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Tombstone Tuesday is a daily blogging theme used by many genealogy bloggers to help them post content on their sites.
To participate in Tombstone Tuesday simply create a post which includes an image of a gravestone of one or more ancestors and it may also include a brief description of the image or the ancestor. You can read more about Tombstone Tuesday here at gene@pedia.
Of all the memorials that I photographed at the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church Cemetery in Lovettsville, VA I think this was hands down the oldest that I saw. German settlers began arriving in the northern reaches of Loudoun County as early as 1722, but Lovettsville wasn’t a fully incorporated town until 1876.1 According to the New Jerusalem Lutheran Church’s profile on LoudounExtra.com, it’s the oldest Lutheran church in the Washington, D.C. metro area, having history that reaches as far back as 1765.2 Certainly Wilhelm Wurtz was one the church’s first patrons.
According to Gary Virts, the volunteer who created Wilhelm Wurtz’s Find A Grave Memorial we know the following about him:
Wilhelm Wurtz, was born about 1703 in the Tauberbischofsheim, Baden area of Germany. He came to America September 23, 1753 on the ship Neptune to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife Anna Catharina, sons, Wilhelm Wurtz, Jr., Philip Peter Virtzs, Conrad Wirtz and daughter Maria Elisabeth Wurtz. He was naturalized on April 10, 1761 in Philadelphia and was living in the Lancaster, Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. His journey took him to Frederick County Maryland and Loudoun County Virginia where he settled around 1767 near Lovettsville. His descendants migrated from Loudoun County to the Roanoke area of Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois and Missouri. Over the years the spelling of the last name has taken on many variations such as Verts, Vertz, Virts, Virtz, Werts, Wertz, and Wirts.3
I think it’s incredibly interesting that Wilhelm Wurtz’s stone looks hand fashioned by a family member and not purchased from a monument maker. It also appears that they’ve spelled his name “Willem Wirtz.” Despite the variation in spelling, the handwriting is very clear and carefully inscribed.
1. Wikipedia entry for Lovettsville, Virginia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lovettsville,_Virginia]
2. New Jerusalem Lutheran Church’s profile in the Loudounextra.com [http://loudounextra.washingtonpost.com/places/new-jerusalem-lutheran-church/]
3. Wilhelm Wurtz Find A Grave Memorial created by Gary Virts [http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=42854257]