Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Cleaning Stone Grave Markers

Part of preserving our cemeteries is to try and preserve the stone grave markers that show the final resting places of our ancestors.  Part of taking care of these cemeteries is to keep these stones clean, which can also help when trying to read the stone grave marker.

Since I am far from an expert in this field, I decided to do some research so that I can try to provide you with the best possible information.  One of the things I found was this wonderful video that was made by a man named Jason Church.  This video shows how to properly clean a grave marker and also comes with an accompaning pdf document that gives the same information.  You can find this video at:

After all my research, I've noticed that one thing has rang true:
Never, ever, under any circumstances, spray, pour, scratch, or rub anything onto the stone.  This could cause further damage.  Contact an expert in cemeteries and stone work and ask that person to help.  If you have the money, the best thing might be to have a new stone created that lists the same information and is placed slightly in front of the old stone.  This way, there is a new stone that will probably last a bit longer than your old one.

For those of you who want to have a rubbing of the stone, please - buy a kit.  I know that these kits can get a bit pricey, but if you are going to rub the stone then you midaswell do it correctly.  By buying a kit from a genealogy store and following the instructions that are included, you can rest easy knowing that you are not furthering any damage to the stone.

Remember, these stones are old and fragile.  Time, weather, and pollution has probably damaged these stones and it is best to make sure that you take all the cautionary steps.  By doing all of these things, you will be making one of your descendants very happy when they come searching for the stone.

1 comment:

jchurch said...

I am glad you liked the video and that it was helpful. The main goal of the NCPTT videos is to help the cemetery enthusiast have the tools they need. If you ever have questions or need anything feel free to contact me, jason_church@contractor.nps.gov
I am always happy to help anyone interested in cemeteries. I like your blog, the whole Graveyard Rabbit group seems really fun.