A9: Visit your local cemetery

You can find out a lot about an area from it's cemetery. Many graveyards are very old, and full of interesting gravestones. Read carefully what is written on the gravestones and see if you can find any interesting stories.

How about these two examples? The first is from Nettleham Churchyard, in Lincolnshire:



What is the story behind this gravestone? And where would you go to find out more? I'm sure the local papers from January 1732 would be a good place to start!

Much more mundane gravestones can be just as challenging. Look at this one, from Great Hale Churchyard, in Lincolnshire:



At first sight this seems a perfectly normal gravestone - Robert Freeman, and his wife Mary. But what if we look at the other side?



What tragedy lies behind the story on this gravestone? Four children all dying under two years old! How old were the parents when each of these children died? What does that tell us about family life in the C19th? And this is in the countryside, not one of those new industrial towns where mortality was so high.

What stories can you discover in your local graveyard?

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