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: William DOWNE, Esq.

Still working through the photos I took in Boston last summer:

Here lies Interred
the Body of
William Downe, Esq.r
Age 40 Years
who departed this Life
May 6, 1759

This grave can be found in the Granary Burial Ground in the heart of Boston. Here is the FindaGrave record for William.

Tombstone Tuesday: Ernest HAWLEY Sr. and Cornelia YOUNG (Friends Album)

I previously posted an obituary for Ernest Hawley Sr. He was married to Cornelia Young, daughter of one of the subjects of the Friend’s Album, Frederick A. Young.

I had looked up Ernest on FindaGrave previously, when I was investigating him. No pictures of his tombstone were available, so I requested one. On Sunday, a kind volunteer ventured out to take a photo for me at Land’s End Cemetery (on Hawleyville Road!) in Newtown, Fairfield County, Connecticut.

One interesting date discrepancy — this tombstone says that he died on February 20. His obituary, however, ran on February 19 and indicated that he had died the day before (February 18).

As you can see, the same marker also contains information for Cornelia. She lived until 1975, so perhaps this stone wasn’t carved until that time. Whoever ordered the stone probably wasn’t around in 1905 when Ernest died. I’m guessing they had the wrong information regarding the date of his death.

As I reported a few days ago, I’m still trying to find more information on their son, Ernest G. Hawley.

Tombstone Tuesday: Elizur Holyoke

Back to Boston for this week’s Tombstone Tuesday post:

Here is interr’d
the body of Elizur
Holyoke, who
Died (ey) 11th day
of August 1711
Aged about 60
years.

The above photo was taken in Granary Burial Ground. You can view the FindaGrave record here.

I like the elaborate carvings — there’s a winged death’s head at the top, an urn flanked by two angels, many flowers and vines.