Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Wordless Wednesday: "Carved in Stone" Date Is Wrong

My great-great-uncle Joseph Jacobs (1864-1918) did not die on November 22, 1919, as his headstone at Mt. Zion Cemetery in Queens, NY, indicates. He was the younger brother of my great-great-grandma Tillie Rose Jacobs Mahler (1857?-1952).

Actually, Joe died 98 years ago, on November 3, 1918, but his headstone was erected just over a year later. The date carved in stone reflects the date of "unveiling" the stone, not the date that great-great-uncle Joe died.

How did I find out the truth? I obtained Joe's death cert and I also checked with the cemetery. But the "age 54 years" part of the stone is entirely true.

Now I know: Dates "carved in stone" aren't always correct, so dig deeper to confirm.


  1. How interesting that the unveiling date ended up on the stone. Good thing you continued to explore other records!

  2. At least the "carved in stone" date helped narrow down this ancestor's death date.

  3. Who ordered the stone? Is there a reason someone would choose the unveiling date instead of death date? Family historians have enough problems without people messing with dates like this !

  4. So many questions, so few answers, Wendy. After 98 years, I feel lucky to have his real death date and have visited his final resting place. So let's remind future generations: Be careful what you have carved in stone!