Mother’s Day Homage: The Wilcox Family Gravestones

mDSC_9417

 Base of Gravestone of Susan Wilcox (1834-1918), “Mother”

*

The sorrows of motherhood and the difficulty of raising children safely to adulthood more than a century ago were poignantly brought to mind by a grouping of gravestones I happened upon last Fall in the cemetery of the old Pembroke Chapel (originally Methodist and later a United Church) in Pembroke, Nova Scotia.

Situated beside the gravestones for Susan Wilcox (1834-1918) — prominently marked “Mother” — and her husband, Nathan (1827 -1899), are markers for five of their children, each of whom predeceased their parents:  Cyrus, who it’s noted “Drowned At Sea”, aged 27 years, 1887;  Norman F., aged 2 yrs. 7 mos., 1861; Annie E., aged 13 mos., 1871; Frederick W., aged 1 yr., 1873; and Cora M., aged 1 day, 1877.

My curiosity prompted a search of old genealogical records here, which revealed that Susan and Nathan Wilcox had a total of 11 children (born between 1859 to 1880) — quite a brood!  Families were larger then partly because additional helping hands were needed and life was understood to be more precarious.   To lose a child is an unbearable thought for any parent and to have five leave this world before either parent sounds utterly tragic.  Even though they had six children that survived them and considering that many things about life being very tough may have been taken in stride back then, I imagine that this mother and father must have endured an immense measure of grief.

Thus, this homage to motherhood and Mother’s Day and a reminder to be thankful for family, friends and other loved ones, as well as to treasure each of our precious days (on Mother’s Day and beyond).

mDSC_9414

Gravestones for Nathan and Susan Wilcox Family, Pembroke, Nova Scotia

*

mDSC_9413

 Markers of Norman F., Annie E., Frederick W. and Cora M. Wilcox

*

mDSC_9414

 Markers of Cyrus Wilcox and his mother, Susan Wilcox

 *

mDSC_9409

Old Pembroke Chapel, Pembroke, Nova Scotia

*

mDSC_9424

*

Similar posts on O’Canada:

* Saint John’s Transcendent Old Loyalist Burial Grounds

* Halifax’s Beautiful Old Burying Ground

* Canada’s Oldest Regular Cemetery:  Garrison Cemetery, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

29 responses

  1. Dear Brett,

    This is beautiful, and a very important message indeed. Here’s to being grateful for family, and honoring where we came from.

    Peace, always,

    Allison

  2. I love wandering around old graveyards – a rich source for stories…even if many of them only stay in one’s head! I often wonder what someone like the Wilcox family members would make of their being noticed, and written about, now. It’s a double memorial in a way.

  3. This is very close to where I grew up. I used to love looking around old graveyards- I haven’t done it in a long time. Thanks for this!

  4. I always get sad when I visit cemeteries and see the plaques with little lambs and angels. I remember being very moved in 1995 when I read one with the same DOB and DOD. It said, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”

Your Comments Are Most Welcome

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,386 other followers

%d bloggers like this: