Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: X marks the spot



One of the most unusual stones I've come across.  The marker reads:
"In Loving Memory of James Shirley Jackson A.T.C.L. 
Teacher of Singing
Born Edinburgh Scotland, 1860
Died Hamilton, 1921.
"My Hope is in the everlasting."
The shield at the center of the X bears a staff and a large treble clef.

Friday, June 25, 2010

The disappearing markers

"All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again." Ecclesiastes 3:20

There is no better reminder of this phrase than the disappearing stones and markers you come across in a cemetery. Stones, such as these, seem all the more poignant. It is as though the earth is taking them back.

Jennet died Apr 22 1863, 2 y, 8 m, 19 d, dau of ? & Elizabeth Sharp
Robert Pringle a native of Glasgow Scotland, died July 27, 1854 aged 19 years.
Robert Douglas ? died 9th Dec. 1856 aged ?
? Elizabeth Jane their adopted daughter aged 15 years
Lydia Jane Died Aug 3 1851 aged 6 years Cholera

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Rabbiting is contagious: Guest rabbit Matthew Gorman

The G20 meetings are being held in Toronto, and so we are socked in for a bit. My husband Matthew works in the heart of the financial district and, unable to get into his office this week, he decided to hit the road and go visit some of his clients. His travels took him into the northern reaches of the province, and along the way he spotted this small cemetery. He felt compelled to stop and take a look (rabbiting is contagious). He shot these stones with his Blackberry and emailed them to me. I was so excited when I saw them; I think he did a great job. Both the stones, and their configuration, are really interesting. (As always click on them to open a larger version) Here they are:

The saying reads: Friends nor Physicians could not save. / This mortal body from the grave, / Nor can the grave confine it here, / When Christ in judgment doth appear.
The saying reads: My flesh shall slumber in the ground / Till the last Trumpets joyful sound / Then burst the chains with sweet surprise / And in my Saviours image rise
The saying reads: Friends nor physicians could not save / Their mortal bodies from the Grave; / Nor can the Grave confine them here, When Christ shall bid them to appear.
The stone reads: Wm. McBain / 37th Regiment of Foot / Granted / W1/2 Lot 20 Conc. XI - 1818 / His Wife Jane McIndoo / Cavan Pioneers

The 37th Regiment of Foot was a regiment of the British Military, drawn from Ireland, and brought to Canada to assist the British side in the War of 1812. After their service ended a very few of the soldiers were given permission to marry and granted plots of land so that they could stay and settle the area. William McBain was one of those lucky soldiers.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Francklyn Fitzgerald Uniacke: Interesting marker, interesting name



The name Uniacke can be traced back to County Cork, and County Antrim, Ireland. In Nova Scotia it is thought that all Uniacke family members descend from landed gentry from the area of County Cork. Richard John Uniacke served as the attorney general of Nova Scotia. Of Francklyn Fitzgerald Uniacke I could find no specific reference.

In life the waist-belt and sword slings which were part of Captain Fitzgerald Uniacke's uniform would have been crafted of white leather; the sword was of infantry pattern with gold knot. Junior officers had black scabbards with brass fittings; the adjutant, a steel scabbard; and field officers, brass scabbards.

Carved to wrap around the marker is the waist belt, sword slings, and empty scabbard of the captain. The empty scabbard signifies that death has taken his sword, and thus the power, of the interred.

The marker reads: In loving memory of / Francklyn Fitzgerald Uniacke / Captain, Royal Canadian Regiment / Died Jan. 13th 1907 Aged 28 / "Until the day break and the shadows flee away"

UPDATE: Thanks to Martina Murphy at the Uniacke Estate Museum in Nova Scotia, Canada, I now have the following information about Francklyn Fitzgerald Uniacke. He was a great-grandson of RJ Uniacke. He was born in 1878 and died in 1907 at age 28. He was a captain, unmarried and died of pneumonia.

