Best way to source tombstone

Trying to capture tombstone information. What is the best way to enter this in RootsMagic?

One way would be to use the tombstone as a source for stuff such as birth or death dates, and in some cases marriage dates. I don’t know what other information you get from a tombstone outside of kids first names, maybe some military information from the brass plaques. The tombstone is more of a source for information that you probably already have. There is even a Findagrave source template out there which can be loaded into RM. It would seem that the information you ‘capture’ from the tombstone mostly has a fact that it can be applied to, except for maybe transcriptions which could be added to the burial fact notes or something like that.

You can obviously use a tombstone as a source for whatever information it contains - birth, death, marriage, etc. And it implicitly is a source for burial information, with the caveat that sometimes a stone doesn’t actually represent where a person is buried.

A transcription of the tombstone can also be entered as a note into the Burial fact or entered as a note into its own fact type. For example, I have a Burial Inscription fact type. As a separate fact type, I can easily choose to include it or not in reports or in GEDCOM, etc.

Thanks. I appreciate your good information.

One more caveat is that a tombstone sometimes isn’t a tombstone at all, but rather is some sort of memorial or historical marker. I have two ancestors who were Revolutionary War soldiers and where the D.A.R. placed a memorial marker for them in a cemetery. Now everybody seems to think that those two men were buried where their memorial marker was placed, when in fact they were not buried in that cemetery at all.

To make matters even worse, the information about the death date for each man is off by several years on each of their respective memorial markers. Now those markers have become incorrect sources for each man’s death date.

@kecarlso the source should point to however you learned about the cemetery marker. This could be:

  • email exchanges with a cemetery office
  • an online profile from a website like Billiongraves or Find a Grave
  • an unindexed image of a card catalog card from that cemetery’s office, that ended up in a local historical society collection
  • yourself happening upon the stone while strolling through a cemetery
  • a scribbled note about the funeral and burial that someone uploaded to their tree on Ancestry without any details about this note–and the person who uploaded this, lets say, is now unfortunately deceased.

If you place all these source-types aside now, your database profile for this person might have separate facts that you, the database creator, made for this person’s birth, death and burial. Now let’s say this cemetery stone has an image on Find a Grave, and that image shows a date of birth, and a death date, and some other things i.e. “wife of” or whatever.

The name of the game is basically to ring-out, by tagging in the database, as much as you can for each source you have on hand. So back to the Find a Grave photograph example, you might be able to tag that one single source to: birth, death, burial and the marriage to whomever, the latter based on the “wife of” text seen in the inscription—but the source found for a 3x5 card in the cemetery’s old records, now at the historical society or wherever, might only be “tagable” if you will, to the burial “fact” created by the database creator for this person.

Hopefully that’s somewhat clearer than mud, but there you have it. Cheers!