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Showing posts from January, 2013

Heaven Resounds with Her Hallelujahs of Joy (Wednesday's Child)

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog. This cemetery in Macon, Georgia is where little Anna Gertrude Powers and her parents rest.]

There is great detail in the stone placed for Anna Gertrude Powers, the ten year old daughter of Virgil and Ann Powers. Anna is represented (a likeness?) and being carried to Heaven by two angels. Notice the finger pointing upward of one of the angels, as well as their tendrils of hair. And notice the cross necklace Anna is wearing. It's a beautiful sculpture. Below the image is a detailed obituary for little Anna, who died of Scarlet Fever.

Of Scarlet Fever, in Fort Valley, Ga., on the 11th of March, Anna G., eldest daughter of Virgil and Ann E. Powers, aged ten years and eleven months.

Thus hath God in his infinite wisdom taken from earth one of its fairest and loveliest flowers, to transplant it in the beautiful garden of eternal love and glory.

Possessed of a bright and sparkling intellect -- quick and tender sensibilities -- …

A Pioneer and Free-Thinker (This Time It's Personal)

[I decided to celebrate Freethinkers Day by bringing up a post I wrote a couple of years ago for the 100th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. It's about a freethinker in my own family, Gideon Lincecum.]

Every family has at least one -- the radical, the revolutionary, the trailblazer, the pioneer, the free-thinker. In my family, the most documented individual these words describe is Gideon Lincecum. Gideon (1793-1874) was my first cousin, seven times removed, and he's the closest thing I have to a directly connected celebrity. [That is, if you don't count Tim Lincecum, famed pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. While I'm sure we are at least cousins, I can't yet prove it.]

Much has been written about the life of Gideon Lincecum. Google him and see for yourself. A Wikipedia article begins this way: "Gideon Lincecum was an American pioneer, historian, physician, philosopher, and naturalist. Lincecum is known for his exploration and settlement of what a…

Margaret Walker Sank into the Grave to Rise in Christ (Today's Epitaph)

Richard Childers Walker! With Jesus We Leave Him.

James Taylor's Likeness in Italian Marble

It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. I read an old obituary and think, "I've been to that cemetery before. Do I have a photo for this burial?" And I DO! In this case, the photos were taken almost five years ago.

This particular find was especially neat when I discovered from the obituary that Mr. Taylor's likeness was made from Italian marble and placed in the churchyard before his death. Read on for more information:

"James Taylor, one of the oldest and wealthiest citizens of this section, died here [Fort Valley, Georgia] last night from paralysis.

He was nearly 77 years of age and leaves besides his wife three young children, two sons, Charles A. and Lomie T., of this place; a daughter, Mrs. Matt G. Thames, of Bibb county, by a former marriage.

Until a few years ago Mr. Taylor resided on his farm in Crawford county, where he attained a fortune. He belonged to no church, but was inclined to the Primitive Baptist belief. Several years ago he had …

In the Dim Unknown Standeth God (Today's Epitaph)

Martha's Rose (Wordless Wednesday)

They Sparkled, Were Exhaled and Went to Heaven (Tombstone Tuesday)

A Revolutionary Soldier, and an Indulgent Master (Military Monday)

I really like these gravestones placed for George Walker, Jr. at Walker Cemetery in Bleckley County, Georgia. There's the early American military service, the mention of slavery (but not the horrors of it), and an informative epitaph.

Sunday's Soldier: Pvt. George Walker

Saturday Symbols: the Weeping Willow and Hebrews 4:9

I can't believe there has never been a post about the Weeping Willow tree as a gravestone symbol on the Southern Graves blog, especially since it was one of the first images that slowly replaced death's heads and soul effigies.1 It's definitely a common symbol.  I found a beautiful example at Walker Cemetery in Bleckley County, Georgia:

Most assume the weeping willow is a symbol of grief based upon the name and down turned branches, and they are not wrong. But something I think fewer people may know is that the weeping willow is also a symbol of immortality. In Christianity specifically, the gospel teaches the tree "will flourish and remain whole, no matter how many branches are cut off."2

If we want to delve deeper into the above image, take a look at the ivy vines going up the base of the tree. It is another symbol of immortality, as well as loyalty.  Furthermore, the leaves symbolize the Trinity.3

The weeping willow pictured above is part of the tombstone pl…

Those Dear Departed Pledges of Our Love, Elmyrah & Sarah Walker

Consecrated to the memory of those dear departed pledges of our Love
Elmyrah Amelia
and Sarah Elizabeth Walker.
Children of George and Martha S. Walker.
Elmyrah Amelia,
Born March 16th, 1823
Sarah Elizabeth
Born June 3d, 1827
They both died of the same disease and at the very same instant
Octr 26th, 1831

Elmyrah and Sarah rest at Walker Cemetery in Bleckley County, Georgia. For a far better photo than the one I took above, visit Sarah's FindAGrave memorial.

