13 December 2016

James Buford Scarbary, Jr. Vault (Tombstone Tuesday)

Son of James Buford Scarbary, Sr. (1919-2008) and Myrtie Adams (d. 1988).


"Everything Under the Sun Is in Tune"


06 December 2016

Delmar Arliss Warren's Pyramid (Tombstone Tuesday)

[Originally posted at the Southern Graves blog.]

"Egyptian, is perhaps the most funerary of all architecture," writes Douglas Keister in Forever Dixie: A Field Guide to Southern Cemeteries & Their Residents.  This, of course, makes perfect sense.  The very definition of an Egyptian pyramid, at it's core, is a tomb.  History.com's article about the Egyptian Pyramids says this:

The pyramid's smooth, angled sides symbolized the rays of the sun and were designed to help the king's soul ascend to heaven and join the gods, particularly the sun god Ra.

Oftentimes, especially in cemeteries located in the southern United States, Eqyptian architecture is combined with more mainstream Christian symbols.  Delmar Warren's pyramid tombstone at Rose Hill Cemetery in Macon, Georgia, however, is pretty plain.


Frankly, the simple display looks out of place amid the crosses, angels, flora, and fauna carved in stone around it and throughout the cemetery.  So why was this particular tombstone placed for Delmar Arliss Warren (1911-1982)? A line from his obituary (16 January 1982, Augusta Chronicle) could hold the answer:

Mr. Warren attended schools in Macon and was a graduate of Georgia Tech.  He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II, was a member of the American Institute of Architects and was a Methodist.

Furthermore, the 1940 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census – search it free here – provides Delmar's occupation as Architectural Designer.

Simple as that.

02 December 2016

Oliver & Mary Prince Perished in 1837 Wreck of Steam Ship "Home"

Pictured here is a portion of lot 7 in block 2 of the Magnolia Ridge Section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  The broken column tombstone was placed for a brother and sister – Harry (d. 1874) and Mary Raymond (1847-1877) Green.


The tablet to the right was placed for the siblings' grandparents, Oliver Hillhouse Prince and his wife Mary R.  A lot could be written about Oliver.  He lead the planning commission that laid out the city of Macon about 1822.  He was a well-respected lawyer who compiled a couple of "Laws of Georgia" digests.  He liked to write humorous literature.

What I am drawing your attention to today, however, is how Oliver and his wife died.  They perished in the wreck of the Steam Ship "HOME" Monday, October 9, 1837.  It happened off the coast of North Carolina.  The couple was returning from a trip to Massachusetts, probably Boston, where Oliver was submitting work for the second Laws of Georgia digest.  An account of the harrowing, deadly event was published in newspapers up and down the east coast.  The following is from an article in New York's Commercial Advertiser dated Monday, 23 October 1837, referencing the Charleston Courier (South Carolina) from the Thursday before:

The gale commenced on Sunday afternoon, and the captain was anxious to double Cape Hatteras, with the intention of anchoring under its lee.  About 4 o'clock on Monday, however, the boat commenced leaking so much as to render it necessary for all hands and the passengers to go to the pumps, and to bail, which was continued without intermission until she grounded.  The water gained upon them so fast, that at about eight o'clock, the fire was extinguished, and the engine of course was stopped in its operations -- a sail was then hoisted, but was immediately blown away.  Another was bent, and with this assistance, the boat slowly progressed toward the shore.

At 11 o'clock at night, the Home grounded, about 100 yards from the shore.  The ladies had been all requested to go forward, as the place where they were most likely to reach the shore, bearing nearest the beach, but a heavy struck her there, and swept nearly half of them into the sea, and they were drowned.  One boat was stove at this time.  Another small boat was launched, with two or three persons in it, but capsized.  The long boat was then put overboard, filled with persons, 25 in number, it is supposed, but did not get 15 feet from the side of the steamer before she upset, and it is the belief of our informant that not one of the individuals in her reached the shore.  The sea was breaking over the boat at this time with tremendous force, and pieces of her were breaking off at times, and floating toward the shore, on some of which persons were clinging.  One lady, with a child in her arms, was in the act of mounting the stairs to the upper deck, when the smoke stack fell, and doubtless killed her and her child on the spot.  Some few of the ladies were lashed to the boat...

The hull of the boat broke into three pieces, and the shore was completely strewed with portions of the wreck, baggage, &c. for five or six miles in extent, the next morning...[Full article available at GenealogyBank's Newspaper Archive.]

Even more articles described an unseaworthy boat and an intoxicated captain.

I assumed the tablet placed in the Green family burial lot for Oliver and Mary was a cenotaph.  Surely, they were lost at sea? Well, maybe not.  I was surprised to find the following declaration in a biographical sketch of Oliver H. Prince printed in the 17 December 1913 Macon Telegraph (emphasis mine):

On the return trip to Savannah, the Home, the steamer on which [Oliver] and his wife were passengers, was wrecked off the coast of North Carolina.  He, with other male passengers, was in the hold of the steamer trying to bail out the water, when the vessel sank and his body went down with itHis wife was washed ashore and was identified and buried near Wilmington, N.C., and afterward brought to Macon and now rests in Rose Hill cemetery, over whom is a monument erected by their children to her and her husband…[Full article available at GenealogyBank's Newspaper Archive.]

According to cemetery records, Dr. James Mercer Green (father of Harry and Mary Green) bought the lot in Rose Hill in April of 1852.  That would suggest Mary R. Prince was exhumed from her grave in North Carolina almost fifteen years after the sinking of Steam Ship Home.  I'll admit to being skeptical.  Anyone have information to share?

25 November 2016

Miss Leila Foote Rose: "Gather the rose buds while ye may"

100_4211Miss Leila F. Rose, born 1848, was a daughter of Simri Rose, the developer of Rose Hill Cemetery.  She died at the young age of seventeen years, and was laid to rest in the family burial lot.

