Tombstone Tuesday: Military (US) Edition

Tombstone Tuesday has quickly become my favorite genealogy prompt from the Geneablogger with Thomas MacAntee. Last week it was the first edition. I’m a sucker for cemeteries (I have well over 500+ photos of gravestones on my hard drive right now). Each week of Tombstone TuesdayI’m going to feature different stories, ideas or facts about cemeteries, tombstones and anything related to the field of death and burial.

grvestones
Evergreen Washelli Columbarium

Military tombstones and graves are quite unique among gravestones in general. They typically have a uniform look that is the same in almost any cemetery that you will visit. There are three types of headstones and markers available — the upright headstones, the markers, and the medallions.

John Peter Watson

While I did share the above picture in the last Tombstone Tuesday, I just love the visual representation of the winter ice on this picture. This was John Peter Watson,  born in 1895 in Minnesota and died at the age of forty-one in Bellingham, Washington.  This is an example of an upright marble headstone. These measurements are uniform 42-inches long, 13-inches wide and 4-inches thick. The stones are about 230 pounds or 104 kilograms (according to the US Department of Veterans Affairs) There may be variations in the stone color, but in general, all the stones are going to look the same.

These following gravestones are all of the upright marble headstones:

Dr. William Huey
Dr. William Huey
Thomothy Paul Walton
Thomothy Paul Walton
William Loyd Hubka
William Loyd Hubka

The next type of military marker you are going to find is the flat-type marker. These have become more common over the years as marble has fallen out of style. These markers are bronze and are 24 inches long, 12 inches wide, with 3/4 raise and weigh about 18 pounds or 8 kilograms. These are most commonly seen in cemeteries since the late 60’s and 70’s.

 

Olaf G. Overrein
Olaf G. Iverrein, flat marker

Because the markers are bronze, they can oxide and turn bright teal and aquamarine like Max M. Jenkins below.

Max M. Jenkins

The last kind of gravestone or marker for members of the military is a medallion. You’ll rarely see these on individual gravestones. They are typically located near a selection of military gravestones like this one in Bayview Cemetery.

United States Merchant Marine

What other military markers have you seen? Thank you to Life After Death Photography for lending their photos to this post. Be sure to follow us on Facebook here to keep up with the latest blog posts.

Cemetery Walks

Earlier this week I was invited to be part of a walking tour through one of the oldest cemeteries in Whatcom County, Bayview. It was founded in 1887 in the town of Whatcom and the first burials took place in 1888. During this tour, we were treated to the history of the monuments of the founding families of our area, like the Eldridges, Roeders and Bloedels.
Cemeteries have always been a super peaceful place for me to take a walk, not something scary or spooky like lives in legends or an episode of Buffy. My mother is a professional genealogist (who you can find here) and taught me and my siblings a great respect for cemeteries and the dead from a  young age.
John Raynolds 1866-1897, Congregation Beth Israel
Henry Roeder, 1824-1902
Henry Roeder, 1824-1902
The tombstones speak to some people and tell stories of others. There are hundreds of people buried in this particular cemetery and thousands more buried around the county. I wonder what their stories are telling us.