31 May 2011

Ross Huff, Victim to "La Grippe" (Tombstone Tuesday)

b. Sept 6, 1855
d. Mar 16, 1890

Blessed are they
that die in the Lord.

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum
La Grippe Claims Three Victims in a Week

LAWRENCEVILLE, March 20 -- [Special] -- Moses Hamilton, Frank Knight and Ross Huff, all good men, passed away last week, victims to "la grippe."1

La Grippe is an archaic French term for influenza.

This yellow lichen covered tombstone is located at Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

1. "Death Over Lawrenceville," Macon Telegraph (Macon, GA), March 26, 1890, GenealogyBank.

27 May 2011

Ascend, My Son! (Today's Epitaph)

Feb 14, 1830
May 7, 1896

Ascend, my son! thy
Father's Kingdom

Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

Aside from the clasped hands, a neat feature of Mr. Sparks' tombstone is the epitaph. The phrase beginning with Ascend, my son! is from an elegy written by William Cowper about 1748.

An elegy is a mournful, melancholic or plaintive poem, especially when a funeral song or a lament for the dead. William Cowper penned this "Elegy III on the death of the Bishop of Winchester" when he was seventeen years old. The line following the one inscribed on the tombstone of G. T. Sparks is henceforth be freed from every care.

26 May 2011

Our Mother Here Lies Under Ground

In memory of
b. April 17th, 1764
d. Nov 4th, 1853

Our Mother here lies under ground,
The dearest friend we ever found.
But through the Lord's unbounded love,
We'll meet again in realms above.

Elizabeth was a former widow of Moses Liddell, a lieutenant and captain for the South Carolina militia during the American Revolution. She received a pension of $424 a year from 1836 until her death in 1853. In her Revolutionary Pension application at Ancestry, Elizabeth declares she knew Moses because their families lived near each other in South Carolina. Elizabeth married Moses Liddell 16 September 1784, and they had several children. Moses died 2 August 1802. Almost twelve years later, Elizabeth married Thomas Haney 15 June 1814. Elizabeth was widowed again in 1821.

For the 1850 Gwinnett County, Georgia census, Elizabeth was listed in Goodwin's District at her son Moses Liddell's household. Elizabeth was buried upon her death three years later at Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, GA.

In May 1858, Moses Liddell (born 13 October 1786) was laid to rest near his mother. He had served as a church elder at Fairview Presbyterian from 1826 to 1857.


Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum.

24 May 2011

William Thompson (a Patriotic Tombstone Tuesday)

To the Memory of
who departed this life
on the 23rd of August 1835
aged 72 years and 5 months

A Sons of the American Revolution emblem is affixed to this ledger marker located at Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia.

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

19 May 2011

Far from Thee, Thy Kindred and Their Graves May Be (Clarissa and Henry Wight)

Daughter of Zephaniah Leonard, Esq. of Raynham, Mass.
Wife of Rev. Henry Wight, D.D. of Bristol, Rhode Island
Born Nov 9th, 1771
Died Sept 15th, 1864 in Lawrenceville, Ga

"Asleep in Jesus, far from thee,
Thy kindred and their graves may be.
But there is still a blessed sleep,
From which none ever wake to weep."
Clarissa is part of a highly regarded, highly documented New England family. And she married into the same when joining with Rev. Henry Wight, D.D. in 1799.

The following is from The Genealogy of the Cleveland and Cleaveland Families by Edmund James Cleveland (1899). [Note: Not a complete transcription; I pared it down a bit.]
Wight ancestry: Thomas1; Samuel 2, b. Dedham, Mass., Feb 5, 1639, suffered great loss in Philip's war, m. Hannah; Jonathan3, b. Sept 11, 1662, m. Margaret Fairbanks; Jonathan4, b. Oct 11, 1705, m. Sarah Plimpton; Henry5, b. May 26, 1752, of Bristol, R.I.; Rev. Henry6, of Bristol, Congregational clergyman, m. Clarissa Leonard. Ch: 1. Alice, d. 1884, m. Rev. Charles Alden of Providence, R.I. 2. Clara, m. William Rowland of Augusta, Ga. 3. Fanny Leonard Wight, m. Robert Mathis Cleveland.

