Sunday, July 26, 2009

Old, dead Scots

For those of you who don't know, I am mostly Scottish in origin. My great-grandfather emigrated from Cawdor, Nairnshire, Scotland to eastern Ohio, in the 1890's. There he met his first cousin, who parents were Scottish immigrants, and the rest is history.

While on the opposite side of the state last weekend, for a family reunion/wedding, my mom, my sister and I made the rounds of some cemeteries
near the old the Scottish Settlement area of Columbiana County. While there, I photographed a lot of headstones, most of whom were not relatives, just because they looked so cool. Here are a few from the Yellow Creek Presbyterian kirkyard:

I love the "native of Scotland" legend found on many of these stones. While they lived and died in America, they never forgot their homeland.

The thistle is common on Scottish headstones. "Departed this life" - isn't that a nice phrase? I like the fact that they not only gave his age in years, but also months and days when he died in 1860. Nearly 75 - that's one old dead guy!

The weeping willow was a common symbol of mourning used by many cultures - the Iroquois Indians for one. Also, from Greek mythology, the willow signified Underworld goddesses, most notably Persephone.


What parent would do that to a child? I bet he was always the last to be chosen for the curling team.

Headstones from babies are especially sad. This child was simply referred to as the "infant daughter of Laughlin and Maggie Noble." She was not even given a first name.

This marker was somewhat enigmatic. "Little Annie." No last name, no dates, no "wife or daughter of." Who was she? What was her story? Does anyone remember her? Is someone looking for her? The broken bud symbol indicates someone who died young or prematurely.

Ohio birders might know this guy:
Hugh Rose

There were lots of Roses at this cemetery, and many of them had the rose symbol on their stones. There were Roses in the old stories from my family's past, too. I wonder if Hugh's people knew my people.

Also found at Yellow Creek - this orange wildflower, which my sister told me was Indian paintbrush. I always believe her, but now I think she let me down. Continuing my search ...


donaldthebirder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
donaldthebirder said...

Looks like orange hawkweed Hieracium aurantiacum to me. It is a non-native from Europe, considered invasive. Also called devil's paintbrush.

Susan Gets Native said...

The whole time I was reading this, bagpipes were playing in my head. Srsly.

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...


So much history, beautiful stones, questions and mysteries.

littleorangeguy said...

The problem is not so much that the poor guy's name was Farquhar. Unless my eyes are failing me, his name was Farquhar Gnaw. Ouch.

KatDoc said...

LOG, poor old Farquhar's last name was Shaw, not "Gnaw." It was a little easier to read the stone in person than in the photo. Still an unfortunate first name, tho.


Anonymous said...

One old dead guy.. was 75. Don't forget to be nice to one old gal who is turning 75 this year and hardly dead!!

Caroline said...

We always called in Indian paintbrush in the Lake Champlain region of northern New York, although the field guide says hawkweed