Take, for example, the Willis family, buried in the Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in San Bernardino, CA. It looks ordinary enough, right?
|Photo taken on Oct. 11, 2010 by Tombstone Jack|
This one monument is chock full of genealogy... it contains birth and death information for eleven different people!
The front of the stone gives us information on Henry M. Willis (Sept. 21, 1831 - Sept. 1, 1895) and his wife Amelia who died on Aug. 12, 1889 at the age of 43 years. You can calculate from that, that her year of birth was 1846. Judging by the dates, I'd say these two are the patriarch and matriarch of this particular family grouping.
|Photo by Tombstone Jack - Oct. 11, 2010|
And finally, the fourth side tells us about Edwin A Willis (who died May 28, 1871 at the age of 32 years), Jennie C. Willis (Aug. 3, 1875 - Apr. 9, 1948) and Matilda Willis Condee (Mar. 15, 1862 - May 15, 1948). If Edwin was 32 when he died in 1871, that would mean he was born in 1839. Obviously not a son of Henry M., but perhaps a younger brother? Jennie C. would be another daughter, as would be Matilda. We know Matilda married a Condee, so we have another marriage to research.
|Photo by Tombstone Jack|
This one tombstone answered several questions, raised a few more, and pointed us in the right direction for further research. Isn't that what genealogy is all about? We've got eleven names, birth and death dates, family relationships... and I haven't even touched Google yet!