Blennerhassett Family Tree
Genealogy one-name study      by Bill Jehan
Inscription at 
"Le Cimetere des Estrangers" (The Strangers' Cemetery)
St.Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands
Harman Blennerhassett (b.1764 d.1831) 
Harman Blennerhassett of Castle Conway, Killorglin, Ireland, from whom Blennerhassett Island in the Ohio River, West Virginia is named, was born 8-Oct-1764 at Hambledon, Hampshire, England while his parents where there visiting friends or family.
Harman, with his wife Margaret Blennerhassett (nee Agnew) and youngest son Joseph Lewis Blennerhassett, resided at St. Peter Port from 1828 until his death, on 2-Feb-1821 aged 66 years, caused by a series of strokes. Following his funeral at the Town Church, St.Peter Port on 7-Feb-1831, Harman was interred at "Le Cimetere des Estrangers" ("The Strangers Cemetery") on Ruette Meurtriere, later renamed Upland Road [St.Peter Port Town Church Register of Burials p.217] - need copy of register entry...
A headstone was erected by his widow and son.
In 1928 The Strangers Cemetery was given over to the Town Constables, no burials having taken place there for 50 years. The stones from the eastern side of the cemetery were taken up in 1933 and the ground levelled, the stones being stacked against the western wall, where the Royal bank of Canada Bank is now.  In 1974 some were found having been re-used in a pet cemetery in another part of the island, which was demolished by the Germans during the occupation of 1940-45.  By 1958 very little was left and memorials had hopelessly deteriorated.
In March 1967 (or 1968?) Harman Blennerhassett's remains, with others from that part of the Strangers' Cemetery, were removed & reburied in a common grave at nearby Foulon Cemetery, adjoining Upland Road. The land was afterwards used as a garage/motor vehicle repair business, later as a car park, a Cinema and Royal Bank of Canada building. All but one of the then surviving headstones were destroyed. A memorial garden and monument marking the new resting place at Foulon Cemetery was erected by the Bank, in memory of those whose remains were thus moved, the monument incorporating the single surviving headstone.
"Blennerhassett Island in Romance and Tragedy" by American author Minnie Kendall Lowther, published in 1936 & again 1939, reports the inscription on his headstone as illustrated below. This contains an error by reporting "in the 63d year of his age". Harman Blennerhassett when he died was aged 66, i.e. "in his 67th year" [LOWTHER Ed.1939 Ch.11 p.78]
from [LOWTHER Ed.1939 Ch.11 p.78]
searchable transcription:
"Here lies Harman Blennerhassett, Esq., LL.B.
barrister of Law of the Kings Inns, Dublin.
He passed through a variety of changes during his active
life. Nearly thirty years of which he passed in the U.S.A.
& canada. While in America atone time he owned a
most beautiful Island in the Ohio River which still bears
his name. He was a man of (. . .) true piety to his
Creator, philantropy and virtue, and was possessed of
great acquired and natural ability and talents. He departed
this life on the 2nd of February A.D. 1832 in the 63d
year of his age. His bereaved wife and son caused this
monument to be erected to his memory . . ."
Strangers pass not by without dropping a tear."
Priaulx Library at St.Peter Port, the Local Studies and Family History Centre for Guernsey, holds "The Register of Inscriptions of Memorials that were to be found 'en le Cimetere des Estrangers, en Ruette Meurtriere'. Taken as far as possible completely in Jan.1933" compiled by Guernsey antiquarian Rev. Spencer Carey-Curtis.
His manuscript records the inscription on Harman's headstone as below, giving Harman's age correctly as 67 years, but otherwise his transcription is brief, containing only the first and last sentences of the version given by Lowther, and these lines varying slightly. Perhaps Lowther's source was a transcription recorded at a much earlier date, and when Carey-Curtis saw the stone it was already much weathered or damaged.
To the Memory of HARMAN BLENNERHASSET Esq., LL.B.,
and Barrister of the Hon. Society of the King’s Inns, Dublin,
who departed this life Feb. 2nd 1831, aged 67 years.
Online References:
"An Eternal Stranger: Harman Blennerhassett" by Dinah Bott, Prialux Library, Guernsey

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