A tribute to young Leila was printed in the 5th August 1865 Macon Telegraph (Georgia) newspaper.  I enjoyed reading it, so thought I'd share it here.  I was especially impressed with the implication, no matter how benign, that Leila went through some growing pains -- a notion that certainly applies to teenagers to this day, more than 150 years after her death.

"Gather the rose buds while ye may,
For time is ever flying;
The lovely flower that blooms to-day,
To-morow shall be dying."

How forcibly are we reminded of the truth of the above thought, by the early and untimely death of our young friend.

"Your life is even a vapour that continueth for a little while, and then vanisheth away."

The promises of love and friendship serve for the time to brighten the future prospect and awaken joyous anticipations which dissipate the shadows that early begin to gather around the pathway; but like all the hopes of earth, they must die in disappointment.  If we taste them, it is only to quicken our thirst for a deeper draught, and then -- to feel more painfully the loss of short-lived pleasures which were once our own.

The calm dignity, the eminent social qualities, the urbanity of our young friend had gathered around her a large circle of associates, who appreciated the pleasures of her society.

Three years ago she felt the importance of seeking more enduring pleasures than could be obtained in the fitful enjoyments of the world.  She sought the peace of heart which comes from above, the gift of grace, the value of which is seemingly enhanced by a consciousness of moral and religious rectitude.  Under the abiding and cheering conviction that she had obtained the "pearl of great price," she united with the Baptist church of this city, of which she remained a member until taken to the church triumphant.

Under the impulses of her vivacious young nature, the peculiar temptations of the times, and the influence of young companions, she, like thousands of others who have enjoyed much longer experiences in walking the "path of the just," wavered for a time, but soon saw and felt her folly and abandoned it.

On her dying bed she enjoyed this sentiment, which she requested a friend to sing,

"Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God;
He to save my soul from danger
Interposed His precious blood."

Her many good qualities of mind and heart bid fair to develop a true, noble and useful woman, and constitute her an ornament of the church, but at the early age of seventeen years, she has been called to a seat in the upper sanctuary.  She died in the calm and full assurance of her acceptance with God through the merits of His Son.

"Early, bright, transient, chaste as the morning dew,
She sparkled, was exhaled and went to heaven."

Marion Preston Rose (1840-1861), Leila Foote Rose (1848-1865), and Annie Rose Ross (1850-1888) were sisters.  Other siblings, though unknown to these three, were mentioned here.  Edgar Alfred Ross (1850-1929) was the husband of Annie.  He married again, a few years after Annie's death, to Fanny Prescott (1857-1938).

The flip side of this granite obelisk bears the inscription for Simri Rose (1799-1869) and his wife Lavinia Blount Rose (1812-1883).

23 November 2016

Children of Simri & Lavinia Rose (Wednesday's Child x 3)

Three children of Simri and Lavinia Rose.  This stone can be found in the Magnolia Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.

Rose Hill - Aug 2013

Virginia Caroline
Born July 1st, 1831
Died Mar 10th, 1833

Caroline Georgia
Born Apr 4th, 1833
Died Oct 22d, 1833

Augustus Beall
Born June 26th, 1834
Died Feb'y 4th, 1836

They bloom in Heaven.

Notice Virginia Caroline died less than a month before the birth of Caroline Georgia.  Unless remains were moved from another location, this is likely not the site of their burial.  This lot was purchased by Simri Rose in 1840.


As buds of earth born flowers
came they forth.

And were cut down.

20 November 2016

Blount Family Cenotaph: the Golden Bowl was Broken

Lots in Rose Hill Cemetery began to be sold about May of 1840.  According to the cemetery's records, the lot where the following stone, memorializing members of the James Blount family, was placed was purchased by Simri Rose – the developer of Rose Hill – on 28 July 1840.  Unless remains were moved from another location, the stone placed is a cenotaph:  "a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are elsewhere." [Merriam-Webster]

Rumor has it James and Elizabeth Blount were buried in Jones County, Georgia.

Rose Hill - Aug 2013-003

James Blount
Born 28th June 1780
Died 12th Dec 1820
Son of Col. Edmund and Judith Blount
of Washington Co, N.C.

Elizabeth Blount
Consort of James Blount
Daughter of P. S. and Nancy Roulhac
Born 4th Oct 1786
Died 17th Feb 1834

Edmund Sharpe Blount
Son of James & Elizabeth Blount
Born 10th Sept 1806
Died in 1826

Erected by John M. Blount, 1851.

This marble to thy memory
the "Golden Bowl was broken"
when scarce I knew thee

for the lessons thou hast taught me

I can give thee but a tomb, it
bears thy name too soon.

Note:  "the Golden Bowl was broken" references the Bible.  Ecclesiastes 12:6 (KJV), to be specific – "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth..."

5…because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets.

6Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

7Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it…

11 November 2016

Gov. Nathaniel Edwin Harris (1846-1929)

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 094Confederate Soldier.  Governor of Georgia.  Founder of Georgia School of Technology.

The Southern's Ponce de Leon came through here at 8:20 p.m. bearing the body of the distinguished soldier, statesman and educator to his final honors among his friends and neighbors in Macon.

From Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
23 September 1929 - pg. 1 [via GenealogyBank]


Company of National Guard to Fire Salute Over Casket


High State Officials Among Many to Pay Last Respects to Georgian

Macon, Ga., Sept 22 (AP) -- Georgia tomorrow will pay its last respects to Nathaniel Edwin Harris, former governor, distinguished Confederate veteran and father of the Georgia School of Technology, who died last night at his summer home at Hampton, Tenn., after a lingering illness...

The casket will be draped with the Stars and Bars of the Confederacy and a company of national guardsmen will fire a military salute over the grave.  Taps will be sounded as the casket is lowered.

...Governor Harris was 84 years of age and had been suffering for more than a year from trouble that forced his retirement from public life.  During the last few weeks he had been sinking gradually and his illness, together with advanced age, soon wore down his resistance.  The end came a few hours after he lost consciousness yesterday afternoon.  The family was at his bedside for several days before his death...

