19 December 2016

Esse Quam Videri (More Latin in the Cemetery)

This past summer, I translated a couple of Latin phrases I've come across on tombstones in cemeteries.  Today, I have one more to add:

Esse Quam Videri

Charleston2008 206

This translates to "To be, rather than to seem to be." Interestingly, this phrase was adopted as the state motto by North Carolina in 1892.

And contemporaneously, the character of Stephen Colbert on his Comedy Central show, had as his motto a play on this phrase.  Videri Quam Esse, or “to seem, rather than to be," was engraved on his set's fake fireplace.

Ellen Turner, memorialized on the elaborate and angelic tombstone pictured above and below, was laid to rest in Magnolia Cemetery at Charleston, South Carolina.

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18 December 2016

McDowall & Wragg Mausoleum at Charleston, South Carolina

This mausoleum, located at Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina, houses members of the McDowall and Wragg families.

Charleston2008 190

Charleston2008 189Andrew McDowall was born 25th January 1790 in Scotland, and died 4th October 1866.  His wife Pamela was born 25th November 1797, and died 17th June 1875.  Their eldest daughter Caroline is there, as well.  She was born 22nd June 1816, and died 10th November 1858.  An obituary from page 2 of the 23rd November 1858 Charleston Courier (available online at GenealogyBank):

DEPARTED THIS LIFE, at Savannah, on Wednesday, 10th November 1858, in the forty-second year of her age, Mrs. CAROLINE WRAGG, wife of Dr. JOHN A. WRAGG, formerly of this city.

it is a beneficent constitution of nature, that the ordinary approach of death is manifested, by disease, old age, or some failure of human organization.  By this process, so to speak, not only the sufferer, but surviving friends are prepared for the catastrophy [sic]; yet if the shock be great, even thus measurably alleviated, how much more terrific must it be, when the inexorable messenger comes suddenly and unannounced to his victim, and enforces his mandate by dreadful tortures.

The subject of this notice was the eldest daughter of ANDREW MCDOWALL, Esq., of this city.  She was educated with much care.  Her intellect naturally good, was cultivated by study, and improved by travel; and to the substantial elements of instruction, were added those ornaments which adapted her to the enjoyment of refined society.  On her marriage, she removed to Savannah, where she resided to the time of her sad and melancholy death.

It was at the head of her large and interesting family, that the excellent gifts of her nature, and the advantages of her education, had full scope for their exercise.  Firm and affectionate, she sustained her husband in his professional and domestic duties, constantly and cheerfully.  Pious and sensible, she devoted herself to the training of her children; and blest with a remarkable sweetness of disposition, she endeared herself to a large circle of connections, by all of whom she was beloved and esteemed.  She believed that the object of a useful life was the performance of duty, and that the happiest execution of duty consisted in occupation.  So that even her accomplishments and taste, with admirable and uncommon tact and industry, were constantly appropriated to what was useful and valuable.  Her manners were equally interesting and engaging; and no person came within her influence, who did not experience the pleasures of her society.  There was even a melody in her voice, which imparted a peculiar charm to her conversation, and never failed to attract attention and admiration.

With such feelings, qualities and sentiments, it need not be said that she discharged with filial piety, every duty of love and affection to her venerated parents.  It is seldom that so many graces are united in a single character, yet she possessed them in unconscious simplicity and unaffectedness.

Caroline's husband, Dr. John Ashby Wragg, was born in June of 1805, and died 9th October 1870.  His final resting place is also within the walls of the McDowall & Wragg Mausoleum.

15 December 2016

The Southern Folk Cemetery ( #tbt )

Article from 2006 originally published on Southern Graves site. Some newer images added.

"An important historical vestige of the cultural landscape of the rural
South is the Upland South folk cemetery.
- D. Gregory Jeane

Some Southern cemetery traditions include wife-to-the-left burials, bordered family plots, and feet-to-the-east interments. These practices can be fairly common in today's Southern cemeteries, but there are other traditions that may not be.

100_4356The southern folk cemetery is characterized by hilltop location, scraped ground, mounded graves, east-west grave orientation, creative grave markers and decorations using materials readily available (not commercially produced), certain species of vegetation, the use of grave shelters, and the obvious devotion to God and/or parents and family with the graveyard workdays and monument dedications. Some of these characteristics can certainly be found in other parts of the United States, even the world. It is the compilation of most or all of these traits within one cemetery that allows it to be called folk. Since the regional distribution of this type of cemetery coincides with the southern culture, this cemetery is known as Southern Folk.

"Because culture continuously changes, the folk cemetery can be thought of as an evolutionary landscape phenomenon." - D. Gregory Jeane

The folk cemetery was introduced in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth century, and though this was a relatively short time ago, there are three distinct phases or models of the Southern Folk Cemetery that have progressed over time: pioneer, transitional, and modern. The diverse, yet true to tradition aspects of each of these provides a glimpse into the changing attitudes toward death.

