What Is A Cenotaph?

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Hey everyone and welcome back to The Hogue Connection! In this post, we are going to look at the definition of a cenotaph and look at some examples of them. I also have some questions about a cousin’s cenotaph I discovered on my short trip to North Carolina. Plus, since you probably already know me as a bit of a taphophile, you know those two terms are related.

Borrowing from many online definitions, a taphophile is “someone who takes an interest in cemeteries, tombstones, or the memory of past lives.” This is me, absolutely. I have visited many cemeteries and written of them in this space. I believe they provide important information from the history of our ancestors. So, let’s get to it then…What is a cenotaph?

A Cenotaph is…

“…a tomb or a monument erected in honor of a person or group of persons whose remains are  elsewhere.”

This is according to Mariam-Webster’s online dictionary.

I told the story of one such monument in my post about the New London School explosion on 18 March 1937. You can read about that here. Another example of one is this cenotaph at The Alamo in San Antonio, TX:

The Alamo

It commemorates the memory of all those who fought to defend the mission in 1836. Credit “infoholder” Sherman for this pic.

Another famous cenotaph is the one for the late actress/sex symbol Jayne Mansfield. She was killed in a car wreck on 29 June 1967, near New Orleans, LA. She was buried in Fairview Cemetery in Pen Argyl, PA next her father:

Jayne Mansfield grave

Thanks to John S. Hewko, a contributor on FindAGrave.

Her cenotaph was placed by her fan club, but with the incorrect birth date. It even says “cenotaph” on it. You can check it out further here.

The Cenotaph of a Cousin…

Claude Carringer Cenotaph

I took this photo of the cenotaph of our cousin Claude Carringer. He is my second cousin, once removed. It is placed in Hazie Brown Cemetery in Stecoah, NC. His parents J.P. and Arizona Carringer, and his grandparents, John Harvey and Josie Jenkins are buried nearby. I talked about my trip to this cemetery here. I’ve been wondering about this cenotaph since my visit. Engraved on it is…”His body lies here not, but he will be in our hearts forever.”

Records indicate that Claude was born in Stecoah, Graham County, NC on 9 February 1927. He lived there until at least 1950, where he was recorded living with his parents. He lived in Dalton, GA as of 1984. At the time of his death in 1997, he was living just outside Dalton in Rocky Face, GA. I can’t find any other information about him, including a wife and children, which alludes to that here on his marker. So, Claude is a bit of a mystery. I don’t know how he died or why his body was not buried with his marker. Also, an NC birth index lists his date of birth as 28 Jun 1930, which does not match the cenotaph. I believe 1927 is correct.

Hopefully We Learned Some New Stuff Today!

Looks like we need some help from relatives again. Since visiting the area, I’ve learned that Dalton, GA is known as the “Carpet Capital of the World”. Not sure it has anything to do with Claude, but it might. Hopefully we can learn what’s behind the mystery of Claude Carringer’s cenotaph. Thanks for visiting The Hogue Connection and hopefully you can visit soon for another posting. You can return to the Home page here.

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