Cemeteries and graveyards, full of love, betrayal, tragic deaths, murder and suicide. What will you find?...

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Fading Sarah

(c) Nicola Carpenter 2012


Taphophilia is a passion for and enjoyment of cemeteries. The singular term is a taphophile.


Memorial to Sarah Beesley, All Saints Maidenhead Cemetery, All Saints Avenue, Maidenhead, Berkshire.

"In Loving Memory Of Sarah Beesley widow of the late David Beesley who entered into rest 3rd April 1894 aged 89 years."

(c) Nicola Carpenter 2012


I noticed this stone in the background whilst taking a picture of a far fancier monument.  The colour, beautiful craving and the fact the words are slowly fading drew me to it.  How long before all trace of Sarah is wiped from the stone forever?

Sarah Beesley was born Sarah West in Great Marlow Buckinghamshire in 1804 to James, an agricultural labourer and Sarah West.  Sarah West and David Beesley married in 1840 in Upton cum Chalvey, ten years after their first daughter Sarah was born in 1830.

Sarah lived with her husband, a frutiteer and their children in Littlewick Green, White Waltham.  When David died in 1870 Sarah took over the business.  The 1871 Census finds sarah recently widowed living with her Son Henry and daughter Annie.  Her occupation is listed as fruiteer and baker.  In 1881 Sarah had moved to 1 Jasmine Cottage Craufaud Rise, Maidenhead to live with her daughter Annie, now married to Alfred T Taylor a bank clerk.  Sarah was still living at 1 Jasmine Cottage along with her daughter's family when she died in 1894.


(c) Nicola Carpenter 2012


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27 comments:

  1. Wow, was it not an unusual thing for her to be unmarried with a child for 10 years? Ive never come across the study of graves before but this is really interesting!

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    1. Strangely enough it is not uncommon to come across unmarried mothers during this era. It brought about the need for baby farmers, but that is another story altogether.

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    2. That is of interest, NIcola. Expand upon that topic somewhere if you will, please, as I know nowt about it.

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  2. I used to work with a guy called Daved Beesley over in Wallingford.
    Love you rwork.

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    1. Thank you. There's something pleasing about the way the name Beesley shounds, isn't there.

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  3. A humble but beautiful story! So love the watercolour kind of colouring on Sarah's headstone!

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    1. I think weathering has caused the wonderful colouration on Sarah's stone, as it looks as if it was the uniform greyish white at one time. The colour really drew me to it.

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  4. Very nice and quite well-preserved, considering its age!

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    1. I think it benefits from being in a well sheltered area of the cememtery with sceral larger stones around. There are stones not unlike this one in the younger part of the cemetery were all information has been weathered away.

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  5. Thank you for recording some of Sarah's life before it fades completely.

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    1. It's sad to know that eventually her stone will be comepletely void of information. I have come across so many stones that are now unreadable and the history of who is buried there is lost. The cemetery office tends to get a bit fed up with repeated information request, or maybe they're just fed up of me.

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    2. Is the information not available online? Ours is over here.

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  6. the grammarian in me sees the redundancy of "widow of the late".
    otherwise it a nice looking headstone.

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    1. Maybe a way for David to get his name on the stone even after death?

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    2. Excellent. I missed that ... *thwack to the side of own head* ...

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  7. Do you contact, or have you ever, contacted any of the families? Just a thought, your photo's do preserve these monuments to past lives.

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    1. I have contacted some that I have found through Ancestry, offering them pictures of the monument and any history I have found, but I have yet to receive a reply.

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    2. Really? No reply. How rude of them! I reply to all the contacts I receive on Ancestry.

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  8. pretty colors! and i like the flower.
    i would like to try to be a baker once..

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    1. The colours of the stone is what drew me to it.

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  9. Wow, I found your blog through the gallery and find myself quite intrigued. I have never heard of Tafophilia before and am interested to know more. My parents told me I was quite morbid reading the stones when we walked through the graveyard. I'm glad to find I am not the only one, even if it is over 20 years on! xx

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    1. Thank you. It's funny how people use the word morbid when you express and interest in cemeterties and gravestones. The way I see it is, if these stones weren't meant to be read, they would have nothing written on them.

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  10. Sarah will be remembered because of you. Fantastic photography.
    Carol

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  11. Yes, colours like this do attract the eye. There are quite a few in Rookwood which have uneven weathering and water stains. nearly all of this orange hue.

    Sarah worked until well into her 70s. I guess there was little alternative in those days. At least she had a daughter to fall back upon!

    Great post - and comments - to read. Taa ...

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    1. The only alternative unforutnately was the workhouse and you did everything in your power to avoid going there.

      Unfortunately no burial information is available to view online. However you can purchase a CD-Rom of Berkshire burials, but there's large gaps from records being lost or damaged.

      In relation to the Baby farming please view my post about it here

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