Reference re uniform: http://www.militaryheritage.com/royalregimentofcanada.htm

All photographs Copyright©Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman 2010

Monday, June 21, 2010

William Winer Cooke: Little Big Horn, 29 May 1846 - 25 June 1876


Who would have ever imagined that a man killed in action at Little Big Horn, Montana would end up interred approximately 1375 miles away in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

William Winer Cooke's story is a very interesting one. The Canadian born Cooke, who was educated at schools in Hamilton Ontario, moved to Buffalo New York to continue his education. Following graduation in 1863, during the Civil War, he enlisted with the 24th New York Cavalry at Niagara Falls. He served as a recruiting officer and on the front lines under the command of Ambrose Burnside, and was wounded at the Siege of Petersburg.

Cooke was made 1st Lieutenant on 14 December 1864, returning to front-line duty March 1865. He was awarded promotions of Captain, Major, and Lieutenant Colonel for meritorious service during the Civil War. His last posting of the war was at the Battle of Sayler's Creek during the Appomattox Campaign.

Following the Civil War, Cooke joined the 1st New York Provisional Cavalry and applied for a Regular Army commission. July 1866 Cooke was made 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment; in 1867 he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant at Fort Harker in Kansas. In 1868, he participated in the Washita Campaign.

In 1871, he became the Regimental Adjutant under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, and was said to be a member of the "Custer Clan", the close-knit group of Custer's friends and relatives.

William Winer Cooke was killed during the Battle of the Little Bighorn 25 June 1876. He was 30 years old.

Cooke was buried 3 times. Initially he was interred on the battlefield; a memorial slab marks the approximate spot where he fell. In June 1877, he was reburied in the Little Bighorn National Cemetery. In August of 1877, his family had the remains disinterred again and reburied in the family plot in the Hamilton Cemetery.

Reference: For more about Cooke read Arnold, Steve, and French, Tim. Custer's Forgotten Friend: the Life of W.W. Cooke, Adjutant, Seventh U.S. Cavalry, Powder River Press, 1993.

Copyright©irisheyesjg2007-2012.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Intriguing names from the necropolis: Raw


The family name 'Raw', said to have Norse origins, was brought to the British Isles in the 9th century, and out to the colonies from there. In Ireland the name is said to derive from the Gaelic MacGraith or Mag Raith with the prefix dropped over time, or the name morphing into such variations as MacGraw. There are many 'Raws' in England, in the Scarborough and Whitby areas of North Yorkshire.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Donaghmore Church, Round Tower, and cemetery, County Meath, Ireland

We happened upon the remains of this church, round tower, and cemetery as we were passing through Meath on the road from Galway to Drogheda. A monastery was reputedly founded here by St. Patrick in the 5th century. The round tower dates to the 11th century. The stone edifice with the archway is all that remains of the 16th century church. Although there are some contemporary graves, little remains of the identities of the early interred.



All Photographs Copyright© Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Anvils Anyone?

Here are two excellent examples of anvils atop headstones. These stones are within yards of each other in the Hamilton Cemetery, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. It is interesting to note that, while anvils usually appear with a hammer on top, neither of these anvils has a hammer. An anvil was used for forging metal, and on a headstone is usually a signifier for a blacksmith; however, was either of these men in fact a blacksmith?


Interred here is Andrew McVittie, his wife Annie, and their daughter Lillie May. Of the McVitties I was able to discover that Andrew was born in Dublin, Ireland: his wife Annie was of the Jaggard family, and in addition to Lillie May, they had another daughter named Eva who is not interred here.


Interred here is Henry O'Brien, a native of County Cork, Ireland, and his wife Isabella McCormick, a native of County Armagh, Ireland. I wonder how they met since Cork is in the southernmost province of Munster and Armagh is in the northeast province of Ulster. Perhaps they met in Canada.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Intriguing names from the Necropolis: Pushie


When I saw this marker I was intrigued by the name it bears: Pushie. Then, I noticed the first name of the woman interred here. I think 'Jubilant C. Pushie' has such a marvelous ring to it. I wondered if Jubilant was as joyous as her name sounds, and so googled her name, but could find nothing about her.

