John Van Tassell's Headstone, Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Jane Neill-Hancock

Wayne, United States

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3rd place in Graves before the 1900s Challenge, 2-Nov-2013

This old rusty colored headstone lies in the Old Dutch Reformed Church Burial ground which runs into Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

In Memory of John Van Tassell
who died on the 11th of april 1807
and was born 23rd of april 1737
Aged 70 years and 12 days

The Van Tassell family were friends with the writer Washington Irving, who immortalized their name in his Legend of Sleepy Hollow.

The story is set in 1790 in the countryside around the Dutch settlement of Tarry Town (historical Tarrytown, New York), in a secluded glen called Sleepy Hollow. Sleepy Hollow is renowned for its ghosts and the haunting atmosphere that pervades the imaginations of its inhabitants and visitors. The most infamous spectre in the Hollow is the Headless Horseman, said to be the ghost of a Hessian trooper who had his head shot off by a stray cannonball during “some nameless battle” of the American Revolutionary War, and who “rides forth to the scene of battle in nightly quest of his head”.

The “Legend” relates the tale of Ichabod Crane, a lean, lanky and extremely superstitious schoolmaster from Connecticut, who competes with Abraham “Brom Bones” Van Brunt, the town rowdy, for the hand of 18-year-old Katrina Van Tassel, the daughter and sole child of a wealthy farmer, Baltus Van Tassel. Crane, a Yankee and an outsider, sees marriage to Katrina as a means of procuring Van Tassel’s extravagant wealth.

The Van Tassell’s have an ancestry page on the web which states: The Old Dutch Church, which played a prominent role in Irving’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow, has also played a prominent role in the Van Tassel family. All North American Van Tassel descendants can trace their lineage back to at least one Van Tassel ancestor who was a member of this church.

the web page of the Van Tassel ancestry is found here:

the Van Tassells buried in the Old Dutch Reformed Church urial ground are listed below:

Abigail ARCHER, w/ Benjamin
Annatie, w/ Peter BONT
Hannah M.
Mary BLY, w/ Isaac
Belitie BUYS, w/ Hendrik
Catriena ECKER VAN TASSEL, w/ Petrus Hendrik
Hester VAN TASSEL, w/ Jacob Petrus

Artwork Comments

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