They Fell Asleep

I discovered this cross and markers in the older section of the New Cemetery, Dalkeith, Midlothian, Scotland. It is surrounded by hewn stone with engraved names and dates of members of the Mushet family. As the markers are relatively new they must represent broken or damaged headstones which have been removed.

The patriarch was William born in 1821. He married Robina Macfarlane who was born on August 28 1835.

William Mushet
Fell Asleep
April 1879
Robina Macfarlane
His Wife
Fell Asleep April 1911
Aged 77

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George Fred
Rests In India
Aged 22
June 29th 1878

They celebrated the births of 9 children.

  1. George Frederick was born on 1 May 1856 and christened on 25 May 1856. He died on 29 June1878, and is buried in Bombay (Mumbai)
  2. John Macfarlane was born 15 November 1857
  3. Janet Gray was born in 1858 and baptised on 16 January 1859
  4. William was born in 1861 and christened on 1 June
  5. Louisa Cecilia Mushet was born in 1863 and christened on 3 May
  6. Elizabeth Jane was born in 1864 and christened 13 December. Her stone is not visible in the images
  7. William Ernest. A second son born in 1871 was also named William. Given names followed a traditional naming pattern in Scotland by honouring members of the family. On occasion the same name was given to more than one child, if the first child had died, in order to perpetuate the name within the family. William Ernest was christened on 3 September.
  8. David Henry Cadell was born 25 April 1874-1881 and christened on 5 July
  9. Gerald was christened on11 February 1876. He died in 1906. His stone is not visible in the images

Thou Who Art The Hearer Of Prayer
All Flesh Shall Come Unto Thee
For Thine Is The Kingdom, The Power
And The Glory For Ever. Amen

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Willie Fell Asleep
Aged 3 ¼ Years
Dec 1864

David Henry Cadell
Fell Asleep
1871

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Janet Gray Mushet
Wife Of
John Morison
Of Newbattle
Fell Asleep 1939

Louisa Cecilia Mushet
Wife Of Rutherford Morison
Fell Asleep February 1904

Thanks Be To God Which Giveth Us The Victory
Through Our Lord Jesus Christ

Caged Graves

Known as Mortsafes in Britain, already documented in the post Body Snatchers, these parallel iron bars are known as caged graves in the USA. Legends abound for the reasoning behind the ‘cages’ such as wolves digging up the recently buried, or a restraint against the undead and vampires. However, it was most likely a deterrent to body snatchers hired to provide fresh corpses to anatomists in Medical school.

Mt. Zion Graveyard, referred to locally as the Hooded Graves Cemetery, in Franklin Township, Catawissa, Columbia County, PA, contains several caged graves.

catawissa

On 18 June 1852, Sarah Ann Boone died at age 22 years. A small marker carved with the initials S.A.B. identifies her grave which is protected by a cast iron cage with ogee roof and two winged eagles on the peaks (eagles symbolize salvation). A headstone reveals several details of the woman known as Sarah.

Sarah Ann
Consort Of
Ransloe Boone
Daughter Of Lloyd Frances Thomas
Entered Into Rest
June 18, 1852
Aged 22 Years 6 Mos 9 Days

Lo! Where This Silent Marble Weeps
A Friend, A Wife, A Mother Sleeps

The image of an open bible represents resurrection through scripture, and the drapery with frills and tassels denotes mourning.

Diannesalerni

Premature Burial

 

In 16th century England, land for burial was sparse. Coffins were dug up and bones taken to the bone-house so that the grave could be reused. Upon opening the coffins, it was noticed that several had scratch marks on the inside. The realization that people were being buried whilst still alive led to the practise of tying a string on the wrist of the corpse, which was attached to a bell above ground, while a sentry sat in the cemetery overnight. This procedure generated several expressions which we use today: ‘saved by the bell’, ‘dead ringer’ and ‘the graveyard shift’.

It also led to a legend known as the ‘Lady with the Ring’. The story relates that a woman was buried while wearing a valuable wedding ring. Shortly after the burial, a grave robber intent on stealing the ring opened the grave. Unable to remove the ring he decided to cut off the finger with a knife, which caused the woman to awaken, surprising the robber. Versions of the story have been found to exist in almost every European country.

In Shankill Graveyard, Lurgan, County Armagh, Northern Ireland is the grave of Margorie McCall who it is believed was the victim of a premature burial. Margorie was wed to Dr. John McCall. They lived in Church Place, Lurgan.

margorie-mccall-gravestone

Margorie fell ill and died in 1705 and was hastily buried to prevent the spread of the disease. The story continues with the attempted theft of the ring……when the robbers fled, Margorie climbed out of the grave and returned home. When she knocked on the door, her husband dropped dead of shock and was buried in the very grave she had just vacated.

The Public Records Office in Northern Ireland (PRONI) contains death records for nine Margorie McCalls in Lurgan, three of whom were married to a John McCall. However, no record is held of the death in 1705.

