Thursday, June 24, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF EDWARD GRIMMER - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

I am going to be short tonight because I leave for Chicago early in the morning. This is a very nicely detailed stone. Let's just say that the Grim Reaper did get Mr. Grimmer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF DALLAS K. SCHITTLER - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

This is a nice example of a modern tombstone that displays on it a big interest of the deceased. In this case, Dallas must have been a big time train enthusiast. In fact, when it came to trains, he must have really known his "Schit."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF MARY L. HOLL - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

I liked this tombstone when I saw it because the small epitaph at the bottom, "Beautiful Memories," sums up this woman's life quite nicely. Also notice that it says Aunt at the top. Does this mean that Mary did not have children? Perhaps her nieces and nephews are the ones who had the tombstone made and placed? Or, maybe she was well known where she lived and everyone referred to her as "Aunt?" A nice genealogical mystery for someone to solve. Overall, a very nice tombstone with beautiful script.

Monday, June 21, 2010


My sincere thanks to Thomas MacEntee at GENEABLOGGERS for highlighting my blog in the "New Genealogy Blogs" post of June 19, 2010. Here is a link to Thomas' site. Be sure to check it often as Thomas is doing a fanstastic job adding newer genealogy blogs every week!

BUTT & RIBBLE TOMBSTONES - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

I I chuckled when I saw this tombstone and just had to photograph it. Then, like a good genealogist, I took a look at the other stones to the side and behind the "Butt" stone. That is when I saw the "Ribble" stone and I just let out a loud laugh. Butt Ribble or Ribble Butt, no matter which way you look at it, you just have to laugh.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF MARTHA BUGG - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

I happened upon this tombstone while I was swatting away bugs that were flying into my eyes and ears! Martha must have sent them! I posted the second picture which shows Martha's grave next to a tree and by itself. Could you say - Snug as a "Bugg" in a Cemetery Rug?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF RUDOLPH IMHOF - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

A very nice stone with an epitaph in German. I do not read German, so I cannot translate it. Mr. Imhof was probably one of the many Pennsylvania Germans who came to Berks County in the 1800's.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF ROBERT C. BACHMAN, SR - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

I promise to pick up with the funny tombstones towards the end of the week, but I wanted to post some interesting stones from Aulenbach's Cemetery for a few days. This one caught my eye as I was wandering around. I did not know "Buck Benson" but he must have loved playing guitar and entertaining. A very nice stone and tribute. I love how the guitar frames the right side of the stone.

Monday, June 14, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF ELMER MAJOR - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

I do not think this veteran was a Major because it lists the company he was a member of. This means he was probably a Private. But it made me chuckle a bit because it does appear as if he was "Major Elmer Major." Could you imagine his superiors and fellow soldiers addressing him? "Good morning, Private Major?" Or, "Good morning, Major! - I mean, Private!" I am sure he was a major private in fulfilling his duties as Private Major!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF HAROLD E. ZIMPLEMAN - Aulenbach's Cemetery, Mount Penn, Berks County, PA

Was he a complicated or "zimple" man? I had to pick today to venture through some of the sections of Aulenbach's Cemetery in Mount Penn, Berks County, PA. I should have done it in Spring, but no, I had to decide to do it today. At first I felt pretty good. There was a nice breeze blowing and the sun was hiding behind the clouds. Then the bugs started greeting me with intrusions into my eyes, mouth and ears! After snapping a few pics the humidity kicked in and before I knew it my shirt was soaked with perspiration! Before I retreated to the comfort of my air-conditioned car, I was able to take some more pics - some tombstones funny and others very nicely designed. I will be posting these in the days and weeks to come along with other pics from my collection. Enjoy! And, if you get a chance, drop me an e-mail and let me know what you think of the blog! I can be reached at

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

CLOSE TOMBSTONE - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

Today we have some "close" up shots of tombstones in Charles Evans Cemetery in Reading, PA. Notice the interesting lettering on the main monument - all the little holes are "close" together. All notice how all the smaller, individual stones are "close" together.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TEA TOMBSTONE - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

This couple must have participated in some "tea" parties back in the 20's and 30's when Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover and FDR were President and the Congress probably had as low an approval rating as it does today! All joking aside, this is a very nicely constructed tombstone. Be sure to notice the death dates. Mr. Tea survived his wife by only 12 days!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

TREAT Tombstone - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

This tombstone is definitely a real treat! This family must have really enjoyed celebrating Halloween! No tricks, of course!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF EDWARD D. BRATT - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

I really hope he wasn't a brat in his life! A very nice stone that has held up well in the 102 years it has existed.