The pioneer model is the folk cemetery's most historic, likely to be found in remote rural burial grounds. Though thought to be around as early as the late 1700s, the pioneer southern folk cemetery was certainly well established by the 1830s. Southern folk cemeteries in the eastern Georgia Piedmont were established 1810 - 1820.

An essential requirement of the new frontier communities was to designate space for formal burial of their dead. This sometimes even came before the building of a church. However, the British tradition of a churchyard cemetery did cross the pond with the settlers of the southern United States, so both examples of the pioneer type folk cemetery can be found.

The pioneer folk cemetery was small, though it was not necessarily an immediate family burial ground as linked to the Southern plantation. Extended family ties that emerged when pioneer families intermarried were just as important. The most distinctive trait of the pioneer folk cemetery of the south was the ground scraped clean of grass. The graves were laid out in an east-west direction, neatly aligned and mounded with dirt. This cleared patch of land, free of grass and weeds, was often found on a hilltop. It would have been scraped a couple times of year, possibly resulting in a hardened surface. The clean cemetery showed honor and respect for the ancestors buried there.


>>> Here is an old (somewhat shaky) video I took back in 2008 of a row of burials in a middle Georgia cemetery.  The surrounding ground is not perfectly scraped, but you can get the idea. <<<

Terry Jordan describes a southern cemetery with a scraped ground in his book, Texas Graveyards, A Cultural Legacy: "The first glimpse of such a cemetery truly startles the unsuspecting visitor. Throughout the burial ground, the natural grasses and weeds have been laboriously chopped or "scraped" away, revealing an expanse of red-orange East Texas soil or somber black prairie earth, sometimes decorated with raked patterns. At each grave, this dirt is heaped in an elongated mound, oriented on an east-west and anchored by a head and foot stone."

Grave mounds served several purposes, such as marking the grave and compensating for the settling of the grave.

If a grave marker is found in a pioneer model southern folk cemetery, this is where the art of "making do" is seen. Sometimes, a wooden stake is all that is found at either end of a grave mound. The field research of D. Gregory Jeane in west Louisiana and east Texas resulted in findings of small, slightly curved, clay turpentine cups stacked to form a marker. In other cemeteries, these same cups were used to border an individual grave or family plot. I have seen the same instances with rocks. What is missing most often from a pioneer southern folk cemetery is commercially produced gravestones or granite or marble.

Southern Graves Blog

100_4316A common decorating practice in southern folk cemeteries still seen today is the use of shells. Conch shells, among others, are frequently seen. The shells are used to varying degrees, from a single one at the head of the grave to a line of them down the center of the grave or as a border. Sometimes the entire grave will be covered with shells.

The dominant species of vegetation seen in the pioneer southern folk cemetery is the eastern red cedar tree. It is found in connection with the southern burial grounds so often that it is known as the "cemetery tree." Species of pine were also used, probably because of the evergreen characteristic.

A grave shelter, or grave house, may also be found in a pioneer model southern folk cemetery. D. Gregory Jeane describes it as "small, rectangular, gable-ended structure placed over the grave...of simple construction -- four corner posts, often surrounded by picket fencing, supporting a shallow, gable-ended roof."

Honoring the family and ancestors buried in the cemetery was a common practice of the community keeping up these pioneer burial grounds. The graveyard workday was an annual event, in late summer of early fall, where all members of the community gathered to pay respect to the memory of the deceased. It was often an all day affair that went a long way for the maintenance of the cemetery. Grass was scraped, graves were mounded, grave markers were placed or replaced if desired, decorations were placed, repairs were made, and trash was removed. Furthermore, this was a social event. There might've been a noonday meal, a sermon, or singing.

The transitional phase of the folk cemetery may date from the mid to late nineteenth century, and it is seen across the South even today. It is characterized by the designation of family plots, a mixture of scraped plots and grassy areas, the lack of creative markings or decorations, the lack of grave shelters, and most sadly, the eventual decline or total lack of the gathering of the community to collectively honor and respect those interred.

The transitional phase also marked the decline of mounded graves and the increase of commercially produced grave markers, or tombstones. "Making do" was still seen with the bordering of family plots. A variety of materials were used: rocks, concrete, shells, wood, or whatever was available.

The transitional model southern folk cemetery also introduced different varieties of vegetation such as magnolia trees and crape myrtle. The cedar and evergreen still remained. Flowering shrubs such as roses, azaleas, and forsythia were also added.


100_3407Though shells continued to be used, decorations did somewhat change with the transitional southern folk cemetery. By the 1950s, the artificial flower became dominant. With the increase of commercially produced gravestones came the use of portraits.

The South remained largely rural until after World War II. The urban areas and cemeteries that were around became influenced by the Victorian school of thought about death at an early date, and this began to seep into the rural graveyards. The influence showed itself with the designation of family plots and the increase of elaborate grave markers. This time and influence gave way to the modern model southern folk cemetery.

After World War II, the South began to experience a cultural change, albeit at a leisurely "southern" pace. It was mainly urbanization, and it was called "progress." Southern burial customs did not escape the pressure of urban cemetery organizations to modernize, nor the pressure to be fashionable. This was even felt in the still rural areas. Therefore, urban memorial gardens and perpetual care mortuary complexes entered the region. Amazingly, this pressure and "progress" has not yet taken over the South, so the cultural shift is still today an ongoing process.

