When analyzing information from a tombstone, try and determine if it was erected relatively contemporary to the death or if it was placed on the grave some time after. If the stone was put up fifty years after the person died, the information may not be as accurate as if it was put up with in a year of the person’s demise.

Birth dates on tombstones for people who die at an advanced age can easily be incorrect whether the stone was erected contemporary to the death or not




2 Responses

  1. Even the date of death of a stone can be incorrect. I’ve got one in-law by the name of Richard Blake whose date of death on his stone is probably wrong. I’m pretty certain the stone was erected years later. The reason for the incorrect date is that two Richard Blakes in the same town died within a few days of each other, and when the stone was erected they used the wrong date. (Unless the contemporary newspaper obituaries and other documents also mixed up the dates.)

  2. A few of my extended family and I bought a headstone for an ancestor who never had one. However, the person who had it engraved thought she died a lot later than she did. So the date of death is 6 yrs. off. I didn’t know until the stone was already completed so there was nothing I could do. However, at least she has a stone now, since there was none before.

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