Headstone of “consort” of male



Poor young Hannah,
only 11 years old.

Died on
June 26,1845

Her gravesite,
public humiliation
in my mind.

Does “consort”
possibly mean
travelling companion?

Hoping not my first
impression of being
physically attached
to Robert Brown,
who was 55 and
outlived Hannah
by 7 years.

Hannah was young
girl of eleven
years, 7 months
and 16 days.

Sad she died before
life really began; for
her adventure had
less than a dozen
years on earth.

With no last or middle
name and no nearby
family to claim

Would you
like to imagine
Hannah’s story?

Giving her life
a worthy tale to 
remember her by.

The lichen on the
headstone drew
my eyes and used
cell phone camera
to capture
Hannah’s details,
shared with you.

At least she was
buried with a
marker, this

May she rest
in Peace.


76 responses »

  1. Sad headstone. I don’t think there’s a better historic definition for consort – if it wasn’t spouse, it was attached to in a way that wasn’t approved of by most people.

  2. Poor Hannah. Such a young age to die, much less to have been a consort for a man so much older. This is sad. I guess we shouldn’t pass judgment when we don’t know. Those were different days. But today, a 40 year old and a 10 year old? That would equal jail and infamy.

    • That is all we can do, remember how hard life was in those days, appreciate our blessings and technology, too. Thanks, Tonya.
      My kids used to have a middle school teacher who encouraged looking at gravestones and taking tracing paper to copy etchings and artwork. Being their Mom, I was the one who accompanied them! πŸ™‚

    • Sarah, this was a kind thought and thank you. This may not be considered proper but I do like to look at cemeteries. Remembering Hannah may “do her proud” and hope she was happy during her lifetime. I was hoping she was a companion. . .

    • Sorry, didnt mean to offend you, Pauline. We are writers and graves have writing/etchings and history displayed on them. Maybe it was not meant to be anything but a description of who was laid to rest, on the headstone marker. When a farmer buys land here, if there are graves on the land, I have seen a fence in the middle of a field before~ protecting the headstones and ones who died, their memories and history included. I think this is common practice here. Do they take down headstones or allow buildings on top of graves in other countries, Pauline?

      • I wasn’t offended Robin – I just think it very odd that such a relationship is kept in this way – I’ve never seen or heard of such a thing before and I got the impression these were the only headstones in this little plot – maybe I misunderstood. Apologies if I offended you.

  3. It really strikes me when I look at headstones for children who died long ago. Usually their age includes months and days. Sometimes for the wee ones – hours too. It is a sad reminder that life was really hard and achieving that extra month or day was precious.

    Sadly, children weren’t protected the same way they are now. The sexual implications of the term ‘consort’ is just wrong for an eleven-year-old.

    • Joanne, I hope this was written or etched as a way to explain Hannah’s life, short as it was. I think many may not realize that if slaves had words etched on their headstones, they may have the fact they were a slave included. It may mean history or being factual was a little rude or too detailed, with today’s “politically correct” standards. (Isn’t that an oxymoron?) πŸ˜€

    • Thank you, dear Sylvia for doing my research for me! Big kudos for finding a link and providing it to share with others.
      I think people preserve graves in corn fields or pastures with fences, so that history “lives on.” I didn’t mean to sound like I were disrespectful towards Hannah. I meant truly the opposite, sad her life was short. In a rather strange way, hoped to be in tribute or in memory of her shortened life. I was sad, too.

  4. I’ve often wondered this and have looked it up before. I would not believe a church graveyard would permit the use of “consort” if it was in reference to an illicit relationship (just a thought and I’ve seen it shared by others as well). I’ve seen consort used instead of the word ‘wife’. It was a word used to define a relationship.

    Regardless of the time period, I think an 11 year old is too young and I hope that is a horrible mistake on the headstone. I kept going back to the picture hoping the “11” would look like a “44”.

    Like you, I love to imagine the stories within the cemeteries.

    • Consort may mean wife, as you said. πŸ™‚ Well, maybe the eleven is a “44” and we can hope so, Colleen. The other letters and numbers are clear but maybe someone chiseled this and somehow weathered away into an “11?”

      • I so hope that is the case Robin. I can’t imagine the life of an 11 year old bride. All these years later and your post has evoked emotions for that child that no one has probably given in more than a century.

  5. I love that -imagining a whole lifetime from a headstone. And this little missy’s, unfortunately, was too short. Makes me think of graveyard and all the stories that exist behind those few lines etched in stone.

    • Diahann, I had 3 children who had a great social studies teacher who had them take huge sheets of tracing paper. They were asked to find graves or headstones with stories to be told. No, this was not where we went but a large cemetery where they each focused in their middle school years on the subject matter.
      I came upon this due to taking a photograph of a local, small “township hall.” Thursday’s Doors post in 2 days. Donald Trump was here in Columbus, Ohio today- Tues. (3/1/16).
      I was thinking about what used to be discussed in township halls is now what city councils usually handle.

    • It is something which may be not everyone’s “cup of tea.” Remembering the dead while visiting cemeteries is a pastime and hoping this was to give Hannah’s life meaning.
      Debra, have a wonderful rest of the week! πŸ™‚

  6. Robin, how wonderful it is that you made us all think about Hannah and wish that she was happy.I wish that she is at peace in heaven. Although sad to see and remember those times, it is always good to acknowledge them, in my opinion.

    • We did all seem to ponder and wonder about the young girl and her life, Sandhya. I like how you presented this post like it were to “acknowledge” Hannah’s life. πŸ™‚

      • Each life is so valuable, right Robin. You have done such great service recognizing the young girl’s life.

      • Thank you, Sandhya for not feeling this was strange. I feel when I look in cemeteries, there are souls who I respect who lived productive lives. This girl just seemed so young. . . hugs sent your way!

  7. A consort can be a companion although it is most usually associated with a spouse. It is possible that Hannah was promised to Robert for whatever reason. Against the odds she enjoyed his company. Was kind to him. Like Alice to Charles Dodgson. Or Beauty to the Beast. It does not have to be a standard relationship to include love of one kind or another. Of course there could have been a darkside but I prefer to think not. Perhaps I just ‘voie le vie en rose’ but I would prefer to think that she lived a happy life even though it was so short.

    • Fiona, I am so glad there are many possible scenarios for the young girl. Love and being cared for has it’s benefits.
      Against the odds is how you suppose Hannah lived her life. She may have been hungry when he met her. πŸ™‚

  8. Cemeteries with older graves are so interesting to visit. I have speculated on many lives. I can’t remember exactly, but I think the word consort was used for various things, I ran into it when I was working on my genealogy years ago…I want to say stepchild, but don’t quote me on that. Wonderful picture and thought provoking post, Robin.

    • Thanks for explaining the chance of really understanding and some of Hannah’s life choices.
      Oh, we have thought of several dire straits situations as well as how Hannah lived with Robert, maybe as a step child. . Life was rather harsh and tough back then.. ) .

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