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A Touching Tombstone Tuesday: the Dunlap Children

Five DUNLAP children (listed below from left to right) at
Fairview Presbyterian Church Cemetery in
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

In Memory of
James Clarence
Son of Ja's C. & Rebecca Dunlap
Born Oct 3rd, 1861
Died March 11th, 1863
Aged 1 y'r 5 mo's & 8 days
The Lord gave, and the Lord
hath taken away; blessed be
the name of the LORD. - Job 1 C. & 21 Vs.
No! if a wish could call him back
We would not have our darling son
Brought from his everlasting rest
Snatched from his heavenly Father's breast.


Affections Tribute to
Flarenca Augusta
Daughter of Ja's C. & Rebecca Dunlap
Born Aug 29th, 1857
Died Nov 24th, 1860
Aged 3 y's 2 mo's & 25 days
No pang of sin is given the
door we shut upon her tomb
__?__ her in Heaven.


To the Memory of
Clara Emma
Daughter of Ja's C. & Rebecca Dunlap
Born April 4th, 1852
Died Dec 29th, 1854
God forbids her longer stay
God recalls thy precious loan
God hath taken her away
From our bosom to his own
Surely what he wills is best
Happy in his will we rest


Here Rest the Remains of
Theressa Lillian
Daughter of Jas. C. & Rebecca Dunlap
Born Oct 21st, 1859
Died Feb 25th, 1863
Aged 3 y'rs 4 mo's & 4 days
Faith cries out, It is the Lord
Let him do as seems him good
Be thy holy name adored
Take the gift awhile bestowed
Take the child no longer ours
Thine she is, forever thine.


In Memory of
Ja's Lawrence
Infant son of Ja's C. & Rebecca Dunlap
Born July 22nd, 1856
Died Oct 30th, 1856
Aged 3 mo's & 8 days
Suffer little children to come
unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of Heaven.


It seems the sentiment on each stone was tenderly placed, slightly different from the one before to mark each child as an individual. Can you picture it? All the deaths and burials took place in winter months, with one in early March still likely bearing cold temperatures. An entire family dressed in black, huddled together against the weather around a tiny grave. And in the year of 1863, only a couple weeks separated two of the burials.

James C. Dunlap, father to these children, was born about 1816 in South Carolina. He lived well into his eighties, and before he died prepared a history of the Dunlap family.* In it is stated that James and Rebecca had fourteen children. Eight lived to adulthood and six died young -- three boys and three girls. Five of them are listed above.

Using census records and the online family tree Some Metro Atlanta Families & Their Connections & Origins (owner username: papadaddybob) in addition to the tombstones pictured above, here is a pieced together list of thirteen children of James C. and Rebecca Dunlap:

Mary (1843-1907)
Sarah Cordelia (1845-1910)
Martha (1846-1922)
Samuel (b abt 1848)
John G. (1849-1908)
Clara Emma (1852-1854)
Francis "Fanny" (d 1930)
James Lawrence (b & d 1856)
Florenca Augusta (1857-1860)
Theressa Lillian (1859-1863)
James Clarence (1861-1863)
Anna R. (d 1936)
Edgar (b abt 1868)

[*The transcribed History of the Dunlap Family is online with the family tree linked above.]

Comments

Incredibly heartrending, Stephanie! Recently at Springwood Cemetery in Greenville, South Carolina, we came upon a single marker for the graves of five sisters who fell like dominoes, a few years apart. They were much older than the Dunlap children. I always stand silent for awhile, trying to fathom the grief of the parents. Having been spared this particular tragedy thus far, I cannot. Thank you for the great work you do here.
S. Lincecum said…
Thanks, Jenny! -- I'm always touched by infant graves. These were unique to me because of the verse attached to each one. Each one was different, treating each child as an individual. I felt privileged to visit them.

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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)