Genealogy Trails



Dating Tombstones
(Thanks to Carole Dick for this info!)


One way to figure out the era your ancestor was buried is to examine the material from which the tombstone is made. If your ancestor has a stone made of slate or common fieldstone (except wood used by pioneer) chances are the stone dates from 1796-1830.

If the stone is flat topped hard marble, dates are about 1830-1849.

If your mystery stone is round or pointed soft marble with cursive inscriptions, look for a date of 1845-1868.

Masonic four-sided stones began in 1850 and are still in use today.

Pylons, columns and other exotic-style monuments are usually dated 1860-1900.

Zinc monuments date from 1870-1900.

Granite, now common, came into use about 1900.


If the writing is too faded to read, use a 75 watt black light bulb in any lamp that casts light directly on the written message. The writing will appear miraculously.



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