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Archive for October, 2008

Week #2’s headstone of the week was found in Booneville, Owsley County, Kentucky.  This is a site, not just a headstone.  The Moores have an impressive site in the Shepard Cemetery.  They are my children’s ancestors on their father’s side.

This huge stone is in front of the stones that are arranged behind it, protecting the original grave markers.

The two stones with the cherub between them are pictured below.  I am assuming that the larger four slabs of stone are protecting the very early stones.  I really don’t know, but it makes sense to me.

I love this site and wish all of my ancestors had a little site like this.  Compiled with birth and death years, and even the maiden name of an ancestor!

The cemetery is well taken care of and it is obvious the town and descendants are proud of their heritage.

Week #2, Linda’s Headstone of the Week


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Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is one of the churches my ancestors attended.  They were married and buried from this Church in the 1700’s, 1800’s and into the 1900’s.

For this reason, this church holds a special affinity for me.  We’ve attended services here, toured it, photographed it, walked around it and gawked at it.  It is a truly amazing structure and retains a dignified and historic presence in the heart of the city.

Although the cornerstone for the Church was laid in 1761, the building was not consecrated until 1766.  The tower and steeple were not finished until 1794 although begun in 1785.  According to Evans and Ellis “History of Lancaster County Pennsylvania,”

The steeple is one hundred and ninety-five feet high.  The gilt ball is large enough to hold ninety-five gallons.  The four wooden figures represent the four evangelists, beginning with St. Matthew, on the northeast corner; St. Mark, at the northeast; St. Luke, at the southwest; and St. John at the northwest corner.”

The picture below was taken at twilight, and shows the evangelists, the gilt ball and the entire steeple.  It is beautiful and can be seen from a distance.

As the city grew, the church grew, and as the church grew, need for space became necessary.  The cemetery had outgrown it’s space, and  the Church had purchased the land on South Queen Street which is now Woodward Hill Cemetery.  New burials took place there.  In 1879, when the Chapel was built, a number of graves were re-interred in Woodward Hill Cemetery.  Several hundred grave sites were left in place as they were not in the way of construction.

In 1949 a Parish House was to be built to replace the Chapel and the final grave sites were removed.  The remains were removed to a Funeral Home for keeping until such a time as the wall was built.  The best of the head stones were selected to be placed into the wall along with the final remains of all that had been buried there.  The rest of the headstones were sent to Landis Valley Museum.

The wall is now the focal point of a memorial garden with benches and lovely plants.   We have brought visitors to the city to this spot and on more than one occasion, gone for a walk and spent a little time reflecting on the lives of those who have gone before us.

Although none of my ancestors are in this garden, it is still a quiet and reflective place.  Examples of some of the old German headstones are shown below.  The Church has taken great care and pride in their history and preserving the remains of those that have gone before.

Whether your ancestors are buried here or not, if you are ever in this city, do not miss the opportunity to see this church and spend a few minutes reflecting in this holy spot. You will be richer in spirit for it and will not regret the few minutes spent.

Don’t you wish every expansion and/or development that involved the removal of cemeteries or graveyards would have had an organization such as Trinity Lutheran behind it? They are to be commended for the thought and care they took to preserve their cemetery and remains of those that have gone on before.

References:

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Headstones, Monuments, Grave Markers, whatever you may call them, I love them.  There are no two alike, well maybe there are, but I’m not attracted to the common ones.  I love the unusual, different and bordering on strange ~ but that’s me!

I’ve decided to post a different headstone each week that I’ve found unusual or out of the ordinary or just plain beautiful.  For whatever reason I was attracted to it and have a picture of it in my file.

The honor of being the first “Headstone of the Week” was found in Rockcastle County, Kentucky. My ex-husband’s father was from this county and I have researched his family for my children.  While we were in Kentucky I was photographing their ancestor’s headstones when I came across this one and had to photograph it.

This is just another use for Duct Tape.  Either there are high winds in that part of Kentucky or flowers disappear from cemeteries.  It just fascinated me.

Week #1, Linda’s Headstone of the Week.

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I know, I’m Lancaster Pennsylvania’s Graveyard Rabbit!  Why on earth is my first blog about Perry County, Pennsylvania??  To understand that, you have to understand Linda.

So let’s talk about Linda and Graveyards, Cemeteries, Final Resting Spots or whatever you may call them. They are a passion in my life. I cannot drive by one and wonder if I have “somebody” who is buried there. My husband swears we have stopped at every cemetery in mid-state Pennsylvania! My goal is to prove him wrong.

The picture in the header was taken less than a week ago. We were on our way to a picnic with friends and I spied a cemetery where I know some of my ancestors are buried. Of course, I’ve been there, but I had to stop again! . . . with friends in the car, with people waiting for us, and with no purpose other than to stop and see it and take a picture or two. 45 minutes later we were on the road again! I’m sure you understand!

I need to pull weeds from around the stones, remove trash and generally straighten up the site (and those adjacent to the site, as well.) My husband knows the drill and helps. Our friends on the other hand, were probably confused and thought we were odd.

Newport Cemetery is about an hour and a half from our home and stands above Newport on a hill, with an outstanding view. It is in Perry County, the brunt of all mid-state Pennsylvania jokes. Joke or no joke, my ancestors once had thriving lives here and I love this area.

Buried in this cemetery is not only my great-great-grandmother, but her parents as well.  Mary J. Ziegler Gantt Carvell’s stone is weathered and she is buried with her first husband.  He had died in his 20’s and it is almost like my g-g-grandfather had given her back when she died!  He is buried 2 counties away.

. . . . and her parents, Philip and Ann Eliza Troup Ziegler.  The stones each face different ways.  Don’t you wonder why?

Now, I’ll get down to business and concentrate on Lancaster County!  Notice I did not promise to stick only to Lancaster County?

Too many Ancestors and too many Graveyards in Pennsylvania for a promise like that!

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