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Myrtle's Lamp (A Symbolic Tombstone Tuesday)

The lamp is a symbol of wisdom, faithfulness, holiness, and piety. It lights a way through darkness to a brighter world. And in chapter 22 of the Bible's book of 2nd Samuel, a lamp is a symbol for God -

29For thou art my lamp, O LORD: and the LORD will lighten my darkness.

This particular lamp image in granite belongs to Myrtle Snell Watkins (1910-1974) at Snellville Historical Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia.


Tombstone Genealogy Tuesday: More About the Snell Family

A few weeks ago, I posted about some great genealogy information found in the family plot for E. R. Snell and Charity Snell Holmes at the Snellville Historical Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia. In the same cemetery is the family plot for their son Gladstone, and information is plentiful there, too. Here it is. I like how the children were listed -- the sons on the father's ledger marker, and the daughters on the mother's.


Gladstone Frederick
[June 3, 1877 - July 1, 1938]

Son of E. R. Snell
& Charity Snell

Their Sons:
Joseph Thomas Sr.
Edwin Richard Sr.
Cyril Gladstone
Cecil
Hugh Frederick Sr.Permelia Clementine (Clemmie)
[Aug 27, 1880 - Apr 27, 1964]

Daughter of Thomas Pinckney Cofer
& Francis V. Lanford

Their Daughters:
Naomi (Omie) Biggers
Margie Irene
Gladys Johnston
Myrtle Watkins
Lucile Williams
Bessie Briscoe
Bobbie Buchanan
Also resting the same plot is Cyril G. Snell (1920-1987), Myrtle Snell Watkins (1910-1974), and Naomi Snell Biggers (1901-1980).

Honoring a Little Boy's Dream

[This was originally posted as yesterday's Tombstone Tuesday post at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog. I thought my dear readers here at Southern Graves might enjoy it as well. If you follow both blogs (thank-you!), I apologize for duplicates.]

When John Ross Juhan was a little boy, his dream was to one day become a fireman. He even attached himself as a mascot to Defiance Fire Company No. 5. Unfortunately, young John never got the chance to obtain his dream. His short life ended on 26 July 1875 at the age of just 8 years. The headstone placed for John Juhan was sculpted by J. Artope of Macon and depicts a fireman's hat, belt, and coat.


John was the son of W. A. (1827-1893) and Elizabeth Jane (1837-1901) Juhan. The family rests in the Eglantine Square section of Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.

This stone is a community favorite and is often pointed out on Rose Hill Rambles.

Photos © 2011 S. Lincecum.

Draped Obelisks of the Brownlee Family (Tombstone Tuesday)

The obelisk has its roots in Egyptian architecture and culture, representing a ray of sunlight. The drapery provides the added sentiment of mourning, the death shroud, or the thin veil between Heaven and earth. Warren F. Brownlee (1867-1913, far right in photo) is memorialized as a kind and affectionate brother, and a friend to all. No mention of being a husband or father. Census records show him being occupied as a salesman often, from insurance to furniture. The 19 January 1913 Atlanta Constitution (Georgia) shares notice of his death:
Warren F. Brownlee.
The body of Warren F. Brownlee aged 45, of the Campbell-Brownlee Furniture company, who died Friday at his home near Poplar Springs, will be taken this morning to Snellville, Ga., for interment. A special coach has been arranged to carry the Masonic and Odd Fellow escort which will attend the funeral services.This Brownlee family plot is in Snellville Historical Cemetery at Gwinnett County, GA. Resting next to Warren is his f…

A Confederate Soldier with a Recessed Shield? (Or, the Tombstone of James M. Wiley.)

