17 September 2009

A little bit of history at Solomon's UCC in Macungie, PA

I'm currently trying to get some pictures of tombstones of my family for a little family tree. Of course, I walk to whole cemetery. I love to see the old tombstones. There is so much history in those graves. A bunch of children buried during the same year can show a natural disaster or epidemic. The one I see a lot is 1912, the date of the flu epidemic that killed so many people, mostly children.

When I looked in one of the old sections of the cemetery, I came across a tall tombstone with an iron fence around the area were the body was buried. I looked down and there was potted flowers on the grave. This person died in the 1800's and there were flowers on the grave. I thought it was amazing. I took a few pictures and I went home to do some investigation.

This is the grave of Lydia Singmaster, born June 11, 1779 and died December 17, 1863. She is the daughter of Jacob van Buskirk, the first native born Pennsylvanian to be ordained as a Lutheran Minister. Her father-in-law, James Singmaster, broke away from Solomon's UCC and made St. Matthews in 1868, which happens to be the church next door. That explains the second old section of the cemetery. From what I have gathered from the book, Heart Language: Elsie Singmaster and her Pennsylvania German Writings, her daughter-in-law, which happens to be Elsie herself, was an author with publish works.

With all of this interesting history from this one tombstone and a little time in a few books, I want to go back to Solomon's UCC and see if I can find Elsie Singmaster and Lydia's father, Jacob van Buskirk. Now, I am intrigued by this cemetery and look forward to another trip there, except the second time, I might bring flowers myself.


  1. First of all thanks for the post. And secondly I always find it strange that people leave flowers after almost 150 years. I see some new ones that look like they hardly get visited. The only thing I can thing of is it's someone doing research on family members leaving flowers 150 years later...

  2. The other thing I was thinking of was the face of her father being a minister at that church. I don't remember seeing Jacob's grave, but there was a lot of graves I couldn't read due to age or just vandalism. If it wasn't for those flowers, I would have overlooked her grave.

  3. Welcome Becky. Great post. I to am intrigued when you see the much older stones with flowers on it. I too assume it comes from people researching their ancestors...

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  5. I removed a post? Woah, I didn't even know it. Well, here it is again: Well, thank you! I never saw flowers on an old grave like that before and I was just amazed. I see flowers on graves all the time when it comes to famous people like film stars or musicians. I was amazed to see it on an old stone like that one.


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