Tombstone Tuesday: Photo filters reveal names from the Rude-Snyder Cemetery in Cuba, New York

I know… if I’m going to use day-of-the-week prompts, I should focus on posting with more than 6 minutes left of the day in question…

Christopher Willover Rude (1810-1883) and his wife Elizabeth “Betsey” Keller Rude (1812-1853?) were my 4th great-grandparents. When I discovered Rude burials via the Painted Hills Genealogical Society‘s excellent website, I added it to my list of places to see on my next visit to New York.

I didn’t find what I expected. At the intersection described on Painted Hills, I found dirt roads and residences on wide, private lots. No signs, no cemetery. If I hadn’t come so far, I’d have certainly left empty-handed, but as it happened, I saw two people outside one of the homes, so I pulled into their driveway and asked if they could give me directions.

And they could, because it was on their property. The woman graciously offered to show me.

Snyder-Rude Cemetery | Cuba, Allegany, New York

Please note: this cemetery is on private property.

They kept it up as long as they could, she said. I said I understood, and I do. How obligated is anyone to care for the graves of someone else’s kin?

She showed me each stone and I took pictures quickly, knowing she probably needed to start supper soon.

The 1987 cemetery reading preserved details that are now lost to time. When I got home, I had fewer photos than the names the transcription listed, and those I had could not all be matched. Furthermore, there is no way to know how worn the stones were back then, nor how accurate that reading was. Also, while I definitely did not get to locate all the stones, there is no guarantee that the first reading found them all, either.

And so, the photos sat on my hard drive until I decided to use a simple photo editor to look at them in a different light. Here are my virtual grave rubbings.

Rude-Snyder Cemetery (aged 8ms 3ds)

The visible inscription, “Aged 8 ms & 3ds,” does not match any entries on the 1987 transcription.
Reduced color saturation to achieve b/w image and increased contrast.

Rude-Snyder Cemetery | Cuba, Allegany, New York

This stone corresponds to an entry from the 1987 transcription:
“SNYDER, Peter died 12-20-1859 age 56y 11m 10d.”
Increased contrast to improve  the inscription’s visibility.

Rude-Snyder Cemetery | Cuba, Allegany, New York

This stone is the only one I photographed on which the Rude name can be read, but the doctored image does not let us narrow it down further. The word “aged” can barely be seen on the exposed stone.
Increased contrast.

Rude-Snyder Cemetery | Cuba, Allegany, New York

The name Snyder is plain in the first image, but the second reveals the year 1842. After comparing to the 1987 transcription, details emerge: “died July 1-” in the second line of the inscription and “aged 8 m” in the fourth line. I believe this stone corresponds with the following entry: “SNYDER, Son died 7-18-1842 age 8m 26d – Son of Peter & Sally Snyder.”
Increased the color saturation and applied a negative image mask to brighten the inscription’s visibility.

Rude-Snyder Cemetery | Cuba, Allegany, New York

The inscription on Abram Snyder’s headstone is the plainest of all the markers in this small cemetery, and corresponds to the following entry from the 1987 transcription: “SNYDER, Abra. died 3-28-1844 – Son of Peter & Sally Snyder.”
Reduced color saturation to achieve b/w image and increased contrast.

Clearly a Snyder headstone, the original photo shows that this inscription remains fairly legible. The "ciu" of the first name puzzled me, until the doctored image reveal the ghost of an "s," suggesting the name "Lucius." While no Lucius Snyder appears on the 1987 transcription, the 1850 Census shows a "Lucius Snider" in Peter & Sally's family group, confirming his identity. Christopher & Betsey Rude are the next family enumerated. Increased contrast.

Clearly a Snyder headstone, the original photo shows that this inscription remains fairly legible. The “ciu” of the first name puzzled me, until the doctored image reveal the ghost of an “s,” suggesting the name “Lucius.” While no Lucius Snyder appears on the 1987 transcription, the 1850 Census shows a “Lucius Snider” in Peter & Sally’s family group, confirming his identity. Christopher & Betsy Rude are the next family enumerated.
Increased contrast.

Question for You

What creative methods have you used in your genealogy research?

2 thoughts on “Tombstone Tuesday: Photo filters reveal names from the Rude-Snyder Cemetery in Cuba, New York

  1. I have used the Painted Hills website many times, as I have family in Tioga County N.Y. and Potter County Pa. I am happy for you hat you found the cemetery.

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