Skip to main content


Showing posts from September, 2009

Barnard Hill Died While Presiding in Court

Barnard Hill
Born Mar 21, 1804
Died Sep 27, 1877
While presiding in court.

Photo © 2009 S. Lincecum

At the time of Judge Hill's death headlines in the local papers read, "A COURT OF DEATH;" "Died in the Harness;" and "Death of Judge Hill at Knoxville." The following is one such news article:

29 September 1877, Columbus Ledger-Enquirer


-- A special to the Telegraph-Messenger dated Fort Valley, 27th, and signed by T. J. Simmons, W. S. Wallace and A. S. Miller, says 'Judge Barnard Hill died in the court room at Knoxville, at half-past six o'clock this afternoon, of apoplexy.' He was quite an old man and was appointed to the bench of the Superior Court by Gov. Smith. He formerly resided in Talbotton, and has, until appointed Judge, been a frequent attendant on the courts in Columbus. He was specially noted as a superior equity lawyer. His health has been delicate for a long period. The remains will be buried in Talbotton,…

He was Endowed with Great Mental Powers (Tombstone Tuesday)

Rev. Jackson Park Turner
Of the Ga. Con. M. E. Ch. Sth.
Born Apr 9, 1823
Born Again Mar 18, 1841
Licensed Dec 18, 1841
Admitted to the Ga. Conf. 1842
Died July 24, 1854
He was endowed with great
mental powers which were
consecrated for 12 yrs to the
Gospel of Christ:  when he
closed a short career.

Photo © 2009 S. Lincecum
Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Talbot County, Georgia

Noble Woman of Talbotton Passes Away After a Useful Life

Ann Dillworth
Wife of Col. Jno. N. Birch
Born in Petersburg, VA
Feb 21, 1802
Died Aug 28, 1897

Photo © 2009 S. Lincecum

Mrs. Birch was laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia. Here is a death notice from the 31 August 1897 Columbus Daily Enquirer:


Noble Woman of Talbotton Passes Away After a Useful Life.

Talbotton, Ga., Aug. 30 -- Mrs. Ann D. Birch, aged 96, died at the residence of her grandson, Dr. J. B. Douglass, this morning.

She was a devout Christian and member of the Methodist church more than eighty years, having been a resident of Talbotton seventy years. She was the grandmother of Dr. J. B. Douglass, Of Talbotton; W. B. Hill, of Macon; Herbert Hill, of Monticello; Mrs. James Bishop, of Eastman; Thomas and Robert A. Matthews, of Thomaston, and W. C. Douglass, of Raleigh, N.C. The burial will take place here tomorrow at Oak Hill cemetery."

Also resting in Oak Hill Cemetery is Ann's husband. He actually has two tombston…

Smith Family Cemetery Photos

My grandparents asked me recently if I had been to the cemetery on the corner of Bass and Houston Lake Roads in Warner Robins. Since that area has not long since been cleared out to make room for a pretty church and expanding roadways, I figured I'd better go take a look. What I found was the Smith Family Cemetery. I knew of the cemetery and knew it was in the area, but had never been. That's because "in the area" at the time I learned of it meant somewhere in the woods on property not belonging to me.

There are four posts that might have at one time connected a chain-link fence.  Only two tombstones were visible to me, but there are small bouquets of flowers and bricks marking likely 5 other burials.  Another photo:

The first stone I recorded was a military tombstone.  Transcription:

Alvin T. Smith
157 Depot Brigade
World War I
September 7, 1894
April 19, 1958

Here are couple more photos of Alvin's stone:

The second stone was for a young William E. …

Mashed Between the Cars

In Memory of
Albert B. Wallace
Born Feb 11, 1860
Died Jan 25, 1889
A brother has gone from our circle
On earth we shall meet him no more
He has gone to his home in Heaven
And all his afflictions are o'er.

Photo © 2009 S. Lincecum; from Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Georgia.

