October 14, 2007


Harry Edsel Smith of Albany, New York:Born 1903--Died 1942.
Looked up the elevator shaft to see if the car was on the way down.
It was.

In a Thurmont, Maryland , cemetery:
Here lies an Atheist, all dressed up and no place to go.

On the grave of Ezekial Aikle in East Dalhousie Cemetery , Nova Scotia :
Here lies Ezekial Aikle, Age 102.
Only The Good Die Young.

In a London , England cemetery:
Here lies Ann Mann,
Who lived an old maid but died an old Mann.
Dec. 8, 1767

In a Ribbesford, England , cemetery:
Anna Wallace
The children of Israel wanted bread,
And the Lord sent them manna.
Clark Wallace wanted a wife,
And the Devil sent him Anna.

In a Ruidoso, New Mexico , cemetery:
Here lies Johnny Yeast... Pardon me for not rising.

In a Uniontown, Pennsylvania , cemetery:
Here lies the body of Jonathan Blake.
Stepped on the gas instead of the brake.

In a Silver City, Nevada, cemetery:
Here lays The Kid.
We planted him raw.
He was quick on the trigger
But slow on the draw.

A lawyer's epitap h in England :
Sir John Strange.
Here lies an honest lawyer,and that is Strange.

John Penny's epitaph in the Wimborne, England , cemetery:
Reader, if cash thou art in want of any,
Dig 6 feet deep and thou wilt find a Penny.

In a cemetery in Hartscombe , England :
On the 22nd of June, Jonathan Fiddle went out of tune.

Anna Hopewell's grave in Enosburg Falls , Vermont :
Here lies the body of our Anna,
Done to death by a banana.
It wasn't the fruit that laid her low,
But the skin of the thing that made her go.

On a grave from the 1880s in Nantucket , Massachusetts :
Under the sod and under the trees,
Lies the body of Jonathan Pease.
He is not here, there's only the pod.
Pease shelled out and went to God.

In a cemetery in England :
Remember man, as you walk by,
As you are now, so once was I
As I am now, so shall you be.
Remember this and follow me.

To which someone replied by writing on the tombstone:
To follow you I'll not consent ... Until I know which way you went.


Vin De Vine said...

Wow, an epitome of epithets.
Very nice.

Jan said...


There are so many humorous ones that it makes it hard to choose which ones to post.

Here's another familiar one:

Here lies Les Moore,
Shot three times with a forty-four.
No Les,
No more.

rockync said...

Jan, love these grave rememberances. I used to walk in old graveyards when I was a teenager just to read the old stones.
I always remember a cemetary in CT that had the grave of a rebel soldier named Cyrus E Quick. He died at the age of 25 and I always wondered if someone waited at home for him and he never came. Kind of sad thinking of him dying so far from home.

Jan said...

rockync..glad you enjoyed them.

I've always enjoyed walking through old cemeteries, reading the headstones, especially the old ones from the Civil War era.
There are quite a few of those down home, right out in the middle of nowhere.

A neat thing that I like to do, is to put sheets of stationery over the writing, and get the imprint, using a lead pencil.

rockync said...

Yeah, I've always thought I'd like to try doing rubbings of old stones. Maybe I'll make that a fall activity and go see what I can find. I'll let you know if I find any really cool ones.

Jan said...


sue said...

There is one in a very small country cemetary that you wouldn't understand unless you knew the story. It is a woman's stone and is huge, elaborate, and gorgeous (as gorgeous as huge and elaborate stones can be, I guess). It simply says, "beloved wife".

Funny thing is? The husband who put up this stone killed her.

yeah. truth is stranger than fiction sometimes.

rockync said...

Sue, now I'm wondering, if she was his beloved, why did he kill her?

Jan said...

sue..some of the old headstones are really amusing, and especially if you know the story behind the words written on them.

Anonymous said...

I think I'll have my tombstone done in pictographs, so a thousand years from now when they excavate my tomb, they'll be able to figure out something about me. Like the Etruscan wall paintings in their tombs.

Jan said...

Hermit..I am laughing, just thinking about that!

Anonymous said...

I think what you have got here are epitaphs, not epithets. Here's one I found in a graveyard outside Oxford: Reader, upon me cast thine eye. As thou art here now, so was I. But death a debt of me did claim. I paid it; thou shalt do the same. (The date on the stone was 1467.)

Jan said...

terry..well, I guess you could be right..thanks!

Thanks for commenting, and thanks for sharing the one you found outside of Oxford!

I suppose that could be called a "gentle reminder." LOL

Anonymous said...

I am not going to be original this time, so all I am going to say that your blog rocks, sad that I don't have suck a writing skills