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Showing posts from November, 2011

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…


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)