Friday, March 30, 2012

Epitaph: My stricken spirit

The gravestone is plain—a graying tablet with no decorative carving. But the name Volney caught my attention and I snapped a few pictures.

Son of
George C. &
Urania Still
Feb. 5, 1849
Æ 14 years
3 mo. & 9
God gave him; let my troubled heart be still
And he has taken him from toil and care
I’ll bow my stricken spirit to his will,
In holy trust that we shall in Heaven

The epitaph on the gravestone for Volney Still (d. 1849) was unfamiliar to me. The only source I found was a heartbreakingly personal poem, “The Child,” attributed to Mrs. Harlam in Volume 9 of “The Ladies Repository” (1849).

I’ve watched her long and sadly, till the shade
Of death is hovering darkly o’er her brow;
I saw the life-blood from her fair cheek fade;
Alas! and is my darling dying now?

Wipe the last tear from those lov’d eyes no more;
My sorrow dims their lustre; at her heart
The pulse is faint—her sufferings almost o’er;
My dying child, so soon, so sad to part!

And now long between each lingering breath;
See how she folds her pale arms on her breast!
A sweet smile wreathes her lovely face—’tis death!
How calmly, quietly she sinks to rest!

She’s gone for ever; O, I did not dream
That death would touch a form so young and fair;
Those cheeks all rosy as the morning beam—
Those lov’d eyes, this smooth brow, and golden hair!

Array her for the tomb; she’s mine no more;
She was so like an angel from her birth—
An angel now—she’s gone where death is o’er,
Too pure and sinless for this changeful earth.

God gave her—let my troubled heart be still—
And he hath taken her from toil and care;
I’ll bow my stricken spirit to his will,
In holy trust, that I shall meet her there.

Sunbury Memorial Park, Delaware County, Ohio

Thursday, March 29, 2012

An Odd Fellow from New Hampshire

The three chain links carved on the gravestone for Oliver E. Ticknor (d. 1853) tell us that he was an Odd Fellow. Capital O, capital F.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.) is also known as “The Three Link Fraternity” for that group’s emblem, the three links of which represent Friendship, Love, and Truth.

SEPT. 16, 1853
40 Y’RS. 9 MO’S.
& 11 D’S.

An O. E. Ticknor who is the right age appears in the 1850 Federal Census for Lebanon, New Hampshire. Could this be our Oliver, who is buried in Sunbury, Ohio?

Perhaps. According to the published genealogy The Ticknor Family in America by James Melville Hunnewell (1919), Oliver Ellis Ticknor, born December 5, 1812 in Lebanon, N. H. to William and Betsey (Ellis) Ticknor, was a dry goods merchant at Lebanon, “later removing to Sunbury, O., where he d. Sept. 2, 1854.” The same volume tells us that Oliver married Susan Parkhusrt Low in 1836.

Not perfect. Machinist or merchant? Death in December 1853 or December 1854?

Postscript. If our Oliver is indeed the Oliver Ellis Ticknor born in Lebanon, N.H. to William and Betsey Ticknor, then he is the younger brother of William Davis Ticknor (b. 1810, d. 1864), founder of the publishing house Ticknor and Fields.

Sunbury Memorial Park, Delaware County, Ohio

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Wednesday’s child: Nettie J. Copper

[ __ &] L.A. COPPER
JULY 14, 1871.
2Y. 2M. 3D.

As recently at 2009, the gravestone for Nettie J. Copper (d. 1871) was in pieces on the ground. Today the two largest pieces are cemented together and reset so that the small marker stands again.

Nettie’s parents were Josiah and Lucy Ann Copper. [1] They are buried in Center Village Cemetery next to Nettie.

Center Village Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

1. “Ohio, Births and Christenings, 1821-1962,” index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 27 March 2012), Nettie Copper (1869).

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Innocent and pure

The gravestone for Eliza Hunt (d. 1852) in Hunt Cemetery features the carving of a downturned lily.

The lily is often understood to represent innocence and purity—the perfect symbol for a young woman who died before she was married, a “daughter of” as opposed to a “wife of.”

Daughter of
Jan. 23, 1852
Aged 18 Ys

Although the age at death is only partly visible now, a previous reading of the cemetery lists Eliza’s age as 18 years, 9 months, and 28 days.

