Tombstone Tuesday: design your own gravestone

If you’re feeling in a macabre mood, you can while away a minute or two by designing your own grave stone with the Custom Tombstone Maker.

Hat-tip to Randy Seaver, who offered this suggestion on his blog.

tombstoneHere’s my initial effort.

It does seem to be a bit like Twitter, though, with a limited number of characters, so perhaps one needs to employ the skills of inveterate tweeters and SMS addicts and use abbrvns.

When writing this my wandering mind began to wonder whether Americans spelt macabre differently, as macaber, perhaps, as happens with sceptre, spectre etc.

It seems they don’t.

Macabre

In works of art, macabre is the quality of having a grim or ghastly atmosphere. Macabre works emphasize the details and symbols of death. Authors such as H. P. Lovecraft and Edgar Allan Poe used macabre atmosphere in their works.

via Custom Tombstone Maker.

Adding Growdon and Sandercock to Find A Grave

I’ve been adding pictures some of our Sandercock and Growdon gravestones to the Find A Grave web site.

You can see them here.

All our branch of the Growdon/Growden family are descended from William Growden and Elizabeth Sandercock, who were married in Cardinaham, Cornwall, in 1792, so most of the Sandercocks buried in the Cardinham churchyard are related to us too. Some Sandercocks also married members of the Riddle family, but the Riddles are not direct ancestors (so there is no chance that we might be descended from Lord Voldemort!)

St Meubred's Church, Cardinham, Cornwall -- ancestral bums sat on these pews

St Meubred’s Church, Cardinham, Cornwall — ancestral bums sat on these pews

We visited Cardinham in 2005, and took several photos of gravestones, and Find A Grave seemed to be a good way of sharing them. If you have any photos of gravestones, you might like to share them on Find A Grave too.

St Meubred's Church, Cardinham, Cornwall

St Meubred’s Church, Cardinham, Cornwall

There are other Sandercock families from other parts of Cornwall, but we have have found no links to them (yet). There are also Growden families from the nearby parishes of Warleggan and St Neot, but we have found no links to them either.

Tombstone Tuesday: Growdon, Queenstown, Eastern Cape

Having just written a blog post about my great grandfather, William Matthew Growdon (or Growden), it seems appropriate to include a closer view of his tombstone in Queenstown Cemetery.

William Matthew Growdon’s grave in Queenstown Cemetery, Eastern Cape

His wife Elizabeth Growdon (born Greenaway) died some 14 years later, and was buried next to him. She was born in St Breward, Cornwall. Her brother William Greenaway also came to South Africa.

Elizabeth Growdon, born Greenaway (1842-1927), Queenstown Cemetery

When we first visited the cemetery in 1975, we found the graves quite easily. We took black & white photos then. In 2011 we visited again, and had some difficulty in finding them. Memory seems to play strange tricks. We took a number of colour photos this time, and also noticed that several of the graves nearby had been vandalised. We took some photos to show the graves in relation to surrounding graves, to make them easier to find next time (if there is a next time).

Queenstown Cemetery, May 2011

 

 

Tombstone Tuesday: football and vandalism

Yesterday I took my son to the Pretoria Showgrounds to write an exam, and while waiting for him I visited the Rebecca Street Cemetery nearby. I didn’t see any tombstones belonging to my family, though I did see one for Loftus Versveld, after whom our city’s biggest football stadium is named. I had sometimes wondered who Loftus Versveld was, and there was the answer — Robert Owen Loftus Versveld, 1862-1932. In addition to the tombstone, there was a stone from the Northern Transvaal Rugby Board, acknowledging his services to rugby. And Loftus Versveld Stadium is, of course, a bigger and more prominent memorial, the home of the Blue Bulls, the Northern Transvaal Rugby Team.

I wonder what Loftus Versveld would have thought of the World Cup Soccer tournament matches being played there next month. For a long time Loftus Versveld stadium was only used for rugby, and we went to the very first soccer match ever played there, on 12 October 1992, when local team Mamelodi Sundowns played Sheffield Wednesday. Actually that wasn’t the first soccer match, because there was a curtain raiser with a women’s team from Kaiser Chiefs playing against Sundowns, and the Chiefs won easily. So perhaps history was being made in more senses than one — it may have been the first time women had played in the Loftus Versveld stadium. The main match, between Sundowns and Sheffield Wednesday, was a draw. Just before the big match some people paraded around the field with a banner saying “Snor City welcomes soccer”, a reference to the fact that in those days Pretoria civil servants often sported moustaches.

