* Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

AS allows faster and more convenient creation of source records for Family Historian.
User avatar
NickWalker
Megastar
Posts: 2629
Joined: 02 Jan 2004 17:39
Family Historian: V7
Location: Lancashire, UK
Contact:

Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by NickWalker »

Dear all

I'm working on the next source type to be supported by Ancestral Sources - Monumental Inscriptions and had some points I'd appreciate opinions on.

Firstly I've currently decided to call the source type 'Monumental Inscriptions'. They are often referred to as MIs in family history books and articles I've read over the years. They are sometimes known as gravestone Inscriptions or memorial inscriptions. I felt that Monumental Inscriptions was the best name for this as it was a broader term. Does this seem reasonable?

Looking at the 'Essentials Collection' source template 'Gravestone/Monument/Memorial Inscription' this has a Date field. There are frequently several people referred to on a gravestone each with different death dates, often decades apart. Which date do you think the template creator envisaged being recorded there?
image.png
image.png (11.79 KiB) Viewed 921 times
In the same template there is a 'Principal Names' field with the comment 'enter all if more than one'. I'd assume that would be a comma separated list of names? Would you imagine they were the names of the individuals in your tree (i.e. using the birth name for women), or their married names, or their names exactly as written on the memorial?

Thoughts on all of the above would be much appreciated. Of course as always AS will be very flexible and allow for the user to format these as they wish, but I'd like to feel confident I've chosen good defaults.

Thanks

Nick
Nick Walker
Ancestral Sources Developer

https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/ancestral-sources/
User avatar
johnmorrisoniom
Megastar
Posts: 905
Joined: 18 Dec 2008 07:40
Family Historian: V7
Location: Isle of Man

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by johnmorrisoniom »

I don't use templated sources but.

Monument Inscription is Fine for me, but I tend to use the word "Headstone"

For the date I use the date of Death of the first person at the top of the Headstone.

At the moment I Transcribe the whole inscription linking to the names as necessary.

The source title I use at the moment is:

<Headstone <Where> - <Year> - <Top Surname Name> - <Forenames> with any attached Media using the same name.

Regards
John Morrison
User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 5527
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

Macdonald says 'date of death if referring to one person'.
User avatar
LornaCraig
Megastar
Posts: 3229
Joined: 11 Jan 2005 17:36
Family Historian: V7
Location: Oxfordshire, UK

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by LornaCraig »

I felt that Monumental Inscriptions was the best name for this as it was a broader term. Does this seem reasonable?
Yes. Keep it broad. It could even be used for ‘Blue Plaques’ (on a building where someone lived) or inscriptions on a park bench.
Which date do you think the template creator envisaged being recorded there?
I suppose it would be the date(s) of the principal person if there are more than one. But it might not be their life dates (in the case of a Blue Plaque it would make more sense if it was the date they lived in the building).
Would you imagine they were the names of the individuals in your tree (i.e. using the birth name for women), or their married names, or their names exactly as written on the memorial?
I would let the user pick the names from the list of individuals in their project, which for women would be their maiden names, and then let them edit the list manually if they want the names in a different format.

Having said that, I only use Generic templates so I’m not best placed to offer an opinion.
Lorna
User avatar
AdrianBruce
Megastar
Posts: 2118
Joined: 09 Aug 2003 21:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: South Cheshire
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by AdrianBruce »

1. Monumental Inscription is what I call them.

2. Fundamentally, for me, the date is the earliest date when I think the stone was erected. But this can be unclear. Normally I would put something like "After dd/mm/yyyy" where dd/mm/yyyy is the physically first death date on the stone. So if the MI reads "John d.1905, also his wife Mary d.1903", I'd date the stone as "After 1905" because the ordering of the items would tend to imply that the stone was only erected after John's death. (Stands back waiting for people to send in photos of stones with a blank space reserved for the husband followed by a completed inscription for the wife...)