Could her parents be Daniel and Charlotte Hunt? Their household is listed in the 1850 Federal Census for Harlem Township, which is the site of Hunt Cemetery. Among the children in this farm family is Elvira, 17. Could that be Eliza?

There are surprisingly few Hunts buried in Hunt Cemetery. No Daniel, no Catharine, no Elvira.

Hunt Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Monday, March 26, 2012

Alam Blain

The simple tablet marker at the grave of Alam Blain (d. 1846) displays one of the most recognizable symbols of Freemasonry: The square and compasses.

Nov. 22, 1846,
ag’d 86 Ys 6
Ms. 9 Ds.

See how one compass is in front of the square and the other is behind? The configuration of the square and compasses is an indication of Freemasonry degree, in this case, the second degree. The second degree is known as the Fellow Craft Degree.

There is another symbol beside the grave: A bronze, star-shaped flag holder reserved for veterans of the Revolutionary War.

Candy, a FindAGrave contributor, posted this short bio of Alam Blain:

Elam, at 17 years of age (abt. May 1 1778), enlisted in the Light Horse Command (4th Reg. Light Dragoons, Capt. Heard's Co.), under Gen. Anthony Wayne, in the Pennsylvania Reg. of Calvary, and fought three years in the Revolutionary war. When in his 23d year, he was married to Catharine Read; she was born in New Jersey Oct. 28, 1763. A few years after his marriage, he moved to Pennsylvania, where he remained until 1815-1816, when he came to Ohio, locating in Zanesville, and in 1820 came to Delaware Co., locating in Harlem Township, where he died in 1846, and some seven years later his wife died; they were members of the Christian Church and had 14 children.

Catharine, Alam Blain’s wife, is buried at his side.

Hunt Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Walls at Indian Run

When I saw the plaque at the entrance to Indian Run Cemetery identifying it as a historic place, I was not particularly surprised. I was standing in the Dublin, Ohio historic district, after all.

Only later did I start to wonder why this place was awarded that status. Was a person of historic importance buried here? Was this this site of a historic event?

Turns out, it is the cemetery’s stone fence that has placed it on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Indian Run Cemetery Stone Walls are unique to the village of Dublin and the surrounding area. They are indicative of the craft brought to Ohio by New England settlers. These walls, according to David A. Hartmann, Dublin Historic Society, are the oldest in Dublin. They were erected after the death of Ludwick Sells in 1823 by his son, William Henry Sells. They are build of limestone rubble and are in fair condition. [1]

Originally the wall surrounded the square-shaped cemetery to keep out grazing animals, and there was a turnstile at the entry gate. When there was a burial, the coffin had to be carried over the wall—up and down a set of stone steps on either side. [2]

Today the stone wall remains on three sides of the cemetery, with an open gateway at the southwest corner.

Indian Run Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

1. Ohio Historic Places Dictionary, (Somerset Publishers, Inc., 1999).
2. “The City of Dublin.” (accessed March 24, 2012).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Margeryann and the wilting flowers

Harlem Cemetery in Delaware County, Ohio is a small, country cemetery—and the oldest in Harlem Township.

The tablet marker for Margeryann Bristoll (d. 1830) features a detailed carving of a pedestal bowl filled with wilting flowers. Two large, cut roses appear to have fallen beside the bowl.

daughter of
Ira & Sarah Bristoll,
died Dec. 14, 1830:
Æ. 5 years 11 mo.
Farewell my true and lovely child
You bid a short adieu,
You cannot come to us again
But we must go to you.

There is no record of any other member of the Bristoll family buried in Harlem Cemetery. Ira (d. 1872) and Sarah (d. 1852) Bristoll are buried in Hancock County, several counties away.

Harlem Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday’s child: Isaac Foglesang

There is a small, white obelisk at the grave of Isaac Foglesang (d. 1853) in Indian Run Cemetery.

Son of C. & S.
Aug. 14, 1853
Aged 5 Y.
10 mo. 21 d.

In September, 1846, Charles Foglesang married Sarah Jane Frey in Franklin County, Ohio. The 1850 Federal Census shows the Foglesang family in Dublin, Ohio: Charles, a blacksmith born in Germany, Sarah, Isaac (3 years old), and Mary (1 year old).

Indian Run Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Soldiers, farmers

Emery Garlinghouse (d. 1864) died from wounds he sustained during the Battle of Atlanta in the Civil War.

