only the sufferer, but surviving friends are prepared for the catastrophy [sic]; yet if the shock be great, even thus measu

The Southern Folk Cemetery ( #tbt )

Article from 2006 originally published on Southern Graves site. Some newer images added. " An important historical vestige of the cultural landscape of the rural South is the Upland South folk cemetery. " - D. Gregory Jeane Some Southern cemetery traditions include wife-to-the-left burials, bordered family plots, and feet-to-the-east interments. These practices can be fairly common in today's Southern cemeteries, but there are other traditions that may not be. The southern folk cemetery is characterized by hilltop location, scraped ground, mounded graves, east-west grave orientation, creative grave markers and decorations using materials readily available (not commercially produced), certain species of vegetation, the use of grave shelters, and the obvious devotion to God and/or parents and family with the graveyard workdays and monument dedications. Some of these characteristics can certainly be found in other parts of the United States, even the world. It is the comp

Delmar Warren's Pyramid Tombstone

"E gyptian, is perhaps the most funerary of all architecture," writes Douglas Keister in Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents .  This, of course, makes perfect sense.  The very definition of an Egyptian pyramid, at it's core, is a tomb.'s article about the Egyptian Pyramids says this: The pyramid's smooth, angled sides symbolized the rays of the sun and were designed to help the king's soul ascend to heaven and join the gods, particularly the sun god Ra. Oftentimes, especially in cemeteries located in the southern United States, Eqyptian architecture is combined with more mainstream Christian symbols.  Delmar Warren's pyramid tombstone at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia , however, is pretty plain. Frankly, the simple display looks out of place amid the crosses, angels, flora, and fauna carved in stone around it and throughout the cemetery.  So why was this particular tombstone placed for Delmar Arlis

Dr. A. B. Sams: Be Ye Also Ready (Tombstone Tuesday)

From Clayton Baptist Church Cemetery at Rabun County, Georgia - Dr. A. B. Sams Jan 5, 1819 Feb 1, 1893 Be Ye Also Ready For In Such An Hour As Ye Think Not The Son Of Man Cometh

Elisha Millican Canup Ate Too Much Corn? (Cause of Death Defined)

Elisha Millican Canup, born 1865, was a son of Jackson Canup, and a husband to Cleo Burton.  He died in 1930 at Rabun County, Georgia (possibly in Mountain City). While viewing his death certificate, I came across an unfamiliar term.  What caused Elisha's death was a disease called Pellagra .  It is defined as "a deficiency disease caused by a lack of nicotinic acid or its precursor tryptophan in the diet. It is characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disturbance, and is often linked to overdependence on corn as a staple food." An article at Wikipedia also notes this: …Soon pellagra began to occur in epidemic proportions in states south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers . The pellagra epidemic lasted for nearly four decades beginning in 1906.  It was estimated that there were 3 million cases and 100,000 deaths due to pellagra during the epidemic. I thought the "in states south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers" bit interesting.  Appalachia Georgia certainly

Berta Cook and Luke 8:52 (Today's Epitaph)

Berta Cook, daughter of Julian R. and Laura Elvira (Jones) Cook, was just 21 years old when she died.  Part of the epitaph on her tombstone is Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth .   "Not dead, but sleepeth" is not an uncommon inscription to find on a tombstone, but I rarely see the source attached.  Berta's stone provides it:  Luke VIII, 52 .  Full verse from the KJV Bible: And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth. Though Berta died in the community of Bullard, Twiggs County, Georgia, larger papers -- like the Union-Recorder of Milledgeville and the Macon Telegraph of Bibb County -- carried news of her untimely death. Macon Telegraph (Georgia) 26 August 1896 – pg. 5 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers ] MISS BERTA COOK DEAD. She Was a Bright Young Lady and Well Known in Macon: News was received in the city yesterday announcing the death of Miss Berta Cook at Bullards, which sad event occurred yesterday morning at 6 o'c

Thomas Green Had No Record of His Age

All that remains of Thomas Green, Sr. (1775-1865) rests at Harmony Baptist Church Graveyard in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia. In the War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files database at Fold3 , I found an interesting account regarding the time of Mr. Green's birth.  The document included in Pvt. Green's file was a letter from a Justice of the Inferior Court of Fannin County, Georgia.  It was dated 24 December 1855, and reads, in part: [Thomas Green Senior] "who claims Bounty Land under the act of March 3rd, 1855, Number 79651, for his services in the War of 1812, and who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical Thomas Green Senior, who claimed and received Eighty Acres Bounty land, under the act of September 28th, 1850, and that he now claims the additional number of Eighty Acres, under the act of March 3rd, 1855, and that deponent from the fact that he has no record of his age is unable to fix the definite period of h