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 093

Further Reading:
Myers, Barton. "Nathaniel E. Harris (1846-1929)." New Georgia Encyclopedia. 14 May 2013. Web.

08 November 2016

4 Jeffers Brothers in the Confederate Army

Yesterday, I shared with you a life story of 1st Lieut. Eugene C. Jeffers, one of the Immortal 600.  He was just one of four* Jeffers brothers from Macon, Georgia to serve in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War.

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These brothers were sons of John Eugene and Eliza W. Jeffers.  The family came to Georgia from Virginia about the early 1830s.

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I can't provide much more information about John Jeffers beyond what you can see on his government issued tombstone.  The 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census records do suggest he was born in Virginia.  They also indicate John was occupied as a painter prior to the war.

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Lieut. Edward Gilbert Jeffers was also born in Virginia, about 1826-1827.  In February of 1850, he married Adeline J. Andrews in Bibb County.  The couple had at least two children:  Willis Anna and John E. Jeffers.

Since the Jeffers boys' father had died in 1848, Edward seemingly took over as clerk of the inferior court, the position held by his father.  For the 1860 census, however, Edward's occupation was listed as Livery Stable Keeper.

ltegjeffersEdward enlisted into Confederate service at Macon, Georgia on 15 March 1861.  He was well thought of as an officer, and was recommended for promotion by Gen. Slaughter in a letter dated June 1863 [via Fold3]:

I take pleasure in recommending Lt E. G. Jeffers as a competent officer, and one who fully merits advancement.  He has been under my observation and command since 1861.  My opinion of his ability is further established by the fact of his being the only officer of his regt that was retained after it was disbanded, which was due to his having the confidence of his superiors.  His conduct during the bombardment of Pensacola was highly honorable to him; and at once distinguished him as an efficient officer...

This was attached to a letter from local citizen Thomas Hardeman, and forwarded to Hon. A. H. Kenan:

Lt Jeffers is a man of family -- gave up an office at home -- upon which he was dependent, & left with Georgia's first troops for the field.  He is now in command of a company, who have charge of a stationary battery, at Mobile.

Lieut. Edward Jeffers survived the war, but only lived to the age of about 50 years.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 047

Albert V. Jeffers might have been the last son born to John and Eliza.  He most certainly was the youngest of the four profiled here.  Prior to the Civil War, Albert was occupied as a carpenter.

Pvt. Jeffers was enlisted into Confederate service in March of 1862 at Macon.  Muster rolls count him as either present or sick – he had issues with chronic Rheumatism – until May of 1864.  Then he was noted as, "absent; missing in action May 6, 1864 - Supposed to have been captured."

Another card from Albert's file within the Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia database at Fold3 provides he was indeed captured as a prisoner of war and held by the Union Army at Fort Delaware.  Albert was exchanged 18 September 1864.

A funeral notice for Albert appeared in the 20 July 1890 edition of the Macon Telegraph.  He was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery that summer Sunday afternoon.

These fours sons were buried in the same lot as their parents, whose graves appear to be unmarked.

*At least two more sons – William H. and Thomas – were born to John and Eliza Jeffers.  They both are found in the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, but I do not know what became of them after.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009-001

07 November 2016

1st Lieut. Eugene C. Jeffers, One of the "Immortal 600"

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 048Eugene C. Jeffers was born about 1833 in Virginia to John E. and Eliza W. Jeffers.  Within a few years of Eugene's birth, the family moved to Georgia.  In 1848, when Eugene was a young adult, his father died at the age of 49.

Eugene Jeffers enlisted as a junior 2nd lieutenant in Company I of the 61st Georgia Infantry before October 1861.  He was promoted to 1st lieutenant 2 July 1863.  Muster rolls after that date and through April 1864 listed him as Present.  The 3 November 1864 roll, however, stated he was absent; "in hands of enemy."

Eugene was captured by the Union army as a Prisoner of War near Spottsylvania, Virginia in May of 1864.  He was received at Fort Delaware from Point Lookout, Maryland the next month.  By December of the same year, 1st Lieutenant Eugene Jeffers was listed on a roll of prisoners at Fort Pulaski off the coast of Georgia.

Rose Hill Blog Data

That last card from Fold3's Compiled Service Records of Confederate Soldiers Who Served in Organizations from the State of Georgia pushed me toward researching the names of the "Immortal 600."

100_7872I visited Fort Pulaski six years ago, and the following is on an informational marker at the historic site:

The Immortal 600 were a group of Confederate officers held as prisoners of war at Fort Pulaski during the bitterly cold winter of 1864-1865.  They were moved here from Charleston where they had been placed in the line of artillery fire in retaliation for what was viewed as similar treatment of Union POW's.

The fallen officers endured many hardships, including a six-week diet of rancid cornmeal and pickles…From dysentery, chronic diarrhea, scurvy, and pneumonia, thirteen of the prisoners died while here at Fort Pulaski.


Wikipedia adds this:  "They are known as the 'Immortal Six Hundred' because they refused to take an oath of allegiance to the U.S. under duress." For a more complete account of this Civil War history, please read this article at HistoryNet.

And, finally, a list of the Immortal 600 – on which you can locate 1st Lieut. Eugene Jeffers – is here.

Eugene Jeffers survived his captivity, but his life may have been shortened because of it.  Eugene died 9 December 1873, about the age of just 40 years.  He was laid to rest near his parents at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Rose Hill - Aug 2009

04 November 2016

Nothing Good Comes With a 2 a.m. Telegram

hook19355phHe left to join the Navy and never returned, but not for the reason you might think.

Augusta Chronicle (Georgia)
Saturday, 15 August 1903 - pg. 2 [via Newspaper Archive at GenealogyBank]


Young Georgian Who Lost His Life in New York State Sunday -- Little News of How He Was Killed.
Macon, Ga., Aug 14 -- (Special) -- The remains of Addison C. Hook, Jr., of Atlanta, who was killed Sunday night in Rochester, N.Y., by an elevated railway train, reached the city this morning and were laid to rest in the old Lake burial grounds in Rose Hill cemetery.  Mr. and Mrs. Hook, parents of the young man and Mr. Sid Smith, a kinsman of Mrs. Hook, came along with the remains.

