Andersons of Colonial N. Carolina

meant what they said, said what they meant

a Hoax?

with 3 comments

So Jennifer from California and myself have been researching the Bryans of “all over the damn place”… seemingly from Isle of Wight/Nansemond to Chowan River and then down to New Bern… they “got around” lets say. And they bred like rabbits.

We run across a reference to this tombstone…

This just smells fishy to me. By all means it is exciting. I mean, hell!, 1663! But…

Reading the newspaper account…

Roy Cahoon and his buds, Wallace and Thad in 1993 run across the thing and use heavy equipment to right the heavy stone… cool. Cahoon remembers some 45-50 years ago (would be WWII era of the 40s) seeing the stone face down.

But Cahoon clearly remembered what his bud Wallace told him [as kids in the 40s, I presume]... “He said that two ladies came here from New York and had the stone put at the grave site”.

I’m just curious who the two ladies from New York were. And how, exactly did Wallace get that info? Did he see them? How did a kid know they were from New York?

I love a good conspiracy… were the two ladies DAR types? If you think about it the inscription reads as “genealogy” and not a bereaved remembrance from grieving family. I’m not an expert but the impressively chiseled letters of the engraving on the stone do not look to me like something that could have been accomplished in remote colonial North Carolina ca 1740s.

I just can’t swallow this pill.


My friend David Gammon (you know… the guy who penned 40 or so abstract books) chimed in with this comment…

“I suspect that the tombstone was carved many years after the fact.

In Eastern North Carolina, most early tombstones that still exist were made of marble. Even at that, most people in those days could not afford such a thing, and it had to be shipped in from somewhere else.

Of course, there are other early stones that were made of sandstone or something soft like that, but they usually ended up disintegrating.

…sometimes our ancestors simply put up a wooden stake, or a wooden cross to mark a grave.  Of course, these rotted over time.

Or they put  a simple field stone over the grave.  Sometimes they were able to chisel out the initials of the deceased into the stone, and sometimes not.   

But these were not lasting memorials, of course.

I have been in old cemeteries and seen rows of rocks, perfectly lined up, marking graves, without any real idea whose graves they were.

When I read what was carved on that stone, I knew it was not a contemporary stone.  Those early stones didn’t have much more than a name and a date.  This one had too much info.

And as for the London part…… it reminds me of something I used to tell the students in my genealogy classes ….. the person who writes the check to pay for the tombstone gets to dictate what is carved into the stone.  

I recently saw an old friend.  Her mother had actually taught her father in high school, so her mother was at least four or five years older than her father.  She was embarrassed by the age difference, so she always lied to say she was several years younger.  Her daughter told me at a gathering recently that when her mother died, she made sure her mother’s fabricated birth date was carved into the stone. And not the real birth date.  

She wrote the check, she decides the dates!”

Written by anderson1951

December 28, 2022 at 3:03 am

Posted in Uncategorized

3 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. This is more of a historical marker than an actual tombstone (but DAR usually puts credit on the markers). There might be something in the local papers — at the time it was placed. This Edward Bryan-Christiana Council line has been well-researched and discussed for decades by some excellent researchers. Do a simple Google search to find published records.


    Tina Lusby

    December 28, 2022 at 9:47 am

    • I agree… to a point. I think some folks are taking this to be a real tombstone… that bugs me. I did a “simple Google search” and this Post is a result.

      Thanks for the input… marc



      December 28, 2022 at 10:02 am

  2. I concur that the inscription reads as “genealogy” and as Ms. Lusby titled, a “historical marker.” But in any event, I did a happy dance in honor of what you uncovered.



    December 28, 2022 at 10:19 am

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: