Tuesday, July 12, 2016

TOMBSTONE TUESDAY ~ Mary Cooper Swart–1729 to 1792–Albany New York

Photo placed on findagrave.com by Chip Rowe and used with permission

Headstone Inscription
Momento Mori
In Memory of Mary Swart
Wife of Evert Wynkoop Swart
Born Novr 1st 1720:
Departed this Life March 7th 1792:
Aged 61 Years 3 Months & 25 Days
A good Name is better than precious Ointment
And the Day of Death than the Day of ones Birth
Reader whoe’er thou art, behold they Doom
Time hurries onward to the silent Tomb;
Improve the Day of Grace before too late
The gloomy Monarch close your final Fate

This is the first time I’ve seen the words “Momento Mori” on a headstone.  I had to look up what it meant.  According to several websites, including Wikipedia, it is Latin for “remember you have to die.”  Other variations included “remember that you must die.”

NOTE: If you do the calculation of her birth date, based on here age at death, as stated on her headstone, it does not match the birth date given. Based on 62 years, 3 months & 25 days, her birthdate would have been 10 Nov 1729, not 1 Nov.  However, she was baptised on the 9th of November, so I’m concluding that the date of November 1st is correct and that the math for the age on the stone was done incorrectly.

I’ve been studying my Cooper line this past week.  My 3rd great grandmother, Lany Cooper married Monson Thorp, Sr.  It took me years to track down the Cooper line, but since doing so, I have traced them back to my 7th great grandparents, Obadiah Cooper and Cornelia Gardenier who were both born in New York circa 1690.

Maria “Mary” Cooper Swart is one of the 10-12 children born to Obadiah & Cornelia Cooper.  She is my 6th great grandaunt.  She married Evert Wynkoop Swart and they had one known child, John Swart.

Here is her baptismal record from the records of the U.S. Dutch Reformed Church Records in Selected States, 1639-1989.  The name Cooper is also spelled Couper in some records.

COOPER_Maria_baptismal record_9 Nov 1729_AlbanyNewYork_blk&wht_annot

I have not yet located the marriage record for Evert Swart & Maria Cooper.  However, I have located her probate record, in which she leaves everything to her “beloved” husband, Evert and her son, John.  I’ll transcribe that probate in another post.

Mary is buried at the First Reformed Protestant Dutch Church Cemetery in Fishkill, Dutchess, New York.  You can visit her memorial here #76417698.

The cemetery is located at 1153 Main St., Fishkill, Dutchess, New York.  According to FindAGrave there are 567 interments at the cemetery.  Mary is the only Swart documented.  Here husband and her son are not buried with her.  There are 15 Coopers at the cemetery.  One of them is her brother, Cornelius Cooper.

I’m excited to continue my research on this Cooper line.  They are proving to be an interesting group. And, there are LOTS of them.

Happy hunting,
Michigan Girl

Copyright ©  2010-2016   Diane Gould Hall


  1. I love the look of this headstone. I always feel like the inscription reveals more about the family left behind than the one buried there.

    1. To find these headstones from the 1700's absolutely thrills me. I agree about what you said. Those inscriptions and the style of headstones can reveal a lot.
      Thanks for stopping by Michelle.


I look forward to reading your comments. If you have any connection to the people mentioned in this blog, please let me know. I write about mine and my husband's ancestors and would welcome new information or meeting a new cousin or two. Thanks for visiting and come back soon.