So far Mr. Hook knows little of the circumstances surrounding the fatal injury to and the death of his son.  In addition to a letter dated the 11th, received by Mrs. Hook, this morning all that is known came to Mr. Hook from the chief of police at Rochester.  Sunday night last at 2 o'clock Mr. Hook received through the chief of police at Atlanta a telegram from the chief at Rochester stating that his son had been run over by a train at 10:30 Sunday night and that he was then at the Rochester city hospital in a dying condition.  Monday morning about 7 o'clock Mr. Hook received a second telegram informing him that his son had died at 5 o'clock that morning.  Over the long distance telephone Mr. Hook was told by the Rochester chief that his son had been found beside the track with the right arm and the right leg crushed off and that he was conscious when brought to the hospital, but that he had been unable to give any account of the accident or to tell anything except his name and and [sic] home.  Mr. Hook was also notified that the railroad company demanded an inquest.  Through Hon. Hoke Smith, of Atlanta, the father arranged for the presence of attorneys at the inquest.  On Tuesday afternoon at 7 o'clock the body left Rochester in charge of the American Express Co., and taking a round about way, did not reach Atlanta until 5 o'clock this morning.  Mr. and Mrs. Hook and Mr. Smith left Atlanta over the Central at 7:50 this morning, the body being consigned to Undertaker Burghard of this city.

Young Hook left Atlanta last week for Brooklyn, N. Y., to join his brother, Robert Hook, who is in the United States navy at Brooklyn, with a view to entering the service.  He was in Buffalo last Sunday and during the day went to Niagara.  That afternoon he wrote his father stating that he would leave for Albany, where he would take boat for New York.  He probably stopped off at Rochester on his way and by so doing lost his life.

Addison C. Hook, Jr., was about 18 years of age and was reared in Atlanta.  His father is one of the best known travelling men in the south.  His mother was Miss Sally Lake, daughter of the late Francis Lake, a member of the firm of Greer, Lake & Co., years ago one of the leading grocery houses of this city.  He was a young man of good habits and good reputation and was popular with all who knew him.

03 November 2016

The Rosses of Rose Hill

Rose Hill - Aug 2009 101In the Central Avenue Division West of Rose Hill Cemetery (block 8), is the burial ground for some members of the ROSS family.  You can't miss it.  Several of the tombstones are tall and ornate, to be sure, but what always strikes me is their stark white color.  They stand out prominently among the surroundings.

There are at least eleven family members buried in this lot purchased by John B. Ross.  The patriarch of this branch of the family was Mr. Luke Ross.  He and his wife, Mary Grimes, came to the Macon area from Martin County, North Carolina in the early 1800s.  John was a son of Luke and Mary.

As was written in his obituary (Macon Weekly Telegraph, 24 September 1844), "For some weeks previous to his last and fatal illness, he [Luke Ross, Esq.] seemed to have a premonition of his approaching dissolution." The family burial lot was purchased by son John about four months prior to Luke's death.  But what might be even more telling, is the sale of the plantation known as Ross' Place even earlier in the year.  It was described in the local newspaper as being "two miles above Macon, on the East side of the Ocmulgee River, containing 400 acres -- 250 acres cleared, 200 of which is first rate Corn and Cotton Land, under tolerable good fence."

This coincides with what was written by G. S. Dickerman in the The House of Plant about 1900 regarding the settlement of the Luke Ross family in middle Georgia:

It was about this time or in 1821, that Mr. Luke Ross having come from North Carolina with his family and all his effects, arrived at old Fort Hawkins and proceeded to select a place for his future home.  The spot decided upon was on the east side of the [Ocmulgee] river in what is now East Macon, and about two miles distant from Macon itself...

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 042

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 045

The rest of the marked burials in the Ross lot belong to John B. Ross and his immediate family.  Col. Ross was born 1808 in North Carolina, and first married Ann Lane Holt in 1834, Macon.  She was a daughter of Tarpley and Elizabeth "Betsy" (Flewellen) Holt.  This union produced five children:  William Henry (b. abt 1837), Tarpley Holt (1840-1848), John Franklin, Ann Flewellyn (d. 1892), and Carolina Virginia.

Tarpley Holt and John Franklin Ross are both buried in the family lot at Rose Hill.  John "died on the field of honor" in Kentucky, 1862.  He was just nineteen years old.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009

After Ann's death in 1844, John married Martha Leonora Redding in March of 1845, Macon.  She was a daughter of William Chambliss and Margaret (Flewellyn) Redding.  Martha's mother was a sister to Ann's mother.  John and Martha produced six more children:  Mary Matthews (b. 1846), Nora (d. 1855), Viola (b. abt 1850), Margaret Redding (1852-1917), Fanny Elvira (d. 1898), and Martha Florence (1857-1922).

Nora and Martha Florence Ross are buried in the family lot at Rose Hill Cemetery.

After the death of Martha Leonora (Redding) Ross in 1858, John waited eight years before marrying for the final time.  His third wife was Mary Ann (Lamar) Longstreet.  Mary was the daughter of L. Q. C. Lamar, and the widow of James Longstreet.

John had three more children with Mary:  John Bennett Jr. (b. 1867), Thompson Lamar (b. 1870), and Donald Graeme (b. 1877).  The final son was born just a couple months before the death of his father.

John B. Ross was laid to rest beside his first two wives in Rose Hill.

The other two marked burials in the Ross family lot are for Graeme Dickerman Plant (1894-1964) and his wife Elizabeth Davenport (1897-1988).  Graeme was a grandson of John B. and Martha (Redding) Ross.  The parents of Graeme, Margaret Redding Ross and Robert Hazlehurst Plant, also rest in Rose Hill – in a lot adjacent to the Ross family.

