21 November 2013

A Tombstone Transcription in an Estate File

This is an interesting receipt that was found in the estate file for Belinda Newman of Linn County, Iowa. 

It is for her tombstone.

Contract for tombstone of Belinda Newman, obtained from estate files of Linn County, Iowa. Digital image made from microfilmed copy of files held by Family History Library.

The inscription as indicated in this contract is right as I've seen the stone myself. Unfortunately I don't have a photograph. There is a willow above the inscription--the word "Willow" itself is not actually on the stone. Since the contract has the height and thickness of the stone I'm curious to see how the actual stone compares with this description.

David A. Newman likely is the one who provided the information for the stone as he is the one who signed the contract. David was Belinda's son and one of several children of Belinda who lived in Linn County, Iowa.

David's knowledge of his mother's date of death is probably first hand as he was living in the same county as she was when she died. There is a slight concern that the information was being given over a year after she died. 

One more reason to look in those probate packets--you may find tombstone inscriptions for stones that no longer exist.

I'm a strong believer in citations and in my work (and in Casefile Clues) I cite material in the spirit of Evidence Explained. Here on the Rootdig blog, I have a different philosophy. Posts made here have enough information that the reader could locate where the material was obtained.