Success! I’ve managed to shoe-horn Gravestones into the A-Z under I – extra points I think!
I wanted to include gravestones – or the inscriptions on them – as they can provide linking details for other relatives when you’ve hit a dead end. Similarly, if you venture out of the graveyard and into a church, you might find several generations or biographical information on memorial wall tablets or floor slabs dedicated to prominent citizens.
I took my first graveyard visit last year, you may remember I got soaked in the rain and didn’t really find what I was looking for, but was able to find the grave of one of my relatives and, therefore, hope that I may be luckier upon revisiting.
The grave I found was that of Samuel Stratten my Great Grandfather’s twin brother and brother of Reginald Charles whose Birth certificate we looked at yesterday, and his wife Minnie (nee Lush):
We can take several pieces of information from this stone and its very basic inscription, including details that I knew (Samuel’s name and, based on age at death, his birth year), but the majority of that information was new to me, including his exact date of death, his middle name, and his wife Minnie’s age at death and date of death – all useful additions to the skeleton of my tree.
As I said, this is a very basic headstone compared to some of the Victorian ones in the same churchyard, which were very ornate, very large and included some very complex relationships in their inscriptions.
Another reason that I wanted to include headstone inscriptions is that I have recently becomes a volunteer for The Gravestone Photographic Resource. This website aims, through the use of volunteers, to photograph all the gravestones in the UK and make the images and associated inscription information available to the public. In part this is to record the information before wind, weather and vandalism destroy the stones, but it’s also aimed at those whose costs are too high to visit the graves themselves.
I’ve yet to go on my first cataloguing expedition, but I hope to once the weather improves and the kids are back at school and I’m hoping to start with graveyards that relate to my own research so, perhaps not as altruistic as I at first appear!