Georg Philipp, Louis August, and Heinrich Hotz Tombstones, Greentree Cemetery


Greentree Cemetery is a German cemetery on Greentree Road in Green Tree. (After a century of indecision, the borough seems finally to have decided to spell its name as two words—which is wrong, since the name is universally pronounced as one word. But Father Pitt digresses.)

Here are three tombstones in a row remembering three sons of Sebastian and Maria Hotz. Louis August’s stone in the center has a small alcove that shelters a sleeping child, now quite eroded and almost unrecognizable. The dates are hard to read, and Father Pitt is not sure that he believes the dates these volunteer transcribers found in cemetery records. Georg Philipp’s stone is the most legible; he seems to have died in 1876 at the age of seven. Louis August’s is nearly hopeless. Heinrich was born in 1867 and died either in 1867 or—as the records apparently say—1887. That would make him a young adult, but everything about this triple tombstone suggests three children. Might the handwritten cemetery records have said 1867, and a later transcriber misread the date?

Note, incidentally, that the triple tombstone appears to be one monument all set up at the same time. It is possible that the three stones were bought separately and later arranged in a row, but the whole looks too much like a carefully arranged composition to Father Pitt.


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