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Friday, August 6, 2010

New and Improved Edition

Someone asked me recently what I look for when I do research in a cemetery. That's one of the things that makes looking at gravestones so interesting. You never know what you might find on them. Some give nothing more than the person's name and years of birth and death. But often a stone will give more detailed information. It might give you the names of a person's parents, a woman's maiden name, marriage date, name of a child who died young, number of children, family genealogy, or any number of variables.
Here are a few amusing stones I came across on the FindAGrave website.

John Denby DDS
"I'm filling my last cavity"
Bristol County, Rhode Island

Monroe county, Florida

Paul G. Lind (apparently a Scrabble fan)
Multnomah County, Oregon

Here are a few other unusual epitaphs of the famous and non-famous.
Arabella Young, 1771
Here lies as silent clay
Miss Arabella Young,
Who on the 21st of May
Began to hold her tongue.
(Hatfield, Massachusetts)
Grave of Ellen Shannon in Girard, Pennsylvania
Who was fatally burned March 21, 1870
by the explosion of a lamp filled with
"R.E. Danforth's Non-Explosive Burning Fluid."
Alexander the Great
A tomb now suffices for him
whom the world was not enough
Quoth the Raven,"Nevermore."
Edgar Allan Poe
(Westminster Presbyterian Cemetery; Baltimore, Maryland)

...If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea....
Anne and Charles Lindbergh (Palapala Hoomu Congregational Cemetery; Kipahulu, Maui, Hawaii)
And here is my favorite:
The Body of
B. Franklin, Printer
Like the Cover of an old Book
Its Contents turn out
And Stript of its Lettering & Guilding
Lies here. Food for Worms
For, it will as he believed
appear once more
In a new and more elegant Edition
corrected and improved
By the Author
Benjamin Franklin
(Christ Church Burial Grounds; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

I don't know if you have ever given any thought to what you would want on your memorial stone, but I have. The genealogist in me would want my maiden name included. And I want this verse which is my statement of faith. "But thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Death is not the end of life. Our Lord Jesus Christ won the victory over death and because He lives I shall never die. I know without a doubt I shall reappear in a new and more elegant edition, corrected and improved by the Author. Thanks be to God who makes it possible!

1 comment:

Gina said...

Hmmm...I never thought about what I wanted on my gravestone. Good food for thought!