Monthly Archives: June 2012

Featured Gravestone – Sarah Jenkins

Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  Finely carved stone with large center tablet surrounded by palms and an urn with drapery in the tympanum.  Minimal chipping to visible edges, some weathering to main inscription and lower edges are embedded in the earth.  An inscription near the base is obscured by earth and grass.

Inscription:  Sacred to the memory of Sarah Jenkins, daughter of David and Hannah Jenkins, who died 11th Nov’r  1825, Aged 24 years.

According to the Common Council inventory of graves relocated, both David and Hannah Jenkins are also interred here.  David died February 1, 1827 at the age of 57 and Hannah died December 20, 1817 at age 49 years and 5 months.  Their stones may be located near Sarah’s, but have not yet been photographed or identified.

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Upright Stones – Augusta Mary Jackson

Just a few feet from the upright headstone of John Craig, this stained and cracked marker was relocated from the Episcopal section of the State Street Burying Grounds where it marked the original resting place of an English girl who died before her first birthday.

Sacred to the Memory of Augusta Mary, the infant daughter of Captain R.H.S. Iackson of the British Army and Elizabeth, his wife, who was born in England at Staindrop Hall in the County of Durham on the 29th of July 1850 and who died at Albany whilst on her road to Canada on the 18th of July 1851.

The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away, bless be the name of the Lord.

See other upright stones in the Church Grounds.

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Featured Gravestone – Mary Ann H. Nemire

Section: Dutch Reformed

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  A very elegant stone with an urn and nicely carved drapery.  Minor wear to edges and darkening of stone.  Lower portion of stone is embedded in the earth.  Inscription is legible and carved design remains clear.

Inscription:  Sacred to the Memory of Mary Ann H. Nemire, Wife of John H. Nemire, who died May 1st, 1809, Aged 52 years, 25 days.

This stone is listed in the Common Council’s inventory as Nehmire and there are several other variations on the surname.  She was the wife of John Henry Nemire.

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Featured Gravestone – Catharine McDowl

Section:  Dutch Reformed

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  Large stone with a very clear, deeply carved inscription.  Little wear to edges, some erosion to winged face, and a crack starting from the bottom edge.

Inscription:  Here lies the body of Catharine McDowl Wife of John McDowl who departed this life Nov’r ye 30th 1790 Aged 35 years, two Months and 28 days.  How lov’d, how valu’d once avails me not, To whom related or by whom begot:  A heap of dust alone remains of me, This all I am, and all the world shall be.

Catharine McDowl may have been born Catharine Clark, daughter of merchant Peter Clark (or Clerke).  She married John McDowl in August 0f 1772.  Her husband’s surname also appears as McDowell, McDole, and Dole in various records.  During the Revolution War, John was twice suspected of harboring escaped prisoners or aiding in the escape of prisoners.  He died in 1821.  The McDowls were members of both the Dutch Reformed and Episcopal churches.

This stone features a very simple soul effigy consisting of a slightly egg-shaped face and large wings which fill much of the stone’s tympanum.

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Featured Gravestone – Mary Kane

Section:  Dutch Reformed

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  This large, very simple stone is in very good condition with darkening of the stone, but very little in the way of chipping or cracking.

Inscription:  Mary Kane, Wife of W. Voorhees, Died Aug. 11, 1840 in her 69th year. 

This very plain stone is one of the very few signed stones in the Church Grounds with the name T.K. Kenny clearly carved on the lower portion.  There is at least one other monument by Kenny in the Albany Rural Cemetery, that of hotel proprietor Edward Delavan on the Middle Ridge.

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The Reverend Thomas Ellison Stone

This large stone is located near the southeast corner of the Church Grounds.  Its size and style strongly suggest this was not an upright headstone like the majority of markers in this lot, but a slab to cover an in-ground burial vault (not too unlike those still found in the New York City Marble Cemetery).  It was part of the removal from the State Street Burying Grounds where it most likely covered a vault constructed to hold a single burial.

The slab is white marble (which has darkened to gray) and is of a very simple design.  Parts of the beveled edges have chipped and the inscription is very difficult – but not impossible – to partly decipher and match against the list of names published by the Common Council when the State Street Burying Ground was closed and its graves transferred here.

Reverend Thomas Ellison, A.M.  of Queen’s College, Oxford, Great Britain, one of the Regents of the University of this State, and for 15 years rector of St. Peter’s Church.  April 26th, 1802.  43 years.

As the rector of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and a member of the city’s Masonic Lodge, the English-born Ellison was a key figure in post-Revolutionary Albany society.  The People of Colonial Albany social history project has a brief biography of Ellison whose students included novelist James Fennimore Cooper and who was credited for his role in preventing the further spread of the great fire which heavily damaged Albany in 1793

People of Colonial Albany – Thomas Ellison

Ellison died after an illness in 1802.  At the time, work had begun on a new St. Peter’s Church designed by architect Philip Hooker whose restored headstone is just steps away from Ellison’s stone.

This is one of two vault cover slabs found in the Church Grounds;  there is also a brown sandstone slab in the Dutch Reformed section.  A stone very similar to Ellison’s  can be found on the North Ridge on the grave of a John Van Schaick.


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Featured Gravestone – Alida Lansing Peck

Section:  Dutch Reformed

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  Marble is discolored and stone is broken horizontally just below the second line of the inscription.  The upper right corner is also broken, but present.

Inscription:  Alida D. Lansing, Wife of —- —-, March 1, 1842 Aged 21 Years

This stone is in poor condition; not only is it broken in two places, but it shows tracks where a mower has passed over it.  This is not uncommon among these stones and, no doubt, contributes to the damage.  Alida is listed in the Common Council inventory as the wife of Allen F. Peck and her date of death is March 1.  Several years after her death, her husband appears in the city directory as a moulder residing at 89 Eagle Street.

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Featured Gravestone – Deborah Lathrop

Section:  First Presbyterian

Material:  White marble

Misc.:  Stone features a simple urn motif.  Much of this stone is sunken and embedded in the earth and it is not immediately evident how much may have broken away.  Much of the visible stone has darkened.

Inscription:  In memory of Mrs. Deborah Lathrop, relict of the late Eben. Lathrop

According to the listing in the the Common Council inventory, Mrs. Lathrop died March 29, 1814 at the age of 67.  Her husband, Ebenezer, is not listed.  There are several large Lathrop family plots in the Cemetery and he may be interred in one of them.

Edited June 26, 2013:  The Cemetery’s burial card files provide the remainder of the inscription (copied before the stone was too deeply embedded):  In memory of Mrs. Deborah Lathrop, relic of the late Eben Lathrop, who died 29 March 184 in the 67th year. 

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