Tuesday, January 31, 2012

An intentionally misplaced gravestone

The oldest gravestone that I have found in this part of Ohio is an old slate marker, but it does not belong here. It belongs in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania at the graves of Jean Mitchell (d. 1746) and David Mitchell (d. 1757).

In memory of Jean
Mitchell who depd
this life August the
2d 1746 aged 40 YEars
& David Mitchell
who depd this life
November the 7 1757
aged 76 years.

The old slate stone is mounted on a larger memorial that explains how the slate gravestone found its way to Ohio.

This David Mitchell, head of our line of Mitchells in America, born in 1681, probably near Oromore, County Down, N.E. Ireland, settled in S.W. Lancaster County, Pa., Drumore Twp. about 1713, and was buried in the Morrison graveyard, near Chestnut Level, Pa. where W. G. Mitchell, my brother, and I, personally found this tablet with other Mitchell graves.

Because the graveyard was being rapidly obliterated, we brought the tablet with us in 1928. David Mitchell’s will, with other legal papers found in the records of Lancaster County Pa., “was duly proven Nov. 21, 1757.” The children named in this will were Samuel, Jean, Abraham, Margaret, Heleanor, Sarah, George and David. Samuel and his wife are buried under this monument. (Erected in 1947)

The legend is signed J. F. Mitchell, who is identified on FindAGrave.com as James Franklin Mitchell (b. 1867, d. 1947).

J. F. Mitchell is buried near his ancestors in Mitchell Cemetery.

Does the old slate gravestone belong here or there? What would you do if you came upon a cemetery in serious disrepair? Would you collect your ancestor’s stones to save them from possible destruction?

Mitchell Cemetery, Union County, Ohio


  1. Very interesting. I wonder what the other cemetery looks like today.

  2. Gale, I looked up the other cemetery on FindAGrave, but it's hard to tell how well the cemetery is maintained today. Some of the gravestone photos for the cemetery are beautiful--white stones, green grass.


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