Tombstone Tuesday: Bozo the Skeleton Clown?

Here’s another photo I snapped at a cemetery in Boston over the summer. The skull on top seems to have hair reminiscent of Bozo the Clown (still more proof, to me, that clowns are evil):

The writing is hard to read in this photo, but the stone belongs to Mr. William Brown, who died in 1745.

Tombstone Tuesday: Skeletal Art

I’ve been chastised by one of my faithful readers for falling behind on Tombstone Tuesday posts and so I’m delving back into some photos I took over the summer at a cemetery in the heart of Boston’s North End. I’m including a photo below of a gem of a tombstone with some wonderfully creepy symbols at the top:

This tombstone features a skeleton apparently sitting on a skull, next to what appears to be an hourglass framed by wings (Time Flies?) and all of this bordered by crossbones. Oh, and there appears to be a scythe behind the seated skeleton.

All of this imagery adorns the gravestone of Mr. Edward Richards, who died in 1747/8 (and this notation seems to indicate the stone was made well after his death, post 1752, when the calendar changed).

The death information for Richards’ son is also on the stone, along with information about his wife.

Tombstone Tuesday: Arlington Abbey Revisited

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

About a year ago, I began a series of posts about a few of my ancestors who used to be buried at Arlington Abbey Mausoleum in Northern Virginia. The good news is that after learning that my ancestors’ remains were missing, I eventually was able to track down their whereabouts.

I was contacted by another family historian recently who came upon my posts and now she too has been able to figure out where her relatives are buried. I’m re-posting this series here in the hopes that others who may have had family buried there might find the information helpful.

Arlington Abbey, Part 1

Arlington Abbey, Part 2

Arlington Abbey, Part 3

Tombstone Tuesday: Corley (aka Arlington Abbey: Part 4)

I’m actually still struggling to get more documentation from Parklawn Memorial Park — they will not send me the interment documentation because of what they say are privacy concerns (even though I’m a direct descendant of all three buried there and the most recent of them died in 1930). I’m still trying — my most recent call to the cemetery resulted in a promise to send me a hand-written letter stating who was buried there, but that hasn’t materialized yet. I may visit the cemetery again and visit their offices in person to see if I can get further with them.

Tombstone Tuesday: 1685 Here Lieth Bvried

Another photo from my recent trip to Boston. This one taken in the Granary Burial Ground.

The tombstone reads:

1685

HERE LIETH BV

RIED THOMAS

PLATS AGED 47

YEARS DEPARTED

THIS LIFE

FEBRVARY THE 7TH

Check out how “the” is written in the last line. Here is the FindAGrave record for Plats.

Tombstone Tuesday: The BEER(S)

Came across these tombstones in Copp’s Hill Burying Ground in Boston’s North End and couldn’t resist:

I first happened upon this tombstone for William Beer:

Then, my alert pal Lisa noticed he was joined by his widow (maybe; see the middle tombstone in the background):

There’s an ‘s’ on the end of Ann’s last name, while William’s is Beer in the singular. Assuming the William married to Ann was the same whose tombstone is in the foreground, which spelling is correct?

Tombstone Tuesday: Haunted Eastern Shore Edition

This past weekend, I went on an 80-mile, 4-hour bus tour of various sites in Caroline County, Md., that are known for paranormal activity. One of the stops was the Denton cemetery, to visit the graves of Marshall Price and Annie Bell Carter.

Marshall Price was captured after the murder of 13-year-old Sallie Dean in Harmony, Md., in 1895. An angry mob dragged him from the Denton jail and lynched him after it appeared he may escape the death penalty on a technicality. He was 23. In the cemetery, all of the graves but a handful face north-south. His faces west “so that his back will be to his Maker,” explained Mindie Burgoyne of Haunted Eastern Shore, who led the tour. It is unknown who left the flowers by his grave. He had no children, but was survived by his wife and mother.

Tombstone of Marshall E. Price

It is said that all of the men directly involved with the lynching died horrible deaths (drowning, burning, struck by lightning, to name a few) and all within five years of killing Price. Sallie’s ghost is said to haunt her former home. Newspaper articles about the case are available online through the Maryland State Archives.

Annie Belle Carter, a young woman, died after she took ill at her home, falling from the second-story balcony of Willson’s Chance outside Denton. She was impaled on a tree stump, but it took days before she died from her injuries. The choice of a stump for her tombstone seems rather… morbid.

Annie Belle Carter's Grave

The phrase at the foot of her grave is especially poignant though: “How Many Hopes Lie Buried Here.” There have been stories about sightings of Annie’s ghost on the lawn of Willson’s Chance, a private home. Apparently she was the second young woman to die after a fall from that balcony — a teenager is rumored to have thrown herself from the balcony in protest of an arranged marriage.

The complete stories behind these individuals can be found in “Haunted Eastern Shore: Ghostly Tales from East of the Chesapeake,” by Mindie Burgoyne.

Tombstone Tuesday: Hambleton House Edition

I knew some of the Hambletons of the Hambleton House (now the Bartlett Pear Inn) are buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Easton, so I ventured over there last week to see who I could find. I happened upon the above tombstone for a Samuel Hambleton but when I got home and examined the photos I took more closely, I realized it wasn’t for the Purser Samuel Hambleton or the Col. Samuel Hambleton who bought the house or his son James’ son Samuel. It’s the grave of a fourth Samuel Hambleton!

This tombstone belongs to one of James’ brothers. The inscription reads:

“SAMUEL

Son of Samuel & Elizabeth Hambleton

Died January 24th, 1861

Aged 11 years.

