Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Grandmother and Granddaughter, died in a fire, 1704, Portsmouth, New Hampshire

This tombstone was photographed at the Point of Graves in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  I saw that both the woman and the infant died at nearly the same time, but had different names.  I knew there must be a good story behind this carving...

HERE LYES                                      ELIZABETH
YE BODY OF MRS                     DAUR TO YE
ELIZABETH                                   REVEREND MR
ELATSON                               NATHANIEL &
                                                  SARAH ROGERS
AGED 45 YEARS                       AGED 17 MONTHS
DIED IANRY                           DIED OCTBR ye
1704                                               30  1704

According to the book Historic Burial Grounds of the New Hampshire Seacoast by Glenn A. Knoblock, "Elizabeth Elatson and Sarah Rogers, 1704, Point of Graves, Portsmouth.  Likely the work of William Muford [A Boston Quaker stonecarver], this gravestone has a sad tale to tell. On October 30, 1704, Rev. Nathaniel Roger's house caught fire in the middle of the night.  Mrs. Roger's mother, Elizabeth Elatson, tried to save her granddaughter, Sarah.  But it was not to be.  Little Sarah died that night.  Mrs. Elatson survived the fire, but died of her injuries in January."

If you are wondering how the fire could be in October 1704, and Mrs. Elatson died just a few months later in January 1704, you have to remember the Julian calendar was still being used in the British colonies at this time.  The new year did not take place until March.  Grandmother Elizabeth Elatson died in January 1704/05 using double dating.

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Copyright (c) 2014, Heather Wilkinson Rojo

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