The Golden Bowl was Broken: a Blount Family Cenotaph

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog .] Lots in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia began to be sold about May of 1840.  According to the cemetery's records, the lot where the following stone, memorializing members of the James Blount family, was placed was purchased by Simri Rose – the developer of Rose Hill – on 28 July 1840.  Unless remains were moved from another location, the stone placed is a cenotaph :  "a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere." [ Merriam-Webster ] James Blount Born 28th June 1780 Died 12th Dec 1820 Son of Col. Edmund and Judith Blount of Washington Co, N.C. Elizabeth Blount Consort of James Blount Daughter of P. S. and Nancy Roulhac Born 4th Oct 1786 Died 17th Feb 1834 Edmund Sharpe Blount Son of James & Elizabeth Blount Born 10th Sept 1806 Died in 1826 Erected by John M. Blount, 1851. Father This marble to thy memory the "Golden Bowl was

PFC Lawrence E. Patton, Killed In Action (and His Gold Star Mom)

Tombstone Tuesday from Harmony Church Graveyard in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia: The Gold Star Mothers veterans service organization has been around since 1928.  Longer than I thought. In the name of accuracy, I do not know if Ida Mae Patton – the mother of PFC Lawrence E. Patton – was "officially" a member of this organization.

A Little Treasure: Darling Mary Mulkey

Mary Nell Mulkey was born 9 July 1924 in Tennessee to Paul H. Mulkey (d. 1956) of North Carolina and Ethel Ross (d. 1960) of Georgia.  This little darling only lived  4 years, 3 months, and 7 days.  Her death being caused by a bacterial infection of Diphtheria.  From Wikipedia - In the 1920s, there were an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 cases of diphtheria per year in the United States, causing 13,000 to 15,000 deaths per year.  Children represented a large majority of these cases and fatalities. Mary Mulkey was laid to rest in the Harmony Church Graveyard at Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia.  Her parents joined her years later.  The tombstone placed for Mary is topped with a lamb – a symbol of innocence and purity – and an extended epitaph was added to the back. Darling Mary Nell Dau. of Mr. & Mrs. P. H. Mulkey July 9, 1924 Oct 16, 1928 We had a little treasure once She was our joy and pride We loved her ah perhaps too well For soon she slept and died All is dark within o

1st Lieut. Eugene C. Jeffers, One of the "Immortal 600"

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog .] Eugene C. Jeffers was born about 1833 in Virginia to John E. and Eliza W. Jeffers.  Within a few years of Eugene's birth, the family moved to Georgia.  In 1848, when Eugene was a young adult, his father died at the age of 49. Eugene Jeffers enlisted as a junior 2nd lieutenant in Company I of the 61st Georgia Infantry before October 1861.  He was promoted to 1st lieutenant 2 July 1863.  Muster rolls after that date and through April 1864 listed him as Present .  The 3 November 1864 roll, however, stated he was absent; " in hands of enemy ." Eugene was captured by the Union army as a Prisoner of War near Spottsylvania , Virginia in May of 1864.  He was received at Fort Delaware from Point Lookout, Maryland the next month.  By December of the same year, 1st Lieutenant Eugene Jeffers was listed on a roll of prisoners at Fort Pulaski off the coast of Georgia. That last card from Fold3 's Compiled Service Records of Con

Cleo Patra Ledford (Tombstone Tuesday)

This brother and sister were children of Mr. and Mrs. Abner Ledford. Cleo Patra Ledford Aug 2, 1889 – Nov 3, 1976 She Has Gone To The Mansions Of Rest ------------------------------------------------------ Willis Ledford Feb 14, 1899 Jan 23, 1963 Gone But Not Forgotten Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia

Homemade Headstones for Jane and James Ray

Homemade headstones often elicit a bittersweet emotion from me.  But if stones could exude love, these two would surely be examples of just that. Mrs. Eliza Jane Ray was a daughter, born 1865, of G. W. and Winnie (Davis) Wright.  She was also the wife of Robert "Bob" J. Ray.  Jane died in March of 1931 after battling tuberculosis of the lungs for fifteen years.  The name listed as undertaker on her death certificate was George Ray, who possibly was a son. According to census records , James Robert Ray was a son of Bob and Jane.  His death, which came just 4 days before Christmas in 1932, was due to pneumonia. Both Jane and her son James died in Fannin County, Georgia.  They were laid to rest in the graveyard of Harmony Baptist Church at Blue Ridge, where more than 80 years later, we can still see the homemade headstones lovingly placed for each of them.