In a cemetery, it's usually easy to tell with a glance which side a soldier served during the Civil War. Union soldiers have a recessed shield with raised lettering, and Confederate soldiers have a Southern Cross of Honor etched above their names. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs states it this way:
"There are specific styles of upright marble headstones to mark the graves of Civil War Union soldiers and Spanish-American War dead. These historical styles...are inscribed in raised lettering inside a recessed shield...The inscription on the recessed-shield headstone is limited. For Civil War Union and Spanish American War, a shield is inscribed which encompasses the arched name and abbreviated military organization. Because of the special design and historical uniform significance, no emblem of belief or additional inscription may be inscribed. The dates of birth and death are inscribed below the shield.""A special style is also available to mark the graves of…

Robert W. Cofer: Wounded in Action

The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
12 November 1924
"Funeral Notices
COFER -- Robert Wilson Cofer died November 11th at Oteen, N.C. His friends and family are invited to attend services at Snellville Baptist church Thursday, November 13th, at 2:30 p.m. He is survived by three sisters and four brothers, Mrs. E. M. Buchanan, Atlanta; Mrs. G. F. Snell, Snellville, Ga.; Mrs. C. A. Comer, Logansville, Ga.; Mr. J. M. Cofer, Cordele, Ga.; Messrs. G. W., J. J. and W. S. Cofer, of Atlanta. Services in charge of Grayson Lodge, F. & A. M., No. 532."

*Note: Next day's repeated notice states "interment will be in the churchyard."

Tombstone Genealogy Tuesday: Edwin & Charity Snell

Charity (1850-1923) and Edwin R. Snell (1844-1888) rest in Snellville Historical Cemetery at Gwinnett County, Georgia. Behind their tombstones is a nice ledger marker with some family genealogy inscribed thereon:
Edwin And Charity
Married May 19, 1873
Moved From London, England
To Snellville With Their
Family In 1886
---------------
Charity Is The Sister Of
Snellville Founder -- Tom Snell
--------------------------------
Edwin -- Son Of
Frederick William Snell
Mary Jane Cock

Charity -- Daughter Of
Joseph Brokenshire Snell
Ann Beswarrick
---------------
Children of E. R. And Charity
Catherine (Queenie) Criswell
Gladstone F. Snell
Maude Snell Williford
F. Cyril Snell Sr.
Joseph Frank Snell
Johnny Snell (Stillborn)After the death of Edwin, Charity married Samuel D. Holmes (d. 1908). He was buried on the other side of Charity in the same plot at Snellville Historical Cemetery. Following is an obituary for Charity from the 16 October 1923 edition, The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia):

&quo…

Mrs. Parthenia Williams Pate and Mrs. Lillie Pate Campbell

A Pate family plot at Snellville Historical Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia consists of Thomas A. Pate (7 November 1855 - 30 January 1933), Parthenia Williams Pate (1 October 1861 - 22 May 1924), Lillie Pate Campbell (7 November 1888 - 29 October 1920), and W. M. Pate (2 April 1888 - 30 September 1919). Here are a couple of obituaries pertaining to the Pate women -- both viewed online via the Ancestry Historical Newspaper Collections:

The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
23 May 1924
MRS. T. C. [sic] PATE DIES
Wife of Former Congressman Succumbs

Lawrenceville, Ga., May 22 -- (Special) -- Mrs. Thomas A. Pate [Parthenia Williams Pate], 61, of Snellville, wife of former Representative Thomas A. Pate, of Gwinnett county, one of the most prominent women of this section, died at her home today.

Mrs. Pate was a member of the Methodist church at Snellville.

She is survived by her husband, Thoma[s] Pate; three sons, E. A. Pate, of Snellville; two daughters, Mrs. Rex Lavender, of Columbus, and…

Turkeys and Tombstones

I hope each and every one of you are having a wonderful Thanksgiving, and please know that I am forever thankful for you -- the readers of this blog.

The following was originally written in 2008, and posted again last year. Oddly enough, neither time was for Thanksgiving...


Once again, the work of a fellow Graveyard Rabbit provides inspiration for a post to this blog. Mr. Morgan at the Central Florida Graveyard Rabbit composed Graveyard Wildlife, an article about an active bald eagle nest in a downtown Orlando cemetery. This reminded me of a visit I made this past summer to Beech Springs Methodist Church Cemetery in Twiggs County, Georgia that had several young wild turkeys running through it. They were hanging around the church sign when I pulled up. I thought they would surely run from me, but they didn't. I took a couple photos before I even stepped out of the car.


