Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Lois Cook Bartlett, Matriarch

I haven't been able to track down any information on Lois Cook Bartlett of Brunswick, ME, but I was enchanted by her headstone.
LOIS COOK BARTLETT
1768-1857
Mother of
Clarissa Bartlett Spear
& Grandmother of
Elizabeth G. Spear Wing
& Great-Grandmother of
Louise E. Wing Varney
& Great-great-Grandmother
of
Luigino E. Varni Gardinier
"Arise Daughter and go to thy Daughter
for thy Daughter's Daughter has a Son."

An inscription on the gray stone underneath the marble notes that five generations of descendants attended Lois' burial.

Does anyone recognize that daughter's daughter quotation? I poked around on the internet and found a few similar quotations in New England captivity narratives, but I'm not sure of the source. It sounds scriptural, but, as far as I can discover, it isn't.

This stone is a late example of the practice of noting the extent of an elderly person's posterity on his/her gravestone. While not tremendously common, these stones crop up all over New England.
Daniel Tyler
d. 1802
Brooklyn, CT

A friend of mine who recently traveled to Utah for a grandmother's 90th birthday party assures me that modern Mormon gravestones often list the deceased person's children (you see this in New England sometimes, too). I don't know if that's a long-standing tradition that goes back to the Mormons' genealogical links to colonial New England or if it is a new trend.

3 comments:

tobinwilliamson said...

No specific comment to this specific post, but I just stumbled upon your blog and it is fascinating! I've added it to my bookmarks list and will check in often. I'm a fellow history student who has done a lot of research in cemeteries in Arkansas and Massachusetts, so this type of thing is definitely something that interests me.

RJO said...

Fascinating. That's got to have a discrete source somewhere. There are a number of examples beginning in the early 1800s from widely separated locations, in both the son variant and daughter variant. Almost all are epitaphs/memorials to notably old women (like "curious news" items in the paper).


Aha! Got it (sort of): Here it is in an old source with odd citations that I haven't tried to follow. But this is the route to the answer.

RJO said...

"A Distich, according to Zwingler [whoever he is], on a Lady of the Dalburg Family who saw her descendants to the sixth generation."