Military records on reveal that Garlinghouse enlisted in the Union Army as a Private on August 27, 1861 at the age of 20. He was a Corporal at the time of his death, three years later.

Aug. 1, 1864
AGED 23 Y. 2 M. 25 D.
July 21, 1864,
A member of Co. I
32 Regiment

James Garlinghouse (d. 1850)
More research is needed on my part, but Emery Garlinghouse may be the great-grandson of James Elijah Garlinghouse, who fought in the Revolutionary War. James died in 1850 and is buried just a few miles away in Fancher Cemetery.

Not difficult to imagine a young Emery listening to his great-grandfather tell stories of war and battle, is it?

Center Village Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
Fancher Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fragments: Louisa Augusta Rhoads

The white marble gravestone for Louisa Augusta Rhoads (d. 1848) is broken in two pieces, the top half leaning against the bottom half.

June 6, 1848
Aged 23 Yr
7 mo & 17 d

Look closely along the break. See the adhesive? This gravestone has been repaired before, most likely during the 1970s when the Dublin Historical Society undertook a five-year restoration of Indian Run Cemetery.

The epitaph is difficult to make out, but well worth the attempt:

Louisa Augusta is my name
But heaven is my station
Ohio was my dwelling place
But Crist [sic] is my salvation.

This is a take on an old rhyme, but it is the first one like it that I have found on an Ohio gravestone.

Indian Run Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Here or there?

One grave at Indian Run Cemetery gets your attention the moment you see it. There is an above-ground tomb near the center of the small, sparse cemetery.

The slab on the top—the inscribed stone—is broken into many pieces, some of which are missing.


Who is buried here? It appears to be Lucinda Mitchell (d. 1839).

[To the] memory [of]
[wife] of

A date is legible, presumably the date of death: Aug. 2, 1839.

A bit of epitaph is legible as well, and I recognized it right away as one of my favorites.

Forgive, blest shade, the tributary tear,
That mourns thy exit from a world like this:
Forgive the wish that would have kept thee here,
And stayed thy progress to tho realms of bliss.

According to a marriage record available through, Aaron Mitchell and Lucinda Chapman were joined “in the bands of wedlock” in February, 1838.

A hint from led me to a FindAGrave memorial page for Aaron Mitchell that places his burial 50 miles away. Imagine my surprise to find a memorial page for Lucinda Chapman Mitchell (but no gravestone photo) that places her burial in the same distant cemetery! There is also a memorial page that places her burial, as expected, in Indian Run Cemetery.

So where is Lucinda buried?

For now, I like my own evidence—an inscribed tombstone—that Lucinda Chapman Mitchell is buried beneath the tomb I visited today in Indian Run Cemetery.

Indian Run Cemetery, Franklin County, Ohio

Friday, March 16, 2012

Widow Fairchild

The gravestone for Mehitable Fairchild (d. 1824) is a classically shaped tablet-style marker with no decorative carving. Given its age, it is remarkably easy to read.

Memory of
Widow of Amos Fairchild
Who departed this Life
Jan. 18th. 1824;
aged 66.
      Although a mouldering and turn
ing into clay, I am inviting you to
Speaking of stone, one of Mehitable’s sons, Benjamin M. Fairchild, owned stone quarries in the area: Mr. Fairchild was a very industrious and worthy citizen. He built several grist and saw mills, and opened up several stone quarries. [1]

Harlem Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio
1. Perrin, William Henry, History of Delaware County and Ohio (Chicago: O. L. Baskin & Co.), 599.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Samuel Robbins

The gravestone for Samuel Robbins (d. 1831) is badly weathered. That doesn’t stop us from reading it—or at least trying to!

The bad news is that just when you think you can make it out, you realize that some of the inscription is buried.

The good news is that someone took the time to read and record the inscribed information when it was legible.

Data from a 2010 walk-through of Fancher Cemetery, (which took advantage of earlier readings of the cemetery) helps us fill in some of the blanks on this gravestone.

Departed This
[Life Se]pr 18th
[1831, Aged 28 Y.]

Fancher Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday’s child: Solomon F. Boston

The small obelisk at the grave of Solomon F. Boston (d. 1862) is in a shady corner of Center Village Cemetery. Shady when the leaves are on the tress, that is.

The marker features the carving of a broken rosebud, symbol for a life that ended before it bloomed.

