Sunday, August 16, 2015

Common design of gravestones, two versions


In this cemetery this is a common design of the gravestones. 
The top part has a decoration and above that the date of death according to the Hebrew calendar.
Underneath you find the text describing the deceased and within that text the given name of the person who died and the given name of her/his father.

Many stones have sunk into the ground through the years, and  during my first visits the bottom part was also often covered by vegetation . It was hard to know where the text on the stone ended.

After the the cemetery was cleaned in 2012,  I could see more of the lower part during my later visits and discovered that some additional stones have a family name that I had not seen earlier. 
To confirm this, one of theLubaczow descendants  wrote that she had heard the family name was often at the bottom of the stone, like this:

Here are some examples.

Elias STEINER died in 1925

 Abraham GABEL died in 1933

 Rachel STORCH died in 1940

Markus WINTER died in 1938

When did this custom start of writing the family name at the bottom?
The earliest are from right after the year 1900 (FRISER /FRIESER family), with most from the 1920's and the 1930's.

How widespread was it ?

In my opinion, this second version does give some hope for future identification for more graves.

PS. The first example of a family name written on the back of a gravestone, in Latin letters, is that of the Medical Doctor who died in 1885 . Unfortunately it is not possible to read that name.

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