3. Names - surely it's a list of names on the stone? Anything else is a deduction.

4. Cemetery - yes, make it clear that this is where the name of the graveyard goes if you happen to be a Brit who distinguishes graveyard and cemetery.

I presume from your text that this would cover War Memorials as well?
Adrian
User avatar
Ron Melby
Megastar
Posts: 928
Joined: 15 Nov 2016 15:40
Family Historian: V6.2

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Ron Melby »

way back when I tried using AS and could never figure it out. Its on my list to do.

Seems to me you have individual monuments and family monuments.

I don't know if you can split them into two types programattically (well, you can; is it worth it?)
indi monuments would be straightforward.

the family monument would be like a census.

then you have the rather trivial coding matters of daughter and her husband (spans famc and fams) are flushed with dad and his second wife not her mother.

I have solved it, but FHUG will not let you attach code here. :D

Ron Fermat
FH V.6.2.7 Win 10 64 bit
User avatar
ADC65
Superstar
Posts: 473
Joined: 09 Jul 2007 10:27
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by ADC65 »

I use Headstone, but Monumental Inscription works fine and, as you say, is a broader term that fits more sources.

I don't use dates when using a Headstone / MI source if there is more than one person named. It gives a very odd look to the people who are further down the list of burials, seeming to imply that they were buried long before they died. If there is only one person on the MI then I use the date of burial, if known, or leave it blank otherwise.
Adrian Cook
Researching Cook, Summers, Phipps and Bradford, mainly in Wales and the South West of England
avatar
Gary_G
Megastar
Posts: 794
Joined: 24 Mar 2023 19:05
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Gary_G »

I feel monumental inscriptions is a better term. That would encompass the various types of markers found in cemeteries, but would also cover names listed on war memorials.

As for what to record; I would suggest that one would record exactly what was on the memorial. Changing that information could result in misinterpretation.
Gary Gauthier
Hunting History in the Wild!
User avatar
Ron Melby
Megastar
Posts: 928
Joined: 15 Nov 2016 15:40
Family Historian: V6.2

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Ron Melby »

I wonder if a cenotaph should be a separate source template then a 'regular' monument, and its monumental inscription.

vis: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/160 ... dward-hunt
FH V.6.2.7 Win 10 64 bit
avatar
Gary_G
Megastar
Posts: 794
Joined: 24 Mar 2023 19:05
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Gary_G »

Ron;

I'm a bit concerned that splitting the category would result in the feature not being nearly as useful to the general user. Monumental Inscriptions is actual a pretty decent all-encompassing term. Even cenotaphs are a form of monument and often listed as such.
Gary Gauthier
Hunting History in the Wild!
avatar
KFN
Superstar
Posts: 295
Joined: 20 Jun 2021 01:00
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by KFN »

I look at Headstones, Columbarium, and Mass Graves as a single source (“the marker”), with the cemetery as the Repository.

The “source” (source_record) would have a TITLe that describes something about “the marker”. I usually put the name(s) on “the marker” in the TITL, but for cases with more than 3 or 4 names I go general, “Kent Family”, Columbarium # or location phrase. The source_record would also include any text found on “the marker”. The Source_Repository tag gets the actual location of “the marker”, row/site/area/phrase, within the cemetery and I include a picture of “the marker”.

The Source_Citation would then get any detail information, this gets the most attention with multiple names or niches. Here I also record any information about the specific location within “the marker” (first name, third name from left), and when their are multiple names an image of just that entry and text associated with that entry.

Dates are only relevant as they relate to the text DATA.TEXT tag, and NOTES are used to describe my thoughts on the information.
avatar
jbtapscott
Megastar
Posts: 517
Joined: 19 Nov 2014 17:52
Family Historian: V7
Location: Corfu, Greece
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by jbtapscott »

I too have gone with the generic 'Monumental Inscription' as this gives greater flexibility in my opinion.

