Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wife of Dr. D.B. Allen

DR. D.B.
3, 1847
Æ 21 Y’RS 5 MO’S 27 D.

Harriet Allen (d. 1847) was the first wife of Dr. D. B. Allen, “a thoroughly educated gentleman in literary lore as well as in the science of medicine,” who studied and practiced medicine in Delaware County, Ohio.

Dr. D. B. Allen and his second wife, Sarah, were married in 1848. They are buried together in Fairview Cemetery, Logan County, Ohio.

Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
Perrin, William Henry, and J. H. Battle. History of Logan County and Ohio. Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co., 1880.

D.B. Allen and Sarah Allen memorials.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Passage to heaven

The columns and the leafy branches they support form an arch, a symbol of the passage to heaven, on the grave marker of Rebecca Moyer (b. 1817, d. 1845).

Then again, perhaps the gravestone carver was simply making a fitting frame for the circular inscription.

wife of Elias Moyer
born Jun
16th AD 1817
& died Aug
7th 1845
Aged 28 Y
1 mo
22 d

Remember when this you see
To prepare for Eternity

Baltimore‐Geohegan Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wednesday’s child: Elizabeth Paul

Elizabeth Paul (d. 1841) has an elaborately carved marker in Baltimore‐Geohegan Cemetery.

In memory of
daughter of Jacob
and Nancy Paul,
died July 27, 1841,
aged 5 months, & 10 days
Death may the bonds of life unloose
But cant dissolve my love,
Millions of infant souls compose,
The family above.

The epitaph is from a hymn written by Samuel Stennett (b. 1727, d. 1795), a respected London minister.

Baltimore‐Geohegan Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A gravestone carver’s error?

The grave marker for Abigail Marks (d. 1856) in Powell Cemetery is substantial and attractive, with a scroll carved to cascade down the front of the marker.

Sept. 1, 1856
2 MO’S 5 D’S.
Remember friends as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I;
As I am now so you must be.
Prepare for death and follow me.

The bonus on this gravestone is the carver identification in the lower right beneath the epitaph:

Willims & Monnier
Colum’s O.

In a recent Genealogy Tip of the Day, Michael John Neill reminded us that our ancestors really did not care how their names were spelled.

Sometimes your ancestor’s name also identified the family business. What if, say, a print ad showed the business name misspelled?


Though there are no others in my collection, there are photos online of gravestones that clearly bear the mark of Williams & Monnier of Columbus, Ohio.

Bet Monnier carved this one.

Powell Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Monday, April 25, 2011

Grave images: Pointing hands

Many gravestones from the 19th century feature carvings of hands: clasped hands, hands pointing up or down, hands holding flowers or books.

A hand with a finger pointing up is a reference to Heaven. But don’t jump to conclusions: A hand with a finger pointing down is not a reference to a less desirable destination, but rather a reference to the hand of God reaching down from Heaven.

In any case, the pointing hands convey the belief that the soul of the deceased now rests in Heaven.

John Webb, Fletcher Chapel Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio
John Thomas, Thomas Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
Sarah Woolley, Davis Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio
Ann Tremains, Candler Cemetery, Hardin County, Ohio

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Epitaph: Thou hast not done me wrong

The epitaph, still mostly legible, on the weathered gravestone of Sarah Gill (d. 1841) is a popular one. Did you know the author wrote an even more popular and enduring verse?

Wife of Ambrose Gill,
died March 8, 1841,
age 27 years 11 m. & 9.
Lord she was thine & not my own,
Thou hast not done me wrong;
I than[k thee] for the precious loan,
Afor[ded me] so long.

The epitaph’s author is John Newton (b. 1725, d. 1807), an Anglican clergyman. Sarah’s epitaph is the first verse of a long poem that Newton wrote upon the death of his wife in 1790.

The even more popular and enduring John Newton verse? You know it as the hymn “Amazing Grace.”

Fletcher Chapel Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A stone carved by J.W. Jungkurth

This beautifully carved marker for Martin Neff (d. 1841) is the work of J.W. Jungkurth, a stone carver whose work can be found in a number of cemeteries in and around Fairfield County, Ohio.

In memory
who departed this life
February 18th 1841,
in the 48thyear
of his age.
Ye living man as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I,
As I am now, soon you will be,
Prepare for vast eternity.
There are so many lovely details on this marker that I nearly overlooked the decorative OF.

