Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday; Capt. Horatio N. FISH

Photo by Midge Frazel, 2009
Capt. Horatio Nelson FISH
"Christ is the anchor of my Hope"

What better surname could we have for the first gravestone for the Summer of the Sea Captain (and their families) than this one? 

Anyone who sees this knows that this is a man of the sea as the anchor is prominent and his title of captain is carved on the stone. Douglas Keister's book, Stories in Stone mentions that the anchor symbol represents hope and that this type of anchor is the crux dissimulata (cross in disguise) and sometimes symbolizes religious belief. [p. 111]

Close up of the anchor symbol, photo by Midge Frazel, 2009

So, this anchor-cross, the words about his christian life and the title of Capt. are three separate pieces of evidence in this case.

Capt./ Horatio N. Fish/died/ April 25, 1863./Aged 63 Years./ A loving, kind and exemplary husband/ An indulgent and truly beloved parent./ A worthy and a christian man,/ For many years an officer in the Church of Christ./

We learn from this gravestone his full date of death, that he was 63 years old when he died, that he was a captain of a vessel, that he was married and she outlived him, that he was a parent and that he was a christian and officer in his church. Can you find all these clues on this stone?

The Fish genealogy lists him in the Connecticut Line #1764, p. 285. From this source we learn his middle name of Nelson, his birth date (June 18, 1800) his parents names George and Sarah, including her maiden surname of Hinchley), that he was brought up on the family farm in Groton, the maiden name of his wife (Morgan), and his date of marriage (Aug. 29, 1824). We also learn he was a deacon in the Groton Baptist Church. Listed for children is his only son's name and that he had several daughters but their names are not given. His death date is not given.

His lineage is listed as Horatio 8, (George 7, Jonathan 6, Moses 5, Samuel 4, John 3, Alice 2, John 1)

Fish, Lester Warren, A.B. M.D. The Fish Family in England and America, Genealogical and Biographical Sketches. The Tuttle Publishing Co. Rutland, VT. 1948. (purchased from the Higginson Book Company, softcover $71.00)

Keister, Douglas. Stories in Stone: A Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism and Iconography. Gibbs Smith Publisher, Salt Lake City. 2004. (available in hardcover and Kindle and nook electronic formats)

Lower Mystic Cemetery (also known as Fishtown Cemetery) is located in West Mystic, New London, CT [Find a Grave]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Midge, Super informative post on Capt. Horatio Fish. Gee, his grave stone is really exquisitely carved! Good information on that anchor/cross symbol. Thanks!