Taking Back What Was Once Lost

A Different Kind of Headstone

I’m going to post a little more detail about NGS, but I have to get this picture up. We had a little sidetrip/cemetery adventure (more details about that too, I promise) but during this outing I saw a headstone of a type I’ve never seen before. This headstone actually had the cause of death engraved:

The person’s name was Travis, but it goes on to say:..”Killed April 24, 1893 by Falling off Fishing Creek Bridge Enfield, NC”.  I found it curious that they would put that on a headstone. I wonder if it was sort of a warning to be careful when you’re crossing that darn Fishing Creek Bridge? :) Have you all ever seen anything like that?


  1. June 24, 2009    

    I’ve not seen anything like that but I’ve got an unusual tombstone in my family. My uncle drowned while he was in grad school (1944). My grandparents brought him back home to NC for burial and on his tombstone they listed all his college degrees. Even now, when one of my relatives die, in their obit you will see all of their college degrees listed.

    • June 25, 2009    

      Isn’t that interesting! I have never seen anything like that. Pretty good idea–and great for us genealogists. Thank you so much for stopping by here–visit me anytime;)

  2. Lori Matzke's Gravatar Lori Matzke
    July 6, 2009    

    I just ran across your blog when researching the Hemings book. And I just wanted to mention…I too have found some of these headstones. I live in Minnesota, and some of the old markers will say stuff like, “Died in childbirth” “Killed in the Civil War” etc. But I saw many of them in cemetaries down south that were more descriptive. I saw one that said something like, ‘After toiling many long hours in the rain, took ill and died of a fever 1863.’ I wonder if they were marked this way to let others know who might have passed through and maybe knew the deceased? Or maybe just a way to remember themselves. A bit of family history written in stone.

    Interesting stuff.

  3. Carson Barnhill's Gravatar Carson Barnhill
    August 9, 2009    

    Weird that you posted this. I was searching for maps of fishing creek and found this.. That headstone is actually in the cemetary in my home town. I always thought it was the coolest thing!

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About Me

I blog, teach, write and lecture about family history research and it's just as rewarding today as it was when I began 18 years ago. This lifelong quest has helped me to better know my past and I've taken back--reclaimed- my kin and some of that lost memory.  

Post History

What I Talk About

Locations and Surnames

Hardin, Chester and Lawrence Counties, TN
Holt, Barnes, Harbour, Bradley Springer and Fendricks
Lawrence County, AL
Springer and Fendricks
Montgomery County, MD
Prather, Simpson
Somerset County, MD
Waters, Fountain, Curtis
Duval and Madison County, FL
Smith, Harris, Garner

Favorite Family History Quotes

"The past is not dead. In fact, it's not even past."
-William Faulkner

"Call it a clan, call it a network, all it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one"
- Jane Howard

"Friends are God's apologies for relations."
-Hugh Kingsmill

"No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?"
-Elbert Hubbard

"Families are like fudge; mostly sweet with a few nuts."

"If you can't get rid of the skeleton in your closet, you might as well make it dance!"

"Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family in another city;)"
-George Burns

"Where does the family start? It starts with a young man falling in love with a girl. No superior alternative has yet been found."
-Winston Churchill

"The great gift of family life is to be intimately acquainted with people you might never ever introduce yourself to had life not done it for you."
-Kendall Hailey

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all the generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
-Thich Nhat Hanh