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What Gravestones Can Tell You About Your Ancestors: A Genealogists Guide

April 6, 2021 @ 7:00 pm

Presented by Lennox and Addington County Museum and Archives

Genealogists know information retrieved from gravestones has a practical application to identify the deceased. However, gravestones, as a research tool, can offer up more information about your ancestors when interpreted correctly. Besides functioning as a memorial to the deceased, gravestones provide insight into nineteenth and twentieth century life. The visual imagery of the gravestone motifs functions as a decorative element, which reaffirm the position of the deceased within the community and celebrate relationships. On an artistic level, gravestones offer insights into popular culture. Motifs were specifically chosen by the carver or family members to communicate messages about the departed and their significance in the community.

In an era when illiteracy was common, carvers relied on the symbols to convey messages of mortality and spirituality to those unable to read. Themes relating to life, death and the hope for everlasting life are just some of the messages portrayed on the stones. Discover the clues and information that gravestones can reveal about your ancestors and the world in which they lived.

About the Presenter:

Laura Suchan, Executive Director at the Oshawa Museum, will be presenting on her work with gravestones in Ontario for this special Zoom meeting. Laura has been the Executive Director for the last 25 years and has spoken publicly at provincial, national and international conferences.




Lennox & Addington County Museum & Archives
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