Leonard ancestry: Henry1; Thomas 2; James3; James4; Judge Stephen5, b. Dec 14, 1680, judge of Court of Common Pleas; Maj. Zephaniah6, b. Mar 18, 1704, m. Hannah King; Col. Zephaniah7, Yale 1758, sheriff of Bristol co., d. Apr 11, 1814, m. Oct 30, 1765, Abigail Alden; Clarissa8 m. Henry Wight.
The Wights by William Ward Wight (1890) had this to say about Clarissa:
Clarissa Wight inherited from her mother, Abigail Alden Leonard, a strong intellectual bias...Clarissa took great interest in the affairs of the colonies during the revolutionary period and felt and manifested the tenderest sympathy for the soldiers returning sick and worn after the war was over. Through the years of her husband's pastorate she fulfilled the exacting duties of a minister's wife with the most untiring fidelity and zeal. Thousands who have been guests in her pleasant home will remember her genial manners and cordial welcome. She was of great intelligence and fine culture and took great delight in reading her Bible and in repeating passages from old poets. She retained her mental powers to the last and took an intelligent interest in all that was passing about her. On the anniversary of her 70th birthday she sailed from New York to live her children in Georgia, and for the last 23 years of her life she dwelt with her youngest daughter. She died at her said daughter's home at Chestnut Hill, Lawrenceville, Gwinnette County, Georgia, in her 93d year, September 15, 1864...
Photo by Julie Nathanson
via FindAGrave
While Clarissa rests in Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Lawrenceville, her husband Henry was upon his death in 1837 laid many miles away in the Juniper Hill Cemetery of Bristol, Rhode Island.

"Asleep in Jesus, far from thee,
Thy kindred and their graves may be."

15 May 2011

How Blest the Righteous When He Dies!

Yesterday I shared with you a monument dedicated for a wife and child from the Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. The pedestal tombstone with a vaulted roof was a memorial to Mrs. Mahulda Alexander and her infant son Samuel F.

A portion of the epitaph for Mrs. Alexander is this four line verse:

"Farewell, conflicting joys and fears,
Where light and shade alternate dwell;
How bright the unchanging morn appears,
Farewell, inconstant world, farewell."

A little Google search reveals this verse is from a hymn written by Anna L. Barbauld about 1809 -- "How Blest the Righteous When He Dies!" Here is this beautiful work in it's entirety:

How blest the righteous when he dies!
When sinks a weary soul to rest,
How mildly beam the closing eyes,
How gently heaves th' expiring breast!

So fades a summer cloud away;
So sinks a gale when storms are o’er;
So gently shuts the eye of day;
So dies a wave along the shore.

A holy quiet reigns around,
A calm which life nor death destroys;
And naught disturbs that peace profound
Which his unfettered soul enjoys.

Farewell, conflicting hopes and fears,
Where lights and shades alternate dwell;
How bright th' unchanging morn appears!
Farewell, inconstant world, farewell!

Life's labor done, as sinks the clay,
Light from its load the spirit flies,
While Heav'n and earth combine to say,
"How blest the righteous when he dies!"

14 May 2011

Monument Dedicated for a Wife and Child

This Monument
To the purest affection
By the Husband and Father.

Born August 17th, 1813
Died April 23rd, 1853

In every relation of life, as Wife, Mother, Sister, friend, neighbor and humble, devout Christian, she was admired and beloved. Long she endured with Christian fortitude the tortures of a lingering and most painful disease and finally sunk to rest.

"Farewell, conflicting joys and fears,
Where light and shade alternate dwell;
How bright the unchanging morn appears,
Farewell, inconstant world, farewell."

Born Sep 3rd, 1846
Died Sep 10th, 1848

As a wave on the Ocean, as a bubble on the River, is gone, gone forever.

Pedestal Tombstone with a vaulted roof
Dedicated to Mrs. Mahulda Alexander and
her infant son Samuel F.

Fairview Presbyterian Church
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

All Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

11 May 2011

Shady's Scroll

Shady Ann S. Byrd
Born Sept 11, 1830
Died Nov 1, 1848
Aged 18 Yrs, 1 Mo, & 20 Dys

Shady Ann, upon her untimely death, was laid to rest in Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia. Her tombstone is interesting to me. It is somewhat akin to a plaque marker, which from the side looks like a right angle triangle. Shady's stone however has no sharp, purposed edges or corners. Instead, everything about it is curved. It reminds me of a scroll.

Shady Ann, daughter of Alfred Williams, was married to Daniel M. Byrd in Gwinnett County on 25 November 1847. They were married a little less than a year when she passed away. Daniel (13 Oct 1826 ~ 10 Mar 1880) is buried beside his young bride in the church cemetery.

Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

10 May 2011

By One Sudden Stroke He Was Called Away

Fairview Church Cemetery,
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett, GA
Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum
Click here for epitaph information.
Suddenly in Decatur, DeKalb county, Georgia, on Friday, the 26th of February, and in the 58th year of his age, Dr. THOMAS W. ALEXANDER, of Gwinnett.

