Archive for August 1st, 2010

Clarissa M. Gilmore

In memory of Clarissa M., consort of Eli Gilmore (Historic Hopewell Cemetery)

Walking through cemeteries with some friends, they noticed that some women’s tombstones, rather than having the typical pattern of saying “wife of” a particular man, listed the women as his consort. My friends and I discussed whether there was some particular significance to naming a woman as “consort” rather than “wife.” Perhaps the man and woman were not legally married, they mused.


Tombstones for Adam and Ann Titler (Old Carlisle Burying Ground)

A distinction does exist, but it is nothing so lurid as naming a mistress as such on her grave marker. After consulting a dozen or so cemetery symbolism websites, it appears that the word “consort” on a women’s tombstone usually indicates that she predeceased her husband. A “consort” was still most definitely a wife.


Jane, consort of Tobias Miller (Old Carlisle Burying Ground)

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