23 November 2008

The Skillman Family of Pleasant Hill, Cass County, Missouri

I'd like you to meet my 3rd great grandparents. Josias Payne Skillman married Lavenia Thomas Wilson on 8 October 1840 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Lavenia is the granddaughter of Richard Thomas who I told you about in previous posts here and here.
Sometime between 1865 and 1870 Josias moved his family to Pleasant Hill which is located in Cass County, Missouri. Pleasant Hill is situated at the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.
Josias worked as a ferryman. In the photograph he is the handsome man on the right wearing spectacles.
About a year ago, I received these two photographs of the headstones of Josias and Lavenia. They are buried in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Cass County.
Yesterday I used them in a post for my companion blog - The Educated Graveyard Rabbit - and noticed for the first time the icon engraved on the headstone for Josias. ( Now that I am a Rabbit I pay closer attention to things like this! )

I may be wrong, but I think that the icon is Masonic in nature. Josias Payne Skillman hasn't caused me any problems in research, but I really didn't know very much about him. If this icon is Masonic, this opens a whole new avenue of research for me. What little information I do have for him never gave me an inkling that he might belong to a masonic society.
Here is the part where I get to drive home the point of how important getting an education is and how you never really stop learning when it comes to historical and genealogical research. Five or six years ago B.E. (Before Education) it never would have occurred to me that the icon on the headstone meant anything other than decoration. One year ago ACE (After & Continuing Education) after getting the photos and gleaning the dates from them I still didn't notice the icon.
As the saying goes ..."It's all in the details".