Monday, August 16, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday – Tweed Cemetery

 

In the quiet landscape of southeastern Ross county, Ohio, sits Tweed cemetery.  Just outside of Vigo, it is nestled inside a grove of trees at the top of a hill, hard to find, I'm told, unless you know what you're looking for. 

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I've never been to the cemetery, despite the significant number of my family that lay there.  The miles are too great for now.  But my “granny”, Elizabeth Freeman Graves, left such a large part of herself behind in the soil of the shady green hill.

The year 1832 began with the burial of her nearly 6 year old boy, Tavenor, in January.  Before the year was out, they would gather again in the cold December frost to bid goodbye to her mother, Sarah Toone Freeman.  Her 4 year old daughter, Martha, would be next, in May of 1841, and just 3 months later, seventeen year old son John Jr. would be laid to rest there.

Did Elizabeth and her husband John pay one more sad visit to the cemetery together before packing their trunks and loading their wagon for a new beginning in Illinois?  

How sad for Elizabeth to have to stand one very last time in the cemetery, this time at the fresh grave of her husband, who took ill once the packing and loading was done.  And how excruciating it must have been for her to turn and leave, and pursue this new life without him.

Some day, I'd like to go to Tweed cemetery, stand where she stood, see what she saw, and touch the part of her soul that she left behind there. 

4 comments:

  1. She must have been a strong and amazing woman. Hearing about the things our ancestors went through makes me feel so inadequate.

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  2. I know the feeling - I often wonder if I could have lived the lives that some of my ancestors did. Knowing that one cold or infection could wipe out several of your children must have been particularly unnerving!

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  3. I don't know if I could have done it. Perhaps I would have unpacked and just stayed. It seems like such a hard thing to go on alone without her husband - especially during that time period. Amazing lady!

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  4. Thanks for sharing this story - as Marti says it really makes you think about how strong our ancestors had to be. Your writing really brought to life a part of what Elizabeth must have gone through!

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