I even attempted to capture them on video:


If my memory had served me better a month ago, this would have bee…

Williamson Johnson + Katie Lou Fields = 13 Children

When I found Williamson Johnson in the 1910 Gwinnett County, Georgia Federal census with his wife Katie Lou, I noticed the entry states Katie had 13 children. All of the children were listed as living, too, which is such a rarity. Though only five were listed in the household at that time, I decided to try and find all the children using only census records.

Lucky for me, Williamson and Katie Lou lived in the same county from 1880 through 1920. Williamson was always easy to spot, with a few variations for Katie. Sometimes it was just spelling, and once she was listed as Callie. In 1880, they were found as William and Catherine. Anyway, here is a pieced together list of the 13 children of Williamson and Katie Lou Johnson:
Effie [totally guessing at name, but definitely a daughter] (b. abt 1871) *1880
James B. (b. abt 1873) *1880
Stephen (b. abt 1874) *1880
Benjamin / Ben (b. abt 1876-1878) *1920 & 1880
Asberry (b. 1878) *1900 & 1880
Roman W. (b. 1879-1880) *1900 & 1880
Charl…

There Will Never Be Another You (Tombstone Tuesday)

God Bless Our Love Forever
Married March 26, 1946

Foster L. Gomez, Jr.
Feb 27, 1925
Mar 13, 2003
AEC USN Ret.
World War II

Lyla O. Gomez
July 17, 1926
July 12, 1997
Sweetie Pie

There Will Never Be Another You


Arthur Eats Dinner, and Then Kills Self

The Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia)
Wednesday, 22 July 1914:
"FARMER EATS DINNER AND THEN KILLS SELF
Lawrenceville, Ga., July 21 -- (Special) -- Arthur Biffle, aged 35, who lived near Snellville, shot himself with a single barrel shotgun Monday afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Biffle was despondent over his ill health, having suffered for years, and had stated that he would not live out the year 1914. He lived by himself and was a painter. After he had eaten his dinner at noon he sat down by a tree and pulled the trigger of the shotgun with a wire. The load of No. 6 shot tore out his right lung. A justice of the peace held an inquest and the verdict was suicide."

Arthur was one of ten children born to G. and Mary C. Biffle.  He rests in Snellville Historical Cemetery at Gwinnett County, Georgia.

From England to Georgia: a Short Sketch of Snellville's James Sawyer

James Sawyer was born in England 30 January 1857. He immigrated to the United States around age 17 and settled in Snellville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. For the 1880 census, James was a merchant boarding with Joseph T. Snell (also a merchant). James became a naturalized citizen of the United States about 1884. Around that same time he married Emma A., whose full name (according to online family trees) was Emma Alice Webb. The 1890 property tax digest and the 1900, 1910, and 1920 census records show Emma and James stayed in Snellville and raised six children. James was consistently a retail merchant, his wares being specifically dry goods and groceries in 1920. Emma, born 6 September 1866, died in Gwinnett County 21 June 1929. James lived almost another nineteen years and passed away 1 May 1948.

Emma and James' gravesite is a wonderful, "homemade looking" rock vault in Snellville Historical Cemetery. It is adorned with light colored rocks that spell out the SAWYER …

J is for Jamar (Tombstone Tuesday)

Greater Love Hath No Man than James Christopher Magill

According to his FindAGrave memorial created by Sally Jones, "Officer Chris Magill was killed when he was struck by a drunk driver. The accident occurred while he was waiting in his cruiser for a tow truck to tow the car of a previous drunk driver. End of Watch: Sunday, May 23, 1993. Officer Magill had served with the Gwinnett County Police Department for 10 years." Losing his life in the line of duty was alluded to in the epitaph on the back of his tombstone:


The last few lines of James' epitaph is from the Bible, John 15:13. Mr. Magill rests at Snellville Historical Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

