Saturday, August 30, 2008

Harry Hamilton Dunfee and His Unnamed Twin Brother

This is the third example of the results of using the "foil technique" for deciphering hard to read tombstones mentioned in a previous post. Here we're looking at the grave stone for the twin sons born to William and Catherine (Jones) Dunfee. The marker is in the Masonic Section of Greenhill Cemetery, Columbia City, Indiana.

The worn, nearly illegible grave marker for twin sons of William and Catherine Dunfee. It faces west and is in the shade most of the day.

The grave marker "wrapped" in aluminum foil and rubbed down. While still not quite totally legible, this technique brings out some of the details, including the two doves at the top of the marker. The inscription at the bottom (beneath the parents names) still is not legible and some of the numbers are hard to read.

According to his obituary, Harry Hamilton Dunfee died on August 26, 1871 reportedly four years, five months and ten days old. If that is correct, then Harry was born on March 16th 1867. His unnamed twin brother died on March 17th 1867, which means he lived for only one day.

However, an earlier transcription of the cemetery states that Harry was 4 years 5 months and 5 days old. And looking at the grave stone, the number of days does appear to be a 5 or maybe a 2. If a 5, that would put their birth date at March 21, 1867. Given that the infant twin died on March 17th 1867 I am inclined to believe the information in Harry's obituary, which was published in the Columbia City Post on Wednesday September 6, 1871.


Died, Harry Hamilton, son of William H. and Catharine Dunfee, at Columbia City, August 26th, aged four years, five months and ten days. Little Harry was a bright treasure in the family, and loved by all who knew him. His frail form giving evidence of his unfitness for earth caused father, mother, brother and sisters to lead him tenderly along the path of life, to him made so short, and upon him lavish all of the kindness which love and sympathy could command. Though so very young he seemed to feel the force and intent of his last illness and as if met by some kind angel at the river of death, said, "Mother, I want to go home." Those only who have been called upon to give back to him who gave such treasures can fully sympathize with this bereaved family. Could they but look across that mysterious river, they would find no cause for weeping from that side of the stream. We would say weep not for such, did we not know that the tear goes far toward sweetening that bitter cup.


Ruth said...

Wow, you really did a great job with the aluminum foil! It's amazing what a simple, non-"hi-tech" approach will do! Congrats!

familytwigs said...

I have never tried the foil before. I will now. It really works great.

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

I have never seen that technique before. Thanks for sharing :)