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Tombstone Inscriptions << Cemetery Records <<

| Go to the Tombstone Inscriptions Guide |

Tombstone Inscriptions

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Tombstone inscriptions run the gamut. In some cases, in fact, there may not even be a headstone large enough for a transcription of any type. You may find nothing more than a marker. Unless you're dealing with a very old, a private, or a badly maintained cemetery, however, you have a reasonable chance of securing at least a few pieces of information. Almost all tombstones include a full name and possibly birth and/or death date information.

wifeIf you're especially lucky, though, they may reveal much more. Perhaps the inscription will begin with "Beloved wife of . . .", thereby showing you a relationship. Military tombstones may furnish some details of military service. Similarly, you may find a special logo, indicating participation in an organization that apparently meant a great deal to your ancestor. Older, urban cemeteries in immigrant-heavy cities often contain at least a few tombstones that give the person's place of birth in the old country, information that can be extremely difficult to come by. The inscription itself may tell you something about your ancestor's views or how those left behind regarded him or her. For all of these reasons, even if you already have the basic name and dates of birth and death data, a visit to the cemetery is often a rewarding experience.

 
 
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