Tombstone Tuesday: Little Lambs

St. John’s Chapel is on Tilghman Island. A friend and I noticed quite a lot of children’s graves there on a recent visit.

This memorial to the children of one family is especially poignant:

In loving memory of the children of Perry and Ada K. Porter.

Ella J., aged 19 years.

Hattie B., aged 13 years.

Hazel K., aged 1. Infant son, born and died March 2, 1893. Katherine, aged 2.

Unfortunately, there’s no trace of these children on the U.S. census as they were born after 1880 and the 1890 census is unavailable. I didn’t find the family in 1900 or 1910. I think I found a widowed Perry living in Virginia in 1920. I couldn’t find evidence of any surviving children.

This church is noteworthy in one other respect. It was the location of a Kennedy wedding recently (article link may require subscription after the summer of 2011).

New Friends Album Discoveries

I’ve had several communications with a Young descendant who also has done genealogy research on the family. He has helped to identify several of the unnamed subjects in the Friends Album by supplying a photo of many Young ancestors in which the family members are id’ed.

He also provided me with the maiden name of Ellis Burton Wilson‘s mother, Susan. Guess what? She was a Young! That means he too was related to all the other known subjects so far. I’m still going to try and reunite the photo of Ellis with one of his grandsons, but barring that, I will send it to be put back in the Friends Album.

It’s really remarkable that everyone in the album may have belonged to the same family. New theories are cropping up among the Young descendants who have contacted me. One thinks that members of a branch of the family in New Jersey may have sold the album after an elderly relative passed away. Another theory is that still another branch of the family settled here in Maryland. Indeed, a Young descendant who lives in St. Michael’s did contact me, but the album did not belong to her family. The plot thickens.

Tombstone Tuesday: Old Wye Cemetery

Historical Marker for Old Wye Episcopal Church

Old Wye Episcopal Church has sat along Route 662 between Queenstown and Easton in one iteration or another since 1721.

The historical marker by the church reads:

“Old Wye Episcopal Church

Only remaining Anglican church in Talbot County. Built in 1721 as a chapel-of-ease by donations of 60,000 pounds of tobacco and 100 pounds of sterling. Originally named St. Luke’s it was a place of worship until 1829. Reconstructed in 1854, but later fell into disrepair until restored in 1949 to original design with high box pews, hanging side pulpit and gallery with original royal arms.”

You can read more about the history of the church on the parish web site.

It’s a quiet location in a residential neighborhood. The church and the grounds are quite beautiful.

On a recent trip there, I snapped many photos around the cemetery. There’s a neat old tree towards the back where dozens of people have carved their initials and other messages over the years. On the right in the photo below, you can see the bridge I mentioned in last week’s Wordless Wednesday post.

Unfortunately, only one of my tombstone photos can be read clearly. I’ll have to go back and take more photos — there are only five graves listed for the cemetery on FindaGrave.

The above stone is for Joseph George Neal (born and died in what looks like 1851 or 1857) and Matthias George Neal (born in 1859 and died in 1861). They are listed as the children of Louis W. H. and M.E. Neal.

I looked Louis up on Ancestry. He apparently was married to a Henrietta M. E. George (so the tombstone was carved with the ‘&’ separating the wrong initials above). Joseph and Matthias were their only children. They all apparently are buried at Old Wye Church. Louis may have remarried, but I didn’t find evidence that he had any more children.

Tombstone Tuesday: St. James Cemetery

A couple of weeks ago, I drove a friend visiting from out of town to Tilghman Island. As we were passing through Sherwood, my friend spotted a cemetery. On our way back home, I pulled off the road so we could check it out — it was St. James Cemetery*. I was shocked at what we found.

The cemetery was completely overgrown, which isn’t too terribly shocking. The reason why it troubled me is that many of the graves we did find were really recent. We saw several graves from the 1990s to as recent as 2008. It was really sad to see them in such a state.

Grave from 1999

Grave from 1992

At first, I thought this cemetery was one that I’d been unable to find before, while fulfilling FindaGrave requests in the area last fall. Turns out this is a completely different cemetery. None of its graves are listed on FindaGrave yet. I hope to return when the weather is colder and the greenery has died back a bit. We briefly skirted around the perimeter of the cemetery on this excursion and got bitten by who knows what in the process.

We couldn't get back to these graves without walking through knee-high weeds to get there and we weren't dressed for the occasion this outing.

* I found the St. James Church on the Maryland Register of Historic Places (link opens PDF). I don’t recall seeing the church, but we weren’t looking for it either. There appeared to be a private residence bordering the cemetery, not a church. There were several tumbling-down shacks in the vicinity. I didn’t find anything else about the congregation on the web — maybe it’s no longer active. This could explain the sad state of the cemetery…

Tombstone Tuesday: Eatwell Hopkins (Not Really)

E. Atwell Hopkins, Stevensville Cemetery, Kent Island

I snapped this photo because of the jazzy way this gentleman’s name was carved onto the stone at an angle, but then I did a double take when I tried to read the name. No, it’s not “Eatwell Hopkins.” It’s “E. Atwell Hopkins.” Unfortunately, the person who cataloged this stone on FindaGrave made the same mistake I initially did. I sent them a correction.

Tombstone Tuesday: Graves with Personality

More shots from Stevensville Cemetery on Kent Island in Maryland. I’m all for tradition when it comes to graves, but these stones let their owner’s personalities shine through:

I can only assume that the above was a custom design. Obviously, the deceased was an avid fisherman. There’s another clue too — notice the bulldozer in the background. Just above that is a bit of familial graffiti.

Last year, I saw my first big rig on a grave. No surprise then that you can also have your camper engraved on tombstone:

The next memorial is quite different from your usual tombstone:

Here is the plaque at the base of the above figure:

Connor Persons died at the age of 12 according to his memorial on FindaGrave. This is confirmed by his obituary, which can be found at this link.