Reading Gravestones

Discussion in 'Research Hints' started by kernowmaid, Sep 30, 2019.

  1. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    I have found that it is often easier to read a gravestone from its photograph, rather than in the field.

    It has been suggested to me that putting TALCUM POWDER on the stone will make it easier to read.
    Does anyone know if this is NOT okay?
    I would hate to damage the stone - I'm already wary of removing ivy & haven't found a solution for lichen ...

    Jane
     
  2. ColinA

    ColinA Well-Known Member

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    There are plenty of websites which will give advice. I would NOT put any powder on a stone. Once I had to make several visits to read a headstone and one day the sun was just right and I managed. As for ivy etc. if you look at many family history MI books they will say illegible which can include being covered in lichen etc.

    On the other hand I found this. I volunteer for them but I'm not sure I agree with it all.
    Code:
    http://www.gravestonephotos.com/volunteers/photographingtips.php
     
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  3. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    Take a bottle of water and pour that over the inscription. The writing is easier to read if it is wet.
    Another, is to take a pencil and some plain white paper, place the paper over the inscription and rub the paper with the pencil. I’m sure you did that at school over a coin or similar.
     
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  4. kernowmaid

    kernowmaid Well-Known Member

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    I didn't need water - it was soaking wet!
    And still difficult to read at the time - but the photo, when enlarged, was clear (I've tried to upload it, but it's "too large").

    I didn't like the idea of using talc - but that's what the ladies at the Heritage Centre recommended.
    Thanks, Colin, for the link - I shall commit the info to memory!

    Jane
     
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  5. mikejee

    mikejee Well-Known Member

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    Occasionally I have found with faint inscriptions (though not sure about gravestones), that the negative version of the photo (through photo processing program) is slightly easier to read.
     
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  6. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    I take iphone photos - it frequently takes me hours of fiddling and pondering on the laptop once back home, but I get there in the end.

    Always try and get the sun behind you when taking pictures, not behind the stone. This is easier said than done if you have no idea of the location of the headstone until you get there and the road trip has taken you several hours. I have been known to slip out of an hotel at 4am in summer and drive back to a graveyard to photograph a particular headstone when I knew the light would be good, having given up the evening before.

    Pencil (a nice soft 6B or thereabouts, or a conte crayon) for paper rubbing. (This is what my mum used to make me do as a child, for some historical article or other - sit rubbing and gleaning info from gravestones. It was marginally less boring than the alternative - cleaning the brass from around the fireplace).

    I find it is easier to feel the letters with the fingertips, bit like reading Braille.
     
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  7. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    I've used kitchen foul before now. Please a piece on the stone and gently press it into the inscription. Worked for me.
     
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  8. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    The poor chook.......I hope you didn’t squash her too much.
     
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  9. mugwortismy cat

    mugwortismy cat Tenacious to the End!

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    :p:D
     
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  10. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    Just the other day I read that talcum powder will damage some stones so do not use it. Wish I could remember the site that had the information on it :(, but it did say it will pit some of the stones.
     
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  11. ColinA

    ColinA Well-Known Member

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    You made my day! :D
     
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  12. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    She put up a brave fight but I won in the end :D

    (Stupid predictive text :oops:)
     
  13. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    upload_2019-9-30_18-25-29.png

    I know I'm off piste - sorry :D
     
  14. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    Thank you - I've had a somewhat difficult day and this has made me laugh a lot!
     
  15. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    I thought I'd got rid of the evidence :rolleyes:
     
  16. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    What did you do - bury it?....:eek:
     
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  17. Chimp

    Chimp Moderator & Cheeky Human IMP Staff Member

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    Ate it :D
     
  18. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    I enjoy "stupid predictive test", if makes me feel better when I merely hit the wrong key to get the same result. No Stupid predictive text on my keyboard, only myself to blame--it means many edits here & there. :rolleyes:
     
  19. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Now I feel a real dimwit. I thought it was a cleaning product.

    :nailbiting:
     
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  20. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    There is an advert here where a lady wipes her kitchen counter top with raw chicken to prove that you might as well use that as use a kitchen sponge. Same amount of bacteria.
    So no....you aren’t a dimwit at all.:)
     

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