Category Archives: Tombstone Files

Charlotte, North Carolina: W. W. Smith, African-American Architect

W. W. Smith Charlotte North Carolina Orton

The family mausoleum of African-American architect W. W. Smith (1862-1937). Pinewood Cemetery (1853)

Advertisements

Leave a comment

October 10, 2015 · 10:31 am

The Descendants Corner: Update re: The Savage Family, Mt. Calvary Cemetery

Pvt. Alfred Savage replacement gravestone Portsmouth Va. Orton

Pvt. Alfred Savage (1837-1899), Company D, 2nd Regiment, United States Colored Cavalry.               Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Portsmouth, Va.

The replacement gravestone for Pvt. Alfred Savage, of Co. D, 2nd Regiment, U. S. Colored Cavalry, recently installed in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. His descendants, whom we met last year, visited his gravesite over the weekend. I wrote a short article about finding Pvt. Savage in the cemetery, and his descendants, who have made significant contributions to the City of Portsmouth. We still have a long way to go…necessary mapping of gravesites (through ground-penetrating radar), drainage studies, and other issues are vital to the long-term preservation plan for the cemetery complex, where thousands of individuals, including our ancestors, lie. However, accomplishments such as these are always a great reminder of why “we do what we do.” For family, for preservation, and for history. Again, thanks so much to the Savage Family for allowing us to take part in this journey. ♥

Leave a comment

Filed under Civil War, Portsmouth, Stories in Stone, Suffolk, The Descendants Corner, Tombstone Files, Tombstone Tales, U. S. Colored Troops, USCT Diaries, Virginia

A North Carolina Civil War veteran in Portsmouth: Sgt. Lewis Rogers, 28th U. S. Colored Infantry

Sgt. Lewis Rogers USCT Portsmouth Orton

Lincoln Memorial Cemetery: Sgt. Lewis Rogers (1845-1884), father of Richard Rogers, Portsmouth, Virginia funeral director (1881-1951).

Leave a comment

August 11, 2015 · 2:16 am

Protected: North Carolina: Visiting the slave cemetery

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Enter your password to view comments.

August 3, 2015 · 8:38 pm

Beaufort National Cemetery, SC: United States Colored Troops

USCT Beaufort National Cemetery SC

United States Colored Troops, Section 29

 

Our family paid a visit to Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina, in early December, 2014. While there, I snapped a photo of some of the United States Colored Troops. It was Wreaths Across America Day at the cemetery, and there were hundreds of people present, prepared to pay homage to the fallen by decorating each grave with a wreath. Recently, the South Carolina Department of Archives and History announced they were holding a photo contest of historic sites in the state. I thought “why not?,” and submitted this photo. Surprisingly, it was selected by staff as one of the ten finalists. I didn’t win, though. That honor went to an amazing photo of an old African American school. I’m still tickled my pic made it to the top ten. Thanks so much to the staff of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History! ♦

2 Comments

June 10, 2015 · 10:26 pm

Portsmouth, Virginia: Matilda Ella Hale Nakano, Mount Calvary Cemetery

Matilda Ella Hale Nakano - Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Portsmouth Va.

Matilda Hale Nakano – Mt. Calvary Cemetery, Portsmouth

One of the most talked about gravestones in the Mt. Calvary Cemetery Complex is for Mrs. Matilda Ella Hale Nakano. The daughter of Granville and Emma, I’ve traced her family roots to the late 18th century, in the counties of Hertford and Bertie, North Carolina. She married Charlie Kosuke Nakano in 1923, a recent immigrant from Kagoshima (prefecture), Japan. After she passed in 1927, Mr. Nakano remarried, but lost his second wife in 1936.

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, and the signing of Executive Order 9066, Mr. Nakano was sent to an internment camp near Santa Fe, New Mexico. I’m still piecing together the rest of his story.

Ella rests in Mt. Calvary Cemetery near the grave sites of several members of her extended family, including her grandmother, Christianna, who was born in 1818, Bertie County, North Carolina. Of additional interest are the inscriptions and symbols on her grave stone. Thanks to Mike Tretola and family, we know that the bottom inscription (kanji) indicates that Mr. Nakano made the headstone for Ella. At the top are representations of ivy, denoting eternal life or affection, and a crown and cross, representing redemption through faith, or the Kingdom of Heaven.

Leave a comment

Filed under Bertie County, Japan, Norfolk County, North Carolina, Portsmouth, Slavery, Stories in Stone, Tombstone Files, Tombstone Tales, Virginia