As They Fold the Flag and Fire the Shots

Among The Rest, They Gave Their Best.
As They Lower Me Into My Grave, Let Not A Tear Be Shed.
I Fought To Keep My Country Free, And Now My Lord I'm Going
To See, For Just My Body's Dead.
As They Fold The Flag And Fire The Shots, Let No Emotion Show.
Stand Firm And Brave Beside The Grave, And Listen As The
Bugles Blow.
Weep Not For Me As You Walk Away, Turn Not For One
Last Look.
As The Haunting Strain Of "Taps" Remain,
Press A Kiss Upon Your Holy Book.
The Spades Will Softly Turn The Soil, As I Wing Away With God.
The Diggers Will Refill The Pit, 'Til Signs Of Death Retract From
It, And Replace The Torn Sod.
As Years Go By, And Moments Fade, My Stone Shall Stand Erect.
Among The Rest, Who Gave Their Best, Our Freedom To Protect.

Snellville Historical Cemetery; Gwinnett County, Georgia

Mrs. Elfinesh Teklegiorgis: Church Founder

East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

Mother Mary (Wordless Wednesday)

Resting in Nature's Fold (Tombstone Tuesday)

Celestial Granite: Symbolism of the Sun, Moon, & Stars

Jessica's gravestone has a wonderful celestial theme -- a star-shaped central granite piece with planters on either side bearing images of the sun and moon. The star may represent divine guidance. According to Douglas Keister's Stories in Stone, the sun and moon together in the cemetery are likely modern symbols relating to the cosmos in general. In the case of Jessica's stone, they appear to me to depict birth and death -- day and night -- light and dark. The Chinese use the combination of sun, moon, and stars to symbolize spiritual wisdom.

(East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum.)

A Little Angel Named Michael

"Now concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection ---. Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, --- are taken home to that God who gave them life. And --- the spirits of those who are righteous are received into a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where they shall rest from all their troubles and from all care and sorrow. --- thus they remain in this state until the time of their resurrection." Alma 40:11-14


Little Angels
When God calls the little children to dwell with Him above,
We mortals sometime question the wisdom of His love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child
Who does so much to make our world seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold,
So He picks a rosebud before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them, and so He takes but few,
To make the…

Suicide by Pistol Shot

George Wiley Hopkins, a Confederate veteran of Company E, 7th Georgia Volunteers, was born 25 November 1839 to George Hopkins and Elizabeth Turner. According to his death certificate, George committed "suicide (pistol shot)" just over 80 years later on 31 December 1919. When I read this, I was a little surprised at the feeling of sadness that came over me. It was a bit stronger than basic human compassion. I wonder what caused George to take such a drastic measure. Given his age, was he terminally ill? I don't know the details, but I sure am curious.

Louisa (1839-1931), George's wife, lived without him for about a dozen years. They rest side by side in Shadowlawn Cemetery at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Rev. J. B. Broughton, Colored, Dies

"Rev. J. B. Broughton, Colored, Dies May 16
Rev. J. B. Broughton, colored, known to his friends as "preacher," died Saturday, May 16, after months of suffering. He had almost rounded out his three score years and ten -- years of faithful service to his people and the community in which he lived.

Surviving him are his step-father, wife, two sons, a daughter, and numerous grandchildren. The funeral services were held Tuesday, May 19, at Broughton's tabernacle, in Lawrenceville, his old home, the church built through his efforts twenty-one years ago. The services were conducted by Rev. Harrison Vincent, moderator of the Northwestern Baptist Association, with interment in the Lawrenceville cemetery." [Marietta Journal (Georgia), 21 May 1931]

David Lost a Finger (Tombstone Tuesday)

David Hamilton was born in Georgia 22 April 1832. On 18 January 1855, he married his wife Mildred V. (1839-1907). They both rest in Shadowlawn Cemetery at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

In May of 1862, David enlisted as a Private with Company I of the 16th Georgia Regiment. On 19 October 1864 in Virginia, likely during the Battle of Cedar Creek, David was wounded and as a result lost a finger. He received a pension for his service and loss: $5.00 a year.


