Known Tombstone Carvers

of Pennsylvania

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These pages seek to identify and document the known tombstone carvers in the state of Pennsylvania, from all time periods.  If any one has any information about additional tombstone carvers to be included, or have additional information to add to an existing carver,  please feel free to contact Ellis Michaels or Bill Plack

Israel Hanes, 1800-1876

(Biography and Photographs contibuted by Bill Plack)

     Harrold’s Reformed Lutheran Cemetery, in Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County, contains a very diverse group of nineteenth century tombstones, some extremely well carved by professional carvers and some rather crudely carved by amateurs. These include stones that were carved by a group of about a half dozen men whose stones appeared predominantly at Harrold’s with a few scattered around in nearby cemeteries. Either they were all taught by the same man, or they learned from one another, but they all shared certain elements of lettering and design, indicating a common influence. One of these carvers was Israel Hanes, who was a good example of an amateur carver, who only carved a few stones, in a small area, over a very short period of time.

     Israel Hanes was born April 22, 1800, to Jacob Hanes (c.1775-1846) and Mary Hains (c.1776-1817). He was married to Susanna Steiner (b. February 7, 1795) and they lived in Hempfield Township, where the 1850 Ag Census shows they had a farm of 130 acres. He apparently did not begin carving tombstones until 1864 and only carved a few stones in the next two years. His lettering was rather crudely done but he apparently had the soul of an artist and typically included a simple design at the top of the stones that he carved.

     Israel’s wife, Susanna, died June 25, 1858 and her tombstone was carved by Daniel Baughman, one of the group of carvers mentioned above. She is buried in Harrold’s Cemetery. Israel lived another 18 years after Susanna’s death, and when he died July 20, 1876, he was buried next to her at Harrold’s.

printable text version of biography

Known Examples of

Israel Hanes'

stone carvings

Middletown United Methodist Cemetery

Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County



Harrolds Reformed Lutheran (U.C.C.) Cemetery

Hempfield Township, Westmoreland County



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Tombstone Carver Page maintained by Ellis Michaels

this page was last updated 27 Apr 2011

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