Wednesday, 3 May 2017

2nd May 2017

We have been quietly busy with the creation of the grave reference sheets over the past few weeks – meeting at Sue’s house to share data input sessions. We have had some particularly complicated queries arising from the grave references of the past couple of weeks – suddenly we seemed to have a crop of 2nd husbands and second or even third wives. Sometimes it’s not easy working out who was buried with whom, and why someone with a completely different surname is found in the same burial plot – or why, for example, a man and his daughter were buried in an un-marked grave in part of the churchyard, while his wife and another daughter were buried in another plot a hundred yards away. We were only aware of the connection because the mother and daughter’s headstone commemorated all four. We have found several similar instances where headstone epitaphs have misled us into thinking someone was buried where actually they are not!

The village genealogical database has been so very helpful in untangling some of these anomalies.

High Cross at Grinton Church in Sawleale
Not that we becoming obsessed with gravestones, of course, but to celebrate 40 years since the day we first met, my husband and I spent the day exploring churchyards in beautiful Swaledale recently.

A bold statement from Gunnerside Methodist Chapel
We found considerable similarities in many headstones with those of Wharfedale, but also some local styles that we haven’t yet seen around Craven or Upper Wharfedale, such as the "House" shaped headstones.
A rather more modest example of a "house" style memorial stone at Muker Church

Jane Lunnon

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