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.

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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

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