The deceased was born in South Carolina, and there lived till 1825, when he removed to this State. He was the son of pious parents, members of the Presbyterian Church, and by them was trained up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. When about twenty years of age he made a public profession of Faith in Christ, and at an early period after his connection with the Church he was chosen, and set apart to the office of ruling elder, and continued to discharge the duties of this office with great efficiency and acceptance until the day of his death. On the morning of that fatal day, he was returning from Atlanta, whither he had been on business, and was driving in a light buggy a strong and spirited young horse of his own training, and by him considered to be safe. But just as he entered the public square, in the village of Decatur, his horse took fright, ran violently across the square, stove the buggy with great force against a tree in the Court yard and dashed him with great violence upon his head and right shoulder against the ground. He was immediately taken up, and carried into an adjacent house, a Physician was called to him and he received every possible attention. In a short time he recovered from the shock and for the space of two hours was perfectly conscious and rational, and it was hoped, both by himself and his Physicians, that he was not so seriously injured as they had been led to fear from the violence of the fall he had received. But about 11 o'clock in the day a change took place and symptoms of an alarming character began to be exhibited. His breathing became "labored" and he fell into a stupor, from which he could never be effectively aroused, and which continued till about 9 o'clock at night, when he expired. Thus by one sudden stroke he was called away. By his death a devoted wife has been bereft of a kind and faithful husband; six sons and an only daughter have lost a most excellent father; his numerous family connections, and esteemed and worthy relative; his servants a good master; the poor a liberal benefactor; the community one of its most useful members, and the Church one of its most active, intelligent and efficient rulers. This heavy stroke could scarcely have fallen upon any individual around him, the loss of whom would be more extensively, more severely or more sensibly felt, for there was scarcely any one whose prolonged existence on earth seemed to be so essential to the best interests, civil, social and spiritual of those around him. But, alas! he is gone; yet, while we mourn our great loss, we would not deplore him. We must not, we do not, we will not sorrow as those who are without hope. He is gone! His body to the grave, it's quiet, it's long, but not eternal resting place; and his soul, complete in holiness, has passed into glory. "Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord." J. C. P. ["Died," Augusta Chronicle (Georgia), March 10, 1847, http://www.genealogybank.com.]

09 May 2011

Haste Thee on From Grace to Glory (Today's Epitaph)

SACRED to the memory of
[who was born] July 2nd, 1790
and died Feby 26th, 1847

"Haste thee on from grace to glory
Arm'd by faith and wing'd by prayer
Heaven's eternal days before thee
God's own hand shall guide thee there"

Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum
The epitaph on the the good doctor's stone is from a hymn entitled, "Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken," written by Henry F. Lyte in 1824. Those lines are actually the beginning of the final verse. Here is the rest:

Soon shall close thy earthly mission, Swift shall pass thy pilgrim days;
Hope shall change to glad fruition, Faith to sight, and prayer to praise.

Dr. Thomas Alexander was a son of Maj. John Alexander, who was written about in this space a few days ago.

As we well know, sometimes an epitaph is just a nice sentiment or catchy phrase, and does not really tie directly to the individual being memorialized. In the case of Dr. Alexander, however, the verse really does seemingly reflect he and his personality. I'll fill you in on that by posting his slightly lengthy obituary tomorrow.

08 May 2011

To All Our Angel Mothers

Even to those gone before, and of course, those thankfully still among us -

Happy Mother's Day!

Oakland Cemetery
Atlanta, Georgia
© 2011 S. Lincecum

06 May 2011

Major John Alexander: The Patriot, Soldier, & Christian

Photo by Brian Scott, via
Historical Marker Database
John Alexander was born about 1755 in Fountain Inn, South Carolina to James Alexander and Mary Peden. John's brother James and uncles John, Samuel, and David Peden founded the oldest Presbyterian Church in Greenville County, South Carolina in 1786, named Fairview. Legend has it the church was named after the old gray stone church in Antrim County, Ireland, from which it's (Peden) founders came to America in 1773.

The land on which the South Carolina church was built was given to the founders in lieu of payment for their service during the Revolutionary War. Prior to that, the land was in the hands of the Cherokee Indians.

John Alexander, though not considered a founder of the church (but an early member and one of the first elected elders), also served during the American Revolution. He was part of the Tyger Irish Company who participated in the Battle of Kings Mountain.

Photo by Robin Dixson,
via FindAGrave
About 1786, John Alexander married Elizabeth Williamson. According to The Pedens of America, Elizabeth was the mother of two sons. She died in 1797 at the age of 35 and was one of the first burials in the Fairview Church at Fountain Inn, SC.

John married again about 1803. He and his second wife Sarah had more children.

