Family Tombstones

I have a strange fascination for cemeteries and tombstones.  I know.  I know.  It’s sounds morbid, but as a history buff and an amateur genealogist, it’s not as bizarre as it sounds.  If you look closely, each stone tells a story.  Recently, I’ve been checking out some funny, strange, and unusual headstones, and I wanted to take a peek at some of my ancestors’ grave sites to see what I could “dig up.”


Tom Allen and Elva Bryant Allen

My grandparents’ headstone holds special meaning.  The engravings hold all they loved about Colorado, the mountains, the columbine, and the the blue spruce.  It also had the horseless rider which is perfect since my grandfather enjoyed training horses too.

Elva and Tom Allen


Joseph Burson and Mary Plaster Burson

My 5x great-grandparents were Mary Plaster and Joseph Burson.   Joseph was born on January 22, 1737 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  He died on February 19, 1825 in Loudoun County, Virginia.  He was buried at The Southfork Meeting House Cemetery in Unison, Loudoun, Virginia.  Mary Plaster was born October 18, 1758 in Chester County , Pennsylvania.  She died on May 9, 1836 in Loudoun County, Virginia.  She was also buried at The Southfork Meeting House Cemetery; however, her tombstone could not be located.

Joseph Burson – Photo by Betty Frain – Find a Grave




John Gallup and Elizabeth Wheeler Gallup

Elizabeth Wheeler was my 9x great grandmother.  She was born May 22, 1683 in Stonington, Connecticut, and she died April 14, 1735 in Voluntown, Connecticut.  She was buried at the Gallup Cemetery in Sterling, Connceticut.  Captain John Gallup was my 9x great grandfather, and he was born in 1675 in Stonington, Connecticut.  He died on December 29, 1755 in Voluntown, Connecticut, and he was also buried in the Gallup Cemetery in Sterling Connecticut.






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Philip Hupp and Mary Buzzard Hupp

My 4x great grandparents were an interesting couple.  Mary lived to be 96 years old.  She was twenty seven years old when she married my grandfather, Philip, a Continental Marine that served his country during the American Revolution.  Both of my grandparents are buried at the Hesson Family Cemetery in Noble County, Ohio.



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Thomas Kinne and Martha Cox Kinne

My 9x great-grandparents were Martha Cox and Thomas Kinne.  Martha Cox was born on October 1681 in Sale Massachusetts.  She died on October 25, 1747 in Griswold, Connecticut.  Thomas Kinne was born on July 27, 1678 in Salem, Massachusetts, and he died on October 1, 1756 in Griswold, Connecticut.  Both grandparents were buried in The Old Kinne Burial Ground in Griswod, Connecticut.




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Moses Wilson and Tamar Burson Wilson

My 4x Great grandparents were Tamar Burson and Moses Wilson.  Tamar was born on January 17, 1777 in Loudoun County, Virginia, and she died in 1825 in Loudoun County Virginia.  She was buried at the Southfork Meeting House Cemetery in Unison, Loudoun, Virginia.  Moses was born in 1772, and he died in 1822 in Middleburg, Loudoun County, Virginia.  He was also buried at the Southfork Meeting House Cemetery in Unison, Loudoun, Virginia; however his tombstone was not found.




Tamar Burson Photo taken by Dick Belle – Find a Grave




  • Cameron. Anne Bradstreet North Andover USA, Cameron Sell, 2014,
  • “Genealogical and Personal Memoirs Relating to the Families of the State of Massachusetts.” Edited by William Richard Cutter, William Frederick Adams, Google Books,
  • “Gimmicks.”, Academy of American Poets, 23 Nov. 2015,
  • Historical Data Systems, comp. U.S., Civil War Soldier Records and Profiles, 1861-1865, Operations Inc, 2009,
  • U.S., Find A Grave Index, 1600s-Current, Operations Inc, 2012,

9 thoughts on “Family Tombstones

  1. I also love to walk around old graveyards. England, Scotland, Ireland have some of the most beautiful. And if you are ever in Havana you must go to the big cemetery, it is amazing. My sister and niece lived across from a cemetery when my niece was little, we walked there one day and she called us to see a grave, she said it was a love grave…when we asked why she said because there were flowers on it…she was about 4 years old.

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    1. My mom and I would often stop at old cemeteries. One time after a weekend get away, we stopped at an old graveyard with tiny little headstones that were very old. As we walked around and looked at the dates and the ages, we thought it was a cemetery for children. We were so sad until we came across the names Fido and Sparky and realized it was a pet cemetery!

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      1. oh that is lovely. Unless you are Stephen King…then look out.
        When I was in New Castle (North England) a few years ago it was really interesting to see that people used their childrens names over and over. If a child died young (as shown on a family headstone) you would sometimes see the name used again a few years later.

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  2. Oh, I love cemeteries, too! And it’s fun to read these little stories, and see photos of the Gallup cemetery!!
    When our kids were young, we’d take walls or ride our bikes around town, and the cemetery to the hill was a favorite destination. One day, when my daughter was 5 or 6, she quietly asked me, “Mama, do Marys die young?” I realized she’d rarely met another Mary – so a logical question! We looked at the dates on the stones, and most had lived well past 60 … I explained Mary was still the most popular girl’s name, and her great grandmother had been a Mary, too.

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