Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Jane and Robert McMurphy

This gravestone was photographed at Forest Hill Cemetery, Derry, New Hampshire.  There are a great number of colonial era double headstones like this one at Forest Hill, especially near "Settler's Row" where the early Scots Irish pioneers are buried.

In memory of           In memory of
MRS JANE                 ROBERT
McMURPHY            McMURPHY
wife of Robert                 ESQR    
McMURPHY          Who died
Esqr. who died       Jan. 20, 1814
Dec. 31, 1764             Aged 91
aged 84 Years           Years  
 This gravestone appears to have cracked, but was repaired with iron braces long ago.

closeup of the double urns carved above the epitaph

Robert McMurphy was the son of John McMurphy and Mary Cargill, immigrants from Northern Ireland.  He was born on 30 January 1724/5 and married Jane Shirley on 10 March 1747/8.  She was the daughter of John Shirley, born in Northern Ireland in 1688, died 1764 in Chester, New Hampshire.

Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Those are wonderful headstones, Heather. I haven't seen any double stones like this one. And what long-lived settlers they were. Thanks for sharing these.

  2. Celia, the "Settlers Row" in Forest Hill Cemetery is full of double gravestones. I think they are very sentimental, and I don't see a lot of them elsewhere. I wonder if it is a custom they brought from Scotland or Northern Ireland?

  3. Very cool double stone! I love the two urns that share a willow.

  4. Gorgeous stone. I didn't know that there were Scots Irish settlers in New England!

  5. Karen, in 1719 Nutfield, New Hampshire was the first permanent Scots Irish settlement in North America. They soon renamed it from Nutfield to Londonderry.