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Best Posts & Pin-ables for May

100_1345Did you have a nice Memorial Day weekend? I hope so.  This was the first in ages that I wasn't at a "traditional" job.  So I was free and fortunate to be able to attend a local Memorial Day service.  I posted about it here.

Earlier in May, Elizabeth Shown Mills shared a link on facebook about a lecture being given by University of Georgia History Professor Stephen Berry.  It was about coroners in the 19th century South.  From lecture summary:  "He discussed the role of a coroner as an agent of the state and talked about the records created from coroner inquests. He argued that coroners can shed light on the emerging patterns of death within a society…"

It was a highly informative and very interesting lecture.  As of this writing, it is still available (free!) on C-Span.org.

I was able to visit a couple of cemeteries this month.  One I wrote about for yesterday's post.  The other was "the older one" across the way.  I was looking for a specific grave.  Thankfully, I found it – on the opposite end from which I started.  You know how that goes.

That's ok.  I don't think I could ever rush through a cemetery in the mountains.

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100_7699On to the purpose of this post! The three posts from this blog that got the most attention last month were not written in the month of May.  They are -

  1. Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks
  2. Southern Cross of Honor
  3. Alfred Cranford Murdered.  Sam Hose Lynched.

I posted 17 times last month.  Not too bad! The three most viewed posts from that grouping are -

  1. Hubert P. Peevy & Bona Allen, Inc.
  2. Remember the Rhona.  Remember Clinton Whitehead.
  3. Sudderth Family:  3 Years, 3 Deaths, 1 Tombstone (Causes of Death Defined)

I was really happy to see #2 up there.  I enjoyed writing the post, and think the plight of those soldiers is an under told story.  The post that received the least attention was Poem Turned Epitaph for Mrs. Clarra Williams.  The poem is titled A Death-Bed.  It's only two verses (stanzas?), but I think quite lovely.  Maybe give it a look?

There was a tie for the most pinned post of May:

Top Tweet goes to -

The Corpse Gate

I enjoyed writing that one, too.  And finally, the most engagement on facebook came with a photo I shared from Trinity Church Cemetery in Gwinnett County, Georgia:

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If you missed any of the posts linked above, please check them out.  Thank-you so much for continuing to follow Southern Graves.

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Rocks, Rocks, and More Rocks

Why do people put rocks on grave stones? Some time ago, I learned that the rocks signified a visitor. That is true enough, but I decided to learn a little more about the custom and share my findings with you.

Putting rocks on tombstones is most often described as a Jewish custom. There are many "Ask a Rabbi" columns out there, but I did not find one that knew for sure where the custom originated. They all agreed, however, that a rock symbolized a visitor and when put on a tombstone said, "I remember you." I also read that some people pick up a rock wherever they are when they think of a person that has passed. Then, the next time they visit the grave, they place the rock to say, "I wish you were here."

Rabbi Shraga Simmons offers a deeper meaning: "We are taught that it is an act of ultimate kindness and respect to bury someone and place a marker at the site. After a person is buried, of course, we can no longer participate in burying them. Howe…

Southern Cross of Honor

I'm late to this discussion, but it's one I'd like to join. :-) Terry Thornton at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Hill Country started with Grave Marker Symbols: The Southern Cross of Honor and UCV (link no longer available). Judith Shubert at The Graveyard Rabbit of the Covered Bridges continued with Hood County Texas: C.S.A. Veterans & Southern Cross of Honor Symbol. [UPDATE, 1 June 2009: Judith has moved this post to the blog, Cemeteries with Texas Ties. The link has been corrected to reflect this move. You may also link to her article via her nice comment on this post.]

Wikipedia states:
The Southern Cross of Honor was a military decoration meant to honor the officers, noncommissioned officers, and privates for their valor in the armed forces of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. It was formally approved by the Congress of the Confederate States on October 13, 1862, and was originally intended to be on par with the Union Army's Me…

Thursday Link Love: EyeWitness To History

Yesterday, a link was added to the Genealogy Research Resources Group at Diigo. The link was to the website titled EyeWitness to History.com: History through the eyes of those who lived it. It's a great site, and I encourage all to visit it.

Here are several items I found while snooping around.

- Inside a Nazi Death Camp, 1944: "Hitler established the first concentration camp soon after he came to power in 1933. The system grew to include about 100 camps divided into two types: concentration camps for slave labor in nearby factories and death camps for the systematic extermination of "undesirables" including Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, the mentally retarded and others."

- Crash of the Hindenburg, 1937: "Radio reporter Herbert Morrison, sent to cover the airship's arrival, watched in horror. His eye witness description of the disaster was the first coast-to-coast radio broadcast and has become a classic piece of audio history." [You can really …


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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)