Update: I returned to Hirstein Cemetery in August of 2019.
I made it out to another cemetery where my ancestors are buried, but these are much older family members who for the most part died in the 1800’s. Above is the line of tombstones that mark my ancestors’ graves. Note: Learn from my ancestors’ mistakes and spring for stone more expensive (and durable) than limestone. You can barely read them, so I will bring up some tracing paper the next time I am there. I like the little details, slowly deteriorating, such as the stack of books and the rose of some sort. I first thought it was a skull.
My mom said one of the best decisions my dad’s family ever made was to stop naming people in their family “Valentine.”
The last two are the oldest, almost illegible.
Finally, this is the tombstone of Christian Naffziger, who came across the Atlantic with his father and settled in central Illinois. The tombstone is nothing short of mysterious; I have done some research, and weeping willows can represent sorrow and also eternal life. I am not sure which it is, but the weirdest thing is the strange, large eared animal standing underneath the willow. Its meaning has been lost to the passage of time.