And notice how Jungkurth formed Martin Neff’s name: Not by carving the name into the stone, but by carving the stone away from the name. That is, he sculpted the name and so it quite literally stands out.

Baltimore‐Geohegan Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Friday, April 22, 2011

What do you see?

This stone at Baltimore‐Geohegan Cemetery is small, maybe three or four feet long. It is weathered and worn with no visible carvings. Is it an old gravestone, broken and fallen over? An ordinary but worn field stone?

Or could it be—as it looks to me—a child-sized, coffin‑shaped marker?


Maybe my graveyard imagination is getting the best of me. What do you see?

Baltimore‐Geohegan Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Epitaph: And I perhaps am near my home

A siltstone gravestone leans but still stands in memory of Jarves Gafford (b. 1801, d. 1841) in Old Basil Cemetery.

memory of
He was born in the Year
AD 1801,
and departed this life
March 22d AD 1841,
in the 40th Year of his age.
Much of my time has run to waste,
And I perhaps am near my home:
But he forgives my follies past,
And gives me strength [for days to come.]

The epitaph is taken from the second verse of a hymn by Isaac Watts (b. 1674, d. 1748):

Thus far the Lord hath led me on,
Thus far His power prolongs my days,
And every evening shall make known
Some fresh memorial of His grace.

Much of my time has run to waste,
And I, perhaps, am near my home;
But He forgives my follies past,
And gives me strength for days to come.

I lay my body down to sleep;
Peace is the pillow for my head;
While well appointed angels keep
Their watchful stations round my bed.

In vain the sons of earth or hell
Tell me a thousand frightful things
My God in safety makes me dwell
Beneath the shadow of His wings.

Faith in His Name forbids my fear;
O may Thy presence ne’er depart!
And in the morning make me hear
The love and kindness of Thy heart.

Thus, when the night of death shall come,
My flesh shall rest beneath the ground,
And wait Thy voice to rouse my tomb,
With sweet salvation in the sound.

Old Basil Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Zinc boulder

I first glanced the marker that stands at the grave of Samuel S. Yencer (b. 1875, d. 1907) from behind. It looked like a rough cut boulder. But no! It is a boulder-shaped zinc marker.

JAN. 9, 1875,
MAR. 28, 1907,
2 MOS., 19 DAYS.

Old Basil Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Wednesday’s child: Mary E. Gill

The small marker in Fletcher Chapel Cemetery for Mary E. Gill (d. 1844) bears an image of a tree—a stylized willow? Perhaps, but certainly not as weepy as most.

Mary E.
daughter of
Ambrose &
Susanna G[ill]
died Jan 9, 1844
aged 9 days.

Ambrose Gill (d. 1849) is buried nearby, as is his first wife, Sarah Kitner (d. 1841). “Susanna” is most likely Susan Kalb, who married Ambrose Gill in 1842.

From Ohio County Marriages image database,
Franklin County Ohio Marriages, Vol 4, 1835–1846


Fletcher Chapel Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio

Monday, April 18, 2011

Twin willows

The double gravestone is badly weathered but still partly legible. It marks the graves of sisters, Elizabeth and Ann Davis, daughters of Samuel and Matilda Davis. 

A 1927 list of burials in Davis Cemetery lists the sisters as four-year-old twins who died within hours of each other.

In Memory of
Elizabeth daughter
of Samuel & Matilda
Davis Who died Jan’y
24th 18[39] Aged 4 years
& 3 months.

In Memory of
Ann daughter of
Samuel S & Matilda
Davis Who died Jan’y
25th 1[839 Aged 4 y]ears
3 m[onths]

The choice of twin willows for twin sisters seems particularly well thought out: The mirrored willows are the same but different.

Davis Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Epitaph: A Siner saved by grace

Steps away from the graves of his wife and daughter is the grave of James Roney (b. 1797, d. 1840), marked by a simple gravestone with a direct epitaph.

Nov 26th 1840
43 years 1 m.
& 29 d

A Siner saved by grace

Davis Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fragments: Amy Hannah Roney

The top of the stone is broken off, leaving us to wonder (perhaps not for long) who shares a gravestone in Davis Cemetery with Amy Hannah Roney (d. 1840).