Some memorial gardens still show aspects of the traditional southern folk cemetery with bordered, and maybe scraped, family burial plots. Largely, though, more graves have standardized, commercially produced markers, and epitaphs are disappearing. Plastic flowers abound and are seasonally predictable.


There is much debate over the origin of the traits associated with the southern folk cemetery. Some say African American and Native American influences shaped the cemeteries. However, I agree with D. Gregory Jeane when he writes, "It would appear more logical that the pioneers arriving on the Southern frontier already had a system acceptable to the group for choosing and properly maintaining the group's sacred ground. The survival of the pioneer trait complex into the twentieth [and twenty-first] century would suggest something about its antiquity as well as its resistance to wholesale alteration...Thus, it is to Europe that one must look for the basic cemetery traditions that diffused with the settlers who fanned out across the Southern frontier."

The research of Terry Jordan indicates a European origin for the folk cemetery traits of the mounding of graves, the use of shells, the preference for flowers, the use of gravestones, and the use of cedars and evergreens.

The basis of feet-to-the-east burials can be linked to sun worship cults found in Europe at the advent of Christianity. Evidence of this might be the Christian Sabbath day of Sunday. I've always been told it is so the interred can "see the sun rise." It could be as simple as that.

Husband-to-the-right (or wife-to-the-left) is a traditional position of married couples in the southern folk cemetery. This apparently derives from a British Christian belief that Eve was created from the left side of Adam. Of course, this is not a strict rule. About 25% of the time, I see the opposite in an otherwise traditional-looking southern cemetery.


The trait of bordered, or somehow defined family plots might trace back to the days when many cemeteries in the South were private graveyards on family land.

100_0085Another tradition associated with the southern folk cemetery not yet mentioned is a fence enclosure, though I have seen many, many without one. More often, I have seen certain family plots within a cemetery have the enclosure.

A ceremonial entranceway known as a lichgate, or corpse gate, can be found in many southern cemeteries, as well. Even those that do not have entire fence enclosures may have an arched gateway. A lichgate is defined as a "roofed gateway to a churchyard used originally as a resting place for a bier (a stand on which a corpse or coffin is placed) before burial. This may symbolize the crossing from life to death. In the Georgia coastal region, a funeral procession may stop outside the gate while the leader asks the dead for permission to enter.

All three models of the southern folk cemetery can be found scattered about today. In my experience and regions of study, the transitional phase is dominant. Though I must admit, one can more and more often see the modern model taking root in our southern cities.

Sources include:
(1) Personal knowledge of Stephanie Lincecum.
(2) The Upland South Folk Cemetery Complex: Some Suggestions of Origin, D. Gregory Jeane. (Part of) Cemeteries & Gravemarkers, Voices of American Culture, Richard E. Meyer, editor, 1989.
(3) Texas Graveyards, A Cultural Legacy, Terry G. Jordan, 1982.
(4) "Elements Found in Texas Folk Cemeteries," Website [as of December 2016, link no longer available].

Southern Graves Home

Disclosure: The products above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click a link and buy something. This helps to support my research projects and blogging activities, and also makes my two dogs' tails wag.  Hopefully, the purchase benefits you, too!  The price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! Thanks for reading, following, and supporting this Southern Graves blog.

30 November 2016

Delmar Warren's Pyramid Tombstone

"Egyptian, is perhaps the most funerary of all architecture," writes Douglas Keister in Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents.  This, of course, makes perfect sense.  The very definition of an Egyptian pyramid, at it's core, is a tomb.  History.com's article about the Egyptian Pyramids says this:

The pyramid's smooth, angled sides symbolized the rays of the sun and were designed to help the king's soul ascend to heaven and join the gods, particularly the sun god Ra.

Oftentimes, especially in cemeteries located in the southern United States, Eqyptian architecture is combined with more mainstream Christian symbols.  Delmar Warren's pyramid tombstone at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, however, is pretty plain.


Frankly, the simple display looks out of place amid the crosses, angels, flora, and fauna carved in stone around it and throughout the cemetery.  So why was this particular tombstone placed for Delmar Arliss Warren (1911-1982)? A line from his obituary (16 January 1982, Augusta Chronicle) could hold the answer:

Mr. Warren attended schools in Macon and was a graduate of Georgia Tech.  He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, was a member of the American Institute of Architects and was a Methodist.

Furthermore, the 1940 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census – search it free here – provides Delmar's occupation as Architectural Designer.

Simple as that.

29 November 2016

Dr. A. B. Sams: Be Ye Also Ready (Tombstone Tuesday)

From Clayton Baptist Church Cemetery at Rabun County, Georgia -


Dr. A. B. Sams

Jan 5, 1819
Feb 1, 1893

Be Ye Also Ready
For In Such An Hour
As Ye Think Not The
Son Of Man Cometh

27 November 2016

Elisha Millican Canup Ate Too Much Corn? (Cause of Death Defined)

Elisha Millican Canup, born 1865, was a son of Jackson Canup, and a husband to Cleo Burton.  He died in 1930 at Rabun County, Georgia (possibly in Mountain City).


