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Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

Read this stone.

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I had to take it up to its original size and inspect it to confirm that Naomi Dille was 46, not 16, years old when she died on September 16, 1830. It wouldn’t be impossible for a woman to die at 16 already married (I went to graduate school with a woman who first walked down the aisle at age 15), but it did seem unlikely. I can’t put my finger on a good citation right now, but my memory from various history classes is that the average age of marriage for late 18th and early 19th century women in the United States was somewhere in the early 20s, with men’s average age being just slightly higher.

That information aside, this stone is one of the older ones in this cemetery, and is the first one I came across trudging up the hill. Most of the rest are clustered above the road cut. I wonder if it accurately reflects where Naomi is buried (the concrete seems to indicate it has been reset) or whether her actual grave is further up the hill with the people who have lived near her in life.

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Today is my wedding reception. (I did write this post in advance.) One of the current cultural trends that I think has occurred is that tombstones are again becoming more personalized. Modern technology has also made that personalization process much cheaper and affordable to more families than ever before. Now, a computer will do the work of engraving your stone with a precision that would take an expert craftsman much more time to produce.

Part of this surge in personalization is the increased emphasis on wedding dates on markers.

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Noting the marital relationship on a grave stone is nothing new, as we have seen before with the posts on relicts and consorts. But now a lot more couples (or their descendants) are choosing to include not only their birth and death dates, but the date of their marriage.

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It seems like a logical next step in the personalization of tombstones. After birthdays, wedding anniversaries are probably the most celebrated yearly personal events.

Will we choose something similar for ourselves? Hard to say. It is likely that we have some time to decide, and who knows what will be possible/fashionable when we need to pick a style?

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