Video of Ross Family Burial Lot in Rose Hill Cemetery, from 2009:

History of this branch of the Ross family available here:

28 October 2016

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman: Her Life, & Tombstone Symbolism

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 023Aurelia L. was born 19 January 1825 in Georgia.  She was one of at least seven daughters born to Henry Graybill Lamar and Mary Ann Davis, and sister to Mary Gazaline Lamar Ellis.

When Aurelia was 20 years old, she married James A. Ralston.  The marriage was solemnized 5 March 1845 by Seneca Bragg at Christ Church in Macon, Bibb County, Georgia.  I think James was a son of David (d. 1842) and Anna V. (d. 1836) Ralston.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 024

The couple had at least five children:  Henry (b. abt 1846), James A. (b. abt 1848), Anna, George, and Davis (b. abt 1850).  Anna and George were twins, born 3 August 1849.  According to the inscription on a tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery, George died April 1850, and Anna died September 1851.  The date (month, at least) might be incorrect for George, since both he and Anna are listed in the Ralston household for the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census taken August 12th of that year.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 029

A little more about James A. Ralston, Sr.:  this was a wealthy man.  According to the 1850 Bibb County, Georgia Federal census, James held real estate valued at $50,000.  His occupation was listed as Speculator.  I dare say at least some of his real estate was inherited from his father, who died November 1842.  The 1860 Federal census for the same location shows James had real estate valued at $120,000, and a personal estate worth $60,000.  His occupation was listed as Planter, and the slave schedule shows he owned 30 individuals.

Furthermore, the Confederate Papers Relating to Citizens or Business Firms, 1861-65 database at Fold3 contains more than 70 images relating to rent payments made to James Ralston for the usage of buildings in downtown Macon by the Confederate Army for office space during the Civil War.

According to his tombstone in Rose Hill Cemetery (image of inscription above), James A. Ralston, Sr. died in December of 1864.  Just over two years later, on 7 February 1867, Mrs. Aurelia L. Ralston married Dr. Nathan Bozeman in Bibb County.  Their marriage service was conducted by a pastor of the Presbyterian Church.  Dr. Bozeman lost his first wife, Mary Frances Lamar, in May of 1861.

By 1870, Dr. and Mrs. Aurelia Bozeman were living in New York.  Aurelia was keeping a home containing at least three of Dr. Bozeman's children by his first wife.  Notably, this household also employed five Irish born domestic servants.

Three years later, Aurelia died at her home in Morristown, New Jersey.  Notice was printed in the Weekly Sumter Republican, an Americus, Georgia newspaper (29 August 1873, pg. 3):

DEATH OF MRS. DR. BOZEMAN. -- Mrs. Aurelia Bozeman, wife of Dr. Nathan Bozeman, of Morristown, N.J., died suddenly at three o'clock yesterday morning, at her home in New Jersey.  Mr. Geo. B. Turpin received a dispatch early yesterday morning notifying him of the sad occurrence, and through him the many relatives and friends of the lady in Macon and elsewhere in Georgia.

Mrs. Bozeman was a daughter of Judge Henry G. Lamar, and, before she married Dr. Bozeman, was the widow of the late James Ralston of this city, and mother of James A. Ralston.  She was a sister to Mrs. N. C. Monroe, of Griffin, and of Mrs. W. L. and Mrs. Hayne Ellis, of this city. -- Telegraph & Messenger, 27th inst.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009

Aurelia Lamar Ralston Bozeman was laid to rest in the Holly Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  Her tombstone is topped with a large cross covered in ivy, her initials in the middle of the cross (pictured above).  At the base of the cross is an anchor, and there appears to be a crown on top of the cross.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 032

There is a lot of symbolism in play, here.  According to the go-to source for symbols in the cemetery, Stories in Stone: a Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography by Douglas Keister, here are some proposed meanings:

  • Cross:  Though the symbol actually predates its religious association, this Latin Cross (shaped like the letter t, as opposed to a + sign) is most commonly connected to the religion of Christianity.
  • Crown:  The crown is a symbol of victory, leadership, and distinction.  The cross with a crown, though not always depicted in this same manner, is a Christian symbol of the sovereignty of the Lord.
  • Ivy:  "Because ivy is eternally green even in harsh conditions, it is associated with immortality and fidelity.  Ivy clings to a support, which makes it a symbol of attachment, friendship, and undying affection.  Its three-pointed leaves make it a symbol of the Trinity." [page 57]
  • Anchor:  The anchor is a symbol of hope.  For more information, see Anchors and the Virtue of Hope in the Cemetery at the Southern Graves blog.

10 October 2016

Mary Ellis on the Midnight Train to (Savannah) Georgia

…Unfortunately, she didn't arrive before the death of her husband.

William Lee Ellis was born 19 November 1840 in Barnwell, South Carolina.

Well, maybe.  My source for that vital record information is from a passport application dated June of 1881.  Census records put his birth year between 1840 and 1844.  And the inscription on the vault front at his gravesite provides the birthdate of 9 November 1842.

William's marriage date is a bit more clear.  He married Mary Gazaline Lamar 16 March 1864 in Bibb County, Georgia.  She was a daughter of Henry Graybill Lamar (1798-1861) and Mary Ann Davis (1807-1882).  The couple had no children.

Savannah, Georgia Vital Records, 1803-1966William was the first of the couple to pass away.  He died in Savannah late in the spring of 1902.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
27 May 1902 - pg. 5 [via GenealogyBank]


Was Suddenly Attacked While a Guest at Capt. Eberhardt's Last Night -- Messages Sent to Macon Alarming His Friends -- Elks Have Taken Charge of Remains -- He Was in Savannah Trying the Salt Air to Recover His Failing Health, and It Was Thought He Was Doing Well.

Public Works Commissioner William Lee Ellis of Macon died in Savannah last night of acute Bright's disease.

