James and Elizabeth (Chaney) Rampley are laid to rest near the entrance of the Buckeye Cemetery in Hancock County, Illinois’ Walker Township. The cemetery is located west of West Point, Illinois, on what is known as the West Point Blacktop. The cemetery is easily visible from the road and is maintained. There has not been a burial in the cemetery since the 1960s.

I could read the stone in the mid-1980s. At least I could read the names and the vital dates. The verse inscribed under James and Elizabeth’s names has weathered away into the ages. I could not read the inscription at all when I visited the cemetery over the 2016 Memorial Day weekend. Today the words “father” and “mother” can be read on the arch and that is all. The inscription is virtually illegible.  I already have a transcription of the information on the stone, so getting a “picture” of it is not really a concern.

My transcription made years ago was made without taking a photograph. Visiting the cemetery recently, I thought it was worth preserving the image of the stone even if the image of the text would not be visible.

I know it’s the stone because I distinctly remember that the Rampleys’ stone is one of the first encountered when the cemetery is entered. There are also not many arched stones in the cemetery and I remember that as well.

My transcription done years ago indicates that Elizabeth’s maiden name is not indicated on the stone. Today one really cannot tell what is inscribed in the stone.

But it’s still a nice stone and worth documenting.

And always transcribe and photograph stones when you have the chance.

If you wait it may be too late and weathered obelisks and monuments are reluctant to reveal their secrets.




2 Responses

  1. Michael, thank you for pointing this out to others. I’ve learned the same lesson, unfortunately the hard way. My 3rd great grandparents are buried at Shrewsbury, York Co, PA in the cemetery where almost all of my relatives are located on my Mom’s side. You can see a picture of their stones on Find A Grave from 2009 (memorial number 40966659) with my comments. I was there two years ago and was so alarmed at how quickly the stones had deteriorated, lying flat on the ground, that I plan on photographing everyone there on the next visit this summer. In 2014, you could only make out the names on their stones. And I have no photo record from years ago. Just another “what I wish I had known” moments.

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