Click Here For Free Blog Backgrounds!!!
Blogaholic Designs

Graphic by footnoteMaven

Graveyard Rabbit Association

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Mason in our Midst?

Pleasant Hill, Cass County, Missouri is where the Skillman branch of my family lived from about 1850 to around 1900. My 3rd great grandparents are buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Josias Payne Skillman and his wife Lavenia Thomas Wilson were both born in Bourbon County, Kentucky and they both died in Pleasant Hill.

Lavenia is the granddaughter of Richard Thomas (my 5th great grandfather) and grand niece of General Philemon Thomas (Richard's brother) whom you've seen mentioned before on this blog and over at The Educated Genealogist.

Joseph Payne Skillman is the son of Christopher Skillman and Henrietta Payne. He made a living as a ferryman. Pleasant Hill is situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers.

(Josias Skillman is the handsome man on the right with the spectacles)

The most surprising thing is that I have had these photos of their headstones for well over a year and never noticed the icon engraved on Josias' stone. I believe that the icon is masonic in nature. In all of my research, nothing I have come across would have led me to thinking that he belonged to a masonic society. Oh happy day! Josias isn't a brick wall, but I never knew to much about him. This discovery has opened a new avenue of research for me.

Of course this is before my becoming The Educated Graveyard Rabbit. Not much gets by this Rabbit now!


Terry Thornton said...


It is amazing how sometimes a second look at a cemetery, at a photo of a gravemarker, or at a set of genealogical notes can give new insights. I'm glad that being a GYRabbit is giving you the chance to take a "second look" at some of your files. I, too, am having a lot of luck doing a "second time" with several old files --- some going back almost ten years --- and gleaning new insights from obvious items missed first time.

Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi USA