Monumental Inscriptions
Family Historians

Graves - War Memorials - Monuments

The phrase 'etched in stone' is commonly used to denote permanence. But for those concerned with recording monumental inscriptions, the fallacy of the phrase is evident. For stone is not permanent and the inscriptions upon it even less so.

A family gravestone should never be moved from its original location. It is just as important to our heritage as Stonehenge.  

Could you make out what is on a gravestone like this? 
Monumental Inscriptions (MIs for short) are immensely valuable to family historians as a source of information. We use the term for anything that is engraved on any type of memorial stone, from the humblest of gravestones in a church yard or cemetery to the massive monuments usually associated with war memorials.

One of the most important things about church and cemetery grave headstones is that they show family relationships.

Here in England, Scotland and Wales it is not uncommon to see gravestones that date back to Norman times inside the church, whilst gravestones outside, if made of the right materials, can be easily read from the 1500s and 1600s periods. Unfortunately, many headstones were made from materials that weathered badly.

Including photographs of your family gravestones in your family history file adds tremendous interest. You should search for them wherever possible.

This section will show you how to locate and photograph your family's headstones, how to become involved in helping to record monumental inscriptions, and (unfortunately) some of the horror stories of churchyard vandalism.

Copyright ©1997 Rod Neep