Sep 8, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday A Music Composer

At my last visit to Allegheny Cemetery this past July I came across this tombstone which caught my attention because I felt it was unique.  It has a few lines of music notes written on the stone.  It is a large stone and is located in the "Millionaires Alley" section.  I did a little searching about Adolph M Foerster and found he was a music professor and also a composer.  I am assuming the music on his marker is something he composed himself.  Never learned to read music myself but would love to hear the tune on this tombstone.

Here is a close of the music notes

If you would like to see a picture of Adolph there is one on Find A Grave.

Oct 7, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Unique Bust

My daughter spied this tombstone in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh.  It is in a far off corner just up from the community garden.  The name on the marker is Yost and I am assuming this is a likeness of at least one person buried in this plot.

I thought it was rather unique but my daughter had a different impression.  It caught her eye because it reminded her of the Disney movie "Haunted Mansion".  If you have seen the movie (or the Disney park ride) you are familiar with the singing haunted busts.  Haunted Mansion is my daughter's all time favorite movie which is why this tombstone caught her attention I'm sure.

Aug 19, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Sad Little Tombstone

I found this small angel tombstone in Calvary Cemetery in Pittsburgh on our last trip there.  Not even sure how I spied it because it is almost completely hidden under a big tree.  The writing is just about completely worn off so I don't know the name.  It is a small angel with maybe a flower ? motif.  My guess is it is a marker for a child who died a long time ago.  There are no other markers near it so possibly no other family is buried here.  It just struck me as so sad.  So to whoever is buried here, rest in peace, you are not forgotten.

Jul 31, 2014

A Family Tradition Continues

 Many of us inherit or are given things from older family members.  I am fortunate to have an attic full of things from my Father's family.  But only a few of my "things" have come with stories or traditions attached.  I love to know the stories attached to my ancestor's possessions.

Many years ago my great aunt Meta gave my Father an old marble serving dish.  At least I think it is some sort of serving dish.  She told him that when she was growing up her mother kept this in the entry way of their house and it was filled with marbles.  Definitely something I would never have thought of putting in a serving dish.  I don't know why she used marbles but I think it is an unique idea.

So I have carried on the tradition.  I don't have anywhere to put it in my entryway but I have it sitting in my living room.  When my son was little someone gave him a bunch of vintage marbles which I saved (I am a pack rat like my ancestors!).  So it is filled with old marbles just like my Great Grandmother displayed it and I think of her every time I dust.  I tell my kids this story all the time so maybe it will sit filled with marbles in one of their homes some day.

Here is a picture of my Great Grandmother Meta Badenhoop Rennick--the marble lady.

Jul 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - A Tree for Treacy

I found this unique tree tombstone in Calvary Cemetery in Pittsburgh a few weeks ago.  It is quite large, was actually bigger than the "real" tree I was standing against to take the picture.  While I have seen other tree tombstones this one caught my eye because of the family name - Treacy.  I assume it was pronounced "Treesy".  As my daughter said, "How cool, their tombstone is a pun". 

It was surrounded by three large flat stones with Father, Mother, and not sure how the third person was related.  For such a large stone I suspect maybe more are buried here but with no individual markers.

Jul 1, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - An Unsual Find

Thanks to the newest batch of PA Death Certificates on I was able to locate Joseph Jageman, one of my husband's ancestors.  It is a rare thing for both myself an husband to find ancestors with any type of marker, let alone a huge marker along with smaller individual ones.  So this was definitely a unexpected find.

He was married to Ida Hippely and is buried with her family as is three of their daughters.  We were certainly surprised by the size of the Hippely stone.  Definitely of first for his ancestors!

Apr 17, 2014

My Ancestors On a TV Show!

Every Sunday while watching the AMC channel (I am a huge "Walking Dead" fan) I kept seeing commercials for a new series called "Turn".  I didn't pay much attention and in fact was getting sick of seeing them.  The series is set during the Revolutionary War about a group of American spies.  Then during one of these commercials I caught the name of the main character--Abraham Woodhull--from Setauket New York and almost fell off my chair.

Jamie Bell as Abraham Woodhull on AMC "Turn"

My great grandmother's maiden name was Woodhull.  I have traced her family back to to Setauket, NY.  I knew these had to be "my Woodhulls".  So off I went to research Abraham Woodhull.

It turns out Abraham's father, Richard Woodhull (also in the show) was a brother of my 6th great grandfather.  The series is based on actual facts about of group of men acting as spies for the Americans under George Washington.  I was actually amazed--I had never heard of this group of spies and there were my ancestors are - part of it all.

I have only caught the first episode but it was really cool to sit and watch what life was like for my New York ancestors in this time period.  How true this story stays to actual facts I do not know.  But I still enjoyed getting a glimpse into their lives.  It was also amazing to keep hearing other surnames I recognized from my family tree as characters in the show such as Strong, Brewster, and Tallmadge.

I have no idea what the real Abraham looked like but here is his grave memorial at Setauket Presbyterian Cemetery in New York from Find A Grave

"Friend and confidant of George Washington, Head of the long Island Secret Service During the American Revolution he operated under the alias Samuel Culper Sr. To him and his associates have been credited a large share of the success of the Army of the Revolution. Born in Setauket Oct. 7, 1750 in the original Woodhull homestead, son of Richard W. & Margaret Smith. Fifth generation from Richard Woodhull, the original grantee of a large portion of Brookhaven Town. He was a Presbyterian, occuping a "Pew of Authority" in the old church and doinig much toward the building of the new church. He was a man of integrity punctual and precise in his business relations. He freed his slaves long before they were legally free. He filled numerous important positions being Magistrate in Setauket many years, Judge
of the Court of Common Pleas 1793-1799, First Judge of Suffolk Co. from 1799-1810.

This Memorial conceived and erected by Mayflower Chapter - DAR Setauket, L. I., N.Y. - June 25, 1936"