While viewing his death certificate, I came across an unfamiliar term.  What caused Elisha's death was a disease called Pellagra.  It is defined as "a deficiency disease caused by a lack of nicotinic acid or its precursor tryptophan in the diet. It is characterized by dermatitis, diarrhea, and mental disturbance, and is often linked to overdependence on corn as a staple food."

An article at Wikipedia also notes this:

…Soon pellagra began to occur in epidemic proportions in states south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers. The pellagra epidemic lasted for nearly four decades beginning in 1906.  It was estimated that there were 3 million cases and 100,000 deaths due to pellagra during the epidemic.

I thought the "in states south of the Potomac and Ohio rivers" bit interesting.  Appalachia Georgia certainly fits in that category.

Elisha Canup was laid to rest in the graveyard of Clayton Baptist Church, at Rabun County, Georgia.


26 November 2016

Berta Cook and Luke 8:52 (Today's Epitaph)

BeechMethodist-OldMarionBaptist-ODaniel 014Berta Cook, daughter of Julian R. and Laura Elvira (Jones) Cook, was just 21 years old when she died.  Part of the epitaph on her tombstone is Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.  "Not dead, but sleepeth" is not an uncommon inscription to find on a tombstone, but I rarely see the source attached.  Berta's stone provides it:  Luke VIII, 52.  Full verse from the KJV Bible:

And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.

Though Berta died in the community of Bullard, Twiggs County, Georgia, larger papers -- like the Union-Recorder of Milledgeville and the Macon Telegraph of Bibb County -- carried news of her untimely death.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
26 August 1896 – pg. 5 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]


She Was a Bright Young Lady and Well Known in Macon:

News was received in the city yesterday announcing the death of Miss Berta Cook at Bullards, which sad event occurred yesterday morning at 6 o'clock, after a short illness.

The deceased was a daughter of Mr. J. R. Cook, a prominent planter residing at Bullards, and had relatives and friends in Macon to whom the news of her death was a sad blow.

Miss Cook was about 20 years of age and was loved by all who knew her.  Her Christian character and amiable disposition attracted all who came in contact with her, and doubly endeared her to the hearts of her parents.  Her friends extend to the bereaved family their deepest sympathies.

The funeral services will occur from the family residence this afternoon at 3 o'clock.

Union-Recorder (Milledgeville, Georgia)
1 September 1896 – pg. 3 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]

Death of Miss Berta Cook.
Mr. C. M. Wright received a telegram last Thursday morning, bearing the sad intelligence of the death of Miss Berta Cook, which occurred that morning at the home of her father in Twiggs county.  She was ill only three days with malarial fever.

…She is a granddaughter of Mrs. E. A. Cook and a niece of Mr. W. A. Cook of this county.  Some years ago she attended the M. G. M. & A. College.  Last summer she visited her cousin, Miss Louise Wright, in this city, and won many friends by her charming manners and sweet disposition.  Her untimely death causes profound sorrow in a large circle of relatives and friends.

The funeral services were held at the old homestead at 3 o'clock Wednesday afternoon.

Berta was laid to rest at (what is now) Beech Springs Methodist Church Graveyard in Twiggs County, Georgia.  Her mother and brother Cornelius rest near her.

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23 November 2016

Thomas Green Had No Record of His Age

All that remains of Thomas Green, Sr. (1775-1865) rests at Harmony Baptist Church Graveyard in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia.


Fold3War1812PensionBountyLandWarrantAppFile-TGreenSrIn the War of 1812 Pension and Bounty Land Warrant Application Files database at Fold3, I found an interesting account regarding the time of Mr. Green's birth.  The document included in Pvt. Green's file was a letter from a Justice of the Inferior Court of Fannin County, Georgia.  It was dated 24 December 1855, and reads, in part:

[Thomas Green Senior] "who claims Bounty Land under the act of March 3rd, 1855, Number 79651, for his services in the War of 1812, and who being duly sworn according to law declares that he is the identical Thomas Green Senior, who claimed and received Eighty Acres Bounty land, under the act of September 28th, 1850, and that he now claims the additional number of Eighty Acres, under the act of March 3rd, 1855, and that deponent from the fact that he has no record of his age is unable to fix the definite period of his birth but, that he was informed by his parents that he was Born about or shortly after the commencement of the Revolutionary War…"

Furthermore, J. H. Morris Jic stated Mr. Green was "a man of truth and veracity."

So, there you have it.  Straight from the horse's mouth and the justice's pen.  Thomas Green, Sr. was born about April 1775.

21 November 2016

The Golden Bowl was Broken: a Blount Family Cenotaph

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog.]