Monday, June 7, 2010

CRATER Tombstone - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

I am going to take time out this week to post some humorous photos. I have also added this to my flickr account and have made some contributions to Family Tree Magazine's "Funny Gravestone Photos" group on flickr ( Be sure to listen to Family Tree Magazine's podcast for May, 2010 ( which talks about the magazine's upcoming Grave Humor book and this flickr group. You can also add your own funny gravestone photos to the flickr group. Maybe this stone came from Tranquility Base on The Moon??

Sunday, June 6, 2010

PUBLIC MAUSOLEUM CRYPTS - Villamagna Town Cemetery, Villamagna, Chieti, Abruzzo, ITALY

The first thing that you see when you look at this picture is all the flowers! These crypts are visited often by family members. Almost all the crypt fronts have cameo pictures of the deceased entombed within. Notice that the crypt fronts are indented a bit to allow for a small ledge so that votive candles or vases with flowers can be placed outside the crypt front. Also take notice of the empty crypts awaiting entombment.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

TOMB OF RAPHAEL - The Pantheon, Rome, Lazio, ITALY

The Great Raphael Sanzio is buried in the marvelous Pantheon in Rome. His art and talent was rivaled only by the other great Renaissance artists, Michelangelo and Leonardo Da Vinci. Among the masterpieces painted by Raphael are the "Raphael Rooms" in the Papal Palace in Vatican City (now part of the Vatican Museums), "Deposition of Christ," "Deliverance of Saint Peter" and the "Transfiguration," which remained unfinished at his death. At his request, his body was immediately interred in The Pantheon upon his death in 1520 (at only age 37) and it has remained there ever since. Pope Gregory XVI had the tomb opened in 1833 to verify the existence of Raphael's remains. They were indeed verified and the Pontiff gave as a gift the marble sarcophagus that the casket now resides in. It has the inscription in Latin, "Here lies Raphael, by whom Nature feared to be outdone while he lived, and when he died, feared herself that she would die."

Friday, June 4, 2010

TOMBSTONE OF LOUISA KNAPP CURTIS - Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

A lovely tombstone stands the middle of a small plot overlooking the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia. Louisa Knapp Curtis, who is buried in this plot, was very prominent in the history of music in Philadelphia and she wished to extend her love and patronship of music beyond her gave. She succeeded by founding the "Curtis Institute of Music" which, according to its website at, "educates and trains exceptionally gifted young musicians for careers as performing artists on the highest professional level." Curtis is one of the world's leading conservatories.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

BRUNNER - STAAB TOMBSTONE - Charles Evans Cemetery, Reading, Berks County, PA

I found this tombstone while I was hiking through Charles Evans Cemetery a week back. I had seen it some years before during my thrice weekly hikes through the cemetery and finally got back to photograph it. I love how this couple had their wedding picture engraved on their tombstone. A very nice tribute indeed. Both must have been very devoted to each other. Maybe you are thinking, "Why didn't he move some of the plants and brush away to get a better picture?" I have a strict policy of not moving any plants or brush from any stone in order to make a better picture. I have too much respect for the deceased who are buried below me and too much respect for relatives and friends who worked hard to plant the items.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

RICKARDS MEMORIAL - Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia, PA

Today's stone is a lovely memorial depicting 2 angels resting. The only inscription I could find on this memorial is the name, "RICKARDS" and the words "In Memoriam." I suspect that perhaps 2 children with the surname "Rickards" are buried here, as Angels usually represent babies or young children who have passed. The memorial is a beautiful tribute.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

MAUSOLEUM & CRYPT OF CARLO GAMBINO - St. John Cemetery, Middle Village, NY

At the same cemetery and in the same mausoleum building that one of his successors, John Gotti, is entombed, is entombed the infamous Carlo Gambino, head of the family that continues to carry his name. Gambino, near his death, picked his brother-in-law and co-underboss, Paul "Big Paul" Castellano, to succeed him as head of the family, rather than the widely respected and loved other co-underboss, Neil Dellacroce. This eventually led to "Big Paul's" assassination by Gotti and Gotti's rise to the leadership of the family. Carlo's mausoleum is very impressive and other family members are interred with him. He is not interred on the same level as Gotti.