30 November 2011

Robert W. Cofer: Wounded in Action

U. S. A.
Company M. 327 - Inf -
82nd Division,
Served With Honor
In World - War And
Wounded In Action.

Robert W. Cofer
May 21, 1891
Nov 11, 1924

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum
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."

29 November 2011

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):

"MORTUARY
MRS. CHARITY HOLMES

Mrs. Charity Holmes, 73, of 19 Hunnicutt Street, died Sunday at the residence. She is survived by three sons, Rev. Frank S. Snell, of Middletown; Ceyrl Snell, of Vienna, Ga., and Clady Snell, of Snellville, and two daughters, Mrs. Charles Christwell, of Ashburn, and Miss Maude Snell, of Atlanta. Awtry & Lowndes in charge."

26 November 2011

Mrs. Parthenia Williams Pate and Mrs. Lillie Pate Campbell

Thomas, Parthenia, Lillie, & W. M.
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 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 Mrs. Hubert McGee, of Lawrenceville; brothers, R. D. and H. T. Williams and J. C. Landford, of Grayson, and thee sisters, Mrs. P. C. Roberts, of Atlanta; Mrs. S. S. Brand and Mrs. Reuben Smith, of Lawrenceville.

The Atlanta Constitution (Georgia)
31 October 1920
MORTUARY
Mrs. C. C. Campbell

Lawrenceville, Ga., October 30 -- (Special) -- Mrs. Claud C. Campbell [Lillie Pate Campbell], aged 31, died at the home of her parents at Senllville Friday evening of tuberculosis. She was a member of the Methodist church. She leaves a husband, one small daughter, also her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Pate; two brothers, Elma and E. A. Pate, and two sisters, Misses Kathleen and Ruben Pate, of Snellville. Funeral and interment occurred Saturday at Snellville.

24 November 2011

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 been a nice Thanksgiving Day post! *Sigh* I thank Mr. Morgan for reminding me of my own graveyard wildlife, nonetheless.

If you are interested in learning more about this Beech Springs Cemetery, seeing more video from the cemetery, and connecting to more burials information, please visit my August post.

23 November 2011

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
  • Charley (b. 1882) *1900
  • Maude A. (b. abt 1884) *1900
  • Rabun C. (b. abt 1886-1887) *1920, 1910, 1900
  • Tobie B. (b. 1888) *1900
  • Elijah (b. abt 1891-1892) *1910, 1900
  • Jordan / Jorda (b. abt 1893-1894) *1910, 1900
  • Annie L. (b. abt 1895-1896) *1910, 1900

Williamson and Katie Lou rest in Snellville Historical Cemetery.

22 November 2011

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

East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

18 November 2011

Arthur Eats Dinner, and Then Kills Self

Arthur O. Biffle
Son of G. K. & M. C. Biffle
Dec 12, 1875
July 20, 1914
How desolate our home,
bereft of thee.
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.

17 November 2011

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 name above the marble "door" on the front and form crosses on the back and sides. Even though the structure might have been built a relatively short time ago, it has a fantastic old southern folk cemetery feel.


Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum.


15 November 2011

J is for Jamar (Tombstone Tuesday)

Jamar Ramon Haynes, Jr.
"Binka"
Jan 16, 2002
Mar 8, 2004

Baby Jamar's Smiles And Laughter
Will Never Be Forgotten.  In
Our Hearts And Minds
He Lives Forever.

East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

14 November 2011

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:

Gwinnett Co. Police
D.U.I. Task Force
Greater Love Hath No Man
Than This, That A Man Lay
Down His Life For His
Friends.

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.

11 November 2011

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

10 November 2011

Mrs. Elfinesh Teklegiorgis: Church Founder

Elfinesh Teklegiorgis
March 13, 1948
September 26, 2001
I Will Dwell
In The House Of The Lord Forever



East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photos © 2010/1 S. Lincecum


09 November 2011

Mother Mary (Wordless Wednesday)




08 November 2011

Resting in Nature's Fold (Tombstone Tuesday)

In Loving Memory
Thomas Biar McDonald
"Tommy"
Aug 31, 1971 - Sept 22, 1998

East Shadowlawn Memorial Gardens
Lawrenceville, Gwinnett County, Georgia

Photo © 2010/1 S. Lincecum

06 November 2011

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

Jessica Marie Saxon
July 29, 1985 - March 14, 2004
Cherished Daughter
Beloved Sister
Best Friend
"Our Angel On Earth" - "His Angel In Heaven"

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.)

05 November 2011

A Little Angel Named Michael

A Marvelous Missionary And An Angel To All Who Knew Him
Michael Jarod Brown
On Earth May 3, 1996
In Heaven Sept 15, 1999

"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 land of Heaven more beautiful to view.
Believing this is difficult still somehow we must try,
The saddest word mankind knows will always be "Goodbye."
So when a little child departs, we who are left behind,
Must realize God loves children, and Angels are hard to find.


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

03 November 2011

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.

02 November 2011

Rev. J. B. Broughton, Colored, Dies

Rev. J. B. Broughton
Sept 15, 1861
May 16, 1931

Servant of God, well done.
"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]

01 November 2011

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.

"...served as a Private in Company I, of the 16th Regiment of Ga
Volunteers, Wofford's Brigade; that whilst engaged in such military
service in the State of Va, on the 19 day of Oct 1864, he was
wounded, injured or diseased as follows:
Gun Shot wound causing amputation of Index finger on left hand"
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 Confederate army in the Shenandoah Valley. Lincoln rode the momentum of Sheridan’s victories in the Valley and Sherman’s successes in Georgia to re-election."

Census records suggest David Hamilton was engaged in farming the rest of his days. He died 13 November 1912.

[Gravestone image © 2010/1 S. Lincecum. Cropped pension image from Ancestry.com's Georgia Confederate Pension Applications, 1879-1960.]
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