The volumes are variously entitled "Some of the Epitaphs in Saratoga County" and "Further Epitaphs." The term is used in its strict sense, meaning an inscription, rather than a verse or other description of the deceased. With few exceptions, the only information appearing is the name of the deceased, his or her relationship to some other person such as a husband, wife or parent, the date of the death and the age at death. The inscriptions are not organized alphabetically, suggesting an arrangement similar to that of the stones as placed in the cemeteries. Few of the stones antedate 1800. As the preface to the second volume suggests, the early markers are of rough fieldstone without inscription, but proximity of most of the towns to the Hudson River made it easy to obtain slate, brownstone and later marble. Some of the towns and villages are "dotted with family burying places," as for example in Old Saratoga, where 32 of the 39 graveyards are small private cemeteries.
Mr. Harris' pursuit of this hobby was not confined to Saratoga County for there are similar volumes of inscriptions for Jackson, Jefferson, Lancaster and Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, for Medford, Lexington and Newton, Massachusetts, and for Washington, Connecticut.
Vandals, the weather and the lawnmower have undoubtedly destroyed or effaced many of these stones with the passage of time, so that in some cases these volumes represent the only record available for the genealogist. Only two copies of the Saratoga Epitaphs were prepared. It does not appear whether more than one copy was made of the other volumes. In any event, the Massachusetts Historical Society, and genealogists whose research may lead them to any of these places, are indeed fortunate that at least one set is thus preserved.