Rebecca Street Cemetery, Pretoria, Tshwane, from the memorial garden on top of the hill at the northern side

I went up to the highest point of the cemetery, on the northern edge, where there was a memorial garden for cremated ashes. There were some modern ones, with memorial stones in neat rows. And then there was an older rockery, rather pleasant, except that many of the niches had been broken open, and the ashes stolen.

Rebecca Street Cemetery, Pretoria - vandalised niches and memorial tablets, from which cremated ashes had been stolen

I wondered who would do such a thing, and why.

It doesn’t seem to make any sense. What makes cremated ashes valuable to thieves?

More vandalised memorials in the memorial garden at the Rebecca Street Cemetery

Tombstone Tuesday: John and Mary Stooke

This one is not actually a tombstone, but a memorial in Trusham Church in Devon, England. A booklet on the church says:

At the east end of the north aisle is the large wooden monument to John and Mary Stooke in imitation marble. There is only one other such monument in Devon in any way comparable. John Stooke was the son of a yeoman farmer (also John) at Pristons in Trusham (now disappeared). An interesting local story attaches to him: in January, 1645, at the time of the Civil War, the night before the battle of Bovey Tracey a party of royalist officers were surprised while gaming at an inn in Bovey. One of these, said to have been a Clifford, escaped with his winnings — a bag of gold — and rode off towards Trusham, pursued by roundheads. It is said that in attempting to avoid capture he threw the bag over a hedge into a field called “Kiln Close” (still known by that name, by the turning off to Ashton; here it was found next day by John Stooke junior, who then set up as a clothier in Chudleigh, making his fortune and enabling him to leave substantial moneys for charity in Bovey Tracey, Trusham, Ashton and Christow. The two almshouses in Trusham were provided in this way…

Three of the bells date from the seventeeth century, the earliest (1623) bears the name of Adrian Norman, parson, Sand\ford Tucker and John Stooke, churchwardens. Two more (1676 and 1684) were given by John Stooke, son of the last, and already referred to (Stooke monument). These three are Pennington bells, from the Exeter foundry of that name.

Stooke memorial in Trusham Church

Stooke memorial in Trusham Church

Here is a closer view of the inscription:

Stooke memorial inscription in Trusham Church, Devon

Stooke memorial inscription in Trusham Church, Devon

John Stooke (1628-1696) was the elder brother of my 7-great grandfather Edward Stooke (1631-1699), and they were among the nine children of John Stooke (1592-1642) and Grace Smallridge (d. 1645). The younger John married Mary Apter, and they had no children. Edward, my ancestor, married Mary Satterley, and their son Edward married Mary Furlong.

The Stooke family lived for several generations in the Teign valley in Devon, mainly at Trusham and the nearby village of Ashton.

Tombstone Tuesday: earliest Sandercock

Here is the gravestone of the earliest Sandercock ancestor we have managed to find:

In memory of William Sandercock
who departed this life
the 25th day of November 1786 Aged 80
And in memory of Mary his wife who died July the 2
1786 aged 81.

Grave of William and Mary Sandercock, Cardinham, Cornwall

Grave of William and Mary Sandercock, Cardinham, Cornwall

William Sandercock is the 5th Great-Grandfather of Dr Stephen Tromp Wynn Hayes

Common Ancestor

* William Sandercock
(Abt 1705-1786)
* Mary Verran
(1707-1786)
Married 25 Jan 1729
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* Thomas Sandercock
(Abt 1737-1825)
Ann Couch
(1739-1817)
Married 1 Jun 1761
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William Growden
(Abt 1764- )
* Elizabeth Couch Saundercock
(1766- )
Married 26 Nov 1792
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* Matthew Growden
(1800-Cir 1883)
Christiana Dyer
(Abt 1810-Bef 1881)
Married 10 Dec 1844
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* William Matthew Growdon
(1851-1913)
Elizabeth Greenaway
(1842-1927)
Married 2 Aug 1868
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* George Growdon
(1873-1948)
Janet McCartney Hannan
(1882-1946)
Married 2 Jun 1909
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Frank Wynn Hayes
(1907-1988)
* Ella Growdon
(1910-1983)
Married 24 Jun 1933
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* Dr Stephen Tromp Wynn Hayes
(1941- )

There is more on this family on our family Wiki pages. If you are related to this family, please visit the family Wiki and contribute something to the story there. Anecdotes and other material about the descendants of William and Mary Sandercock are welcome.

Tombstone Tuesday: Sandercock, Cardinham

Sandercock tombstone in Cardinham churchyard, Cornwall

Sandercock tombstone in Cardinham churchyard, Cornwall

Charlotte Sandercock, wife of Richard Sandercock, and daughter of George and Catherine Riddle.

We’re not sure if they are related to us, but we do have related Sandercocks who lived in Cardinham.

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