Wells Family Genealogy

The study of my Family Tree

6 Dec 2015: Colonial Park … A Southern Cemetery with Family Connections December 6, 2015

Last weekend I went up to Savannah, Georgia for my cousin’s wedding.  Of course Savannah is known for many things, among them for its great cemeteries.  Partially publicized by books such as Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, I visited two of Savannah’s historic cemeteries.   One of the things I love about visiting cemeteries in different parts of the country is to see how many different approaches one can take to bury someone.  In this, Savannah did not disappoint.

One of the cemeteries I visited was the old Colonial Cemetery, called Colonial Park, which is located just on the edge of the historic section of town where the famous squares are located.



P1050317One of the things I loved about this cemetery is that it’s a park.  People just strolled in off the street and walked around.  There was none of the stiff formality of a place of the dead, but a warm coziness that the people of Savannah seem to have with those that have lived in their city before them.  I have to say, I really liked that a lot.

Now let’s get on to our family connection to Colonial Park.  I was wandering around taking pictures when I came across this:



20151129_151511Yes, I know, look how they set the headstones in the brick like that.  Talk about cool.  But it was the marker beside it that caught my eye.  “William Scarbrough, Promoter of the First Transatlantic Steamship.”  I’m not history genius but I remember our family history pretty well and sure as can be, when I got back to my hotel and looked it up, my fourth cousin four times removed, Stevens Rogers, was on the very ship they’re talking about on this plaque, the Savannah.  How on earth did I remember that?  Because he has one of my favorite headstones and it happens to have a carving of that very same ship, the Savannah, on it.  Here’s a photo of it in Cedar Grove Cemetery in New London, CT:

Rogers - Stevens Rogers Captain 1Did William Scarbrough of Savannah, GA know my cousin Stevens Rogers? Odds are pretty good they did.  So that’s our family connection to Colonial Park.

Now I’ll share some pictures I took of the interesting ways they are preserving old stones here:


Wooden Frame


Metal Braces


Cement Inlay

There must be a lot of stones that have been dislodged from their grave sites, because the brick back wall of the cemetery is something of an art project, a collage of homeless stones.  It’s beautiful and sad at the same time.  Here’s some photos so you can see what I’m talking about:


For Blog 1

For Blog 2

For Blog 3

I’ll also share some pictures of some odd and beautiful stones I found.  The first one has to be about the largest stone I’ve come across.  I put my cell phone on top of it to give you an idea of the scale of it.


This next one has lovely imagery carved in it.  I love the detail on the woman’s dress:


This carver was apparently getting paid by the word!!!!


This carver apparently didn’t believe in under doing it!  It’s got so many design elements in it, it should be a little garish, but I like it.


I have the feeling that in life no one ever accused Archibald Bulloch of being understated.  Check out his grave:


Here’s some other neat carvings I found:

For Blog 5

For Blog 6

With this one, I had to wonder which came first, the headstone or the brick monument.  It almost looked like the cut up the white headstone to the oval shape you see now to set it in the brick.

For Blog 4

Well, I hope you enjoyed your tour through Colonial Park and are inspired to stop in a visit for yourself should you ever find yourself in the lovely city of Savannah.



3 Responses to “6 Dec 2015: Colonial Park … A Southern Cemetery with Family Connections”

  1. patrogers8 Says:

    Hi Jennifer, Wow just amazing!!!! Yes Steven Rogers was the first to sail the first steamship … or something like that… I bought the book but have yet to read it :(. The gravestone pictures are amazing though… so many stories and lives!!!

  2. Jennifer,
    My sister Irena married William Crandall, grandson of Rev. William Crandall who did some of the writing in the Crandall genealogy of those in the Norwich,NY and surrounding areas. I was checking out a lot of webpages for Elder John Crandall to supplement what I have for her and found your site.

    I have been doing genealogical and historical research for 35 years and currently live in Saratoga Springs NY but eventually moving to Savannah, GA. Your Savannah visit caught my eye because I love cemeteries.

    Locally, I founded Heritage Hunters of Saratoga County NY 21 years ago and have been helping people do their research at no charge to get them going. I am called the Saratoga cemetery lady because I have copied everything there is for all the Saratoga Springs cemeteries and have taken all of the books that caretakers could find and computerized them for them. For over 10 years I worked at LaBrake Memorials here and visited almost every cemetery in the surrounding counties to located graves, do rubbings to duplicate stones and research.

    I had hoped to be in Savannah last spring but an 84 year old friend here had two strokes and other medical problems and I got her packed and she is moved to Harrisburg PA near her daughters so now I am working on my own things.

    One thing I hope you have been into is Find A Grave because I hve found loads of information that people have added to each grave. One grave alone for Sallie Kreider Major, following the ‘hot links’ through her parents, and several grandparents took me back to several generations. On some of these sites is such an abundance of information that you could spend years looking for these people and maybe not find anything.

    Sallie Kreider Major (1887 – 1969)
    her parents

    Henry W. Kreider (1815 – 1910)
    Susannah Brubacher Kreider (1822 – 1868)
    his parents

    Henrich Kreider (1774 – 1835)
    Christina Wittmeyer Kreider (1777 – 1861)
    his parents


    Anyway, I could go on but just wanted to say hi to another person who loves cemeteries. Cannot wait to get to Savannah and do them again and work on the history of all of those people as I have done in Saratoga.

    One more thing, I almost forgot. A man in Fulton County NY has digitized all of the known NYS Newspapers and they are online seachable for free. In Google put fultonhistory.com/fulton.html
    Once on that site the search window is on the left. In the menu to the right of that window I select ‘Exact Phrase’
    When you select a page, he now has a yellow highlighter over the words you are looking for. He is now scanning Canada and CT newspapers. NYS has 25 million 800 thousand plus pages to play with. It also finds the names in ads as well so if they had a business, you will find their ads.

    God Bless
    Ruth Ann Messick

    • jgeoghan Says:

      Hi Ruth Ann, Thanks for your kind words. Yes, I’m a huge findagrave.com fan. I used their app on my phone for the first time in Savannah. It’s not bad. Certainly easier than lugging my laptop around in a cemetery! I took on entering as much as humanly possible on Oak Grove Cemetery in Ashaway, RI on Findagrave as Oak Grove is my future resting place. – Jennifer

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