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An early family gravestone predating a cemetery opening.

(Cemeteries) Permanent link
David Allen Lambert

David Allen Lambert
NEHGS Online Genealogist

Question: A cemetery I visited had an earlier gravestone then the date that was on the gate? Can you explain why this is the case?

Answer: There are three possible reasons for this.  1) A gravestone and burials were moved to this cemetery from an earlier cemetery. 2) The date on the gate is actually wrong. 3) The gravestone is a cenotaph and no one is buried there, and it is simply a memorial.  An example from my own research is an Esty family gravestone that memorialize a few children.  The earliest gravestone date is 1738, and the cemetery in Stoughton, Massachusetts only opened in 1744.  In this case I believe the burials were moved here from an earlier cemetery.

Combined Gravestone

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