Thursday, April 8, 2010

A Tombstone at the Cemetery in Valdese

This is the 2nd in my much anticipated and long awaited series of 2 tombstones.  This one is at the cemetery in Valdese, the one at the corner of Praley & Carolina, at the top of the hill, in the old section.  It is unique among the tombstones there.

This marks the grave of Jenny S. Ghigo, "Epouse et mere, bien-aimee".  She was born in 1903 & died in 1934, at the age of 31 and some months.  She would have been among the first generation of the Italian Waldensian founders of Valdese born in the USA.  It's very possible her parents were part of the original Valdese settlement in 1893.  The Waldensians were from Italy, but the inscription on her tombstone seems French to me.  I don't think these people spoke Italian, and I'm not sure they spoke French either, even though most of their names sound much more French than Italian.  They were from the Alps, mountain people, and mountain people the world over seem to not be part of the mainstream culture of their society.

This tombstone is also interesting because there is a picture of her, sitting in a chair, looking happy.  She looks to be in her mid to late 20s.  I walk the dog up this way frequently, and I always stop and look.

She didn't live very long.  She was a wife and a mother, if I'm translating the inscription correctly.   So I wonder. Accident?  Illness? Complications of childbirth?  Something more sinister?  After almost 76 years I guess it doesn't matter, and I'm not even sure why I'm curious, but of course, I am.


Heather said...

Wow, they must of had so money to have had that pic put on the stone. For that matter to have the pic at all. What a beautiful head stone.

A Valdese Blogger said...

Heather: It is indeed a very interesting headstone.