Lots in Rose Hill Cemetery at Macon, Bibb County, Georgia began to be sold about May of 1840.  According to the cemetery's records, the lot where the following stone, memorializing members of the James Blount family, was placed was purchased by Simri Rose – the developer of Rose Hill – on 28 July 1840.  Unless remains were moved from another location, the stone placed is a cenotaph:  "a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere." [Merriam-Webster]

Rose Hill - Aug 2013-003

James Blount
Born 28th June 1780
Died 12th Dec 1820
Son of Col. Edmund and Judith Blount
of Washington Co, N.C.

Elizabeth Blount
Consort of James Blount
Daughter of P. S. and Nancy Roulhac
Born 4th Oct 1786
Died 17th Feb 1834

Edmund Sharpe Blount
Son of James & Elizabeth Blount
Born 10th Sept 1806
Died in 1826

Erected by John M. Blount, 1851.

This marble to thy memory
the "Golden Bowl was broken"
when scarce I knew thee

for the lessons thou hast taught me

I can give thee but a tomb, it
bears thy name too soon.

Note:  "the Golden Bowl was broken" references the Bible.  Ecclesiastes 12:6 (KJV), to be specific – "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth..."

5…because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.

6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it…

15 November 2016

PFC Lawrence E. Patton, Killed In Action (and His Gold Star Mom)

Tombstone Tuesday from Harmony Church Graveyard in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia:





The Gold Star Mothers veterans service organization has been around since 1928.  Longer than I thought.

In the name of accuracy, I do not know if Ida Mae Patton – the mother of PFC Lawrence E. Patton – was "officially" a member of this organization.

12 November 2016

A Little Treasure: Darling Mary Mulkey

Mary Nell Mulkey was born 9 July 1924 in Tennessee to Paul H. Mulkey (d. 1956) of North Carolina and Ethel Ross (d. 1960) of Georgia.  This little darling only lived  4 years, 3 months, and 7 days.  Her death being caused by a bacterial infection of Diphtheria.  From Wikipedia -

In the 1920s, there were an estimated 100,000 to 200,000 cases of diphtheria per year in the United States, causing 13,000 to 15,000 deaths per year.  Children represented a large majority of these cases and fatalities.

100_7722Mary Mulkey was laid to rest in the Harmony Church Graveyard at Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia.  Her parents joined her years later.  The tombstone placed for Mary is topped with a lamb – a symbol of innocence and purity – and an extended epitaph was added to the back.

Mary Nell
Dau. of Mr. & Mrs. P. H. Mulkey
July 9, 1924
Oct 16, 1928

We had a little treasure once
She was our joy and pride
We loved her ah perhaps too well
For soon she slept and died
All is dark within our dwelling
Lonely are our hearts today
For the one we loved so dearly
Has forever passed away.

09 November 2016

1st Lieut. Eugene C. Jeffers, One of the "Immortal 600"

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog.]

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 048Eugene C. Jeffers was born about 1833 in Virginia to John E. and Eliza W. Jeffers.  Within a few years of Eugene's birth, the family moved to Georgia.  In 1848, when Eugene was a young adult, his father died at the age of 49.

Eugene Jeffers enlisted as a junior 2nd lieutenant in Company I of the 61st Georgia Infantry before October 1861.  He was promoted to 1st lieutenant 2 July 1863.  Muster rolls after that date and through April 1864 listed him as Present.  The 3 November 1864 roll, however, stated he was absent; "in hands of enemy."

Eugene was captured by the Union army as a Prisoner of War near Spottsylvania, Virginia in May of 1864.  He was received at Fort Delaware from Point Lookout, Maryland the next month.  By December of the same year, 1st Lieutenant Eugene Jeffers was listed on a roll of prisoners at Fort Pulaski off the coast of Georgia.

Rose Hill Blog Data

That last card from Fold3's Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia pushed me toward researching the names of the "Immortal 600."

100_7872I visited Fort Pulaski six years ago, and the following is on an informational marker at the historic site:

The Immortal 600 were a group of Confederate officers held as prisoners of war at Fort Pulaski during the bitterly cold winter of 1864-1865.  They were moved here from Charleston where they had been placed in the line of artillery fire in retaliation for what was viewed as similar treatment of Union POW's.

The fallen officers endured many hardships, including a six-week diet of rancid cornmeal and pickles…From dysentery, chronic diarrhea, scurvy, and pneumonia, thirteen of the prisoners died while here at Fort Pulaski.


Wikipedia adds this:  "They are known as the 'Immortal Six Hundred' because they refused to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. under duress." For a more complete account of this Civil War history, please read this article at HistoryNet.

And, finally, a list of the Immortal 600 – on which you can locate 1st Lieut. Eugene Jeffers – is here.

Eugene Jeffers survived his captivity, but his life may have been shortened because of it.  Eugene died 9 December 1873, about the age of just 40 years.  He was laid to rest near his parents at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009

Disclosure: The products above are affiliate links, which means I may receive a very small commission if you click a link and buy something. This helps to support my research projects and blogging activities, and also makes my two dogs' tails wag.  Hopefully, the purchase benefits you, too!  The price you pay will be no different than if you arrived at the same destination through any other link. My opinions are my own, to be sure. If I link to a product and say I like it -- I truly like it! Thanks for reading, following, and supporting this Southern Graves blog.