I believe I found what caused Albert to be taken at such a young age...

27 January 1889
Columbus Daily Enquirer, Georgia

Albert Wallace, a White Brakeman, Meets a Terrible Death in Troy.
A terrible accident occurred at the Troy Central road depot on Thursday afternoon.  Albert Wallace, better known as Bud Wallace, a white brakeman, while coupling cars, was caught between a flat and the engine and terribly mashed about the stomach and chest.  The engineer noticing the fearful predicament Wallace was in, at once moved the engine slightly forward.  The injured man scrambled to a seat and fell into is.  Dr. Brown was in prompt attendance, but he at once saw that the unfortunate brakeman&#…

James Dismuke & the Hourglass

James Z. Dismuke
Born Oct 17th, 1800
and Died March 23rd, 1861

"The pains of life are past,
Labor and sorrows cease;
And life's long warfare closed at last,
His soul is found in peace."

"The memory of the just is blessed."

For forty years He was a devoted and useful Member of the Methodist church;
And the virtues of his character as A humble and faithful Christian,
Shone through all his Relations in life.

Mr. Dismuke had inscriptions on all four sides of his gravestone, as transcribed above.  He was laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia.

Also found on the Dismuke gravestone was the image of an hourglass with wings.  Douglas Keister, when  referring to this mortality symbol, states the following:  "The symbolism is clear: time is passing rapidly, and every day, one comes closer to the hour of their death.  A bolder interpretation of the hourglass suggests that since it can be inverted over and over again, it symbolizes the cyclic nature of …

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori

This large monument was found in Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia.  Here is the inscription:

Dulce Et Decorum Est Pro Patria Mori
Erected by the Confederate Guards in Memory of their Captain
Thomas S. Moyer
who fell in battle on the plains of Manassas.

The first line comes from Book 3 of the Odes, a collection in four books of Latin lyric poems by Quintus Horatius Flaccus (aka Horace) published in 23 B.C.  It can be translated into English a few ways:

- "It is sweet and fitting to die for one's country;"
- "It is noble and glorious to die for your fatherland;" and
- "It is beautiful and honorable to die for your fatherland."

Thomas S. Moyer, born about 1841, was the son of Enos (or Enoch) and Anna Moyer.  He joined Company D, 7th GA Infantry Regiment (Cobb Confederate Guards) as Captain 4 May 1861.  This company was assigned to Col. Francis Bartow's Brigade in Gen. Joseph E. Johnston's Army of the Shenandoah.  In July 1861, this army ma…

We Interrupt this Blog for a Tired Old Song that Apparently Still Needs to be Repeated

Please give credit where credit is due. If you find a cemetery or tombstone photo on the internet, and you would like to add it to FindAGrave, please ask that person to donate the photo or get permission to post it yourself. That photo is not yours for the taking. What makes you think you are entitled to it? You have no idea what I had to clear from my path, wade through, or what bugs I had to get bitten by in order to obtain that photo.

I have recently found several of my photos on FindAGrave that I did not post there, nor did I give my permission to the person who did the posting. They were not all posted by the same person, so that means there are several individuals out there that think stealing is OK.

Why did you think the theft was necessary? If you found the photo all by your lonesome through linking or search engines, then chances are others could have found it, too. As much as I love FindAGrave, it is NOT the only place on the internet to find tombstone photos. Not ever…

Mama & Papa's Darling Jesse (Wordless Wednesday)

Tombstone Tuesday: Lizzie Brown's Own Words

Lizzie J.
Wife of W. S. Brown
Born Apr 6, 1845
Died June 17, 1892
She hath done what she could.
"Asleep in Jesus."
Her own words:
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me."

Photo © 2009 S. Lincecum
Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Talbot County, Georgia

The Urn as Funerary Art

Funerary art is, according to Wikipedia, "any work of art forming or placed in a repository for the remains of the dead...  an aesthetic attempt to capture or express the beliefs or emotions about the afterlife."

