Gravestone detectives, pls. help me decipher this!

alisandeSeptember 10, 2012

Three little gravestones for three little children. Always so sad. I want to give them memorials on FindAGrave, and I need some help reading their mother's name. Henry & Mary? Henry & Minnie? Henry & Ruth?

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susanjf_gw

looks like ruth on the first, but other 2 are different...do you suppose he lost a wife along the way? the first child looks like 1852, while the others are 1857, 1856??

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 3:27AM
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kathy_

The last looks like Millie to me - could they have been Mormans?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 3:39AM
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kathy_

Second looks like Unity.
F is often S and it also looks like Is
#3 maybe Millie could have been Minnie? Mormons? Spell check is broken...Grin

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 3:43AM
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cherryfizz

I see Henry & Unity and Henry and Minnie

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:14AM
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gemini40

Looks like Henry and Minnie to me Susan... can't make out the dates on the stones how old were these 3 little ones?

June

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:49AM
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jannie

Sorry I can't read the left side stone at all.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 8:56AM
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alisande

Does this enlargement help? Actually, I think it might complicate things. To me, it looks like too many letters for Ruth in the first one and not enough letters for Minnie in the others. At first I thought they were all Mary, but it doesn't seem that way now.

Yes, the dates are 1851-1852 (10 months old), 1857-1857 (3.5 months old), and 1856 (newborn).

Thanks for helping!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 9:56AM
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dedtired

It looks lie the same name on all three to me but spelled with "ie" instead of "y" on the one on the right. Left and center look like Unity. Could the one on the right be Unitie??

What is the baby's name on the stone on the left?

Have you tried that method where you scribble on paper held over the inscription?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:05AM
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alisande

Helen on the left? Looks more like Heleen, but that's unlikely. It's a girl, in any case.

For some reason we're not supposed to do gravestone rubbings anymore. It somehow contributes to the degrading of the stone. Like I said, I don't know how this could happen, but it does.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 10:55AM
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dbfirewife

If you tell me what County and State these are in I will look on Ancestry.com and see if I can find the family on census reports or family trees.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:12AM
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samkaren

Mormons? Possibly...or maybe Henry just had a lot of time on his hands (little joke there)

I say Ruth Unity & Minnie

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:12AM
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alisande

That would be great, Dbfirewife--thanks! It's Wayne County, PA. If you don't find anything I'll set this aside until I can go back to the cemetery and see if I can find Henry and his wife (or wives).

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:29AM
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alisande

Looks like this guy achieved the impossible, dying before he was born. That second date must be 1916, no?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 11:59AM
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petra_gw

1916, or maybe 1846?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:30PM
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alisande

I see what you mean. But the 4's aren't usually so skinny--plus another person on this stone died in 1919, so I figure that's around the time they erected the stone. I hope so, anyway, because I put 1916 on his FindAGrave memorial. ;-)

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 2:44PM
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dbfirewife

With just a quick look here is the Henry Bishop's I found in Wayne County
There is a Henry and Mary J.
1870 and 1880 living in Berlin, Wayne Ct Pa No children
There is also a Henry and Harriett
1860 living in Texas, Wayne PA with children Anna Born 1853 and Eva born 1858
1900 Henry and Harriett live in Hawley, Wayne PA with daughter Eva born 1858 living with them.
The Henry's above are both different, not the same Henry just married to different women.
Neither Mary or Harriet look like his wife's name on the tombstone. The middle one does look like it starts with an H tho..

I will look more later for you, I have to go get granddaughter at school now. Thought maybe you could search the above Henry's and Wives on FindAGrave or might remember seeing their stone in the same cemetery perhaps?

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:04PM
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alisande

Interesting! Now I'm thinking it could very well be Hattie, a common nickname for Harriett.

FindAGrave doesn't have a Henry listed. I didn't look around at the time because my habit is to shoot pictures at random and not pay much attention to the wording on the stones until I get home. That was my first visit to the cemetery, but it's easy to get to. I have to be in the vicinity on Friday, and maybe Thursday as well, so I'll take a side trip and see what I can find. Hope I can locate those three little stones at ground level without too much effort.

Thank you!

    Bookmark   September 11, 2012 at 4:32PM
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jemdandy

It is possible that the wife name was Minnie Ruth+(maiden name) and she was known by her middle name. The first 2 stones carry the name, "Ruth", while the 3rd stone has a name with more than 4 characters. The stone cutter could have placed her official first name on the 3 rd stone.

It certaily appears that the 3rd name ends with "ie". I toyed with combinations like "Ruth" and "Ruthie", but the number fo charachres does not seen quite right.