08 November 2016

Cleo Patra Ledford (Tombstone Tuesday)

This brother and sister were children of Mr. and Mrs. Abner Ledford.


Cleo Patra Ledford
Aug 2, 1889 – Nov 3, 1976
She Has Gone To The Mansions Of Rest


Willis Ledford
Feb 14, 1899
Jan 23, 1963
Gone But Not Forgotten

Harmony Baptist Church Cemetery
Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia

04 November 2016

Homemade Headstones for Jane and James Ray

Homemade headstones often elicit a bittersweet emotion from me.  But if stones could exude love, these two would surely be examples of just that.


Mrs. Eliza Jane Ray was a daughter, born 1865, of G. W. and Winnie (Davis) Wright.  She was also the wife of Robert "Bob" J. Ray.  Jane died in March of 1931 after battling tuberculosis of the lungs for fifteen years.  The name listed as undertaker on her death certificate was George Ray, who possibly was a son.


According to census records, James Robert Ray was a son of Bob and Jane.  His death, which came just 4 days before Christmas in 1932, was due to pneumonia.

Both Jane and her son James died in Fannin County, Georgia.  They were laid to rest in the graveyard of Harmony Baptist Church at Blue Ridge, where more than 80 years later, we can still see the homemade headstones lovingly placed for each of them.


29 October 2016

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman: Her Life, & Tombstone Symbolism

[Originally posted at the Rose Hill Cemetery blog.]

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 023Aurelia L. was born 19 January 1825 in Georgia.  She was one of at least seven daughters born to Henry Graybill Lamar and Mary Ann Davis, and sister to Mary Gazaline Lamar Ellis.

When Aurelia was 20 years old, she married James A. Ralston.  The marriage was solemnized 5 March 1845 by Seneca Bragg at Christ Church in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.  I think James was a son of David (d. 1842) and Anna V. (d. 1836) Ralston.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 024

The couple had at least five children:  Henry (b. abt 1846), James A. (b. abt 1848), Anna, George, and Davis (b. abt 1850).  Anna and George were twins, born 3 August 1849.  According to the inscription on a tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery, George died April 1850, and Anna died September 1851.  The date (month, at least) might be incorrect for George, since both he and Anna are listed in the Ralston household for the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census taken August 12th of that year.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 029

A little more about James A. Ralston, Sr.:  this was a wealthy man.  According to the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, James held real estate valued at $50,000.  His occupation was listed as Speculator.  I dare say at least some of his real estate was inherited from his father, who died November 1842.  The 1860 Federal census for the same location shows James had real estate valued at $120,000, and a personal estate worth $60,000.  His occupation was listed as Planter, and the slave schedule shows he owned 30 individuals.

Furthermore, the Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65 database at Fold3 contains more than 70 images relating to rent payments made to James Ralston for the usage of buildings in downtown Macon by the Confederate Army for office space during the Civil War.

According to his tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery (image of inscription above), James A. Ralston, Sr. died in December of 1864.  Just over two years later, on 7 February 1867, Mrs. Aurelia L. Ralston married Dr. Nathan Bozeman in Bibb County.  Their marriage service was conducted by a pastor of the Presbyterian Church.  Dr. Bozeman lost his first wife, Mary Frances Lamar, in May of 1861.

By 1870, Dr. and Mrs. Aurelia Bozeman were living in New York.  Aurelia was keeping a home containing at least three of Dr. Bozeman's children by his first wife.  Notably, this household also employed five Irish born domestic servants.

Three years later, Aurelia died at her home in Morristown, New Jersey.  Notice was printed in the Weekly Sumter Republican, an Americus, Georgia newspaper (29 August 1873, pg. 3):

DEATH OF MRS. DR. BOZEMAN. -- Mrs. Aurelia Bozeman, wife of Dr. Nathan Bozeman, of Morristown, N.J., died suddenly at three o'clock yesterday morning, at her home in New Jersey.  Mr. Geo. B. Turpin received a dispatch early yesterday morning notifying him of the sad occurrence, and through him the many relatives and friends of the lady in Macon and elsewhere in Georgia.

Mrs. Bozeman was a daughter of Judge Henry G. Lamar, and, before she married Dr. Bozeman, was the widow of the late James Ralston of this city, and mother of James A. Ralston.  She was a sister to Mrs. N. C. Monroe, of Griffin, and of Mrs. W. L. and Mrs. Hayne Ellis, of this city. -- Telegraph & Messenger, 27th inst.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman was laid to rest in the Holly Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  Her tombstone is topped with a large cross covered in ivy, her initials in the middle of the cross (pictured above).  At the base of the cross is an anchor, and there appears to be a crown on top of the cross.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 032

There is a lot of symbolism in play, here.  According to the go-to source for symbols in the cemetery, Stories in Stone: a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by Douglas Keister, here are some proposed meanings:

  • Cross:  Though the symbol actually predates its religious association, this Latin Cross (shaped like the letter t, as opposed to a + sign) is most commonly connected to the religion of Christianity.
  • Crown:  The crown is a symbol of victory, leadership, and distinction.  The cross with a crown, though not always depicted in this same manner, is a Christian symbol of the sovereignty of the Lord.
  • Ivy:  "Because ivy is eternally green even in harsh conditions, it is associated with immortality and fidelity.  Ivy clings to a support, which makes it a symbol of attachment, friendship, and undying affection.  Its three-pointed leaves make it a symbol of the Trinity." [page 57]
  • Anchor:  The anchor is a symbol of hope.  For more information, see Anchors and the Virtue of Hope in the Cemetery.

