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Tombstones

A tombstone epitaph can provide the full name of an ancestor, place and date of birth and death, names of spouse and children, and other data.  Accept dates on tombstones with caution.  A lack of funds frequently delayed the purchase of a tombstone and consequently information on it may have been provided from memory rather than from original burial records.  In addition , the date of burial instead of death was sometimes recorded on a tombstone.  In copying over a tombstone inscription, copy the inscription exactly as it appears and place guessed at illegible portions in brackets.  The word "consort" means wife, and "relict" means widow.

New Brunswick tombstones vary in size, shape and composition.  During the late 18th and early 19th centuries, gravestones were white or gray marble imported from New England or sandstone quarried in the Moncton area.  An italic script was used on marble and sandstone tombstones; however, Roman lettering gained prominence when granite, quarried at Hampstead, Queens County and St. George, Charlotte County following 1860, became more popular. 

Over the years, tombstone epitaphs from many cemeteries throughout New Brunswick have been transcribed and copies placed in the Search Room of the PANB.  These compilations vary in content, completeness and accuracy but all are valuable in that they can contain information on stones that may no longer exist.  Researchers should also check the inventory for

MC80 New Brunswick Publications Collection

and consult the index under the heading cemetery or under the County name in which they are interested.  Tombstone inscriptions are often published in genealogical periodicals and historical society journals.