February 22nd, 2011
I always feel so wonderful when I find that some of my ancestors were buried in cemeteries that actually have an office and records! So many cemeteries do not. None-the-less, we still need to be mindful of errors and possible misconceptions. Let’s, look at a tombstone and related records in Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord, New Hampshire.
The tombstone indicates that my Dad was born in 1914. That date is in error. When Mom had the inscription done for Oscar H. Woodward, Jr., she relied on her knowledge that my father was three years younger. Well, that is almost true… She was born 31 Dec 1917 and he was born 1 Jan 1915…for general purposes the difference in age was three years, but for accuracy, Dad was two years and 363 days older than Mom.
The cemetery record indicates that Dad was buried in 1 August 1990. You’ll note that the tombstone indicates that he died in 1965. That’s odd isn’t it! Well not if we we look at his death certificate. The death record shows that Dad died on 4 June 1965 and was cremated on 8 June 1965 in Springfield, Massachusetts. In fact, his cremains were held in Sprinfield at the Crematory until Mom decided to have him interred in the Blossom Hill Cemetery in Concord.
Genealogists and family historians need to look beyond the tombstone record and even the cemetery record (if there is one) to get a clearer picture of an event.
(c) 2010 Linda Woodward Geiger, All Rights Reserved.