What is Genealogy
Tid Bits
Tips and Gotcha's
Top ten myths
Top ten reasons to do it
Just for Fun
Getting Started
An exercise using a pedigree
Paperwork organization
Preserving your records
Labeling your records
Maps and geography
Old style dates
Old style handwriting
Tombstone reading
Calculating relationships
Family reunions
PC Software
Genealogical Programs
Genealogical Numbering Systems
Family Group Sheet form
GEDCOM format
Descendancy report
Ahnentafel report
Recap and Statistics
The data pyramid
Source Documents
Record types
Vital and primary records
Manuscript archives
Censuses and the soundex
Actual examples
Where to Look
Where to do your research
Kansas City area research
U.S. GenWeb
Recent immigrants
Ellis Island
African American
Native American
Hispanic American
Recommended web sites
Certified professionals
Genealogical publishers/sellers
Recommended books
Publishing your family history
Forms to use
Dewey Decimal system
Homework assignment

Tombstone Transcribing and Photographing

  • Many tombstones are hard to read due to age and weathering
  • Take chalk to help outline the hard to read letters
  • Take care to assure you transcribe everything on a tombstone exactly as possible
  • Be sure to describe anything unusual on a tombstone
  • If possible, try to wait until the sun is at the best angle for reading and photographing a tombstone
  • Take the picture at a 20 to 30 degree angle to make use of shadows on the letters
  • If you can read the tombstone in a digital camera's screen then no need to handwrite the info too
  • Many libraries have papers done by some wonderful soul who spent the time transcribing all tombstones for one or more cemeteries, then placed a copy of the labor of love in the local library

Cleaning Tombstones>
Sometimes tombstones are hard to read because of things growing on them and stained them. Here is a mixture of chlorine bleach and powdered cleanser:
  • 3 cups of liquid bleach (e.g. Purex)
  • 3 tablespoons of a powdered cleanser (e.g. Comet)
  • Caution: do not use a cleanser containing amonia with chlorine
  • Pour the mix into a pin and apply with a fiber brush keeping the stone wet for at least ten minutes, brushing occasionally
  • If there is loose scale on the tombstone, scrape it with a windshield scraper before wetting the tombstone
  • Rinse well with water
  • Repeat procedure if necessary

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Copyright © 2004- by Larry Wilson, all rights reserved