The news that he was in a dying condition was communicated to his friends here at about 10 o'clock, and Mrs. Ellis at once arranged to go to Savannah, leaving here on the midnight train.  She had been gone only a short time when The Telegraph received the following special from Savannah:

"SAVANNAH, Ga., May 26. -- Capt. W. L. Ellis of Macon died here at 12:15 o'clock this morning at the home of Capt. Gus Eberhardt, 39 Habersham street.  Capt. Ellis had been a guest of Capt. Eberhardt for the past week or ten days, and had made several trips on the pilot boat J. H. Estill.  He was taken suddenly very ill of acute Bright's disease at 5 o'clock this afternoon, and from that hour rapidly declined until the end came.  Several physicians were in attendance, but they could do nothing to save or even prolong his life.  From the first attack the end was certain.  Members of the local lodge of Elks, of which order Capt. Ellis was a member, were with him in his last hours, and have assumed charge of the remains.  They will care for the body until they receive instructions from the family."

Mr. Ellis left Macon several weeks ago to recuperate, and while at Indian Spring he met Capt. Eberhardt, who urged him to go to Savannah and spend some time yachting.  Mr. Ellis was quite fond of the sea, and he gladly accepted the invitation.  To his Macon friends he expressed confident hope that this would be the means of restoring him to his former good health and spirits.  To those who have known him for the past thirty or forty years of his residence in Macon it was difficult to understand how he could suffer from ill health, for it was always his boast that he was growing younger every day, and was the best man physically among all his companions.

It was believed while he was in Savannah that he was improving.

Mr. Ellis leaves no children, but his fondness for the children of his brothers was of a paternal nature, and he never tired of telling of their good traits and of their hopes and aspirations.  He was especially devoted to his nephew, Mr. Hayne Ellis, who is now in the United States navy.

His remains will probably be brought to Macon on the first train.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 015Mary Lamar Ellis lived twenty more years, before joining Mr. Ellis at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
28 June 1922 - pg. 9 [via Genealogybank]


Prominent Macon Woman Expires in Seventy-eighth Year.
Mrs. Gorzalene Lamar Ellis, widow of William Lee Ellis, died at her home, 208 College street, at 7:15 o'clock last night.  She was in her seventy-eighth year.

Mrs. Ellis was the daughter of the late Judge Henry Graybill Lamar and his wife, Mary Ann Davis.  The greater part of her life was spent in Macon.

Nearest surviving relatives are nephews and nieces, those in Macon being William Lee Ellis and Mrs. Giles Hardeman.

Capt. Hayne Ellis, naval aide to Secretary of the Navy Denby, was also a nephew.

Mrs. Ellis had long been a member of Christ Episcopal church and was prominent in charitable and patriotic work.  The funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Rose Hill - Apr 2009 015

05 October 2016

Thomas Jenkins was Never Married and Left No Relatives

100_4450I hate to come across individuals such as this in the cemetery.  A stranger in a strange land, perhaps.  Though I can't offer much information about Mr. Jenkins, I want anyone who might read this post to know he is not forgotten.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
16 December 1897, pg. 8 [via GenealogyBank]


Mr. Thomas E. Jenkins Died Yesterday at Mr. Rice's.
Mr. Thomas Jenkins died yesterday at 1:30 at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. A. H. Rice, on Rose avenue, Western Heights.  He was foreman of Schofield's boiler shops for about eight years, and has been in declining health during the past year.  He was a native of England, and had been in this country for about twenty years; was never married, and leaves no relatives here.  He was about 55 years old.  Mr. Jenkins was a man of noble impulses, and made warm and devoted friends, among whom are Mr. and Mrs. Rice.  He had lived with the Rice family for about eight years, and was very strongly attached to them.

The funeral will take place at 4 [sic] o'clock this morning from the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Rice.  The services will be conducted by Rev. S. L. Morris, of whose church deceased was a member.  Interment, Rose Hill cemetery.

Mr. Jenkins was laid to rest in the Honeysuckle Ridge section of Rose Hill Cemetery.  As you can see in the image, there are actually two stones at his gravesite, each providing slightly different information:


Thomas Jenkins
Born in Doucaster, Eng. 1844
Died Dec 15, 1898
Thos. Jenkins
Born in England
Died Dec 15, 1897
Age 56 Yrs
Erected By
Boiler Makers Lodge No. 12
Macon, GA

25 September 2016

Wife's Name is Incorrect in the Obituary for John E. Jones

JonesobitsKeeping up with the Joneses is indeed a hard thing to do.  Especially genealogically speaking.  But the following obituaries for Mr. and Mrs. John E. Jones did go a long way in providing me some names and family connections – with one glaring mistake.

Col. John E. Jones was the first to pass away.  His wife would follow just a few months later.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
3 May 1891 -- pg. 3 [via GenealogyBank]



One of Macon's Oldest and Most Respected Residents Called to His Last Long Home -- A Short Sketch of His Life

At 10:30 o'clock last night Col. J. E. Jones, one of Macon's best and oldest citizens, breathed his last.

While his illness had not been of long duration, the end was not unexpected, as the doctors had given up all hope for several hours before.

John Edwin Jones, the deceased, was the son of John Jones and Sarah Wimberly -- was born in Houston county, Ga., and was in his 64th year at the time of his death.

Col. Jones married Miss Henrietta Dean, daughter of James Dean of Macon.

At about the age of 20 he entered into copartnership with his father in the cotton warehouse business in Macon and Savannah under the firm name of John Jones & Son.  He attended to the business of the firm in Savannah and resided there about two years.  On returning to Macon he became the agent of the Bank of Savannah, and retained that position till the beginning of the Confederate war or thereabout.  He was not in the regular Confederate army, but saw service in what was known as Joe Brown's militia, and was present in the siege of Savannah.

After the war, about '68, he became the agent of the Macon cotton factory.  In 1869 he established the Central Georgia Bank in Macon, became its president and continued so till three years ago, when he resigned on account of declining health.

