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Grave Stones


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#1 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 07:36 AM

I've been wondering about this for a month, since my first investigation up North, many of the more established*older* cemetaries have stones proclaiming the person to be a native of different states or born in foreign lands and I've
not seen it in either Mn, Tenn, NY or Tx and was just wondering why they did it? Was it a significant fact to the person buried there...is it California snobbery that the cad buried under the oak was a native of Maine? Curiously, this custom of identifying a non-native Californian was more popular in the mid-19th Century to the early 20th and I just don't get it.

I'd say maybe the gold rush, but San Francisco's like 220 miles away
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#2 OwlGoddess

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:29 AM

hmm... i'm not sure, whispers!  being one of those non-californian californians, i wouldn't dare take a stab at the REAL reason for that strange practice.

ALTHOUGH... i do seem to remember old old cemetaries in colorado (near ghost towns or old mining towns that migrated away from the original cemetary and settlement) that had very INFORMATIVE tombstones.  those of which i speak are probably contemporary with the ones near SF.

it seems that pre-1890s tombstones go so far as to list family of the deceased (son or daughter of... mother or father of...), manner of death (consumption is common... i've even seen some that read "died of grief"), of course military rank or public office (more common - even now) and sometimes an occupation or achievement.  post 1890 it seems that only people of standing had that much on their stone, or at least it's not as popular these days to have a paragraph of info on your headstone.  

do you think this might have been the case?

OG
Life's waters flow from darkness; Search the darkness, don't run from it.--Rumi

#3 mastermind73

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 10:52 AM

An interesting question I have sometimes wondered about myself.  It seems like the only headstones around here (KS and MO) that have that kind of information on them are Civil War soldiers.
"If dreams are like movies, Then memories are films about ghosts.You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.""Don't you remember when we were young, and we wanted to set the world on fire?'Cause I still am, and I still do."

#4 Bridget

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 11:18 AM

I would speculate that these people were basically pioneers, and since california was such a relatively "new" territory, they indicated where there real home was.I have to see when californai became a state, it may not have been one yet.
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#5 Bridget

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 11:25 AM

OK, California became a state in 1850. So, naturally anyone buried there would name their state they were from (if they had come from another, which was common at that time) . And that practice probably just stuck until the turn of the century, that's my guess!
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#6 Bridget

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 01:05 PM

OH! AND, before the civil war (1865), people did not necessarily have an allegiance to the United States of America, because there was no such thing, so an allegiance to their state or foreign country was strong.
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#7 flyingorb

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 01:53 PM

OH! AND, before the civil war (1865), people did not necessarily have an allegiance to the United States of America, because there was no such thing, so an allegiance to their state or foreign country was strong.


HUH?  *repeatedly thumps his head on a history book in frustration and vows to give up trying to teach history*  [smiley=cwm36.gif]
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#8 mastermind73

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 02:02 PM

LOL flyingorb.  He's right, Bridget.  There actually was a United States back then.  But I think I see the angle you are going for.

I think most likely that since the country was still young, and there were still many unsettled areas (by whites, at least), that MANY people were from other places than where they died.  So, their relatives placed their origins on the tombstones to commemorate their roots.
"If dreams are like movies, Then memories are films about ghosts.You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.""Don't you remember when we were young, and we wanted to set the world on fire?'Cause I still am, and I still do."

#9 whispers_of_fire

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:28 PM

OG! Welcome back, my friend! I noticed that too...veterans are ided by rank*if it was Sergeant or higher*and the war they fought in or wars if they were career, I've never seen cause of death though, but my brother's wife was telling me
about a Pioneer Cemetary in Tehachepi, so maybe I can see if
there are any similarities when I go up there. I have seen family relations though, in fact they're still done at least
if you mean a commemoration like "Beloved father, husband and brother"?

Bridget...um, the Declaration of Independence referred to this then fledgling nation as "These United States". What I didn't know until a month or so ago is that California was a Union state,in fact Alcatraz was a Union fort and gunboats
patrolled the bay of San Francisco, guarding against attack by Johnny Reb.

Mastermind, That is probably the best explanation, that descendants can remember their roots*snickers*maybe so their granddaughters wouldn't bob their heads from side to side when they talk.

Flyingorb, stop that, you'll hurt that History book [smiley=cwm27.gif]
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#10 OwlGoddess

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 03:47 PM

ugh, hi whispers!  ** developing acute eye strain from working on egg tempera paintings that measure 5 by 5 inches and painting with a brush with three hairs in it**  good to be back, if only here and there...

yeah, the headstones in CO that i mentioned were really bizarre.  some of the most morbid, actually.  i'm talking little children's graves with sculpted dead doves on top.  ugh.

one of them said something like "jane doe, devoted and most wonderful daughter, aged five years, died april 1, 18something, of a most wretched bout of consumption - lord keep and rest your beautiful soul".  really very poetic!

OG
Life's waters flow from darkness; Search the darkness, don't run from it.--Rumi

#11 mastermind73

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 04:33 PM

Flyingorb, stop that, you'll hurt that History book


Let him be, whispers.  He might learn something by osmosis.   [smiley=cwm4.gif] [smiley=cwm4.gif] [smiley=cwm4.gif]

Hey, BTW flyingorb, did you know that your avatar is missing?
"If dreams are like movies, Then memories are films about ghosts.You can never escape, you can only move south down the coast.""Don't you remember when we were young, and we wanted to set the world on fire?'Cause I still am, and I still do."

#12 flyingorb

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Posted 04 December 2003 - 06:47 PM

Hey!  I heard that.......errr....I mean.....I saw that!......Oh well, Hammering your head against something is somewhat therapeutic.   ;D  Avatar should be back now, I am in the process of moving my web site to a new hosting provider.
CRY HAVOK! Let Slip The Chihuahuas Of War.....When an ORB dies.......a Chihuahua is born!

#13 hoppip

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 03:51 AM

Here in Marylands older cemetarys I have found that there is most always a mention on the stone where the person was from.  I think if that person was born in that country or state then thats what is put on them.  Another question someone might ponder is why are so many women buried with their married name why isnt their maiden name put on the stone as well.  I only find the maiden name sometimes.  It would be very helpful to the geneology researcher if the maiden name was put there.

#14 Bridget

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 04:05 AM

OK Flying Or, i just about flunked history! Don't feel bad. I guess the country was divided into the north and south and was not really united is what i should have said.
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#15 hawkerdriver

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Posted 05 December 2003 - 05:37 AM

Ok, Hawkers here to muddy the waters-- A lot of times tombstones were the closest thing they had to an obituary(where I get my lotto numbers-by the way ;))  And some tombstone do read: Janet nee Adams Doe  -for example.  Making tombstones was quite a profession back in the 1800's. Actually considered an art.  
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