Stories of Stone
It is said that there are "stories in the stones" and this photograph of a family gravestone in Scotland has been telling me stories for the forty years I have owned it. Not everyone who is listed on this gravestone is buried under it. Scots record their family histories on the stones and as you can see, those stories will soon be lost because the stones will be unreadable. This is why I am a gravestone photographer.
I was entranced by this photograph and inspired to learn more about my paternal family that lived in an area of Scotland known for its quarries of granite. Since most of my Scots family in America worked with granite in some way, I knew that their story must have granite beginnings. My paternal great grandfather, whose first wife JANE HANNAH is the reason for this stone, was a monumental mason. He didn't spend all of his time carving the stone for he had eleven children. His first wife was my ancestor and she bore him seven children and his second wife HELEN TAIT bore him the rest. As step-mother to my grandfather, Helen and her family were important because those children gave me information about my family and Helen's brother took my grandfather, Thomas, in when he left home at seventeen to travel to Edinburgh and eventually to come to America in 1904.
John's father, THOMAS BROADFOOT and his wife MARGARET HARCOMB are pivotal to my Scottish story because it is their names that became my father's name, which was THOMAS HARCOMB BROADFOOT. Thomas and Margaret were the furthest back ancestors known to my family when I began my research. They, too, are buried in Dalbeattie Cemetery in Dalbeattie, Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland.
Last year, a family member told me that they had a more recent photograph of the stone. I was delighted to see it, not just because of the additional names and dates on the stone but to finally be able to approximately date the original photograph to after 5 Nov 1928 before 22 Dec 1929 or 23 July 1943.
Word count: 347