After the death of Gen. W. S. Holt, Col. Jones became the president of the Southwestern Railway Company, and retained that high position till his death.

Recently he became president of the Covington and Macon railroad, and so remained until the road went into the hands of a receiver.

He has been president of the bond commission of the city of Macon ever since the commission was established.

The deceased had five grown daughters, three married, of whom two of the married are yet living, one married daughter died, two died unmarried and one daughter, living, is single.

The married daughters now living are Mrs. Claude Estes and Mrs. W. R. Cox.

Mrs. Jones, wife of the deceased, is the sister of Mrs. L. Q. C. Lamar.

On Tuesday night, April 28, Mr. Jones was taken sick, but did not send for a physician till next day, April 29, when Drs. H. H. Mettauer and James Etheridge were called.  But this disease, intususception [sic] of the bowels, proved to be beyond their skill.

When I first read this obituary, I thought I had the wrong John E. Jones.  But, nope, this is the right guy.  Henrietta Dean, however, was NOT his wife's name.  The correct name is Miss Arabella Dean, a sister of Henrietta's.  The line toward the end, "Mrs. Jones, wife of the deceased, is the sister of Mrs. L. Q. C. Lamar," is correct.  Henrietta first married W. S. Holt, then L. Q. C. Lamar.

According to the Georgia Marriages, 1808-1967 database at FamilySearch.org, John E. Jones married "Annabella" O. Dean 28 November 1848 in Bibb County.  John and Arabella are memorialized on the same stone at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Original images by James Allen.  This mashup by S. Lincecum.

The part of Mr. Jones's obituary that describes his children is also a bit confusing.  The number given is "five daughters," but the paragraph further describes six.  Though it doesn't help with her maiden name, Mrs. Jones's obituary did help me with all the daughters.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
11 August 1891, pg. 6 [via GenealogyBank]


Passed Away at Her Home Early Yesterday Morning.
Mrs. John E. Jones, widow of the late Col. John E. Jones, died at her home on Georgia avenue yesterday morning at 4 o'clock.

She had been ill for about ten days with bilious fever, but a fatal termination was not expected until Sunday, when she began to sink rapidly.

Mrs. Jones was a native of Macon and was about 61 years of age.  She was a lady of gentle and lovable character.

She leaves three daughters:  Mrs. W. R. Cox, Mrs. Claud Estes and Miss Eva Jones.  The late Mrs. W. W. Collins was also her daughter.

The funeral will be held from the family residence on Georgia avenue at 10 o'clock this morning.

Using tombstones and obituaries, here are the daughters as I know them:

  • Laura Jones (d. 5 October 1855)
  • Florence Jones (1856-1884)
  • Eva Blanche Jones (1858-1933)
  • Nannie Jones Estes (1865-1935)
  • Mrs. W. R. Cox
  • Mrs. W. W. Collins (d. bef. 1891)

Good luck keeping up with the Joneses!

24 September 2016

The Flowers of Rhetoric are Ill-Suited to the Draperies of the Tomb: Death of Miss Florence Jones

FlorenceJonesobitFlorence was born 10 November 1856 to Col. John E. and Arabella O. Jones.  According to a death notice that appeared in the 26 March 1884 Macon Telegraph (Georgia),
In early life she was bright and cheerful, and the future looked brilliant with hope and happiness, but for many years she had been the child of affliction and suffering, which in their turn wrought in her the peaceable fruits of happiness.
Miss Florence died "On Sunday, March 23d, 1884, at a quarter before 10 o'clock a.m." Her beautifully written obituary follows:

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
25 March 1884 -- pg. 5 [via GenealogyBank]
Death of Miss Florence Jones.
After a lingering illness, Miss Florence Jones, daughter of Colonel John E. Jones, died at her home Saturday evening.  The simple announcement of the death of a loved one, the bare record of a fate that robs the family circle of a cherished ornament, is under any circumstances a dismal duty; but more peculiarly sad and touching does it become when the victim is one of such sweet character and gentle demeanor as was the young lady in this instance.  We know how vain it is to gild a grief with words.  The sorrow of the heart cannot be diminished or otherwise affected by either the elegance or eloquence of love's obituaries.  The flowers of rhetoric are ill-suited to the draperies of the tomb.  But in this instance the many friends of the young lady and the family unite in extending to the stricken ones all the sympathy at their command.  Her death will be regretted and her presence missed by a large circle of acquaintances who rejoiced to name her as a friend.

Her funeral took place yesterday afternoon from the residence of Colonel Jones, on the Hill…
Florence Jones (1856-1884). Original image by James Allen.

Patient in suffering and firm in faith,
she has entered into the peace of God,
which passeth understanding.

23 September 2016

Catherine Russell Left a Large Number of Descendants

100_4442Catherine Follendor was born 1824-1828 in Germany.  In the early 1840's, she married Jacob Russell in (likely) Bibb County, Georgia.  From what I can gather, the couple had nine children – seven daughters and two sons.

Catherine died 18 January 1895 in Macon.  Her obituary tells a bit about her journey from Germany to middle Georgia.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
20 January 1895, pg. 6 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]


A Good Woman and Old Citizen Passes Away.

The death of Mrs. Jacob Russell, which occurred at the home of Mrs. L. Vannucci, on Mulberry street, yesterday morning at 4 o'clock, will carry deep regret to the hearts of many people, as she was a woman loved by all who knew her, and her long residence in Macon had endeared her to the hearts of many people.

Mrs. Russell's last illness was of short duration.  She came to Macon from Florida, where she has been making her home for some time past, to attend the funeral of her daughter, Mrs. P. J. Duffy, several weeks ago, and although apparently in good health at the time, she soon became ill and gradually grew worse until death came.

