Casefile Clues

23 December 2013

The Other Side of the Stone

There's often more to a tombstone than just one side. This picture of the tombstone for my great-grandparents is slightly misleading, especially to someone unfamiliar with the family.

Mimka J. and Tjode Anna tombstone, Moss Ridge Cemetery, Carthage, Hancock County, Illinois. Photograph taken summer of 2004 by Michael John Neill
There is an apparent flag adjacent to the tombstone which appears to be next to Mimka's side of the stone. Flags are usually placed on a grave to indicate military service and an unsuspecting user of the photograph may conclude that Mimka was in the military.

He was not.

His son Edward was. The stone is in the center of the Habben graves. Edward and his wife's inscriptions are on the reverse side of the stone. The flag was placed on the grave to acknowledge Edward's military service.

It is always a good idea to photograph the entire stone and remember that there could easily be something on the "other side."

And don't jump to conclusions.