I don't bother with a date on the Source record as the actual gravestone (or whatever) could have been added to over the years. I normally include a transcript of what is on the memorial in the Source Note but will adjust it if necessary to make it more readable - that note may also include a date if I am attaching a photo of the gravestone that I have taken, together with any relevant information (section of stone broken / rubbish weather so photo not too clear, etc., etc).

The individuals "Memorial" fact that I create to reference the Source record does include a date but that is primarily to ensure it slots, chronologically speaking, after any Burial / Cremation I have recorded and also to allow me to add, say, an "Anecdote" fact with any general information about that person. My Fact sentences make no reference to the recorded date, but merely state "Fred's memorial is at xxxx Church in yyyyy........"
Brent Tapscott ~ researching the Tapscott and Wallace family history
Tapscott & Wallace family tree
avatar
Peter Collier
Famous
Posts: 193
Joined: 04 Nov 2015 17:32
Family Historian: V7
Location: Worcestershire, UK

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Peter Collier »

Might the date field in the source record be intended to record the date the memorial was transcribed? Memorial inscriptions can, after all, change over time as new names and dates are added, or portions become illegible, e.g. through weathering, so a record of the date the inscription was transcribed would be pertinent. The life dates inscribed on the monument could (should?) be recorded as "Text from source".
Peter Collier

Collier, Savory, Buckerfield, Edmonds, Low, Dungey, Lester, Chambers, Walshe, Moylan, Bradley, Connors, Udale, Wilson, Benfield, Downey
avatar
Little.auk
Famous
Posts: 249
Joined: 23 Jul 2021 08:51
Family Historian: V7
Location: Tamworth, Staffordshire, UK

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Little.auk »

Monumental Inscriptions is pretty well all embracing.

"Cemetery" is probably a bit prescriptive - I have memorials from all sorts of places, that are not in cemeteries, or even churches - including -
The First World War memorial book in Birmingham's Hall of Memory (England)

The Scottish Rifles regiment Boer War memorial plaque in the Scottish Rifles Museum in Hamilton (Scotland)

Then there are hundreds of war memorials, and the National Memorial Arboretum at Alrewas, not far from where I live, which has a memorial wall listing all service personnel killed since the end of the second World War.

Regarding date, I would take this as the date the Monument record was found / viewed (as per "date accessed" for online records). Grave stones and war memorials do get moved, just like web pages.

As an aside -
The Birmingham Hall of Memory book is paginated in a sort of Day Book format (i.e. everybody who died on a particular date, regardless of year is on the same page). The book is kept under glass and the pages are turned each day, so if your person of interest died on 5th April you can only view / verify their record on 5th April each year!
Peter Rollin
Running FH 7.0.22 and AS 7.8.6 64 bit in Windows 11
User avatar
fhtess65
Megastar
Posts: 668
Joined: 15 Feb 2018 21:34
Family Historian: V7
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by fhtess65 »

I'm fine with Monumental inscription. I guess for instances where two people share a headstone, but died on different dates (generally the case), I would just enter each separately and just link the same media image.

For women, it's tricky as I want it to link to her main record, which has her birth surname, but also need to note her married name. I would likely use my own edited source template which would include a note field in which I could mention her surname at death.
---
Teresa Basińska Eckford
Librarian & family historian
http://writingmypast.wordpress.com
Researching: Spong, Ferdinando, Taylor, Lawley, Sinkins, Montgomery; Basiński, Hilferding, Ratowski, Paszkiewicz
avatar
Gary_G
Megastar
Posts: 794
Joined: 24 Mar 2023 19:05
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Gary_G »

Teresa;