Sometime after 1810, John left South Carolina for Georgia. He eventually settled in Gwinnett County. There, he also attended Fairview Presbyterian Church. Though I find no record of John being part of the founding of this church, he was likely an early member since it was established in 1823. I've yet to find a record of a tangible connection between the Fairview church in Gwinnett County, GA and the one in Fountain Inn, SC. However, it has been stated that the Fairview Church in Fountain Inn "has the proud distinction of being the mother of Presbyterianism in Greenville County, and of many, many churches in other states."

Photo by S. Lincecum
Major John Alexander died 9 May 1830, in the 75th year of his age. His box tomb at Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, GA states he was "The Patriot / The Soldier / And Christian." A Sons of the American Revolution emblem is attached.

Photo by S. Lincecum
At least two of John's sons made the trip to Georgia as well. Dr. Thomas W. Alexander (1790-1847) by first wife Elizabeth, and John Newton Alexander (1808-1841) by second wife Sarah. Both are buried near their father in the church cemetery. Also interred is Georgia Anna Jane, a daughter of Thomas who died in 1829 at the age of 2 months.

Photo by S. Lincecum

Photo by S. Lincecum

05 May 2011

Lothrop Withington, Noted Genealogist Lost at Sea

Lusitania Memorial in Cobh,
Ireland by Sofia S. on Flickr
Saturday, May 7th, 2011 marks the 96th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania by a German u-boat off the coast of Ireland in World War I. I don't know a whole lot about the sinking, so was doing a little reading on the subject yesterday. More than one thousand people lost their lives, and about 130 of those lives lost were American (I see different numbers in different articles, ranging from 124 to 128). I also found a list of "notable" men, women, and children who were passengers on the ill-fated vessel. Some survived, but most did not. Entire families were lost at sea. Many, many bodies were never even recovered.

On that list as one of the lives drowned with the Lusitania was that of a noted genealogist, Mr. Lothrop Withington. He was memorialized in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register (Volume 70, published 1916) in the section entitled "Report of the Historian: Necrology for 1915."
LOTHROP WITHINGTON of London, England, a resident member since 1897, was born at Newbury, Mass., 31 January 1856, the son of Nathan Noyes and Elizabeth (Little) Withington, and perished off the coast of Ireland, in the destruction of the Lusitania, 7 May 1915. He was descended from Henry1 Withington through Richard,2 Philip,3 Ebenezer,4 Philip,5 Joseph Weeks,6 Leonard,7 and Nathan Noyes,8 his father. The Withington family lived in Dorchester, Mass., until Leonard7 was called to Newbury in 1816 as minister of the First Church.

Lothrop Withington was educated at Dummer Academy and at the high school at Newburyport. When he was eighteen he went abroad and lived in London and Paris. He was a newspaper correspondent, and also wrote for magazines...

When a boy he became interested in genealogical study, to which he afterwards devoted much of his time. In London he was engaged in genealogical research some years before Mr. Henry Fitz-Gilbert Waters retired from the field, and the latter, when he gave up his work in England, placed in Mr. Withington's hands his genealogical notes, containing his gleanings from English records which had not been published in the NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL AND GENEALOGICAL REGISTER. Mr. Withington in the course of time considerably increased this manuscript collection, and it has recently been purchased by the Essex Institute at the auction sale of Mr. Withington's library. Mr. Withington did a large amount of work as a professional genealogist, and was a contributor to various genealogical publications in the United States. In carrying on his work as a genealogist he made frequent journeys to New England, and he was returning to London after one of these visits to his native land when, with hundreds of other non-combatants, he became a victim of the ruthless and savage submarine warfare carried on by the orders of the German Government.
"Virginia Gleanings in England" was a long series of articles published in The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, commenced by Mr. Withington in 1903. The last issue to have his name listed as primary contributor was January 1916. For the three years following, the series was in the care of Leo Cullenton, but based on research material left by Withington.

Not mentioned in Lothrop Withington's memorial in the Register is that he was married to Caroline Augusta Lloyd at London in 1892. Caroline was a sister of Henry Demarest Lloyd. Caroline and Lothrop had no children.

Mr. Withington's 1915 voyage on the Lusitania was not his first. He traveled on that ship several times, even as recent as less than five months prior to its sinking. He arrived in New York on the Lusitania just in time for Christmas on 24 December 1914 from England. Lothrop's 1915 passport application, issued 22 April, detailing the purpose of his trip as to resume residence in London, is online at Ancestry.

04 May 2011

For the Love of Dog (National Pet Week Wordless Wednesday)

03 May 2011

From the American Revolution to the War on Terror

Arlington National Cemetery by rickcanyon42, on Flickr
With every fiber of my being, I thank each and every soldier that has ever fought for my freedom and my safety, as well as that of my ancestors. Hundreds of thousands have paid the ultimate price of death, and words will never adequately express my gratitude. God bless America.

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