In the 1860s a local stonemason by the name of William Graham created a marker bearing the inscription Margorie McCall Lived Once, Buried Twice. The marker was erected at the base of Dr. John McCall’s gravestone in Shankill cemetery.

margorie-mccall-grave

Died Once Buried Twice

There lowly beneath lonely sod,
A lady twice entombed,
Tradition has it noised abroad,
She was exhumed alive.

Her precious ring her finger bore,
From her bright wedding day;
And in death likewise wore
When buried in the clay.

But a foul thief to steal the ring,
Did cast the clay aside
And he to life did quickly bring
She who lately died.

For he should cut the finger round,
To gain the golden prize,
But when the blood flowed from the wound
She spoke and did arise.

And straight away to her home did go
In her dead robes so white;
Like a wandering spirit free from woe,
But doomed to roam at night.

And when she reached her husbands door,
She gave her well known knock
An he fell senseless to the floor,
Un-nerved by the strange shock.

Her children knew here gentle voice
And flew to her embrace;
And all the neighbours did rejoice,
But marvelled at the case.

But death at last took here away,
As he will sure take all
And not again to Judgement Day
Shall Rise Margery McCaull.. 

 

Religious Crosses

Although the Crux Immissa (Latin cross) is commonly acknowledged as the type used to crucify Jesus, it is a source of debate between theologians and historians. There are many other forms of a cross.

A gemmata cross may have five stones representing the five wounds suffered by Jesus on the cross; or 13 gems representing Christ and the twelve Apostles.

gemmata

A ship portrayed with a mast like a cross represents a place of refuge and is acknowledged as the church. The Ark of Noah is a symbol of refuge and salvation.

noahs ark

The cross encompassed within a circle is often found on altar tables. It is also used in processions to represent eternity.

eternity

The Ixthos cross is a combination of a Latin cross and a fish symbol. The Greek word for fish is an acronym for “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior” and secretly identified others of the faith during dangerous times of persecution.

fish

This symbol represents Peter, the apostle, who was crucified head down because he did not feel worthy to die in the same position as Jesus.

peter

The Tau cross is one of the oldest forms of a cross and is believed to have been held by Moses in the wilderness.

tao

The dove on this Tau cross is symbolic of the Holy Spirit.

tau

This cross form is created with four Tau crosses, each arm also resembling a crutch.

tau cross

Although a forked cross was known in the Middle Ages as a thief’s cross, it also represents the Holy Trinity and is symbolic of arms lifted in prayer.

forked

The Ankh, originally the Egyptian symbol for life, is shaped like the letter T surmounted by an oval or circle. It symbolizes eternal life; peace; and truth.

ankh

Chi-Rho is an ancient Christian symbol representing the first two letters of the Greek word for Christ: χριστος – Chi (X) and Rho (P)

This Chi Rho cross also displays letters of the Greek alphabet: Alpha (the first) and Omega (the last) are symbols representing the beginning and the end of all life.

alpha gamma

St. Andrew’s cross was named after the disciple Andrew who was crucified on a cross of this shape. It came into use during the Middle Ages.

andrews

In the Greek language, the first letter of the word Jesus is I; and the first letter of Christ is X. When these symbols are combined this cross represents Jesus Christ.

crosses

The Shepherd’s cross has a crooked apex and represents the Christian faith and Jesus’ role as the Good Shepherd.

 shepherds crook

The Maltese Cross has four arms of equal length ending in a “V” shape which creates eight points representing the Beatitudes.

maltese

The letters IHC represent the first three Greek letters of the name Jesus when it is translated into Latin.

ihc

Lambs

The use of the lamb pre-dates Christianity and appears to have been used first by the Egyptians.

lamb asleep

A lamb in its simplest form represents purity and innocence, and as such, is the most common animal symbol found on the gravestones of children.

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Most lambs are displayed in a crouching position.

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Gabrielle Gaia. Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/55643085@N02/23607442962

God needed one more angel child,
Amidst his shining band.

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Heartbreaking image of two children born two years apart who died in the same year.

Butterfly Flutterby

The butterfly is symbolic of the resurrection of Christ’s life, death and resurrection. The meaning is derived from the three stages of its life: the caterpillar, the chrysalis, and the butterfly.  It is often seen on the graves of children.

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What we keep in memory is ours unchanged forever.

rootsweb
Source: http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~kscemete/Unusual-stones/Butterfly-front-syracuse.jpg

Weep not for me I go to my Father where I will meet you all again. 1877

butterfly 

The call was short, the shock severe
To part with one we love so dear
Thy purpose Lord we cannot see
But all is well that’s done by Thee.   1914

hiveminer2
Source: https://hiveminer.com/Tags/butterfly,ohlsdorf/Interesting

My Marian gone, a mother cries
And soon the tomb will from me hide
My life, my love, my infant dear
To sleep in death and silence here.  1826