I also wonder if perhaps Mr. Pushie was the more 'pushy' of the two in their relationship, since his name appears, in the traditional fashion of the patriarch, before that of his wife, despite the fact that he is not yet interred in the grave.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Intriguing surnames from the Necropolis: Publicover


I photographed this marker because I think Publicover is a very interesting surname. After a little research I discovered that George Roy Publicover had worked as an accountant with the National Fish Company in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Also, the marker bears the emblem of the fraternity of Freemasonry, and both Mr. Publicover and several members of his family are on the rolls of the Freemasons.

Curiosity about the origin of the name led to a little more 'digging', and the discovery that there are many Publicovers in Nova Scotia, all of whom can be traced back to one Peter Bubickhoffer, who emigrated from the Palatinate (southwest Germany) and came to Nova Scotia in 1752 at the age of 34. Publicover is the anglicized version of the name Bubickhoffer.

According to Wallace Gray, a Publicover descendent: "There are many variations to the spelling of the surname. The name was anglicized around 1764 when Peter's last children, Maria and John Peter were the first to be christened with the surname Publicover. There are 50 [variations], counting the present spelling." When you consider the number of variations of the original name, Publicover stands as an excellent example of the intersection between oral and written history.

For more information visit Wallace Gray's website: http://www.drack.info/wallygray25/publicoverfam.htm

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday: Henry Coff, Railway Fireman


The stone reads:

Henry Coff.

Fireman on the H. & N. W. R. R. who on the 3rd of Feb. 1880 unfortunately lost his life near Glencairn Station by the breaking of the leading wheel of the engine truck. HE WAS 23 YEARS OF AGE. and was highly esteemed by his fellow workmen for his many amiable qualities. His death will be long lamented by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance.


I could find no other information about the accident which took young Mr. Coff's life. The H. & N.W. R. R. is the Hamilton & North Western Railroad which was taken over by The Grand Trunk Railroad in 1888.

There are other two occupants in the grave, Emma and George. Based on the dates of their respective interments, the grave may have been unmarked until the interment of Henry.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Titanic: Pålsson (Paulson): A mother and four children forever lost


Alma Cornelia Berglund Pålsson and her children made the journey in third class leaving Gruvan, Sweden headed for Chicago, Illinois. It is alleged that she took too long to prepare her children and missed the lifeboats, and that another passenger attempted to save two of them, but lost his grip on them. Neither of these allegations has been corroborated.

Nils Pålsson had emigrated to Chicago first, to set up a home and to work, earning enough money to bring his wife Alma and their children to the United States. The journey to Titanic was a long one; Alma and her children left Gruvan, Sweden travelling first to Malmö, Sweden, then to Copenhagen, Denmark, finally boarding Titanic in Southampton, England.

I think it is interesting to note that, on both the gravemarker and in the account offered, the family name Pålsson has been anglicized.

The following account of Mr. Pålsson's search for his family is provided by Encyclopedia Titanica :

"Paulson looked pale and ill when he leaned hungry eyed over the desk and asked in broken English if his wife or children had been accounted for. Chief Clerk Ivar Holmstrom scanned his list of third class passengers saved. He failed to find there any of the names enumerated by Paulson. "Perhaps they did not sail," he suggested hopefully. Then he looked over the list of those who sailed third class on the Titanic...The process of elimination was now complete. "Your family was on the boat, but none of them are accounted for," said Clerk Holmstrom."

"The man on the other side of the counter was assisted to a seat. His face and hands were bathed in cold water before he became fully conscious. He was finally assisted to the street by Gust Johnson, a friend who arrived with him. Paulson's grief was the most acute of any who visited the offices of the White Star, but his loss was the greatest. His whole family had been wiped out."

Grave marker photograph Copyright ©Jennifer Geraghty-Gorman
Encyclopedia Titanica: http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

A post with gratitude

Hi Everyone,

Sheri Fenley of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits has very kindly posted a column on the GYR website introducing me to the community. If you want to have a look at it go to http://www.thegraveyardrabbit.com/2010/06/meet-jennifer-geraghty-gorman-author-of.html
Thank You Sheri!
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