Perhaps use square brackets in your transcription to hold the maiden surname?
eg. "Jessie Cousland [(Murison)] Gauthier"
Gary Gauthier
Hunting History in the Wild!
User avatar
ColeValleyGirl
Megastar
Posts: 5527
Joined: 28 Dec 2005 22:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Cirencester, Gloucestershire
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by ColeValleyGirl »

fhtess65 wrote: 05 Apr 2024 15:17 For women, it's tricky as I want it to link to her main record, which has her birth surname, but also need to note her married name. I would likely use my own edited source template which would include a note field in which I could mention her surname at death.
But a source/citation identifies a 'document' or other object, not an individual?
User avatar
ChrisRead
Famous
Posts: 217
Joined: 10 Mar 2007 17:02
Family Historian: V7
Location: Wells, Somerset, England

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by ChrisRead »

I have 30+ headstone/memorial sources I created manually, which are 'mostly' consistent. I'd be happy with them being called Memorial Inscriptions, I'd probably convert the ones I already have. I'd assume the usual long/short source title and customisations to tweak to individual tastes etc.

I've never been sure of the best way to name the sources when there are several people involved, and end up including all their names and dates (of death) in the title.

e.g. Headstone Archibald Snow Linklater (1875) and Emma Linklater nee Hornby (1929) and Elizabeth Margaret Linklater (1905) and Marion Edith Hale

But I'll take whatever I'm offered by an AS enhancement for consistency.

As for married women the inscription is usually their married name, but when I think about it I'll use surname nee maiden name in the source title (as above). As for Text from Source I transcribe the inscription as it is, and I'm not sure it's going to be easy to do an auto-text that would work other than very generic data capture of the people and dates. So, it probably means in most cases manually entering the inscription in the auto-text area. Although, being able to include names as hyperlinks will be nice, and be consistent with all the other AS types.
Chris Read
Family Historian and Ancestral Sources user.

Researching the READ family and the myriad other relations that turned up.
User avatar
NickWalker
Megastar
Posts: 2629
Joined: 02 Jan 2004 17:39
Family Historian: V7
Location: Lancashire, UK
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by NickWalker »

Thanks for the responses so far. It appears that Monumental Inscription is a generally acceptable name.

There are a number of different opinions regarding the Date field on the source template but I am inclined to go with the idea of the date being filled in by default only if there is just one person mentioned and in that case it would be the date of their death. There were suggestions of using the date the stone was erected but this is rarely evident by looking at the inscription. I think there are definitely occasions where the stone is erected by a child decades after their parents were buried. As Adrian has suggested an 'after' date could be used instead if the user wishes.

From reading the comments I think it's probably best to try to record the list of names in the Principal Names field as they appear on the inscription. By default I'll have AS try to produce that list but that can be edited as required by the user.

For the Generic Source Title I've currently got it defaulting to the following so it can roughly follow the style used for existing AS Sources (but again this can be changed to suit the user's requirements):

Monumental Inscription <PLACE> (Address) <Key person> d. <Year> and adding 'and others' if more than one.

e.g. Monumental Inscription Warrington, Lancashire (St Elphin's Church) Robert Walker d. 1820 and others