The American Battlefield Protection Program describes the Battle of Cedar Creek, VA (also known as Belle Grove): "At dawn, October 19, 1864, the Confederate Army of the Valley under Lt. Gen. Jubal A. Early surprised the Federal army at Cedar Creek and routed the VIII and XIX Army Corps. Commander Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan arrived from Winchester to rally his troops, and, in the afternoon, launched a crushing counterattack, which recovered the battlefield. Sheridan’s victory at Cedar Creek broke the back of the Co…

George's Many Mansions (Tombstone Tuesday)

Saturday Soldier: Capt. William Jasper Born

William Jasper Born was a member of Company D, 9th GA Battalion Light Artillery (aka "Born's Artillery"). He was a son of John and Lucinda Born.

Barbara Bates was actually William's second wife. He married once before the war, then married Barbara about 1865, then married again after her death. After the war Capt. Born was involved in farming and real estate in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

William and Barbara rest in Shadowlawn Cemetery at Lawrenceville.

Death of a Mailman

This draped obelisk in Shadowlawn Cemetery at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia remembers three members of the HOOPER family. William R. Hooper, Jr. was a son of Rev. William R. and Louisa S. Hooper. He died at the young age of 36, likely from typhoid fever. An obituary from the 15 August 1911 edition of the Atlanta Consitution (Georgia):
WILLIAM R. HOOPER DEAD

Well-Known Rural Carrier of Gwinnett County.

Lawrenceville, Ga., August 14 -- (Special.) -- William R. Hooper, of Duluth, died at a private sanitarium in Atlanta this morning, where he had been carried for treatment for typhoid. Mr. Hooper was a well-known citizen of Gwinnett county and was rural mail carrier on route No. 1 from Duluth. He was about 35 years of age and unmarried. Mr. Hooper leaves two sisters, Mrs. A. R. Danforth, of Pittman, Ga., and Mrs. L. M. Brand, of Lawrenceville. The remains will be brought to Lawrenceville this afternoon for interment in the new cemetery Tuesday morning. He will be buried b…

Major Simmons at Shadowlawn (Wordless Wednesday)

A Patterson Plot at Shadowlawn

The image above is of a PATTERSON plot containing tombstones for James M. Patterson (1827-1911), his wife Elizabeth W. (1824-1908), and their son Thomas A. (1866-1915). The patriarch of a large family, Mr. James Patterson was upon his death one of the oldest residents of Gwinnett County. An obituary:

Atlanta Consitution (Georgia) - Sunday, 5 March 1911:
James M. Patterson, Lawrenceville.
Lawrenceville, Ga., March 4 -- (Special.) -- James M. Patterson, one of the oldest residents of Gwinnett county, died at his home in Lawrenceville this morning at 6 o'clock. Mr. Patterson was an ex-sheriff of this county, having held that office for twelve years. He was a prominent Mason and was the eldest Master Mason in this section. He was 84 years of age, a member of the Methodist church, a man of considerable property, and leaves several children, his wife having died a few years ago. The remains will be buried with Masonic honors, the interment taking place here Sunday morning at 11 o&#…

Williams Tombstone Genealogy & a Nice Epitaph to Boot

The Williams plot located at Shadowlawn Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia contains a good bit of information. The headstone is devoted to the parents: Mary E. Williams (June 24, 1850 - Oct 12, 1930) and James D. Williams (June 9, 1847 - May 6, 1925). The ledger marker pertains to their (presumed) children:

· Charles P. Williams (July 9, 1875 - Nov 7, 1939)
· Sallie Williams Armstrong (Jan 5, 1877 - Sept 25, 1957)
· Pearl Williams Brock (Aug 17, 1884 - Nov 18, 1956)
· Minnie Estelle Williams (Jan 20, 1888 - Dec 8, 1913)
· George L. Williams (Nov 24, 1891 - June 21, 1982)
---------------------------------------------------------------------
· Jack E. Armstrong (June 1, 1874 - Dec 11, 1959)
· John J. Brock (Aug 5, 1881 - May 27, 1946)

Also found on the ledger marker is this thoughtful and poetic addition to the epitaph:

Lord God Of Host That Reigneth On High
That Man Is Truly Blest
Who Only On Thee Doth Rely
And In Thee Only Rest.



blog.SouthernGraves.net

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)