Tuesday, May 17, 2011

“Called to exchange worlds”

The gravestone for Elizabeth Hanthorn (d. 1831) catches your eye immediately. The shape alone is different than most other markers—and it is covered in interesting carvings. Note, for example, the upside-down flowers (a life cut down by death) on either side of the large urn.

The inscription is unique as well, telling all who stop to read about the sudden nature of Elizabeth’s death.

to the memory
of Elizabeth wife of
Noah M. Hanthorn.
who while in an attitude of
prayer, and without a mom=
ents warning, was by a si=
ngular providence called
to exchange worlds.
May 31, 1835 in the
19 year of her age

Click to enlarge

If I were not looking at a photo of the gravestone, I would guess that the inscription began “Sacred to the memory of.” But I keep seeing the first letter as H, not S.

What do you see?

And how about “called to exchange worlds”? This substitute for died is a new one to me.

Baltimore-Geohegan Cemetery, Fairfield County, Ohio


  1. What a beautiful freestone monument. I too see the H. But it could be a B or E also.

  2. Very interesting -- like nothing I've ever seen before. I see the H, like you, as well as the E mentioned by Tammy. If it is an E, maybe it's "Erected to the memory of..." I have come across that phrase before.

  3. Misspelled your name, Tammi. Sorry about that!

  4. I see it to....
    what an unusually shaped headstone, luckily the more important part of the script was legible.


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