18 October 2016

Mary E. McClure Mull (Tombstone Tuesday)

Mary E. (McClure) Mull rests at McClure Cemetery in Fannin County, Georgia.  This cemetery is also known as Friendship Cemetery, per applicable death certificates I have viewed.


Mary was born in Georgia to Nancy C. Davenport and Cicero L. McClure.  Her parents also rest at McClure Cemetery.

About the year 1921, Mary became a farmer's wife when she married Hubert Mull (b. abt 1892).  The couple had at least two daughters.  According to the 1940 Fannin County, Georgia Federal census, the family was residing on Dry Branch Road, not far from where the cemetery is today.

Here is a slideshow of images from McClure Cemetery and the surrounding area.

13 October 2016

Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep (Today's Epitaph)

This poem, which is a comforting epitaph, is inscribed on the granite tombstone placed for Joann T. Parks about 1992.  The author of the sonnet was Mary Elizabeth (Clark) Frye, and she wrote it in 1932.


Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn's rain
When you waken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft star that shines at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I am not there; I did not die.


Joann rests at Chastain Memorial Cemetery in Blue Ridge, Fannin County, Georgia.

06 October 2016

James Habersham and Sons at Colonial Park Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia

The three Habersham brothers – James, Joseph, and John – rest beside their father, the elder James Habersham, in Colonial Park Cemetery at Savannah, Georgia.  Though their father supported the Crown, the brothers were devoted patriots in the American Revolution.  And afterwards, prominent in public positions for the United States and the state of Georgia.

Joseph Habersham
The left panel on the vault front is devoted to second son, Joseph Habersham (1751-1815), and his wife, Isabella Rae. Accomplishments of Joseph listed here are the following: Lieutenant Colonel in the Continental Army, Postmaster General under George Washington, Member of the Continental Congress, Speaker of the General Assembly, and Member of the Society Cincinnati in Georgia. Joseph was also Mayor of Savannah, 1792-1793. Furthermore, three years after his death, a county in Georgia was named for Mr. Habersham. Here is an obituary from the Savannah Advertiser by way of the 5 December 1815 edition of Virginia's Norfolk Gazette and Publick Ledger (page 2, original viewable at GenealogyBank):

The melancholy task devolves upon us, of recording the decease of the venerable Col. JOSEPH HABERSHAM, in the 65th year of his age.  On the 18th instant, the sun of his terrestrial existence set, -- to rise no more!

In the fist stages of the revolutionary war, he embarked in the services of his country, and was successively continued in public employments, until advanced age called upon him to retire. -- He was among the oldest native inhabitants of Savannah, and was one of the first and most zealous patriots, who stepped forth to obtain freedom and independence in his country.  He commanded one of the parties, by whom a large stock of powder was taken from the British in 1775; he commanded the party by whom the British governor Wright was taken prisoner in February, 1776; he commanded a rifle corps of volunteers in defense of Savannah, when it was attacked by majors Maitland and Grant, in the succeeding month; and he was appointed a major in the first continental battalion which was raised in Georgia, and was soon after, promoted to the rank of lieut. colonel.  It is believed, that out of thirty five officers appointed in that battalion, general John McIntosh and colonel John Milton, are now the only survivors.  Colonel Habersham was twice appointed a member of congress; several times a member of the state legislature; and in two instances selected by that body to fill the chair as speaker.  After the adoption of the federal constitution, president Washington (who was always mindful of the soldier's merits) appointed him post-master general of the United States.  When he retired from that office, he was appointed president of the Branch bank of the United States in Savannah, and continued in that office until the expiration of the charter.  In all these appointments, as well as in the duties of a private citizen, he preserved the character of a pious honest man.

To his venerable partner, the remains of life will be a species of solitude, when compared with the happy scenes of the past.  To his immediate descendants, as well as his other young relatives, all of whom have long looked up to him, and received from him, the care of an affectionate father, the privation will be afflictive indeed:  but under this dispensation of the great disposer of events, it will afford some consolation, that the memory and merits of their departed relative, will live in the history of his country.  Savannah Advr.

James Habersham (father and son)
The largest panel, in the middle, is for James Habersham – both the elder and the junior – and their wives.  James Habersham, Jr. was married to Esther Wylly.


