Copyright © Janice Tracy, Cemeteries of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Draped Tombstone of George Harman

George Harman, b. May 1793 in
Lexington Co., SC; d. Apr. 15, 1878
Buried in Harmonia Cemetery,
Sallis, Mississippi

The gravestone of George Harman in Harmonia Cemetery near Sallis, Mississippi, is one of the first gravestones with a drape of this type that I have encountered. Although my initial thought was the drape was a symbol of mourning, I decided to search for a more professional opinion. The material I found actually validated my first thought, and the research provided a comprehensive source of meanings for tombstone symbols that will be useful in the future.

But simply viewing a tombstone and analyzing its symbols is not enough for this Graveyard Rabbit, so I soon began a search for more information about George Harman. First, I searched the U. S. Census of 1850, where I found that Mr. Harmon was likely a widower and the head of a household where he lived with four minor children, Edwin P., age 15, Walter A., age 14, James J., age 13, and Susanna C. Harman, age 8. Mary A. Howard, age 14 with no relationship shown, also resided in the Harman household. The family resided in Township 14, Range 5 East, Attala County.

According to the U. S. census of 1860, the family lived in Attalaville where George, now 66 years old, still headed a household that included four children. Mary Howard was absent from the household, and another individual, identified as Kate S. Harman, 17, possibly the young wife of Walter A., age 21, was included.

By the time the U. S. Census of 1870 was recorded, George's surname was shown as "Harmon," the common modern-day spelling of the name, and he was then 76 years old. Harmon no longer headed up his own household, but he lived, instead, with his son, Walter Harmon, age 31, and Walter's wife, C. S. Harmon, age 27.

George Harman's grave is one of several in Harmonia Cemetery where Harman family members who migrated from Lexington County, South Carolina are buried. An examination of other Harman family tombstones shows that George's deceased wife must have been named Barbara, as Walter A. Harman's tombstone shoes he was the son of George and Barbara Harman

1 comment:

  1. JANICE, This is an interesting marker you've presented. I must ask, however, what do you make of the device/symbol in front center at base? Is it something "new" that has been left at the monument --- or is it part of the original? Is it a portion of the top that has been removed? I can't determine from your photograph. Thanks.