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman: Her Life, & Tombstone Symbolism

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog .] Aurelia L. was born 19 January 1825 in Georgia.  She was one of at least seven daughters born to Henry Graybill Lamar and Mary Ann Davis, and sister to Mary Gazaline Lamar Ellis . When Aurelia was 20 years old, she married James A. Ralston.  The marriage was solemnized 5 March 1845 by Seneca Bragg at Christ Church in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.  I think James was a son of David (d. 1842) and Anna V. (d. 1836) Ralston. The couple had at least five children:  Henry (b. abt 1846), James A. (b. abt 1848), Anna, George, and Davis (b. abt 1850).  Anna and George were twins, born 3 August 1849.  According to the inscription on a tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery, George died April 1850, and Anna died September 1851.  The date (month, at least) might be incorrect for George, since both he and Anna are listed in the Ralston household for the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census taken August 12th of that year. A little more about James A.

Mary E. McClure Mull (Tombstone Tuesday)

Mary E. (McClure) Mull rests at McClure Cemetery in Fannin County, Georgia.  This cemetery is also known as Friendship Cemetery, per applicable death certificates I have viewed. Mary was born in Georgia to Nancy C. Davenport and Cicero L. McClure.  Her parents also rest at McClure Cemetery. About the year 1921, Mary became a farmer's wife when she married Hubert Mull (b. abt 1892).  The couple had at least two daughters.  According to the 1940 Fannin County, Georgia Federal census , the family was residing on Dry Branch Road, not far from where the cemetery is today. Here is a slideshow of images from McClure Cemetery and the surrounding area.

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep (Today's Epitaph)

This poem, which is a comforting epitaph, is inscribed on the granite tombstone placed for Joann T. Parks about 1992.  The author of the sonnet was Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Frye, and she wrote it in 1932. Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there, I do not sleep I am a thousand winds that blow I am the diamond glints on snow I am the sunlight on ripened grain I am the gentle autumn's rain When you waken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight I am the soft star that shines at night Do not stand at my grave and cry I am not there; I did not die. Joann rests at Chastain Memorial Cemetery in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia.

James Habersham and Sons at Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

The three Habersham brothers – James, Joseph, and John – rest beside their father, the elder James Habersham, in Colonial Park Cemetery at Savannah, Georgia .  Though their father supported the Crown, the brothers were devoted patriots in the American Revolution.  And afterwards, prominent in public positions for the United States and the state of Georgia. Joseph Habersham The left panel on the vault front is devoted to second son, Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), and his wife, Isabella Rae. Accomplishments of Joseph listed here are the following: Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army, Postmaster General under George Washington, Member of the Continental Congress, Speaker of the General Assembly, and Member of the Society Cincinnati in Georgia. Joseph was also Mayor of Savannah, 1792-1793. Furthermore, three years after his death, a county in Georgia was named for Mr. Habersham. Here is an obituary from the Savannah Advertiser by way of the 5 December 1815 edition of Virginia's

SpringPlace Moravian Mission Cemetery (Tombstone Tuesday)

[This was originally posted at the Peachy Past blog . I thought it might be of interest to Southern Graves readers.] S carcely a vestige today survives in the way of a memorial to tell of the brief sojourn in this State of the pious Moravians.  But the early annals of Georgia are too fragrant with the memories of this sweet-spirited sect to justify any omission of them in this historical retrospect…The missionary activities of the Moravians among the Georgia Indians were successful in a marked degree; and, with little opposition from the red men of the forest, who learned to trust them with implicit confidence, they penetrated far into the Blue Ridge Mountains and established at Spring Place, in what is now Murray County, a mission which exerted a powerful influence among the native tribes, converting not a few chiefs and warriors, and continuing to flourish down to the final deportation of the Cherokees, in 1838… [Georgia historian, Lucian Lamar Knight, abt 1914] A couple of inform

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)