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Gravestone inscriptions

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by Susan, Sep 22, 2018.

  1. Susan

    Susan LostCousins Member

    Following an item in the newsletter of 20 September, I have an example of someone named on a headstone who was not buried in the grave.

    My mother's father's mother died in 1932. At the top of the headstone in the Church of England graveyard is the inscription
    "In loving memory of Mother and Cissie"
    The inscription continues with details of my great grandmother, followed by details of her daughter who died in 1961. But what of Cissie?
    Cissie was the nickname of adopted daughter Theresa who died shortly after my great grandmother. My mother remembers both her grandmother and Theresa; she tells me that Theresa's nickname was Cissie. My mother has also given me a number of cards and ribbons from funerals, including the card for Theresa. She was a Roman Catholic and was buried in the church yard of the Catholic church in the same town.

    The reverse is also true - inscriptions apparently missing from headstones on graves where a burial is known to have taken place. This example is from my father's side of my family, and the grave is in a council cemetery. I am lucky that this council has an on-line database of every burial and cremation since the cemetery was opened in the mid 1800s and the crematorium opened on the same site in the 1960s.
    The council database lists 5 burials in this grave:
    William in 1896, aged 0 months
    Emma in 1901, aged 69
    John in 1933, aged 35
    William in 1935, aged 69
    Amelia in 1947, aged 80

    William and Amelia were my great grandparents; Emma was Amelia's mother, my gr gr grandmother; John and baby William were William and Amelia's children.
    The gravestone inscription lists William, then Amelia, then John and finally the baby. Emma does not appear.

    Two years ago I made contact via Ancestry with John's grandson (my second cousin). I knew little of John's widow and child - I now know they emigrated to Australia in the 1960s. A few months ago my second cousin sent me a photo of the same headstone which he found while sorting through his father's photos. The photo was obviously taken between 1935 and 1947 as there is a gap in the inscriptions where Amelia's details were later added. Right at the bottom of the headstone, quite a lot lower down than that for the baby, is the inscription for Emma. The headstone has sunk so much, or has been re-secured so much lower down, that the last inscription is now completely hidden.

    So much information has been lost, either because the headstone has sunk/been repostioned, or where headstones have been removed by the church/council.
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