Cemetery Trip

Today we went to the Riverside Cemetery to start a project we will be working on all term. Each student has been assigned a portion of the cemetery to collect data from.  We are trying to document every person buried in this portion of the cemetery, based on the information available on the tombstones.  We are collecting not only birth and death dates, but the sex of the individual, and iconographic and textual material associated with them as well.  Already students have found several interesting/confusing burials.  The one that was most intriguing to me was the two headstones that are facing each other, with no space in between them – perhaps they are actually footstones? They are awfully large for footstones though.

Students, here are the answers to a few questions which came up today, for clarification:

1) Family Headstones: We are documenting each individual buried in the cemetery, not the stones themselves.  So if there is a family stone with no dates on it you do not need to write it down – that stone is just marking the area of the family plot.  It may help you complete the last names of the individuals buried around it though.

2) Tombstones with a birth date but no death date: Do not record these.  These people could have moved away or else they are still living.  We are only documenting the individuals buried in the cemetery.

3) Multiple names on one stone: Each individual should be recorded as one line on the data sheet.  If two people are listed on one stone together, record each person separately.

Post further questions in the comments section.

cemetery data sheet (if you need extras)

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2 Responses to Cemetery Trip

  1. almareciprocity says:

    So if a stone is in the middle of a family & only one date we shouldn’t record those? Because I thought that just ment they were stillborns…

  2. Megan M. says:

    I think it depends if it has a dash after the birth date. If it is just one year you are probably right, it is likely an infant that was stillborn or died within the first few months after it was born. If it has a dash though, and a space, as if they were planning to put a second year in there, then it probably is someone who put up a headstone before they died, and may have moved away.

    Good question.

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