41 years. 7 m. & 15 d.
Amy Hannah Infant
Daughter of James &
Rachael Roney died
January 10th 1840 aged
5 m & 21 d

A 1927 record of the burials in Davis Cemetery includes Rachael Roney, with a transcription that suggests Amy Hannah is buried with her mother, Rachael:

Rachael Roney wife of James died Dec. 14, 1839 41 yrs.

The epitaph on the shared gravestone is taken from the Book of Revelation.

And i heard a noise from heaven saying
unto me Write blessed are the dead
Which die in the Lord from henceforth
yea saith the Spirit that they may rest
from their labors and their works do
follow them   [Rev. XIV. 13]

Davis Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wednesday’s child: James and Rosetta

Alongside Bokes Creek in the cemetery of the same name is a small, interestingly shaped gravestone. To my eye, the shape evokes a lyre, whether or not that was the intention.

It marks the grave of a brother and sister, James and Rosetta.

Died Aug. 28, 1863
Aged 10 mo. 21 ds.
– –
Died Feb. 15, 1854
Aged 2 mos.
– –
Children of
P. & M. [Bower]

The last name cannot be read, but burial information posted by the Delaware County Genealogy Society suggests that the children’s last name is Bower, as does Find A Grave.

Look closely at the bottom of the marker. The markings that remain visible are not inconsistent with Bower. That could be the top of BO, don’t you think?

Bokes Creek Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Unfinished: Walker gravestone

It is not uncommon to find gravestones that show two names, usually husband and wife, with one death date missing.

The Walker monument at Shoup-Thompson Cemetery is missing Rosena Walker’s death date. When she die? Where? Did she remarry and move across country?

A quick search at produced the death certificate for Rosena Walker, which shows that Rosena died October 15, 1937 at Jane Case Hospital in Delaware, Ohio. It also shows that she was buried in Thompson Chapel Cemetery (aka Shoup Cemetery, aka Shoup-Thompson Cemetery).

From Mrs. Rosena Walker death certificate, Delaware Co, Ohio

So we have a bit of a non-story here after all.

Rosena did not move across country. She is buried right here, just as the Walker monument indicates. Sadly, it appears that no one arranged for her death date to be added to the monument, leaving the story that it tells unfinished.

Shoup-Thompson Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

When correction tape doesn’t work

The first time I visited Williamsville Cemetery, I noticed some gravestones with small, square- or rectangle-shaped recesses, often “written over” by the inscription.

After two more visits, I (finally) realized what these rectangles might be: Corrections. A carving “typo,” maybe a slip of the stone carver’s tool or a simple misspelling, was chiseled out and the correction (or not) was carved in the newly blank spot.

Joshua Cummins (d. 1840)
Joseph Pool (d. 1849)

Arory S. Gibson (d. 1848)

Now I may be wrong, but these look like corrections to me. What do you think?

Williamsville Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Wednesday’s child: Cornelia M. Williams

The gravestone of Cornelia M. Williams (d. 1847) is beautifully carved and bears a sweet epitaph.

daut’r, of,
J, S, &, Catyann
died, Dec’r, 30,
1847, Aged,
3, Yrs, 2, M, 9, ds,

Lovely flower,
Just nip’d in the bud,
To bloom in immortal fragrance,
In the paradise of God.

Cornealia’s parents are buried a few steps away. In fact, her name is also inscribed on their tall monument. (Her father died the following September at age 33.)

Williamsville Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Saturday, April 2, 2011

“...died in infancy” has a name

While doing a bit of research on Margaret Faris, I found a book that included a short biography of her husband’s son. One paragraph mentions Margaret:
Robert Faris married Margaret Irwin, who was born in the State of Ohio, near the Virginia line, and died on the farm in Delaware County, Ohio. She was the mother of four children: Ann, Irwin, Mary G. and a daughter that died in infancy, all the others being also deceased. [1]
The daughter who died in infancy has a name: Eliza Jane Faris, and she is buried near her mother in Oak Grove Cemetery. Her gravestone is uprooted and on the ground, but it is not broken.

Eliza Jane
daughter of
Robert & Margaret
Faris, died Jan. 18
aged 1 year 5 mo.
& 8 days.

Oak Grove Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
1. William E. Connelly, A Standard History of Kansas and Kansans, Volume 3, 1918.

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