The urn is probably second only to the cross as the most common example of 19th century funerary art seen in the cemetery today.  That is a little surprising, actually, given that these cemeteries contain burials, not cremations.

For centuries before Christ, cremation was the most common form of disposing of dead bodies in Europe and the Near East.  It was dominant in Greece in 800 B.C. and in Rome by 600 B.C.  Early Christians considered cremation to be pagan, however, and by 400 A.D. earth burial had completely replaced it.  Modern cremation did not come about until the 1870's.

Many cemetery symbolism lists state the urn represents death, sorrow, and mourning.  Fewer suggest it symbolizes immortality.  This might stem from the ancient Egyptian belief that life …

For the Touch of a Vanished Hand

In memory of our only darling
Thomas Hill
Son of W. S. & Lizzie J. Brown
Born March 25, 1867
Died Dec 17, 1883
Aged 16 Years, 8 Months, & 22 days.
Oh! for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still.

The last lines of the inscription on young Thomas Brown's gravestone are from the poem "Break, Break, Break" by Alfred Lord Tennyson:

Break, break, break
On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter
The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,
That he shouts for his sister at play!
O well for the sailor lad,
that he sings in his boat on the bay!

And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea!
But the tender grace of a day that is dead
Will never come back to me.

Written after the death of a close friend, these lines by Tennyson evoke feelings of loss, melan…

Saturday Soldier - Lieut. Edward Waterman

Edward Waterman
12th Ga Regt
Killed at Petersburg, Va
April 2, 1865
Aged 23

Edward was born about 1842, the son of Joseph and Caroline Waterman.  For a brief essay about his Confederate service, you may visit his memorial on FindAGrave.  Edward was laid to rest in Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia.  His mother rests on one side of him, and his brother John Thomas rests on the other.

Today's Epitaph: The Good Die First

Today's epitaph comes from Mary Philpot's pedestal tombstone in Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Georgia.  Here's the entire inscription:

In Memory of
Mary A. Philpot
Died Nov 13, 1893
Aged 50 Years
"The good die first,
and they whose hearts
are dry as summer dust
burn to the socket."

I never cared for English Literature when I was in school, so I had to look this one up.  Mary's epitaph is a quote from William Wordsworth's The Excursion, first published in 1814.

The Shade of the Trees

In Memory of
Daughter of W. H. & J. D. Philpot
Born Nov 27, 1857
Died Feb 12, 1882
We loved thee, my
daughter, and miss thy
sweet face and kind loving
words.  But thou hast gone
to meet thy angel mother
and rest under "The shade
of the trees."

The tombstone pictured and transcribed above can be found in Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Georgia.  The epitaph is very loving.  One thing that stood out to me was the quoted phrase, "The shade of the trees." I was curious about it and performed a search on the phrase.  I have a hunch it is from a portion of the last words of Stonewall Jackson:  "Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." It fits the time frame of Iola's life well.

Here is a poem I found in an 1867 book, The Southern Poems of the War by Emily Virginia Mason.  The only reference to an author is above the poem:  "By James." Any of the lines from this poem would be a befitting epitaph.

"Over the river,&quo…

New Resource Online: New York Mortality Schedules, 1850–80

New York is not a southern state, I know, but a recent new posting by Ancestry is worth noting.

From website:
"About U.S. Census Mortality Schedules, New York, 1850-1880
Part of the U.S. Federal Censuses from 1850-1880 included a mortality schedule enumerating the individuals who had died in the previous year. Because each of the censuses from 1850-1880 began on June 1, “previous year” refers to the 12 months preceding June 1, or June 1 (of the previous year) to May 31 (of the census year).

This database contains an index to individuals enumerated in these mortality schedules in New York. Not all information that is recorded on the actual census is included in the index. Therefore, it is important that you view the image on which your ancestor is recorded to obtain all possible information about him/her."

