Mystery Names – How’s Your French

In this graveyard, most of the burials are of people of Irish origin. One marker in particular seems to have French names and/or other words, and we do not have a good understanding of how to read it. We are looking for help on this marker so, if you have some competency in French, read the post and see if you can help.

The “IHS” (Jesus) could have Greek or Latin roots and was common in Ireland while “Sacred to the Memory of” sounds like a stock English phrase for grave markers. But, when we get to the names of the deceased, there seems to be a strong hint of French. When the engravings were documented in 1936 by WPA workers, this is what they saw and wrote.

Matching those words with layout on the stone, correcting obvious errors, and giving the benefit of the doubt to the WPA folks on the last sentence, we can write it this way:

IHS
SACRED
to the memory of
MANOEL SOISNETTE
ANTONIO
and ELEONORE CHARLOTTE
his wife. She died April 9, 1825
aged 35 years
He died Dec. 9, 1830
aged 52 years
As in life they were happily united
so in death they have not been separated.
Requiescat in pace.
Amen

Questions Seeking Answers

So, here are the questions: Are the deceased Mr. and Mrs. Antonio or Mr. and Mrs. Manoel Soisnette or Mr. and Mrs. Charlotte? Is Manoel Soisnette really MA NOEL  SOIS ETTE and, if so, what is the proper translation of it to English. Is it perhaps a French idiom? We appreciate any helpful comments.

3 thoughts on “Mystery Names – How’s Your French

  1. Fred

    Hey! I am French. For me, it is juste English no French idiom here. Keep in mind that the French doesn’t change a lot since 1860. But.. the picture is definitely bad. Manoel and Antonio sound Portuguese or Spanish.

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  2. His name was Manoel (like Manuel) Soisnette Antonio. Soisnette is his father’s surname, and Antonio is his mother’s maiden name. His wife’s name is Eleonore Charlotte, her maiden name. They are Mr. And Mrs. Soisnette. The maiden name part is common. I have birth and death records for my family in Costa Rica dating back to the 1400s with the same usage of surnames, if more reference is needed.

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