Infant Children of Mose P & Susanna Troyer

This post is for my Troyer cousins. Here are the tombstones we have been puzzling and wondering about for years. For some reason our parents almost never talked about their stillborn siblings. I don't remember Dad ever talking about them, although I remember prying a bit of information out of Grandma Troyer. For some reason the four stillborns or else died only hours after birth are not listed in family records. It sort of seems Grandma was living in denial or wanting to forget she gave birth to these babies. Bit by bit 70 years later her grandchildren are trying to piece the story together. Cousin Esther Lehman Miller who took us to the cemetery said Grandma had at least one nervous breakdown during her marriage, maybe even more. My Mom always said these four babies were squeezed to death during birth as Grandma was diabetic and gave birth to big babies. But cousin Esther said that beings they didn't have the medication for Grandma because of her diabetes, these babies were born with paper thin transparent skin and couldn't have survived. So this is about the limit of what we can gather or know.

I tried to make these tombstones as readable as possible. I think if you click on each photo it will enlarge.

This tombstone is is that of Mose Jr. He was born with a heart defect and when he was about 5 years old Grandma found him dead in bed one morning. The time I pried Grandma with questions she said she always wondered how it will be with Mose Jr when he starts school with his heart condition, but her pondering were answered. I do know my grandparents took extra good care of little Mose Jr.

At times I try to imagine how life was back then. My Grandparents gave away their first two children because I was told they were too poor to provide for them. So Uncle Eli was given to Grandma's brother Emanuel & Sadie. They had no children of their own, so they gladly took Eli age 3, at least in the beginning of Eli's childhood.

My Dad was the second child and at the age of 5, he lived with his Grandma until he was 16. At the age of 16 he was too much for his Grandma and so he moved back to his parents. Aunt Katie came next, then Abe and Aden. Aden had polio but he recovered except for a slight limp. After Aden came Mose Jr with his heart condition and then the four still born babies. No wonder Grandma had a nervous breakdown.

The following pictures Diane Schlabach took.

There is just something (emotions) hard to express when wandering through an old family cemetery. Under everyone of the tombstones history is buried... 


  1. Thanks Katie, I never knew,

  2. Wow, I know it sounds weird but I do kind of like walking through old cemeteries. I know this must've been a bit harder because your family history was there and of course it's easier when you don't know who the people were. As you said though, so much history is there - I always thought it would be interesting to read how people died. None of my family trees say that so unless someone living knows, we're just in the dark. I like this post a lot.

  3. There are many more in cemeteries in Holmes County I want to explore, plus dig around in the Amish Historical Library.

  4. Always very sad when reading a tombstone and its of a child. So i have a much better feeling when seeing that someone had made it to their 90s or even beyond. Yet I'm sure even the older folks(some anyway) would have liked to go a little more. Richard from Amish Stories.

  5. My grandparents are buried in the Amish cemetery close to Benton, OH. They were Mose and Rebecca Yoder

  6. Arlen, Was Kansas Mose your Grandpa?

  7. Yes he was. I gave my heart fully to the Lord on the day of his funeral.


Thanksgiving Dinner

Tonight was the annual Thanksgiving Dinner at the Tourist Mennonite Church. Their church people invite the elderly, widows, widowers, sing...