AUG. 1862.

Solomon’s parents are probably Solomon and Margaret Boston, who appear with a 3-year-old Solomon in the 1860 Federal Census for Harlem Township, Delaware County, Ohio.

Center Village Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

“Lay him low, lay him low”

A handsome marker with a scroll and flowers marks the grave of a young man, James H. Montgomery (d. 1864). It stands solid and straight, though blackened with age.

son of
john & surmantha
Aug. 25, 1864
15 Yrs. 9 Mo.
& 1 Day.
One more buried beneath the sod
One more standing before his God
We should not weep that he has gone
With us tis night with him tis morn.
The epitaph is taken from the poem “The Young Patriot,” which I found in The Rebellion Record, edited by Frank Moore (1865). No author was named.

One more absent,
The battle done;
One more left us,
Victory won.

One more buried
Beneath the sod;
One more standing
Before his God.

Lay him low, lay him low,
Ere the morning break;
Sorrow not, sorrow not,
He minds not heart-ache.

He is one, he is one
Of that noble band
Who have fought, who have died,
For their fatherland.

He needs no tears;
An angel now,
A saintly crown
Upon his brow.

We should not weep
That he is gone;
With us ’tis night,
With him ’tis morn.

Sounds like a soldier’s epitaph, doesn’t it?

Hunt Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Monday, March 12, 2012

Henry Fritts, Revolutionary War veteran

There is no military flag holder at the grave of Henry Fritts (d. 1829), but do some quick arithmetic and you wonder: Where was Henry Fritts in 1776?

According to Abstract of Graves of Revolutionary Patriots, Volume 2 by Patricia Law Hatcher (via, Mr. Fritts, who was maybe 18 years old in 1776, served in the American Revolutionary War.

Henry Fritts
Died march
The 27 1829
Aged 71 years

This is a beautiful gravestone that has aged fairly well. Look at the decorative detail!

Look even more closely and you can read an epitaph—or part of one—at ground level.

The tall the wise the
R[---]d head Shall lie

Although we cannot see the complete epitaph, it appears to have been taken from an Isaac Watts hymn:

Hark! from the tombs a doleful sound;
My ears, attend the cry;
“Ye living men, come view the ground
Where you must shortly lie.

“Princes, this clay must be your bed,
In spite of all your towers;
The tall, the wise, the rev’rend head
Must lie as low as ours!”

Great God! is this our certain doom?
And are we still secure?
Still walking downward to our tomb,
And yet prepare no more?

Grant us the powers of quick’ning grace,
To fit our souls to fly,
Then, when we drop this dying flesh,
We’ll rise above the sky.

Fancher Cemetery, Delaware County, Ohio

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Name spelling can cause all sorts of aggravation when you are researching your family history.

What about this child’s gravestone? Is it Hughs or Hughes? Prier or Prior? Or perhaps Pryor?

Perhaps we simply should take it as it is: Elizabeth Hughs (d. 1840), daughter of Prier and Elizabeth Hughs.

Elizabeth daughter of,
Prier & elizabeth hughs,
died aug; 15, 1840.
in the 2 year of
her age.

Chester Baptist Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio

Friday, March 9, 2012

Double-take gravestone

This willowed gravestone in Stantontown Cemetery, a small cemetery in rural Morrow County, Ohio, drew a double take from me.

The gravestone appears to be blank.

Not weathered beyond readability. Blank.

What do you think?

Stantontown Cemetery, Morrow County, Ohio

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Nancy Bowles, 100 years

The marker at the grave of Thomas Bowles (d. 1846) tilts to the right as you look at it, almost as if it is struggling under the burden of several broken stones that it supports.

One of the broken stones is the gravestone for Nancy Bowles (d. 1843), who lived to be 100 years old. That is quite an accomplishment in any century.

died Jan. 10,
Aged 6[? yrs, ?? mos] & 5 d’ys.

In memory of
Wife of Hugh
Bowles who died
Mar 4, 1843 aged
100 yrs.

The first question that comes to mind is: How are Thomas and Nancy related?

Not husband, wife. Son, mother? At least one (unsourced) Ancestry tree suggests the latter, but this mystery requires more research.

In the meantime, I am planning another trip to this cemetery soon. Could there be relationship hints that I missed on my first visit?

Bethel Cemetery, Chester Township, Morrow County, Ohio
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