The carved cemetery monument, more commonly referred to as a headstone, is a useful resource for anyone trying to trace their ancestry. Especially in older graveyards, the cemetery monument can give a great deal of information about the person buried there. Newer cemeteries often have limits on the size, shape, and style of the cemetery monument.
The inscription on the cemetery monument is a great place to look for data. Epitaphs often recorded the name, date of birth, date of death, and marital status of the deceased. There is often a Bible verse, or a few lines about the person's life or character. Sometimes the inscription on a cemetery monument lists family relationships that might not otherwise have been clear.
For example, perhaps a cemetery monument says,
Hannah Jarvis McLeod
Beloved wife of Henry McLeod
Born February 12, 1798
Died December 7, 1820
This inscription gives a great deal of direct data but also suggests some ideas--particularly if the cemetery monument next to it records the birth and death of Elizabeth McLeod, who was born December 6, 1820, and lived eleven days.
Finding an ancestor's cemetery monument can be a moving experience. Family graveyards bring home the sense of how precious and fragile life is, how near we are to the past, and how very important family is.
OneGreatFamily.com can help you find the roots of your
family tree. With its automatic searches, OneGreatFamily.com allows you to connect with distant branches of your family-and still have time to spend with children and grandchildren.
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