Tuesday, 15 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014: M is for Monumental Inscription

I wrote about these in 2012 (see post here), but as they are so fundamental, they are one of the "genealogy basics" I am covering in the 2014 A-Z Challenge.

Monumental inscriptions (or MIs - there's another abbreviation for you!) are the writings you find on a gravestone.  They can often be more revealing and informative than a death certificate.  Why? Because a death certificate usually gives information about one deceased person only (and any other information is what you pick and glean from it).  But a monumental inscription, especially those from way back when, may actually be a tombstone of a whole family.  At least, their names and dates are recorded there.  Say the stone is recording the death/burial of John Smith.  (It may also include his age and/or birthdate.)  Plus "his beloved wife Anna".  Plus his daughter Jane.  Plus his son James.

If there is enough room, there might also be a quote from the Bible, or a quip such as "I told you I was ill"...


  1. I love visiting cemeteries and reading the tombstones. My dad and I would visit them and when there was a picture on it I thought it gave something special to see who that person was. When I visited my grandmothers grave I found out there was a baby buried with her and that is when my dad told me how she passed away(she bled to death-1919 and up north-so backward)

    1. Gosh, how sad that your grandmother passed away that way! So the baby would have been your uncle or aunt? At least you know he/she is there...

      Thanks for stopping by

  2. WOW ... your post on MIs gave me great ideas, while researching THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS, I worked with numerous death certs, but the next time I visit the UK I am definitely visiting a certain cemetery ... #a2zchallange thanks for the visit following your blog now http://4covert2overt.blogspot.com/

  3. I have always told my family that my gravestone will be inscribed with "I told you I had heart problems"....now I chose to be cremated and have no gravestone.

  4. Ha! I like the quip. I wasn't aware that gravestones could include so much history. Interesting.

  5. I love old cemeteries, old headstones and monuments. They are like little known classic literature, shedding light on what earlier generations considered important as well as on their sense of humor. They make me feel a powerful connection to the past.

    visiting from A to Z Challenge Drusilla

  6. Following from Blogging AtoZ.
    I'm writing "Things My Husband Has Broken" A to Z at http://AMomsPointOfView.com
    Come by and check it out.

    1. Enjoyed your post about the macaroni and cheese. Thanks for stopping by!



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