List of Useful Items to take with you on the day
- Pencil(s) & rubber, Clipboard
- Index cards (preferred to pads or note book to simplify collating of results). 6"x4" ideal.
- Chalk (block if possible)
- Torch, mirror.
- Stiff brush, scraper (wood) or old knife (last resort)
- Small trowel.
- Shears or secateurs
- Gloves (stinging nettle or other nasties)
- Stool or folding seat (& some sustenance)
- Sun hat & wellies
- Basket or trug and rubbish bag
- Water spray
Take with you a notice, which says who you are and what you are doing.
Method of Working
Before you actually start work, prepare a plan for the day.
- 1.Identify the area that you plan to cover and find out if any part of it has been done before.
- Prepare a map or plan of the area, identifying each plot with a numbered box.
- Elect (if part of a group) an organiser so that:-
• you can arrange to identify ALL of the MI's numerically, with chalk, to match the boxes
• decide who is going to start at which box.
- Work systematically over the area to be done.
- Take care when cleaning difficult or worn stones:-
•brush off loose dust, use water spray
•scrape gently (wooden scraper)
•rub chalk into letter OR across surface 5d use shadow tube, torch or mirror.
- Beware of mis-reading numbers:-
•1, 4 & 7
•3, 5 & S and
•6, 9 & 0
- Learn format and fit inscription to it. Enter details with double line spacing (pages 6+7)
- Do NOT guess at surnames, put them together letter by letter
- Enter surnames in CAPITAL letters
- Cross through the chalk number as each item is completed.
- Tick the box, on the plan, of the MI copied.
- Hand cards back to the organiser to check while you are still there.
Example of the Record Card
Head the card with the Surname(s) which appears on the Inscription.
On the right, name the Cemetery / Churchyard being recorded followed by the 'box' number. The Section details should already be recorded on the working plan.
In / Loving Memory / of/ ANNE / The Wife
of/ John BROWN / who Died Decr 2nd 1891 /
Aged 76 years/
Sandstone Headstone & Footstone
Any other distinguishing features; pto
Note how the forward slash (/) is used to denote a new line on the memorial.
- 1.Check completed cards a. with the map b. with the Burial Registers
- Renumber, if required, the map and cards to provide continuity.
- Type cards into 'computer' in numerical order
- Put cards into alpha, order for search index. For onward production of 'fiche and / or CD-ROM files, the following may require some changes.
- Trace map onto thick tracing paper for extra copies to be made.
- Duplicate, photocopy, scan etc for fellow volunteers.
- Make sure that the churchyard / cemetery 'manager' receives a copy of your 'map' and subsequently a copy of the 'polished' article. This will ensure that anybody with like plans, does not copy the same material.
Materials Used for Memorials
- a. Sandstone, b. Limestone, c. Marble, d. Granite (or composite).
- a. Metal, usually copper alloys, b. Lead, usually for lettering.
- Marble or Granite chips, used with Kerbstone surrounds.
Thank you very much for viewing these pages.
Having taken whatever notes you may require, I hope that you realise that, until you try it, you will not know how much pleasure can be derived by being out in the fresh air, with pleasant company, doing something which may "unearth" one of your own ancestral links.
Remember that many churches, and therefore their churchyards, were accompanied by some form of hostelry. A lunchtime break with a glass of amber and a sandwich will also help to pass the time and hopefully encourage you to go back and help finish the work.
Whatever happens that may dampen your spirits,
Don't give up easily