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Duplicate Records & Chalk???

I have been finding lots of duplicate records. Is there a way they can be combined?

Also, a trick my sister-in-law told me was to color over the headstone with chalk.  It doesn't hurt the stone and it makes it more readable.


Best Answer

I have used chalk on my own family headstones. I only use non-toxic children's sidewalk chalk.  That washes off rather easily with a good rainstorm. 


Chalk is not recommended, by cemetery standards. However, if these are my own family and their stones are so well worn down that they are nearly unreadable, I have figured that I can do this as it may be the ONLY chance of getting a photo of them. Most of my family are buried in the South, where the humidity and heat do far more damage than anything a little chalk could do to them. (That's the way I look at it anyway. ) Plus, as I am traveling five to six states away by airplane to remote places in the south, I can hardly pack a soft brush, water and proper chemicals with me to clean every stone.  None of these areas have a Walmart or local store close by either, as they are VERY remote, some on private property, others just plain out in the sticks! As cemetery headstone standards also state that this process of cleaning the stone should take a few weeks...I don't have a few weeks to clean them properly only a matter of minutes. 


My rule of thumb is this...if it is your own kin, tread lightly. If it is someone else's kin, do not place anything on the stone. If these are historical markers before 1900, I would tread very very lightly or not at all. (Donna, also had a great point about using foil...This I will have to try sometime)...Some stones may not be readable in the light, but when you bring photos back home, you may be able to make out who the stones belong to.  


Here is my cases in point: The first couple of clips show some of my photos with chalk. (These are my own family members...don't judge ;).)  The second clips show markers that were impossible to read when I took photos of the marker in the cemetery. I still can't make out the epitaph, but going over cemetery records in the cemetery book, I figured out who they belong to.  These are the other attachments. 


The stone for Laird B. Boyd was nearly impossible to read in the cemetery. This was not a family member so I do not chalk those whom I am not related to by blood. I also didn't think I would be able to read it. However, I have copies in a book of the Cemeteries of Maury County-Greenwood Cemetery. You can make out the last name Boyd and the death date January 1845. By going in the cemetery book, I was able to find the record of his death and add it accordingly. I just make sure that I add this extra bit of information in the notes section. This lets people know that it does not come out of thin air. This can also be a case where Find A Grave can come in handy.  However, use this site with a bit of caution, as many of their transcriptions are either off or not accurate. I used this method in the Greenwood Cemetery in Maury County, Tennessee. However, the headstone photos themselves on this site are not too good, plus 3 of every 5 records I looked up had some wrong dates listed, that either did not match the stone, or the book or both. 


The second stone you can barely make out the words Mary Elizabeth and Emily Guest on the stone. Once again looking at the cemetery book for Maury County, I found a Mary Elizabeth Guest in the records who died in 1848. (Find A Grave and the book has this record wrong in that it states the death month as November..the stone clearly says July.) 


BillionGraves strives to be the most accurate website for headstone data.  We believe VERY strongly in documentation and preservation of cemetery data. 



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PLEASE do not rub chalk or any other substance on old (or new) stones. It can harm them a good deal, and other things like shaving cream and food stuffs can actually change the chemistry of the surface and cause futher loss of surface. Also do not do a "rubbing". One thing that can work is to use a sheet of aluminum foil and go over it gently pressing down and then you can read the stone. If you do that take a photo of the foil transfer after you take a image of the actual stone.  Use a spray of clean water, change the angle of your shot, wait for the light to be better. 


As for duplicate records, this link gives the gist of what you need to do:


https://support.billiongraves.com/support/solutions/articles/35000032385-how-do-i-merge-duplicate-records- 


DS

1st of all, I don't think it matters about the chalk at the point I was using it.  Most stones are unreadable and if this helps I don't see any harm.  The stone is already wore down or unreadable so it certainly can't hurt the chemistry.  Why would anyone use shaving cream or food?  That's just weird.

Answer

I have used chalk on my own family headstones. I only use non-toxic children's sidewalk chalk.  That washes off rather easily with a good rainstorm. 


Chalk is not recommended, by cemetery standards. However, if these are my own family and their stones are so well worn down that they are nearly unreadable, I have figured that I can do this as it may be the ONLY chance of getting a photo of them. Most of my family are buried in the South, where the humidity and heat do far more damage than anything a little chalk could do to them. (That's the way I look at it anyway. ) Plus, as I am traveling five to six states away by airplane to remote places in the south, I can hardly pack a soft brush, water and proper chemicals with me to clean every stone.  None of these areas have a Walmart or local store close by either, as they are VERY remote, some on private property, others just plain out in the sticks! As cemetery headstone standards also state that this process of cleaning the stone should take a few weeks...I don't have a few weeks to clean them properly only a matter of minutes. 


My rule of thumb is this...if it is your own kin, tread lightly. If it is someone else's kin, do not place anything on the stone. If these are historical markers before 1900, I would tread very very lightly or not at all. (Donna, also had a great point about using foil...This I will have to try sometime)...Some stones may not be readable in the light, but when you bring photos back home, you may be able to make out who the stones belong to.  


Here is my cases in point: The first couple of clips show some of my photos with chalk. (These are my own family members...don't judge ;).)  The second clips show markers that were impossible to read when I took photos of the marker in the cemetery. I still can't make out the epitaph, but going over cemetery records in the cemetery book, I figured out who they belong to.  These are the other attachments. 


The stone for Laird B. Boyd was nearly impossible to read in the cemetery. This was not a family member so I do not chalk those whom I am not related to by blood. I also didn't think I would be able to read it. However, I have copies in a book of the Cemeteries of Maury County-Greenwood Cemetery. You can make out the last name Boyd and the death date January 1845. By going in the cemetery book, I was able to find the record of his death and add it accordingly. I just make sure that I add this extra bit of information in the notes section. This lets people know that it does not come out of thin air. This can also be a case where Find A Grave can come in handy.  However, use this site with a bit of caution, as many of their transcriptions are either off or not accurate. I used this method in the Greenwood Cemetery in Maury County, Tennessee. However, the headstone photos themselves on this site are not too good, plus 3 of every 5 records I looked up had some wrong dates listed, that either did not match the stone, or the book or both. 


The second stone you can barely make out the words Mary Elizabeth and Emily Guest on the stone. Once again looking at the cemetery book for Maury County, I found a Mary Elizabeth Guest in the records who died in 1848. (Find A Grave and the book has this record wrong in that it states the death month as November..the stone clearly says July.) 


BillionGraves strives to be the most accurate website for headstone data.  We believe VERY strongly in documentation and preservation of cemetery data. 



20185551.jpg
(500 KB)
23278835.jpg
(616 KB)
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