Mrs. Russell was born at Strasburg, Germany in 1824 and came to America fifty-eight years ago.  She landed at Savannah and came to Macon by way of the Ocmulgee river on a boat under command of Capt. [Bone?].  When 18 years of age she was married to Jacob Russell of Macon, who was one of the city's most progressive citizens.  He started the first brewery known in the state of Georgia, and for many years ran the largest brewery in the South.  The old buildings still stand on the Vineville branch, in the northern part of the city.  Mr. Russell was also alderman for several years.

Mrs. Russell leaves a sister, Mrs. William Abel, six daughters, Mrs. J. H. Otto, Mrs. Peter Hertel, Mrs. Louis Vannucci, Mrs. Louis Nelson, Mrs. H. M. Taylor, Mrs. Charles Ball, and one son, Mr. Jacob Russell.  She also leaves twenty-eight grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.

The funeral will take place at 2:30 from the Catholic church this afternoon.

A son not mentioned in the obituary was C. H. Russell.

And, by the way, Mrs. Russell had a bit of money when she passed away.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
23 January 1895, pg. 5 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]

MRS. RUSSELL'S WILL. -- Ordinary Wiley yesterday probated the will of Mrs. Catherine Russell, widow of Jacob Russell and mother-in-law of Mr. Louis Vanucci.  The amount of the will is about $18,000.

The statue atop the tombstone for Catharine Russell could be of the Virtue of Hope.  She is holding an anchor in her left hand.


22 September 2016

William Wylie Didn't Survive the Mardi Gras Trip

100_4441William Wylie was born in Houston County, Georgia 26 June 1845.  He served the Confederacy during the Civil War, and afterward became a police officer in Bibb County.  William married at least twice.  First, I believe, to a woman named Mary.  This union produced at least three children:  Ella, Laura, and Thomas.

On 22 November 1877 in Bibb County, Georgia, W. A. Wylie married again to Mrs. Jane E. Stephens.  She brought along two children, Edna and Jimmie, and the couple together had a son named Warren.  The former Mrs. Stephens was born Mary Ella Jane Ray, daughter of John H. and Sarah Ray.

At 8:15 on a mid-February 1890 morning, the not yet 45 year old William Wylie left Macon with his wife and stepson Jimmie.  They were on their way to New Orleans, Louisiana to participate in the Mardi Gras celebration.  Unfortunately, Mr. Wylie would not survive the trip.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
16 February 1890, pg. 2 [via GenealogyBank]


Stricken With Paralysis in New Orleans Yesterday, He Dies Suddenly.
Ex-Lieutenant Wm. A. Wylie is dead.

The news will come as a shock to the hundreds of friends of the ex-officer, who, with his rough address, but great big warm heart for the poor and needy made friends everywhere.

Thursday, Mr. Wylie accompanied by his wife and step son, left Macon to witness Mardi Gras and visit New Orleans.  Yesterday morning, while at his boarding house on St. Charles street, he was stricken with paralysis.  Physicians were called in, but he sank rapidly, becoming unconscious during the afternoon and dying at 7:30 o'clock last night.

The remains will leave New Orleans this morning and will reach the city tomorrow night, when the funeral arrangements will be completed.

Mr. Wylie was born in Houston county about 1845.  He went to the war and fought gallantly, returning with fifty men, the fragment of his regiment.  Years ago he went on the police force.  He rose, after hard and constant duty, to a lieutenancy, and in that position served the city several years, until with the new administration, in 1889, he was relieved.  He then went into the liquor business, and was a member of the firm of Wylie & Stembridge.  He leaves a wife and two children by a former wife and two step-children to mourn his death.  He was a member of the Knights of Pythias, Order of Tonti and other orders, and had an insurance of about $20,000 on his life, distributed among them.

His generous nature was more apparent to those whom he knew well.  To them he was all that a friend could be, and they will sincerely mourn his death.  All of the orders will attend the funeral.


Two days after his death, the remains of Mr. W. A. Wylie arrived by train in Macon, Georgia.  Several members of the community were at the depot to take charge of the body.  He was laid to rest in Rose Hill Cemetery the next day.

Ella Ray Wylie survived her husband by another 25 years.  Upon her death, 2 August 1915 in Montgomery, Alabama, Ella was finally laid to rest next to William.

21 September 2016

Father & Son Ray: Railroad Engineer & Conductor

John Henry Ray was born 1831-1835 in Greene County, Georgia.  He married Sarah Barksdale about 1855, and by 1870 was a railroad engineer based out of Milledgeville, Baldwin County.  John Henry moved his family to Macon, Bibb County about 1873, and that is where he died in the summer of 1895.

Macon Telegraph (Georgia)
27 June 1895, pg. 6 [via Georgia Historic Newspapers]


He Was the Oldest Engineer on the Central Railroad.

Mr. J. H. Ray died at his home, 715 Pine street, last night at 7 o'clock, after an illness of one year, the last four months of which he was confined to his bed.

Mr. Ray was the oldest engineer on the Central railroad and remained on the active list up to the time of the beginning of his last illness.  He was 60 years of age and had been a resident of Macon for the past twenty-two years, having moved here from Milledgeville.  He was one of the best known and most popular locomotive engineers in the state, and was a noble, generous, conscientious man.  For many years he was an active Mason and a member of Macon Lodge No. 5.

Mr. Ray leaves an aged wife to mourn his loss.  He also leaves a brother, Mr. Doc. Ray, and two children -- Mrs. E. J. Wylie and Mr. Walter Ray.  He will be buried from his late residence this afternoon at 4 o'clock.


John Henry Ray and Sarah had two children:  Mary and John Walter.  Mary married a Mr. Wylie, and John Walter followed in his father's footsteps.

According to his obituary, available at GenealogyBank, and information gleaned from his death certificate, John Walter Ray was occupied as a railway conductor.  When he was employed by Southern Railway, John Walter and family moved to St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida.  That city is where he died, 18 October 1938.  His body was returned to Macon and laid to rest near that of his father in Rose Hill Cemetery. 

John Walter Ray and his wife, Sarah Smith, had two children:  Mervin and Orville.

John Henry and John Walter had another thing in common – they were both Masons.

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