Posts Tagged ‘chesterland’

Sometimes the engraving on a tombstone is not 100% clear. The Schultz’s stone includes a tractor and a branch with fruit – I’m going to guess that they were farmers and grew at least some of their own fruit, but maybe he sold tractors and her nickname was “Peach.”


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An unopened or partially opened bud with a broken stem is a frequent symbol on the graves of young people – not just children, but young adults. It symbolizes the unrealized possibilities from death at a young age.


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It’s been a while, so I think it’s time for another post on unusual, obscure, or old-fashioned names.

The lighting makes it a little hard to read, but Zerviah was the wife of James Keyt, who lived from 1818-1902. The name Zeruiah (Zerviah) appears in the Bible as one of King David’s sisters.


I can’t find much agreement on the name Zula. It appears to have been a more common name in the 19th century. Origin theories in my brief research range from it being derived from the African Zulus to the name of a town on the Red Sea to being a name used in Spanish.


Zerusha is one of those names that I can’t find a meaning for, but I was able to find a number of references to 19th century women who bore the name. Some of the family genealogy sites seemed to suggest that it was a variant of the name Jerusha, which is biblical.

Smith (2)

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Most resources suggest that Orsa as a woman’s name is derived from the Latin word for “bear.” Orsa Lander sleeps in Chester Township Cemetery.


In the National Cemetery at Gettysburg, you can find the grave of Blodwyn Tipton. My quick and not entirely scientific research (can’t believe everything on the internet, you know) indicates that Blodwyn is a Welsh name that means “white flower.”


Asenath Harris Gillam is buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo. The name Asenath is Biblical: the name of the Egyptian woman who is given to Jacob (son of Joseph) as a wife by the Pharoah.

Asenath Harris Gillam

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Not all cemetery symbols correspond numerically to the number interred under the monument, but weeping willows sometimes do. Even when the names and details are nearly obscured, you can sometimes count the weeping willows carved into the top of the tombstone and make a guess at how many names once appeared on the surface below.

In Chester Township Cemetery, Austin and Beecher Turner share a stone with two willow trees on it.


Three willow trees adorn the tombstone for three sons of the Lauterman family in the Olde Hudson Burying Ground.


Lambs sometimes have this same ratio of lambs aboveground to coffins below, but I can’t think of many other cemetery symbols that do.

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This unusual marker sits in the Chester Township Cemetery.


Even more striking than the front is the back, which is to “The Three Infants” of the Painter family. The years listed are 1906, 1912, and 1923, presumably each infant died within the same calendar year in which he or she was born.


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The culmination of my four-day heart scavenger hunt is here, and for Valentine’s Day itself, I decided to post the hearts that seem to specifically be in the cemetery as a reference to romantic love.

Joseph Kahsky and his wife Rose Kahsky have a heart-shaped tombstone in Chester Township Cemetery.


The pink granite tombstones for the Wrights in Willoughby Village Cemetery  have hearts, flowers, and love messages engraved on them.

Leonard T. Wright

Nancy Wright

The Birnbaums have a stone at Lake View Cemetery under a double-heart tombstone. (I’m not sure if Mrs. Birnbaum is there yet.)¬† Like my grandparents, their wedding anniversary was Valentine’s Day.¬† I particularly like the etched “Forever Valentines.”


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Seeing this post at The Symbolic Past, I felt inclined to look through my photos to see plots with more than one wife listed on the tombstone.

The Gilbert monument in Chester Township Cemetery has a front panel that lists Joel Gilbert and both of his wives, Criscilda and Naomi.



Nearby, Rev. J. R. Thompson rests with his wives, Laura and Delia.


There are a lot of other stones that could be for a man and more than one women to whom he was married, but without the clear moniker of “his wife,” I didn’t post them. The second woman on the tombstone could be another family member (sister or cousin) or, if the birth date is significantly later, either a younger wife or a daughter.

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I have run across a number of grave markers that are boulders in more or less their natural form. This one is in Chester Township Cemetery.


I don’t know enough about geology to know why this rock looks the way it does or if there might be any significance to it, I just needed to show it to you.


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One hundred and fifty years ago today, South Carolina became the first state to pass an Ordinance of Secession. Eleven more state governments would follow suit. (That count includes Missouri and Kentucky, that each had two competing governments on either side of the issue.) The Civil War would not officially start until April 12, 1865, with the conflict at Fort Sumter. Over the next four years, the bloody war would claim an estimated 620,000 lives on both sides before the Confederate States of America surrendered and rejoined the Union.



It is difficult to walk through an American cemetery and not notice the significant role that the Civil War played in American life. There are the government issue headstones for veterans, of course, but then there are the personal markers and family monuments that often list the unit in which the soldier served, or the battle in which he died, such as Darius Gilbert at Chattanoga. The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) flag holders are everywhere in Ohio cemeteries.



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