The way that I'm planning for AS to work with MIs is that the place, address and plot number/description can be recorded. Then for each individual there is the opportunity to specify information that may be recorded on the grave: name, death date, death place, cause, age at death, date of birth, place of birth, occupation, residence, burial date and place. This can lead to the generation of birth, death, residence, occupation and burial records linked back to the source. Ancestral Sources will as usual allow auto-text templates to generate source text based on the information given but as usual this will need to be edited to make it accurate. There will be usual options to automatically record this source text as 'rich text' with hyperlinks to the individuals referred to.
Ron Melby wrote: 05 Apr 2024 00:18 I wonder if a cenotaph should be a separate source template then a 'regular' monument, and its monumental inscription.
The source template I was referring to is built into Family Historian. Users can choose to create their own source templates in FH if they wish. Ancestral Sources will as always support custom templates too.
KFN wrote: 05 Apr 2024 01:08 The Source_Citation would then get any detail information, this gets the most attention with multiple names or niches. Here I also record any information about the specific location within “the marker” (first name, third name from left), and when their are multiple names an image of just that entry and text associated with that entry.
If a monumental inscription for an individual resulted in you creating a birth, occupation, residence and death fact would you duplicate this information into each of the 4 citations?
jbtapscott wrote: 05 Apr 2024 06:54 The individuals "Memorial" fact that I create to reference the Source record does include a date but that is primarily to ensure it slots, chronologically speaking, after any Burial / Cremation I have recorded and also to allow me to add, say, an "Anecdote" fact with any general information about that person. My Fact sentences make no reference to the recorded date, but merely state "Fred's memorial is at xxxx Church in yyyyy........"
That's interesting, I'd not considered that users would have a custom fact to record monumental inscriptions exist. I'll think about having this as an option to specify a custom fact to generate, perhaps with an 'after' death date specified.
Peter Collier wrote: 05 Apr 2024 08:04 Might the date field in the source record be intended to record the date the memorial was transcribed? Memorial inscriptions can, after all, change over time as new names and dates are added, or portions become illegible, e.g. through weathering, so a record of the date the inscription was transcribed would be pertinent. The life dates inscribed on the monument could (should?) be recorded as "Text from source".
Little.auk wrote: 05 Apr 2024 10:52 Regarding date, I would take this as the date the Monument record was found / viewed (as per "date accessed" for online records). Grave stones and war memorials do get moved, just like web pages.
Thanks Peter and Peter. If a user chooses to use the source template Date field to record the date the MI was recorded then that's fine, they'll just need to enter this into the source template before saving.
Little.auk wrote: 05 Apr 2024 10:52 "Cemetery" is probably a bit prescriptive - I have memorials from all sorts of places, that are not in cemeteries, or even churches - including -
The Cemetery reference in my post was just the screenshot of the built in Family Historian source template, that's not something specified by AS. AS will just use the usual Place and Address fields so the user can specify the location of the monument/grave/memorial.

Please do keep adding thoughts and comments. One of the things that has been very apparent during my 20 years of developing AS (and it's predecessor) is that everyone records data in different ways. Even in the responses to this post there have been multiple methodologies discussed. So all I can do is try to cater for as many of them as possible, but I obviously won't be able to satisfy everyone. However, I am also aware that for a lot of users, Ancestral Sources has been their gateway into recording data using sources and many of them just use the default settings and never change them. So I do feel a certain amount of responsibility to come up with an acceptable set of default values. Your feedback is very helpful thank you.

Best wishes

Nick
Nick Walker
Ancestral Sources Developer

https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/ancestral-sources/
avatar
jbtapscott
Megastar
Posts: 517
Joined: 19 Nov 2014 17:52
Family Historian: V7
Location: Corfu, Greece
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by jbtapscott »

Just as a follow up Nick on my 'Memorial' fact - this came about because I found that there are occasions when a person is mentioned on a Gravestone but there is no 'proof' that the person is actually buried in that cemetery, or I actually know that the person is buried elsewhere (a prime example here being where somebody is buried in a known war grave in, say, France, and is also included on a family gravestone / memorial)
Brent Tapscott ~ researching the Tapscott and Wallace family history
Tapscott & Wallace family tree
User avatar
NickWalker
Megastar
Posts: 2629
Joined: 02 Jan 2004 17:39
Family Historian: V7
Location: Lancashire, UK
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by NickWalker »

jbtapscott wrote: 05 Apr 2024 16:35 Just as a follow up Nick on my 'Memorial' fact - this came about because I found that there are occasions when a person is mentioned on a Gravestone but there is no 'proof' that the person is actually buried in that cemetery, or I actually know that the person is buried elsewhere (a prime example here being where somebody is buried in a known war grave in, say, France, and is also included on a family gravestone / memorial)
Thanks, yes I can certainly see the logic for it.
Nick Walker
Ancestral Sources Developer

https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/ancestral-sources/
avatar
Gary_G
Megastar
Posts: 794
Joined: 24 Mar 2023 19:05
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by Gary_G »

