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Monumental Inscriptions or Memorial Inscriptions or Gravestones are an important source of information. Not only will they give the date the person died but they will in some cases have details of other family members, husbands, wives and children.

One of the exercises being carried out by the Society is the collection of data from Monumental Inscriptions, which is then published in different volumes. You can refer to the Publications Page for details of the volumes we currently have available. Over 30 different areas in Cumbria are available and more are being added through the voluntary efforts of society members.

Fortunately many churchyards in Cumbria have had the Inscriptions recorded, though as some of the records can be up to 200 years old some updating may be required. It is also unfortunate that in many church yards the headstones have been removed from thier original locations and stacked against walls so that the burial areas can be grassed over. They say it is for health and safety reasons, but it has altered the church yard and the groupings of stones has now been lost which could be a useful indicator of family connections. It also makes it much more difficult to read and record the stones that have been stacked in this way.

Whilst some transcriptions have been put on line, they can be difficult to find as they are often on personal websites and they may dissapear without notice if the owner decides not to maintain them any longer. Examples will be added to the Parish Map pages as they are located Parish Map page , if there are any Monumental Inscriptions known to exist for a parish then there will be a note and link in the first section of the relevant page. If you find any website with transcriptions of the Church Yard Monumental Inscriptions then please send the details to the Webmaster, you can do this via the contacts page or from the links submission page at the bottom of the links page.

I will however make a reference to one volume that has been made available by Google which is the 1888 book by Edward Bellasis where he recorded the Monumental Inscriptions and Memorials in 32 parishes in Westmorland in his book Westmorland Church notes, you can view the two volumes at Hathi Trust - Westmorland Church Notes 1888 by Bellasis.

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Cumbria FHS
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