52 Ancestors – Week 10: Translation

A few years ago I visited Saint Paul’s Lebanon Lutheran Cemetery in Felton, York, Pennsylvania. I have many relatives who are buried there with surnames of Stabley/Stabler, Flinchbaugh, and Sechrist. It was a beautiful day to quietly wander through the headstones and enjoy the peacefulness that surrounded me.

picture of St. Pauls Lebanon Lutheran Church and cemetery in York Co. PA

Most of the headstones were in English, but one of my ancestors had a headstone written in German…William Sechrist.

picture of William Seachrist headstone 1770-1830

William was my 5th great-grandfather on my dad’s side. He was born in York County, Pennsylvania to a Swiss father and a German mother.

The stone says “Geheiliget zum andenken von William Seachrist er ward geboren den 9ten May 1770 er ist gestorben den 22ten August 1850 er brachte sein alter auf 60 jahre 3 monat und 13 tage.” If you put this in Google translate it comes out as “Dedicated to the memory of William Seachrist He was born 9th May 1770 He died 22nd August 1850 He reached his age 60 years 5 months and 15 days.”

If you do the math, he would have been 80 years old, not 60, so I think the stone carver meant to etch 1830 and not 1850.

Google translate is a wonderful tool to help the language barrier, but I found two other sites that were helpful for German cemetery words: https://www.quondamexploration.com/german-tombstone-epitaphs and https://www.unlockyourhistory.com/post/2018/10/15/german-in-the-cemetery.

Also, don’t forget about the FamilySearch Wiki. They have wonderful learning aids for foreign languages.

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