Is that 1912? Is this in a church cemetery or somewhere else? We have graves from the 1800s on our property.
What's the story with the graves on your place. I picture something from a John Ford movie. On a hill swept by a hot wind.
Yes, it's a headstone made from slate. Nearby is/was one of the biggest slate quarries. It roofed Boston NYC and many other cities along the east coast of the USA from about 1850 to 1920. It took me a while to see it because the script is really hard to read. It reads; [Mary Ann Maguyre][ Died Jan 20, 1912][ Aged 26 years][May she][RIP][Amen]The thing is it's virtually impossible to carve lettering like that into slate, it spalls off you see. And so you'd expect to see very liner lettering. But it was the 's' that gave it away. It was written by a kid at school, and transcribed by the carver -probably a slate worker- exactly as the kid put it down. Maybe her son.
To be honest, I've never seen them (and we've owned this land for almost 30 years!). They're in a spot that didn't use to be easy to get to, so I just never made the trek. (In a woodsy area) My husband said that the main headstone was broken over and he'd propped it back up against a tree at some point. He said the name is legible and the date of death, I believe, is 1859...so pre-Civil War. Now I've got the urge to go look, but I think I'll wait until fall, when it's cooler out and they're fewer bugs.
And I meant to say I'd noticed that backwards 's'. All the sadder to think what that implies.
Ahhhh, that's heartbreaking and sweet at the same time. Thank you for explaining the story. I had a really hard time making it out...and I'm usually good at reading kid-writing. :)
It's in the graveyard at Ahenny, where the oldest Celtic High Crosses are sited. I'd not seen it before, which was a bit odd for even though the stone is big and of slate the main style would've been of limestone. The town stone, the lowland stone, where the slate would've been the locally available relatively cheap stone.
It's always fun to stumble upon a "new" find in your own neck of the woods, isn't it. It is a bit of surprise that slate would be used for engraving on as I've always thought of it as a relatively easy to break rock, but it seems that in places where it was readily available it was used often for the headstones. Maybe it was easy to engrave.
Slate is easy to carve lettering into if you are using straight lines like with quasi Germanic lettering, but curves are another matter entirely. The curve would point to a man that know the stone intimately. But my point about the town stone/lowland stone being limestone is that it was formed by a stone mason and letter carver who lived within the walls of a town and paid the town tax. You must remember that the woman of a slate quarry-man be they daughter wife mother or sister would never afford a limestone headstone. They would normally be interred in an unmarked grave. Perhaps even the trench of a mass grave with quicklime tossed on them.
In a way fun isn't the word for sometimes the more one thinks on a thing the more and more odd it gets. Ad then the curiosity just goes into overdrive, meaning I'll have to go back and do a charcoal rub of the monument. There's more lettering on it but I couldn't make them out. Plus I've a feeling there's a play in there someplace, and not a comedy either. The nearest in the USA to the life of the workers would be the coalmines of West Virginia.
Maybe curiously obsessive? I can tease you about that because I'm the same way. ;) Does the graveyard have any records or information on it to assist you?
On records, I truly don't know. If they were from a farming family I'd say more yes than no. But since the view wasn't of people to those quarrymen and that her name is McGuire/Maguire/Maguyre I'd say on balance no. But I defo will check.And tease away, for as you well know I've absolutely no problem returning the ball. :-) Serving it too.BALLS. It's that darn Wimbledon pulling up those terms.