Thursday, March 15, 2012

Old Family Cemetery...

In the early 1700's, three brothers came to this country from Switzerland and settled on a farm nearby to where we live.  In fact, it's only about a mile away, and we drive by it every day.  They are thought to be the first of this family to immigrate here, and are responsible for most people here who carry their family name!

The small stone house in the center of this picture is the original homestead.  There is a stream running underneath the house; this is how they got their fresh water...


Behind the house and across the fields, under those far off trees, lies the old family cemetery...

Over the years, the cemetery has been somewhat forgotten and neglected.  Stones have been damaged...knocked over and broken by falling tree limbs and curious neighborhood children.

Recently, however, some of the descendants have taken an interest in cleaning up and restoring the graveyard.  With the permission of the current farm owner, they've begun cleaning up...cutting down trees and clearing away brush.  

Last week, Jim (also a descendant) was asked to help out a bit with clearing away some debris.  I tagged along and got a few pictures...

Some of the rows of graves are only marked by pieces of stone stuck vertically into the ground, with no markings...

Others are easy to read...
The inscription on this stone is only legible when you run your fingers over the stone itself and look very reads 1776...

 It's a shame so many stones are broken...

...and also sad, how many people only lived to be in their thirties or forties before they died...

Here and there, you'll find these cemeteries, and they're fascinating to explore....especially when it's your own family's history that you're discovering!  I hope those who have begun the cleanup, have the time and energy to continue!


  1. My Grams baby brother who was not named & Grams fathers headstones were handmade by Grams mother. Over years my Gram cared for the graves. Repairing & painting the headstones. Shortly before Gram passed she & her other brother purchased headstones to replace the handmade headstones. Blessings!

  2. Oh Alica I love this post. History and awesome pics. I walk old cemeteries all the time. It IS very sad the first settlers had such terribly hard lives and died so young. They made both our countries what they are today from their hard work and struggles.
    It is so nice to see them cleaned up and honoured as they should be. B

  3. What an amazing piece of history! It's wonderful that it is being cared for again! Thanks for sharing with us!

  4. Wow I love old graveyards. My husbands family came over here from Switzerland in that year or close to it and there were three brothers. Isn't that something, I wonder what was going on to cause them to leave then. The three brothers changed one letter on the last name so that today we can tell which is which of the three brothers. It is a shame it fell in disrepair.
    I love old things like this, and it makes you stop and think about how those people's choices even then are still with us today.

  5. It's so nice that they are cleaning it up. I love old cemeteries for their history and artwork. The old stone have such great craftsmanship.

  6. I hope generations to come appreciate the preservation project. Places like that are priceless.

  7. Thanks for posting this interesting bit of history. Sad indeed that the old folks worked so hard and died so young, yet they left a great legacy behind. JB

  8. I love old cemetaries, and always pray for those forgotten in them.

  9. I always find it interesting to peruse old cemetaries. It is always interesting what you find. I love the photos from your previous post.

  10. I love little cemetaries--especially family ones. The property I grew up on had a small family cemetary from the 1800's--mom, dad, a 10 year old son, and the adult son and his wife. It is neat you know some of the history behind this cemetary.

  11. Love love the cemetary-and I'm so glad you all are trying to clean it up!

    How cool would it be to have the creek running under your house : )


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