Category Archives: Featured Gravestones

Featured Gravestone – Anne Veeder

DSC05246Section:  Dutch Reformed

Material:  Brown sandstone

A simple sandstone marker with darkening of surface and damage to upper left corner, but a generally legible inscription.

Inscription:  In Memory of Ann daughter of Volkert S. & Anne Veeder who departed this life July 9, 1795 aged 17 months.

Ann Veeder was one of five children of Albany merchant and fire inspector Volkert S. Veeder (1760-1812) and his wife, Anna Spann (married 1786).

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Featured Gravestone – Mary and Pamelia Pells

DSC04846Section:  Garretson Methodist Episcopal Church

Material:  White marbl

A double stone, there is a complete diagonal break beginning at the top between the two halves and continuing downward through Mary’s half of the stone.   Upper part of Mary’s section is also partly embedded in the earth.  Stone has darkening from exposure, but text is generally legible.

Inscription:  In Memory of Pamelia C. Pells who died Sept. 30 1831 aged 2 years 2 months.  In Memory of Mary J. Pells who died Oct 1, 1831 aged 9 months.  Gone is the flowers sweet buds of early spring Thy ruthless Death cold finger rudely press’d Yet ah grim tyrant pointless is thy sting They fading fell to ripen with the blest.  Parents to you this cheering hope is given They sank to Earth to freshly bloom in Heaven.

The stone makes no mention of the parents’ names, however, burial records show an Ebenezer Pells, age twenty-six, also buried in this lot.  He died approximately seven months after these two little girls and the epitaph from his widow is written in a similar tone to that of these children making it possible that he was the father of Pamelia and Mary.

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Upright Stones – Eliza Maxwell

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One of several stones set upright along the edge of the Church Grounds, the gravestone of Eliza Maxwell is broken, stained and spotted with lichen.  Despite the damages, it remains a beautiful and detailed monument.  The upper portion features a pair of clasped hands, often a symbol of eternal affection.  Above the joined hands, the stone is crowned with a heavy arrangement of flowers and foliage centered around a rose.

The inscription on this gravestone reads:

Eliza Wife of James Maxwell Died Nov. 2, 1858 Aged 32 year.  A loving wife to me most dear, A faithful comrade I parted here, Her days ith me was short but sweet, I hope with her in Heaven to meet.

Eliza was first interred in the Episcopal section of the State Street Burying Ground and brought to the Rural Cemetery in the general removal of remains and markers when the old graveyard was transformed into Washington Park.

There were several James Maxwells residing in Albany at the time of Eliza’s death.  One is listed in the city directories as a marbleworker residing at 40 Park Avenue.  It is quite possible that this was Eliza’s husband and that he carved this stone for her grave himself.

See other upright stones in the Church Grounds.

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Featured Gravestone – William Burdett Reed

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Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  White marble

A worn marble stone with erosion to the inscription, particularly on the upper half.  The bottom has less staining as it was likely embedded in the earth for some time and only recently exposed.

Inscription:  In memory of Reed, William Burdett son of Samuel and Laura M. Reed who died Feb 6, 1831 aged 5 months and 16 daysOne only son what pleasure bright His joyful birth did give He’s gone his parents chief delight To moulder in the grave Yet let their troubled hearts be taught Their darling rests in peace With God who gave them happy thought And bids their anguish cease.

While this stone is difficult to read in person, enough of the epitaph is legible making it possible to identify this stone and the full inscription from the burial index card.  The father may have been  engaged in the plastering business in Albany;  the name Samuel Reed is signed to an advertisement in the Albany Evening Journal in 1832 offering a reward of six cents for information on a runaway apprentice.

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Featured Gravestone – Thomas B. Heermans

DSC00809Section:  First Presbyterian

Material:  White marble

Bottom edge of stone is embedded in the ground below the last line of the inscription.  Inscription is deeply carved and very legible.  Upper portion of the stone features an open book (likely the Bible) with a saw-tooth border above and fan-shaped insets in the upper corners.  Some darkening, but decorative carving is generally intact.

Inscription:  In memory of Thomas B. Heermans who died April 4 A.D. 1830 aged 33 years 6 months

Heermance was, along with Erastus Corning, Joel Rathbone, and John T. Norton, a partner in a firm which offered hardware and cutlery, as well as stoves and iron sheet work to order.  About a month before his death, a notice appeared in the Albany Argus which announced the dissolution of the firm Rathbone, Heermans, & Company by “mutual consent.”  The company retained the same name for some time after under the sole leadership of Rathbone.

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Featured Gravestone – Ruth Mead

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Section:  Garrstson Methodist Episcopal Church

Material:  White marble

A small stone, probably truncated during its transfer.  Darkened surface and some wear to inscription.

Inscription:  Ruth Mead died 1843

This plain stone gives very little information on the deceased;  her age and date of death are not provided.  The surname Mead was fairly common in Albany at the time and this woman appears several times on newspaper lists of individuals with letters or other mail awaiting them at the Albany post office.

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Featured Gravestone – Henry Cuyler

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Section:  St. Peter’s Episcopal

Material:  Sandstone

Heavily discolored stone with large lichen patches.  Most edges are embedded in the soil.  Inscription is generally legible despite the darkened and lichen.

Inscription:  This Tomb is erected over the remains and in memory of Henry Cuyler, Esq.  Late of Green Bush Who departed this life Feby. 5th 1803 Aged 67 years 5 months & 10 days

Henry Cuyler, Esq., a merchant and British sympathizer during the Revolution, is profiled by the Colonial Albany project.  His biography can be found here.

 

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