Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ McAlpin and Pyle Children

Find A Grave is an incredible resource! Thank you to Bob Collins, who took photographs of the Pyle Monument and the McAlpin Monument at Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York in response to a recent request of mine. He also very kindly transcribed the engravings on the respective bases.

It is helpful to provide a potential Find A Grave volunteer with plot information, and Green-Wood Cemetery has much of its burial database online. When I searched on "Pyle" I found Charles (d. 1873), Esther (d. 1921) and James (d. 1900) at Lot 19670, Section 149.

Detail from Pyle Monument
Credit: Bob Collins
From the Pyle Monument and closeup here, we learn that in addition to great great grandfather James Pyle (1823 - 1900), other family members buried in this lot include his wife's sister, Harriet (Whitman) Bliss, one son who predeceased him, Charles Sumner (died at age 16 in 1873), and three young daughters who have never been mentioned in any materials that I've previous read:

Anna Elizabeth Pyle (May 29, 1859 - September 12, 1859)
Maria Louisa Pyle (July 16, 1861 - August 26, 1861)
Mary Isabel Pyle (August 21, 1864 - May 27, 1865)

And although James' wife Esther Abigail (Whitman) Pyle is buried here according to the Green-Wood Cemetery burial records, an inscription was never made on the stone, though there is space saved for it.


When I searched the Green-Wood Cemetery's burial database for "McAlpin" I found David H. (d. 1901), John R. (d. 1893), Frances A. (d. 1870), and Joseph R. (d. 1888) at Lot 18024, Section 157.

Detail from
McAlpin Monument
Credit: Bob Collins
From the McAlpin Monument, we learn that in addition to great great grandfather David H. McAlpin (1816-1901), other family members buried in this lot include his first wife, Frances Adelaide McAlpin (d. 1870), his second wife, Adelia (Gardiner) McAlpin (d. 1891), his mother, Jane Hunter McAlpin (d. 1875), and four sons who predeceased him, only two of which I previously knew about:

Joseph Rose McAlpin (1853 - 1888)
John Randolph McAlpin (1870 - 1893)

The two who died young have sometimes been "combined" by previous researchers (see McAlpin(e) Genealogies 1730-1990: Alexander McAlpin of South Carolina and Georgia and His Descendants plus other McAlpin(e) Families of North America, by Doris McAlpin Russell, published by Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, in 1990, as well as in Ancestry.com online trees). In fact there were two sons who died young:

Douglas P. McAlpin (died September 4, 1847, age 1 year 3 months)
David H. McAlpin (died July 25, 1853, age 2 years 5 months)

This satisfies my curiosity about why there is only one son (Edwin A.) listed with David and Frances A. McAlpin in the 1850 U.S. Census.

Interestingly, David H. McAlpin's mother, Jane is buried here, yet his father is buried in Dutchess County, which I blogged about last fall. His third wife, Cordelia (Rose) (Shackelton) McAlpin died in August 1927 and is buried with her first husband, Judson Shackelton, who died in 1883, in the Rose family plot in Rose Hill Cemetery, in Matawan, New Jersey.

My descent from James Pyle and David Hunter McAlpin is through Pyle's son and McAlpin's daughter: James Tolman Pyle and Frances Adelaide McAlpin > Charles McAlpin Pyle > Charles McAlpin Pyle, Jr. > me.

Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging prompt from Geneabloggers, the genealogy community's resource for blogging. It is used by many genealogy bloggers to help them tell stories of their ancestors.


  1. Find A Grave is a great resource, especially if you cannot travel to the site of your ancestor's resting place.

  2. Colleen - thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, I agree, though often it makes me want to visit my ancestors' resting places.