I thank thee, O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent and hast revealed them unto babes.

Even so Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.”

The phrase above is from Luke 10:21 in the King James Bible.

I also found another tombstone for another of James’ brothers:

His inscription:

“ALEXANDER HAMBLETON

Born Dec’r 5, 1839
Died Nov’r 25, 1862

Jesus saith unto her Thy brother shall rise again. St. John XI:23″

Col. Samuel Hambleton, the father of James and the two sons above, also is buried in Spring Hill Cemetery, but in a different section. Entries for all three are available on FindAGrave. I hope to go back someday and find more of the former inhabitants of the Hambleton House.

Tombstone Tuesday: Stuck-in-Traffic Edition

One morning last week, I got stuck in a miles-long back up on Kent Island in Maryland on the way to the day-job. As traffic crept forward, my car came alongside a cemetery I’ve often wondered about but never explored. Well, finding myself stopped there, I dug my camera out of my bag and snapped a few shots. You wouldn’t necessarily know it but these are taken from the right lane of U.S. Route 50.

The cemetery is Stevensville Cemetery in Queen Anne’s County, Md. I’ve wanted to stop there because Kent Island boasts the first English settlement within the state (third oldest in the nation) and I thought there might be some really old graves there.

The listing of burials at the cemetery on FindAGrave.com doesn’t show anything spectacularly old, but there are a few graves whose dates are unknown. Maybe one day I’ll actually pull off the road and explore this cemetery on foot.

If you compare the shots, you can tell that I snapped a pic, drove a few feet, snapped a pic, drove a few more feet, snapped another pic. And it is for the people in the car behind me that it may have been beneficial to have an “It’s OK, I’m a genealogist” bumper sticker. Just in case they were wondering about the weird girl in the car in front of them taking photos of a graveyard.

Tombstone Tuesday (AIIP10 Edition): Erie Street Cemetery

I attended the 2010 Association of Independent Information Professionals conference in Cleveland, Ohio, this past weekend (read my recap here). The conference hotel was located directly across from two important Cleveland landmarks: Progressive Field (where we watched the Indians lose to the Twins) and Erie St. Cemetery.

One of the stones in the cemetery is for Joc-O-Sot or Walking Bear.

Next to his stone is that of Chief Thunderwater. Both earned names for themselves by participating in theater acts and Wild West shows.

Another stone that caught my attention was this one:

The dates are a bit hard to read due to the staining on the stone, but when you blow up the photo, here’s what you see:

SCHARLOTT

Father
Born July 11, 1835–Died Mar. 13, 1904 [age ~69]

[space]

Amelia
Born July 3, 1859–Died Mar. 13, 1903 [age ~44]

Dorothy
Born Nov. 28, 1860–Died Mar. 28, 1864 [age 3 1/2]

Margaret
Born July 26, 1866–Died Aug. 16, 1867 [age 13 mos]

Albert
Born Jan. 2, 1873–Died Aug. 16, 1873 [age 6 mos]

Albert H
Born Mar. 3, 1877–Died Feb. 3, 1880 [age ~3]

Carrie
Born May 15, 1879–Died Nov. 1, 188[3 or 9?] [age ~4 or ~10]

Harry
Born Aug. 15, 1885–Died Dec. 3, 1888 [age 3]

Edna
Born Mar. 3, 1887–Died Jan. 5, 1888 [age 10 mos]

Can you imagine? I had to know, were these the only Scharlott children or did more survive into adulthood and are perhaps buried somewhere else? I think I found the family in the 1880 census in Cleveland on Ancestry.com (under the name Scherlotk; click on the photo for a larger view):

(Ohio, Cuyahoga County, Cleveland, District 15, page 7, lines 40-49, 1880 U.S. Census, Ancestry.com)

You can see Amalia and Carry listed in the census — presumably they are the Amelia and Carrie listed on the stone. Their birthdates match.

It’s somewhat comforting to know that after all that loss, some of the Scharlott children survived. And now we know their parents’ full names as well. As to why the mother, Anna, isn’t included on the stone, one can guess that she survived her husband, remarried and is buried with the subsequent husband. That’s another question for another day.

Tombstone Tuesday: Corley

Dear Reader: Do you think you are related to the individuals listed in this post? Please drop me a note! I love hearing from cousins and others researching my family!

For those who followed my series on Arlington Abbey Mausoleum (see Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3), you may remember that when I read up on the mausoleum and its unfortunate history of vandalism and looting, I learned that the remains of several of my ancestors were missing. Shortly thereafter, my half-brother remembered an old copy of our father’s will in which he stated that he’d bought a a burial spot for relatives bearing his last name at another cemetery.

A phone call to Parklawn Memorial Park in Rockville, Md., confirmed that my paternal grandfather and his parents are indeed buried there, and I found out the exact location of where their remains can be found today. Saturday, I was in the area and paid a visit to the cemetery. When I arrived at the building described to me by the cemetery staff, my eyes lit upon my surname almost immediately.

Bingo. But, I must say, the genealogist in me was a bit disappointed. The name “Corley” is all that’s engraved into the marble face of their vault. I had hoped to see all three of their names listed. I harbored a twinge of jealousy after seeing the other vaults with more detailed information listed.

Because this genealogist is a bit unsatisfied, I do plan to call back the staff at the cemetery and see if I can get a copy of the burial record. After all this searching, I want more tangible proof that all of them really are in there.

Still, I was glad to get the chance to visit the cemetery and I’m also so thankful that this mystery is solved. Others whose ancestors were buried at Arlington Abbey are not so lucky. The remains found scattered there (or that are missing altogether) may never be sorted out.