Gone but not forgotten  

John Elliot's volumes of Kings County tombstone inscriptions are loaded with information
Ruby M. Cusack


Since we lived so near to the cemetery, my little brother, Cliff, and I spent many hours roaming through this graveyard. We would stop at each marker and read the names. The different symbols on the tombstones fascinated us.

We always had questions to ask Mum: "Why is there a little lamb stone?" "How come one marker is made of iron?" "Why is there a picture of a tree?" "Why is there a hand pointing upward?" "What does it mean by 'Rest in peace'?" "Do they still make white tombstones?"

We also told her about our favourite stones. I particularly liked the white slab with clasped hands. Cliff liked the one with the roses and thistles.

As I grew older, I became more intrigued by these monuments. I not only wondered about the people whose grave they marked, but about the person who chose and paid for the stone. Who were the family members?

To me, the stone of Richard Dixon Burns was huge. It stood on the crown of the hill, towering above the others.  Members of this family migrated to the United States. One of them owned a very successful furniture business in the Boston area. Although they were hundreds of miles away, they did not forget about the final resting place of their parents. They had this very large stone placed in the cemetery in memory of their parents with the following inscription: "They taught us all to pray and died in the triumphs of Faith." Erected by their children.

If anyone has information on the relatives or obituaries of the people buried in the Titus Hill Cemetery at Titusville, I would like to have copies, as I am compiling a history on these families. You can e-mail me at rmcusack@nbnet.nb.ca.

It might be said that visiting a cemetery gives us the quiet time to walk again through the years gone by with those who have gone before us.

Many folks have driven by a cemetery in Kings County and noticed a man, crouched on his knees with pen and pencil in hand. This was not a ghost. It was John Elliott. He has spent days and days over the past 10 years in cemeteries copying inscriptions from tombstones.

At this time, he has published three volumes of Gone But Not Forgotten ­ Cemetery Inscriptions of Kings County, N.B. The three volumes cover the parishes of Studholm, Sussex, Havelock, Cardwell, Waterford and Hammond. Another volume is expected to be published this year (1999).

Mr. Elliott has recorded the inscription on the tombstone as well as a description of the marker.

The following is an example from the Corn Hill Baptist Cemetery: "white slab ­ Meet Me There arched over hand pointing upward ­ signed R. Bardsley ­ In loving memory of Isabella Corscadden, (arched) Died April 30, 1900, Aged 74 years Gone but not forgotten Erected by her daughter ­ Mrs. John Foley. Also, a white foot stone behind inscribed I.C."

If you have relatives buried in the parishes of Kings County, you may find information about them in the books Gone But Not Forgotten ­ Cemetery Inscriptions of Kings County, N.B. by John Elliott. The volumes are available for viewing at the Kings County Museum in Hampton. For further information on ordering these books contact John Elliott at elliojo@nb.sympatico.ca.

Tombstones can often reveal information on our ancestors, if we the take time to study them carefully.

Queries have been grouped together to cover the year 1998 and can be viewed at Queries-1998

Ruby Cusack is a genealogy buff living in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Readers are invited to send their New Brunswick genealogical queries to Ruby at rmcusack@nbnet.nb.ca. When E-Mailing please put Yesteryear Families in the Subject line. Please include in the query, your name and postal address as someone reading the newspaper, may have information to share with you but not have access to E-mail. Queries should be no more than 45 words in length.

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