Learning Center Article - Spotlight on New York Mortality Schedules, 1850-80

Some other states' mortality schedules at Ancestry are Arkansas (1860 & 1880), Florida …

John Waterman: Georgia Journalist, Sweet Potato Enthusiast, & Strong Prohibitionist

Sometimes a wander through the graveyard is just that - a wander.  Not a thorough research trip, as I would always like to have the time to conduct.  Such was the case when I visited Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia almost a year ago.  Consequently, this is the only photo I have of the rough-cut granite headstone for Mr. John Thomas Waterman.  It is from a farther away shot I cropped down.  To even further complicate things, I never really studied the entire gravesite of Mr. Waterman.

What's the big deal, you ask? After a bit of research, Mr. John Thomas Waterman has become one of those "people I wish I knew." Sometimes this happens when I begin researching an individual represented only to me by a stone in a cemetery.  What I learn leads me to think they were charming or funny or otherwise interesting in some way, and I wish I could've known them "in their time." Mr. Waterman is an example.

The basics of John Thomas Waterman are this:  he was born i…

Three Pretty Mathews All In a Row

Mrs. M. A. M. MacClellan Born Sept 25, 1848 Died June 1, 1885
Mrs. L. C. Mathews Born May 16, 1826 Died Feb 28, 1885 Hope looks beyond the bounds of time, When what we now deplore, Shall rise in full immortal prime, And bloom to fade no more.
Jennie V. Mathews Born March 10, 1857 Died Jan 8, 1881 Rest thee Jennie where the shadows wave O'er thy early unexpected grave; Weeping loved ones have not long to wait, [_?_] they meet thee at the pearly gate.
The tombstones pictured above are found in Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Georgia.  The first, Mrs. Molly A. Mathews MacClellan, was daughter of Josiah M. and Lavenia C. Mathews.  The second is Lavenia C., wife of Josiah M. Mathews.  The third is Jennie V., another daughter of Josiah and Lavenia.

An obituary for Jennie follows.

Butler Herald (Georgia)
18 January 1881 - pg. 3 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]
At the residence of her parents, in Talbotton, on Saturday last Miss Jennie Mathews, after a protracted illness.  She was a most accomplished y…

Leonora's Rose (Wordless Wednesday)

Though Death Intrudes Between (Tombstone Tuesday)

The photo above was taken at Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia. The four headstones prominent all belong to members of the RICHARDS family. From left to right - Mary Howard Richards (1883-1884), J. Howard Richards (1839-1895), Mary L. Richards, and William Clinton Richards (1878-1899). It is possible Mary Howard and William were children of J. and Mary L.

The stone for Mary L. Richards is the tallest and most detailed of the four. At the top is an open book. Some say this represents the human heart, opening its feelings to the world and God. I've always felt it to represent the Book of Life, the place where Christians believe their name is written when they receive Jesus as their Savior.

A nice sentiment is written to Mary on her stone as well. Here is the full inscription:

Thy Will Be Done
Mary L.
Wife of John H. Richards
July 23, 1846
Aug 8, 1905
Mother, you are not dead to us,
But as a bright star unseen,
We hold that you are ever near,
Though death intrudes between.

Augustus Pou Persons

Augustus Pou Persons
Oct 29, 1858
July 24, 1927

Oak Hill Cemetery
Talbotton, Talbot County, Georgia
A. P. Persons was born in Talbotton, Georgia to Henry and Emily Pou Persons, and he was the grandson of Thomas H. Persons of Virginia. Augustus' father and grandfather were both merchants in Talbotton. Augustus followed in their footsteps and also followed his father when he attended the University of Georgia, became a lawyer, and entered public service.

In addition to being a lawyer and a partner in the Persons Bros. general merchandise firm, Augustus was editor of the Talbotton News Era, 1888-1889. A. P. Persons was also twice mayor of Talbotton.

