Known Tombstone Carvers

of Pennsylvania

A Project of  the PAGenWeb Archives

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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

Samuel A. Nightsinger (father)

Samuel A. Nightsinger (son)

Charles Nightsinger (grandson)

(Biographies and Photographs contibuted by Jane Stewart Atwell)

(additional information by Ellis Michaels)

     I am enclosing a photo of the stone of James McConnell, a Revolutionary War soldier. James is buried in the McWilliams Presbyterian Cemetery (on Rt. 75), in Lack Township, Juniata County, PA

     James McConnell's stone is dated 22 Feb 1832. The carving at the top is a stylized tree with drooping limbs. His wife, Elizabeth (Stewart) McConnell's tombstone matches the same style, and is dated 21 Oct. 1829. You can't see it from this photo, but the tombstone is signed S. A. Nightsinger at the bottom.


     The second tombstone photograph is for Jane McConnell, wife of George, died 23 May 1854, aged 50 years.  Jane was the daughter in law of James McConnell and Elizabeth McConnell. The stone is in the Methodist Episcopal Cemetery in Concord, Franklin Co. Pa. It is now called the Concord Union Cemetery. The stone carving for Jane McConnell's tombstone is certainly in the same style of the earlier Nightsinger example, but her stone is not signed.

(additional information)

     According to the 1830 US Census, Samuel Nightsinger resided in Derry Twn., Mifflin County.  In the 1840 Census, he and his family were living in Lewistown.  The 1850 Census for Lewistown, page 247, gives us the opportunity to learn the names of the Nightsinger family.

  1. Samuel Nitesinger, age 60, laborer, b. PA
  2. Judy Nitesinger, age 59, b. PA
  3. Catharine, age 31, b. PA
  4. Samuel, age 24, Marble Mason, married within the year, b. PA
  5. Nancy, age 18, married within the year (Sam [Jr's] wife), b. PA
  6. Mary A., age 19, b. PA
  7. Mary, age 19, b. PA
  8. Eleanor, age 5, b. PA

     Samuel (Sr.), age 67, appears again on the 1860 Census, but his wife Judy does not, and is assumed to have died.  Samuel (Sr.) is again listed as a "laborer" in 1860.  Samuel (Sr.) does not appear in the 1870 Census, and is assumed to have died.

     The 1870 Census, East Ward Lewistown, page 357, does provide us with the names of Samuel (Jr.)'s family.

  1. Samuel Nightsinger, age 43, stonecutter, b. PA
  2. Nancy A., age 37, b. PA
  3. Charles W., age 18, stone cutter, b. PA
  4. Ellinora, age 15, at home, b. PA
  5. Samuel F., age 14, b. PA
  6. Nancy F., age 10, b. PA
  7. George H., age 6, b. PA
  8. Laura R, age 3, b. PA
  9. Valera, age 1, b. PA

     Samuel (Jr.), age 51, stone cutter, appears again on the 1880 Census of Lewistown with his family.  However, his son Charles, who was listed as a stone cutter in the 1870 Census, is living in the Weeksburg Village of Derry Township, (Mifflin Co) with his wife Minerva.  He is recorded as "works at Steel Works", and thus may have ended the Nightsinger Stone Carving tradition in Pennsylvania.

printable text version of biography


Known Examples of the

Samuel A. Nightsinger Family's

stone carvings


McWilliams Presbyterian Cemetery

Lack Township, Juniata County




Concord Union Cemetery

Concord, Fannett Township, Franklin County



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Tombstone Carver Page maintained by Ellis Michaels

this page was last updated 27 Apr 2011

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