jbtapscott wrote: 05 Apr 2024 16:35 Just as a follow up Nick on my 'Memorial' fact - this came about because I found that there are occasions when a person is mentioned on a Gravestone but there is no 'proof' that the person is actually buried in that cemetery, or I actually know that the person is buried elsewhere (a prime example here being where somebody is buried in a known war grave in, say, France, and is also included on a family gravestone / memorial)
I have several of these situations and can understand why you've made a special fact for it. I have one instance in which the monument for a two children in one cemetery states that the girl was actually buried in a cemetery in another city. Oddly; that gravesite has no monument to record.
Gary Gauthier
Hunting History in the Wild!
avatar
KFN
Superstar
Posts: 295
Joined: 20 Jun 2021 01:00
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by KFN »

NickWalker wrote: 05 Apr 2024 16:08
KFN wrote: 05 Apr 2024 01:08 The Source_Citation would then get any detail information, this gets the most attention with multiple names or niches. Here I also record any information about the specific location within “the marker” (first name, third name from left), and when their are multiple names an image of just that entry and text associated with that entry.
If a monumental inscription for an individual resulted in you creating a birth, occupation, residence and death fact would you duplicate this information into each of the 4 citations?
Yes. It would be easy to create a duplicate entry in the Source_Citation when creating the events associated with the source.

I do this for any source be it a census, church record, newspaper article, etc.

To help with keeping the actual information from the source together I usually generate a shared noted that get included with each Source_Citation. This is the great advantage of "Source Driven Data Entry" vs "Fact Driven Data Entry" By looking at the actual source image you know immediately what people and events are found in the source, therefore you can generate all of the appropriate events and citation information immediately no duplication of work. I would create a simple Source_Record first, then create a common Source_Citation that can be used for all events from that source and reuse it when I add the event to each individual!
Last edited by KFN on 05 Apr 2024 17:37, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
NickWalker
Megastar
Posts: 2629
Joined: 02 Jan 2004 17:39
Family Historian: V7
Location: Lancashire, UK
Contact:

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by NickWalker »

KFN wrote: 05 Apr 2024 17:27 Yes. It would be easy to create a duplicate entry in the Source_Citation when creating the events associated with the source.

I do this for any source be it a census, church record, newspaper article, etc.

To help with keeping the actual information from the source together I usually generate a shared noted that get included with each Source_Citation. This is the great advantage of "Source Driven Data Entry" vs "Fact Driven Data Entry" I would create a simple Source_Record first, then create a common Source_Citation that can be used for all events from that source and reuse it when I add the event to each individual!
Yes that's right: users of Ancestral Sources who opt for lumped sources (AS method 2) have the option to duplicate text into citations or use a shared note. I was just interested in your methodology.

Thanks

Nick
Nick Walker
Ancestral Sources Developer

https://fhug.org.uk/kb/kb-article/ancestral-sources/
avatar
KFN
Superstar
Posts: 295
Joined: 20 Jun 2021 01:00
Family Historian: V7

Re: Monumental Inscriptions - thoughts?

Post by KFN »

NickWalker wrote: 05 Apr 2024 17:33
KFN wrote: 05 Apr 2024 17:27 Yes. It would be easy to create a duplicate entry in the Source_Citation when creating the events associated with the source.

I do this for any source be it a census, church record, newspaper article, etc.

To help with keeping the actual information from the source together I usually generate a shared noted that get included with each Source_Citation. This is the great advantage of "Source Driven Data Entry" vs "Fact Driven Data Entry" I would create a simple Source_Record first, then create a common Source_Citation that can be used for all events from that source and reuse it when I add the event to each individual!
Yes that's right: users of Ancestral Sources who opt for lumped sources (AS method 2) have the option to duplicate text into citations or use a shared note. I was just interested in your methodology.

Thanks

Nick
I added the text, "By looking at the actual source image you know immediately what people and events are found in the source, therefore you can generate all of the appropriate events and citation information immediately no duplication of work."
Post Reply