Be Thou Faithful Unto Death, And I Will Give Thee A Crown Of Life

Sacred to the Memory of
James Habersham
The ancestor of the family of that name.
He was born at Beverly, Yorkshire, England in January, 1712
and died at Brunswick, New Jersey, 28th of August, 1775.
Aged 62 years.

He was an eminent Christian and a highly useful man in the then Colony of Georgia, and held many important offices, among them, those of President of his Britannic Majesty's Council and acting Governor of Georgia during the absence of Governor Wright.  He was also in connection with Whitfield one of the founders of Bethesda, and for a long time a co-laborer in that good and great work.

Also to the Memory of
Mary Bolton
His most beloved Wife
who died the 4th day of January 1763,
and was also buried in this vault.

Per the 4 September 1775 New-York Gazette and Weekly Mercury (page 3, viewable at GenealogyBank, s typed as f as was done in original article):

On Monday laft died at Brunfwick, in the 63d Year of his Age, on his Way to this City, the Hon. James Haberfham, Efq; Prefident of his Majefty's Council of Georgia.----He was a Man of great Probity, Integrity and Honour,---an able Counfellor, an affectionate and tender Parent, and well acquainted with the Delicacies of true Friendfhip:  In his Life he was greatly beloved, efteemed and honoured by all his Friends,---and his Death is equally regretted by all who had the Honour of his Acquaintance.  His Remains were on Thurfday Evening interred in the Family Vault of Nathaniel Marfton, Efq; in Trinity Church-Yard.

James Habersham came to the colony of Georgia in 1738 and became a leading merchant and public servant.  He also became one of Georgia's largest planters.  The historical marker at his grave says this:  "Though he disapproved Parliament's oppressive acts, Habersham remained firmly loyal to the Crown…his last days darkened by the shadow of the impending Revolutionary struggle which arrayed, in his words and in how own case, 'father against son, and son against father.'"

100_8016James Habersham, Jr. was more of a political and financial supporter of the American Revolution, leaving the military service to his brothers.  James also served on the Board of Trustees created to establish the University of Georgia.  Though the epitaph etched below his father's provides for James the incorrect death year of 1808, the historical marker nearby rectifies with the proper year of 1799.

Obituary from the Philadelphia Gazette (Pennsylvania), dated 1 August 1799 [s typed as f as was done in original article, viewable at GenealogyBank]:

Died, on Tuefday, 2d inft. at Savannah, (of which city he was a native) in the 54th year of his age, James Habersham, Efq. a man, whole benevolence of mind and fuavity of manners, will long live in the memory of thofe who had the pleafure of his acquaintance, and whofe conduct through life was marked with unfufpected integrity.

He was the eldeft fon of the Honorable James Haberfham, Efq. who was one of the firft fettlers of the province of Georgia; and who fuftained, with reputation, in the courfe of a ufeful life, the firft offices under the royal government.  This gentleman dying previous to the revolution, the one now the object of our atention [sic] and regret, took a part with his countrymen in the new courfe of things; and through the whole of a conteft fo conflicting and doubtful, he fteadily perfevered, and calmly purfued the great object of the change.  The peace of 1783, having confirmed our hopes, and ratified our independence, he devoted his fervices in the legiflature, in which he was fpeaker, to the improving and perfecting the fyftem of our new government.  Retiring, afterwards within the pale of domeftic life, he was feen as hufband, parent, mafter and friend, a diftinguifhed ornament: difcharging moreover, with ufeful effect, the focial duties of magiftrate and citizen.

John Habersham (1754-1799)
The third son of James and Mary Bolton Habersham is memorialized on the right panel. John Habersham's list of accomplishments include the following: Maj. Continental Army, Member of the Continental Congress, Member of the Society Cincinnati in Georgia, Collector of the Port of Savannah, and One of the Trustees of the University of Georgia. He was married to Sarah Camber.

John was twice captured while serving during the American Revolution: at the fall of Savannah, and at the fall of Charleston, South Carolina.  Both times he was exchanged in active service.

johnhabershamdiedJohn's death occurred almost five months after that of his brother James.  John's obituary can be found in the 22 November 1799 edition of the Columbian Museum (Savannah, Georgia – page 3, s typed as f as was done in original):

DIED] On the 19th inft. Major JOHN HABERSHAM, aged 45 years.  In the late Revolution he early defended the rights of his country, and was promoted to the rank of Major in the firft Continental regiment of this ftate.  Since the Peace he ferved feveral years in the former Congrefs, and on the organization of the Federal Government he was appointed Collector of this Port, in which office he continued till his death.  The eafe, affability, and obligingnefs of difpofition with which he executed his public functions, and the amiable and endearing manner in which he conducted himfelf in his private relations, will long render his death a fubject of general regret in this community, and of embittering recollection to thofe whofe intercourfes of life were fweetened by an intimate acquaintance with him.  He bore a long and painful illnefs with the equanimity which was peculiarly characteriftic of him, and paffed through the laft trying fcene with a correfpondent compofure. – Thus have we loft, in the fpace of a few months, two brothers, of difpofitions the moft angelic with which Heaven is pleafed to blefs mankind.

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