23 January 2015

The Seeming Indication of Their Death is Premature -- Tombstones may not just list the deceased!

Source for blank image: http://aremid.deviantart.com/art/The-Blank-Tombstone-119712435
Edited by DLR 

I am happy to report that my father and his wife are alive!

You may wonder why I feel the need to do this.  Well – they are both listed in Find-a-Grave!

Find-a-Grave, BillionGraves, CemeteryCensus, Interment.net are wonderful resources for our research.  We can learn a lot about the burial, death and maybe family members of the deceased.

Now, sometimes – a person is listed in Find-a-Grave for a particular cemetery and yet they are actually not buried there.  A surviving spouse may have remarried and is now buried with the first spouse (or vice versa). A person may have died elsewhere and is now buried with other family members in a completely different location. Maybe the person died and is buried in the cemetery and no-one ever updated the tombstone. 

There are also other reasons why we have to be careful in how we interpret the information we found on these websites – information based on a death certificate or an obituary (which might be in error on where the burial took place), people get reburied elsewhere, graves get moved, etc.  All of these factors can impact the accuracy of the information provided.

In the case of my father and his wife, it just so happens that in preparing for what is eventual for all of us, they went ahead and purchased a cemetery plot, had a tombstone  engraved with their names and birth dates and have arrangements in place for when they die for the stone to be updated. 

Their current listing has their death date as “unknown.”  This is true.  It’s just not unknown in the sense that we don’t know when they died, it’s unknown in the sense that they are not yet deceased!

Just a reminder to always keep looking for records and information even when we think we might have an answer – we might not have the full story.

Did I also mention that the cemetery is not in the community where they have lived for over 20 years?  It’s located where they met and grew up ... and, that’s a story for another day.

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