10 December 2012

Position Matters

One of the concerns I have with sites that post tombstone information is that the relative positions of the stones is not always something that is recorded. Position does matter and it frequently can provide us with clues as to additional family members.

It is fine to know that John M., Franciska, Sophia, and Anna M. are three among the many Trautvetters buried at the Bethany United Church of Christ Cemetery in Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois. A transcription of the stone should indicate that John M. and Franciska share a stone and that she is listed as his wife. What transcriptions alone will not state is the proximity of the three Trautvetter burials as shown in this photograph.

John M. Franciska, Sophia E., and Anna M. Trautvetter grave markers--Bethany United Church of  Christ Cemetery, Tioga, Hancock County, Illinois. Photo (c) 2004 Michael John Neill

The proximity of the stones does not prove anything, but it is potential evidence of a relationship among the four individuals.

Transcriptions should include maps of some type. Those proximity clues are clues as well.