Posts Tagged ‘language’

When we traveled to Boston and Salem in the fall of 2018, I was of course excited at the opportunities to explore some of the oldest cemeteries in North America. I also realized I needed to brush back up on my cemetery symbolism and language. As I’ve written before, when a woman is described as the consort of her husband on a gravestone, she usually predeceased him. If he predeceased her, the inscription may refer to her as a relict, an old-fashioned word for widow.

Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts
Copp’s Hill Burying Ground, Boston, Massachusetts
Old Burying Point, Salem, Massachusetts

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Cozad (2)

Cozad (3)

I’ve always been a big fan of language and enjoyed learning about how it develops. If you followed this blog in its first incarnation, you know that I’m particularly fascinated by some of the archaic words and phrases you can find on tombstones.

Anna (2)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

One of my favorite examples of old language is the use of “consort” in place of “wife” when the wife predeceased the husband.

Dunlap Sarah (2)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Dunlap Sarah (3)//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

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The hieroglyphics on this stone appear to be accurate – the Woodland Cemetery website mentions that a translation exists in the office. There’s not a lot of information about who Marjorie Jones was other than a description of “insurance agent.”

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This Erkenbrecher monument is in Spring Grove Cemetery. The classical woman figure has paused in her writing – perhaps to grieve?


Angling the camera correctly, I was able to capture a photograph of the tablet on which she has been writing…but it is in German. I have minimal German capabilities. Can anyone read this more skillfully than I am able?



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