We received an email from a viewer of our Shrimplin Cemetery video on the site Exploring Almost Forgotten Gravesites in Ohio He offered some suggestions about the proper way to acquire a grave stone memorial or grave stone rubbing.
We agree that you must be respectful of the stones by assessing the condition and making sure you are completely prepared to conduct a proper grave stone rubbing. Also, it is good practice to inquire about the cemetery rules for doing rubbings. Stone rubbings can be quite beautiful and a good addition to the family genealogy. It important to be smart about how you do it.
This is what our viewer says:
The oldest stones in Ohio are often sandstone and with their age and weathering, they are easily damaged beyond repair. In subsequent years, limestone was used as grave markers, and it too is highly susceptible damage. As rail lines were built, granite followed as a preferred stone for grave markers and would be much safer for rubbings, but if you would look closely at many granite stones, you will see deterioration of the edges of the etchings of the transcriptions. Acid rain causes grave stones to deteriorate much quicker than common sense and causal observation would dictate.
I think carefully staged photographs – good lighting or a splash of water – do a better job of recording the information on grave markers and avoid any potential for damage. I believe this is a consensus view among grave stone preservation specialists.
Here is the book he recommends:
We would like to thank our view for the stone rubbing information. And remember to always be respectful when you are visiting the cemeteries.