Thursday, October 30, 2008

Okay, one more connection to Bean Cemetery

Okay, okay. Is this getting old? Here's one more connection that my family has to this cemetery. This time it is through my father's family, the Loyds. My Loyd family left Lincoln County, Tennesse in the 1840s, settling in the Pine Springs community in what is now Lamar County, Alabama. Several Loyd brothers were potters, including my GG Grandfather Isham James Loyd. Isham's brother, William, moved to Itawamba County and set up a pottery shop near Tremont. William and his son created and patented the gravemarker you see above. This gravemarker is a perfect example of their design, and it is unusual to see one still in this great shape, especially because it is a fairly large marker. Because these gravemarkers were made out of clay, they are fragile and most of the ones you find scattered throughout cemeteries in northeastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama are broken. Even though these markers are over 100 years old, they appear as if newly made. They were an affordable option for families who might not otherwise be able to afford a heavier, concrete marker, and you will find that often families would purchase a marker for a long-deceased relative to mark their burial spot.

See the stamped patent mark on the marker created for Joseph Thompson? The Loyds patented their design and made it available to other potters so this pot could have been made by one of the other potteries the operated in the Tremont-Smithville area. Usually, when the Loyds made their gravemakers, they put a little swirl or leaf pattern in the triangular top of the marker.

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