Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday: Simeon Stephens

Simeon Stevens was a Captain during the Revolutionary War. He's buried next to his first wife, Sarah Hadley, in Oxbow Cemetery, Newbury, Vermont. This cemetery is the resting place for many Revolutionary War veterans, so there are quite a few old tombstones here. Since Simeon and Sarah are my six-greats grandparents, their tombstones are among my favorites - of course.

This image is a scan of a 35 mm black-and-white negative, but a better image can be found in a wonderful online collection: the Farber Gravestone Collection. If you have New England ancestors, or you're simply interested in tombstones, please visit this web site. Tombstones are not just sources that provide birth and death dates for genealogists. Early stones are also examples of folk art, and many people specialize in the study of these early artists. Simeon's stone was carved by Gershom Bartlett, a native of Bolton, Connecticut. Until he was identified, Bartlett's distinctive style gave him the nickname, "Hook-and-Eye Man". A Google search for Bartlett will take you to more photographs and several interesting stories.

The next time you're happily photographing or transcribing your six-great grandparents' gravestones, take a moment to thank the artist. Enjoy!

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