Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday ~ The Gravestone Girls

One thing I didn't mention about NERGC last April was that there was a wonderful Exhibit Hall with many exhibitor booths for genealogy societies (wow, there were a lot of them) and all kinds of vendors where genealogists could be parted from their money very easily!

I have heard Brenda, one of The Gravestone Girls, speak a couple of times and was thrilled to see her again at the conference with her treasures: beautiful decorative artwork using images created from actual 17th and 18th century New England gravestones. Each piece of artwork includes a note indicating where the image is from: what cemetery, and if known, what person the stone is for.

After thinking about it on Thursday, I went back to her booth on Friday to take a look at the many refrigerator magnets she was selling.

The first one I picked up and turned over to read about the gravestone artwork was an ancestor: "Mrs. Prissilla Appelton" who is buried in the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, Essex County, Massachusetts. She is my 9th great-grandmother on my maternal line!

GravestoneGirls magnet on my refrigerator!

Once I got home, I looked for her memorial at FindAGrave here. However, when I looked at the photograph of the gravestone and compared it with the magnet image, I could see they weren't the same and I wondered if this magnet was really from Prissilla's gravestone. I emailed Brenda with my question and she assured me that she would get back to me.

At the Annual Meeting of MSOG (Massachusetts Society of Genealogists) in early November, I saw Brenda again. She remembered me and was excited to tell me that she was at the Old Burying Ground in Ipswich the day before to solve this mystery. It turns out that this magnet was created from Prissilla's footstone, which was positioned several feet away from the headstone.

She created a mold from the headstone and look what I got in the mail this past week:

And if you ever get a chance to hear Brenda speak, take advantage and attend - she is a wealth of information and you will learn a great deal about gravestones, cemeteries and their history.


I descend from Prissilla (Glover) Appleton as follows:

Prissilla (Glover) Appleton
Sarah (Appleton) Rogers
Priscilla (Rogers) Leonard
Priscilla (Leonard) McKinstry
Mary (McKinstry) Willis
Benjamin Willis, Jr.
Elizabeth (Willis) Wells
Eliza May (Wells) Greeley
Ethel May (Greeley) Copeland
Lowell Townsend Copeland
My mother

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