Thursday, January 08, 2009

Gravestone Research

In the process of researching my article on immigrant Irish cemeteries in Newport I came across a most beautiful carving. It wasn't in the article on the Irish graves because this stone memorializes an Italian immigrant family named Russo. It's in the St. Mary's Cemetery on Warner St., where Msgr. O'Reilley is also buried.

What caught my eye was the beautiful carving at the top of the stone, which I call The Grieving Madonna:

Ever since I first saw this in September I've been researching and trying to find out who the carver is, because I want to find other stones he's carved and do some biographical research for an article. So far I haven't been successful. The Diocese of Providence and St. Mary's Parish won't give out any information. There are hundreds of Russos in the phone book, and the few I've actually talked to don't know what I'm talking about. I've also tried the RI genealogical community, as they also catalog the cemeteries, but while they've actually been interested in what I'm trying to do and have tried to be helpful, they have no answers either.

My research is continuing, though, and I'm posting this here so that I have an easy reference and a visual aid to aim people at; my printer is kaput and I'm unemployed and can't afford to buy a new one, so this blog post will be a convenient place to direct people so they can actually see the carving and the stone.

So here's hoping this will help me finally find my mystery stone carver!

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