Death, Rigid Lord, Hath Claimed the Lifeless Clay (Today's Epitaph)

Martha, daughter of George and Martha S. Walker, was born 4 November 1828. She died less than twenty-one years later on 25 May 1849. "She was amiable, pious, and beloved in her life, and deeply lamented in her death."

Another portion of Martha's epitaph on her tombstone at Walker Cemetery in Bleckley County, Georgia reads, "Death, rigid Lord, hath claimed the lifeless clay; While joyously the youthful soul hath gone to take its heritage."

I found this same couplet in a book entitled New Cyclopaedia of Poetical Illustrations (pub 1872). The book was divided into categories, and the above lines were part of a writing by M. F. Tupper under "DEATH, Physical." I found it interesting, if a bit graphic:

Death is here in spirit, watcher of a marble corpse,
That eye is fixed, that heart is still, -- how dreadful in its stillness!
Death, new tenant of the house, pervadeth all the fabric;
He waiteth at the head, and he standeth at the feet, and hideth in the c…

She Met Her Last Great Enemy with Fearless Composure (Today's Epitaph)

Elizabeth "Betsey" Bryan was the daughter of Blake Bryan and Elizabeth Blackshear. She married Joel Walker about 1814 in Georgia. All are listed in Notable Southern Families, Vol. II. Betsey and Joel rest at Walker Cemetery in Bleckley County.

Photos © 2013 S. Lincecum

Did I Stumble Upon the "Lost" Burial Site of Malinda Burton Griffin? (Tombstone Tuesday)

When conducting a cursory look into the life of Etheldred Griffin (how could I resist when presented a name like that), I found several online family trees and an entry on FindAGrave. Every link I clicked, however, said his wife's (consensus states her name as Malinda Burton) burial location was unknown or lost.

Did I stumble upon it?

Frankly, I don't know for sure. The stone I found in Walker Cemetery (Bleckley County, Georgia) is not so easy to read. It appears the last letter of the first name is missing due to, well, who knows for sure. Possibly erosion, but it's very likely the stone visible today is only a partial of the stone originally placed. If the last letter was an A, the first name would look to be Malainda. The next line states this Malaind[?] was a consort of Etheldred Griffin. This could mean wife, but could also simply mean companion.

I am able to locate Etheldred in the 1830 and 1840 U.S. census for Twiggs County, Georgia. Twiggs is next door to Bl…

Edwin and Dollie Nash: They're Not Who We Thought They Were (Tombstone Tuesday)

Well, they're not who I thought they were, at least. At first.

Edwin and Dollie Nash are both buried at Sardis Cemetery in Bibb County, Georgia. At first blush, it appears their relationship would have been that of husband and wife. In fact, that is how I initially began researching them. After a bit of digging, however, that relationship didn't make sense. Turns out they are cousins. Both were grandchildren of Reuben A. Nash (according to online family trees). Edwin was the son of E. A. and Emma Nash (per obituary below and census records). Dollie, who never married and died of breast cancer, was the daughter of Rev. A. E. Nash and Roxie Chappell (per her death certificate).

"Deaths and Funerals
The funeral services of Mr. Edwin D. Nash were held yesterday from the residence of Mr. T. M. Nash, at Whiteside, Ga. Mr. Nash was formerly from Baxley, Ga., and his large circle of friends learn with deep regret of his death. Besides his wife he is survived by his f…

Claude's Heavy Medals

Claude Verner Giles was killed in Vietnam. A little over a month before his 21st birthday, this Clayton, Rabun County, Georgia boy was struck down likely by small arms fire. According to the Vietnam War Military Casualties database, Claude was a member of the Church of God, and he left behind a young widow.

Claude's military grave marker at Taylor's Chapel Cemetery on Black Rock Mountain contains quite a few acronyms. With the help of a list created by the Nebraska Veterans Cemetery at Alliance, I was able to decipher them. Claude received (posthumously, I presume) a Bronze Star Medal & Oak Leaf Cluster, an Air Medal & 2 Oak Leaf Clusters, an Army Commendation Medal, and a Purple Heart. Thank-you, Sgt Giles, for your service.

A Notre Soeur, Gisele Giles

Nestled in the mountains of north Georgia is where Gisele Giles chose as her final resting place. She came to the United States from France about the age of 20 years. She married J. Edward Giles, a sergeant in the US Army Air Forces, and they rest together forever at Taylors Chapel Cemetery on Black Rock Mountain in Rabun County.

A nice addition to the gravestone for Gisele was a pretty blue-green marker with the words, A notre Soeur: Dans notre coeur a jamais tu demeures. This translates to, To our Sister: Ever in our hearts you live.

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)