27 December 2011

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.

20 December 2011

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
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).

07 December 2011

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 B. Ross
Son Of W. A. & E. J. Juhan
Died July 26, 1875
Age 8 Years, 4 Months & 16 Days

Was A Brave Little Fireman
Attached To Defiance Fire Co. No. 5 

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.

06 December 2011

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 father George (1829-1899, center in top photo).

Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum.

01 December 2011

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 Confederate war dead...The inscription on the special style for Civil War Confederate is also limited. The Southern Cross of Honor is automatically inscribed at the top. The name is arched, followed by abbreviated military organization and dates of birth and death."

So I was a little surprised to see the stone pictured above. Based on his unit and location, it would appear that James Wiley had been a Confederate soldier. Yet his final resting place bears a military headstone and design usually reserved for those that served the Union.

In an attempt to be sure this Mr. Wiley was indeed a Confederate soldier, I did a bit of research. According to Civil War databases on Ancestry and Fold3, there was a James M. Wiley that served as a 2 Sgt in Company B of the 1st (Ramsey's) GA Infantry. This soldier enlisted March 1861 and was discharged with a surgeon's certificate of disability five months later. Less than a month following the release, James M. Wiley enlisted in Company H of the 11th GA Infantry. Though it likely goes without saying, both of these units were part of the Confederate States Army.

It seems James M. Wiley, a Confederate veteran, received a Union-styled tombstone. Or did he? Could it be possible this stone is not a true military issue? The birth and death years being inside the shield does seem to contradict the "official" style of the Union stone. The question can also be raised as to when the stone was placed. I suppose whoever chose it might have liked the recessed shield design better. Or is it simply a mistake? What are your thoughts?

BTW, Mr. Wiley rests in Snellville Historical Cemetery at Gwinnett County, Georgia.

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