This summer when I was traveling I was determined to find the graves of several of my ancestors. Finding Joel and Sophronia's was interesting. From my research I knew they were buried in Orwell, Bradford County, PA. I found their tombstone listed on FindAGrave but I was determined to see it myself and take my own picture. I wanted to get a feel for the area where my maternal 4th great grandparents are buried. The cemetery is in north eastern Pennsylvania in a beautiful area called Endless Mountains. I was able to get directions to the Darling Cemetery in Orwell at the Bradford County Historical Society. I wasn't sure my GPS would get me to this cemetery in the middle of the country so I wanted a back up. I was told to head on Orwell Hill Road until I got to the corner of Kadar and Orwell Hill Road. I drove for what seemed miles and was sure I had missed a turn when I finally found the cross streets of Kadar and Orwell Hill Road.
Off to the left I saw the sign for the cemetery:
Now finding their tombstones would be easy because somewhere in my research the headstone was listed as being in Tier 11. This was a beautiful, peaceful area and the Tiers were marked. A storm was approaching the area so I knew I needed to find the grave, take my pictures and be on my way. Well, the stone was not on Tier 11.
I searched and searched as the storm approached and finally found the headstone at about Tier 19 or 20. Thankfully, the storm held off and I was able get my pictures and let my ancestors know that I had found them, finally!
Joel Johnson Born May 13, 1799 Died Nov. 5, 1880
Sophronia Benham Wife of Joel Johnson Died June 25, 1893 Aged 89 YRS & 6 months
The symbol of the cross and crown at the top of the stone could be interpreted as a Christian symbol denoting the reward in heaven (the crown) coming after the trials in this life (the crown). It could also be a Freemasonry symbol. I wonder if Joel was a Mason?
Getting a feel for the area is important to me even though it is now about 130+ years after their deaths. The hills, mountains, farmland and rivers are still here.
If you have any corrections or additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,