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Foreign languages found on tombstones

English     German      Swedish     Norwegian   Danish      Polish      French
born        geboren     fOdd        fdt        fdt        urodzony    ne
died        gestorben   dOtt        dd         dd         umarl       dcd
mother      mutter      moder       mor         moder       matka       mre
father      vater       fader       far         fader       ojciec      pre
wife        ehefrau     maka        kone        kone        zona        epouse
year        jahr        r          ar          ar          rok         annee
age         alter       lder       alder       alder       wiek        age
month       monat       mnad       mned       maaned      miesiac     mois
day         tag         dag         dag         dag         dzien       jour

Source: Branching Out, Twin Cities Genealogy Society, Vol. 17, #4, June 1998


During this season of decoration of graves, it is vital to get unmarked graves some type of notation. Anyone knowing who these folks are would be encouraged to place some type of marker. I have placed many in these old cemeteries with markers that were very inexpensive to make.

I go to the local Lowes, Wal-mart, etc. and get a one-inch flat solid concrete block, and a landscape block (the one I use if placed upright looks like a small tombstone). Then I'm off to the local Awards company and have a 5"x7" plaque made on stainless steel. Black with silver or gold embossing looks great. I started with plain silver and etching, but these do not show up as well. I glue this engraving to the front of the landscape block with liquid nail. Then attach the block to the flat one-inch concrete block. It is better than having the grave remain unmarked. It costs under $20 to do one of these ,and they are light enough for anyone to place by themselves.
NOTE: Be sure to check with cemetery offices about any restrictions
concerning placement of cemetery markers.
Debra Garner

Update: 04-11-2002 - Re: Permission to use..
Wonderful site. Feel free to use the photo along with the message.

Another reader had the idea of making the plaque from black plastic with white lettering, and it shows up a lot better. Plaques can be engraved on other materials. This was my first attempt, and the aluminum does not show as well. Adding decorative items, such as crosses or roses also enhances the plaques.So tickled that folks were interested. Knowing unmarked graves are now being marked makes my day.A lady in CA is using them in her pet cemetery. That was something I didn't even think of.

Thank you so much for putting up, and I hope it will help others. I am in Central AR and can help folks who need these made and placed in the area, if anyone is interested. The main thing is to get these graves marked before it's too late.

Bless you,

Homemade Tombstones
Ancestry Quick Tips & More!

Received from Debra May 03, 2002 along with permission to use.


A family story suggested that my grandfather was buried in his family's traditional plot, but when I visited the family cemetery there was no stone for him. As I wandered among the markers, I passed BEHIND some of them, and discovered my grandfather's name and dates had been added on the back of his mother's stone. Later I learned he had died young, far from home, and his ashes were sent back and buried at his mother's grave (his father was still living at the time). The lesson is to check the BACK of gravestones, even those  that appear to have only one face. ...............Janet Wright  
<Ancestry Daily News, 20 June 2001>