Agness and Matthew Bowland Tombstone, Oak Spring Cemetery

A good and mostly well-preserved early-settler tombstone. It would have been erected in 1825 when Matthew died, to judge by the fact that the inscription seems to have been made all at once. The spelling “Agness” is unusual, but many early settlers were illiterate, and the stonecutters were only barely literate. An update: Father Pitt has changed his mind here: the spelling Agness is not unusual, but rather the standard spelling of the name in western Pennsylvania in the late 1700s and early 1800s. He has found at least three other tombstones of the era with the same spelling

If you enlarge the picture, you can still trace the faint lines the stonecutter scratched in the stone to guide his lettering.

SACRED to the memory of Agness Bowland Who departed this life 9th of Augt. 1797 in 46 year of her age

And in memory of Matthew Bowland Who departed this life Febry. 13th 1825 in the 82d year of his age.

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