In 1904, Augustus married Miss Jennie Beall McCoy. The union was covered in the 24 September 1904 Atlanta Constitution, Georgia:

"McCoy - Persons
Talbotton, Ga., September 23 -- (Special) -- Announcement is made of the approaching marriage of Miss Jennie Beall McCoy, of Talbot county, to Hon. Augustus Pou Persons, the wedding to occur Wed…

Justice was His Cardinal Trait

Today's epitaph was found on the marble ledger stone made for Henry C. Green, located in Oak Hill Cemetery; Talbotton, Georgia. At the head of his ledger marker was a military stone that included an engraving of a "Southern Cross." Here is the complete inscriptions from both gravestones:

Henry C. Greene
Co I
46 GA Inf

Sacred to the Memory of
Henry C. Greene
Born in Talbot Co, GA
June 18, 1844
Died in Talbot Co, GA
Nov 24, 1901

Justice was his cardinal trait, but at all times,
The kindness and generosity of his soul shone forth,
He was in truth one of God's noblemen.

Freeman Family Obelisks

The obelisk, a form of Egyptian architecture that is said to represent a ray of sunlight, is fairly common in the southern cemeteries I have visited. What I don't see very often, though, is the double obelisk. I found an example of this in Oak Hill Cemetery, located in Talbotton, Talbot County, Georgia. This is a single stone, but there are two obelisks attached -- one for Mr. Freeman and one for Mrs. Freeman. Looking closely, you can see where both of these sculptures have been repaired. I don't know if this was due to vandalism or nature.


T. A. Freeman
Born July 26, 1851
Died July 2, 1906
There is a bright region above,
We long to reach its shore,
To join with the dear ones we love,
"Not lost, but gone before."

Martha I. Freeman
Apr 24, 1846
Dec 22, 1923
Nearby rests the little daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Freeman, Mattie Belle. She was but 2 Yrs. 2 Mos. 20 Days. Inscribed on the back of her stone is this: …

Chief Justice Robert Henry Jordan

Just inside the entrance to Oak Hill Cemetery in Talbotton, Georgia is what looks to be an above ground vault for the Jordan family. While I think it was designed as such, it's likely a false crypt. This large, beautiful memorial is made of marble and contains the following inscriptions:
Robert Henry Jordan, Jr.
May 14, 1948
Oct 22, 1966
Chief Justice
Robert Henry Jordan
Feb 6, 1916
Oct 23, 1992
Court of Appeals of GA 1960-71
Supreme Court of GA 1971-82
Jean Ingram Jordan
Nov 5, 1923
June 10, 2005
Robert Jordan, Sr. also served in the GA State Senate from 1953-54 and 1959-60. He was born in Talbot County, Georgia and attended the University of Georgia. He served in the US Army 1941-45 and was the author of There Was a Land, a history of Talbot County, Georgia.

The Georgia General Assembly, in House Resolution 25, stated Robert Henry Jordan served his country with honor, was an outstanding legal scholar, and was an exemplary public ser…

In Case You Missed It - August 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Charles Neisler

Here is a common ledger marker that was decorated, or sculpted, more than I usually see. It struck me as very pretty.

Charles Hugh Neisler
Jan 30, 1876
May 18, 1936
"Earth changes, but thy soul and God stands sure."

Hillcrest Cemetery (aka Reynolds City Cemetery)
Taylor County, Georgia

The hand of the Lord came upon me and brought me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley; and it was full of bones. Then He caused me to pass by them all around, and behold, there were very many in the open valley; and indeed they were very dry. And He said to me, "Son of man, can these bones live?"

So I answered, "O Lord God, You know."

Again He said to me, "Prophesy to these bones, and say to them, 'O dry bones, hear the word of the Lord!' Thus says the Lord God to these bones: 'Surely I will cause breath to enter into you, and you shall live...'" (Ezekiel 37:1-5, NKJV)