Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday (September 9, 2014) -- Lydia [Angell] Carpenter

To the Memory
Relict of
Ebenezer Carpenter, Esq.
She died Sept. 19,
in her 88th year.
~ . ~
A land upon whose blissful shore,
There rests no shadow, falls no stain;
There those who meet shall part no more,
And those long parted meet again.

This tombstone is in the Cumberland Cemetery on Dexter Street in Cumberland, Rhode Island where many of my ancestors and relatives are buried.  Lydia Carpenter was the daughter of Abraham and Mary Angell.  She was born December 30, 1763 in Cumberland and she died almost exactly 163 years ago on September 19, 1851.

Lydia was the wife of Ebenezer Carpenter, a very distant relative of mine. My 8th great grandfather, Samuel Carpenter, was the younger brother of Ebenezer's ancestor, William Carpenter.  Ebenezer predeceased his wife Lydia by about 39 years.  He died at age 56 on May 28, 1811 or 1812. 

Note the archaic use of the word "Relict" to describe Lydia rather than "widow" or "wife."  Relict means to survive the death of another, especially if applied to a widow.

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Photograph by the author in late March 2010.
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Copyright 2014, John D. Tew
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  1. Lovely sentiments on this standing stone. I always wonder who decided on how to set up the carving for the stone, what exactly to say and why... Sometimes the elderly widow - indeed, a relict - is given details about herself, but at other instances, only birth/death dates, always of course with her husband's name.

    1. I too have often wondered about who decides on the content of a tombstone engraving. I know that one concern about the content and extent of an engraving is the cost. I believe engraving was/is often done based on the length of the sentiments/information expressed -- whether on a per character basis or via some other cost measurement -- so what to say is often dictated by what one thinks is affordable. This is probably why so many tombstones are just the bare bones information of the name of the deceased and dates of death and birth. Sometimes it does not even include birth date. Adding information like the age at time of death, relationship to another (spouse of, child of, etc), poetry and the like adds considerably to the cost -- just as the type of stone used does.

      As always Celia, thank you for reading my blog and for your frequent comments. I really appreciate it!