Since the death dates are after 1850, these names should appear on a census record. There is one problem, though. If a child was born after the 1850 census and buried before the 1860 census, they will not appear on the census records. It is helpful if the state made its own census. Some states did take a state census, typically in the year ending with a 5.

Next source would be newspapers if a local paper existed in that period and if it has been digitized. Scan for births and obituaries.

One death dates are shortly before the Civil War (1861-1865). Teh country was in turmoil during this period and families began to suffer for lack of essentials and care.

Check for disease outbreaks. Diptheria was notorious for killing young children.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 3:23AM
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threejs

When you blow the picture up in size it seems that the outer stones might have been cut by the same stone cutter person but the middle one is different. Blown up the mothers' names all look different The first being B the second possibly an H and the third one an M. Also on the third stone..Maya born Ma? too long for May possibly March? Is there a birthdate after March? and died it looks like Iar 28, 1856 so I guess it must be an M that is rubbed off. Very easy to see how a name could be misconfigured. Very good chance they were different mothers back then especially if the mother had passed along with the child and there were living children in the household to be tended to.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:53AM
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threejs

second one

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:54AM
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threejs

third one

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:55AM
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Cassandra

alisande,
Check this document out. It states that the wife of Henry Bishop was Harriet Bishop. I pulled this up just by typing Henry Bishop Wayne County PA in the search engine.

http://www.historiansofsterlingtownship.org/Cemeteries/WAYNE/Green%20Gates.htm

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 10:43AM
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alisande

So Henry and Harriet were buried at a different cemetery. That's good to know--I won't look for them at this one! But I will look for them at Green Gates, which I haven't visited yet. I guess they were buried separately from these children because they died so much later.

I'm convinced all three of the children's stones list the mother as Hattie. I blew up each of the three names and filled in the parts that were worn away. See what you think. I'll post them individually, from left to right.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:50PM
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alisande

The middle stone:

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:51PM
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alisande

The stone on the right:

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 4:52PM
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alisande

Threejs, your comments about the dates (the months) gave me another reason go to back to look at these stone again.

Since Harriet outlived Henry, I suspect she was his only wife--or at least none came after her. Besides, I'm committed to "Hattie." ;-)

Marita, thank you for that website, which will come in very handy for me! Now I can't wait to find Green Gates.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 6:47PM
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kacram

have you ever done a rubbing?? and does that help at all?

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 8:54PM
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alisande

Kat, we've been advised not to do rubbings. It's somehow harmful to the stones. I'll go back and inspect it more closely, but "Hattie" is looking good to me.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 9:47PM
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dbfirewife

Susan when you go back take a spray bottle of water and spritz the stones, sometimes that helps bring words out.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:49PM
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alisande

Good idea--thanks! In fact, I'll take a spray bottle with me right now, because I'm off to visit another cemetery not far from my house.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:53PM
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dbfirewife

Hey Susan.. What cemetery are these little stones in? I was going to look on USGenWeb and see if there are any cemetery listings, they could be listed in one. Also.. I think the one name is May A. not Maya...

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 12:58PM
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alisande

Yeah, I meant to mention that it looks more like May A. I don't think the name Maya came into fashion until the 1980s. :-)

The children are in Indian Orchard Cemetery in Wayne County, PA. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:20PM
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alisande

Yeah, I meant to mention that it looks more like May A. I don't think the name Maya came into fashion until the 1980s. :-)

The children are in Indian Orchard Cemetery in Wayne County, PA. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   September 13, 2012 at 2:37PM
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dbfirewife

I found the cemetery on USGenWeb and there are Bishop's listed in it but not any of these 3 are listed. Sorry.. I wish they were. I agree with you tho I think It's Hattie, short for Harriett. Have you ever tried doing a foil brushing? It's where you lay a piece of foil over or around the stone and with a soft paint brush dab on it. The foil goes down into the lettering making it easier to read. I have seen photos of it done before that really brought out the lettering.. I tried it once and it didn't work at all for me.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:13PM
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dbfirewife

I did find a tree on Ancestry with Henry and Harriet in it..It is a private tree so I sent the owner a message. I seriously doubt if they will know anything of these 3 children since they were born inbetween census reports but it's possible... anyway if I hear back I will let you know. I love a quest like this!...

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 7:35PM
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alisande

Thanks, Dbfirewife! I wish you were with me today when I went back to the cemetery. I figured it might be difficult to find those three stones, since they are so close to the ground, but I didn't think it would be impossible! I couldn't find them at all, although I'm sure I would if I'd stayed longer. It was just so hot. I reached the point where I had to get out of the sun. I'll be back there another time to take more pictures; maybe I'll find them then.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2012 at 8:19PM
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