Stones Of Faith - Pennsylvania Germans and their Gravestones







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Unknown Stones

Picture of compass flower/star When people think of the Pennsylvania Germans (or 'Dutch') folk art, they picture brightly painted pottery or antique furniture. Few (if any) think of their gravestones. This site looks at a collection of these gravestones erected from the 1740s to the late 1800s which provide a unique view of the Pennsylvania Germans, and how their choices in gravestone imagery evolved from the early German settlement of Pennsylvania, through the Civil War time period and into the 1900s. It is an introduction to these stones, and some of the people who erected them, with an emphasis on the 1700s when the iconography and folk art of the Pennsylvania Germans was unique to their communities and independent of their English neighbors.

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Picture of second compass flower/starThere a number of ways to approach this site. Those into history can begin with the "Articles" to get an introduction to the Pennsylvania Germans and their gravestones. Those interested in the geographical location of the stones should begin with the "Gravestones" section where the gravestones are listed by location. To get an idea of the location of the different gravestone sites and their proximity check out the Interactive Cemetery Distribution Map. If you are interested in the symbols used on the stones, the "The Symbols" section would be the place to start, or go directly to the Gravestone Symbol Definitions. For those into genealogy and are interested in a particular family the Last Name Index is a good place to start. Finally, after becoming acquainted with the Pennsylvania Germans and their gravestones, you can find other sites of interest at Links.

You can contact us at pagstones.

All German translations found on this site are provided by the author of this site unless otherwise noted, please email me with any questions or corrections.

The gravestones on this site were photographed in a number of graveyards in Pennsylvania. Not all stones in each graveyard were photographed, selection criteria was age and design. How the stones were found was how they were photographed.

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Copyright 1985-2005 Sandra J. Hardy. All rights reserved.