Carved in stone, and wrong

Abraham HUFFORD, son of Abraham HUFFORD and Elizabeth PLANK, and grandson of Casper HOFFERT (b. 1762) died in 1893 in Clinton County, Indiana.

According to his gravestone, he died Dec. 26, 1893. You can see a photo of that gravestone at his findagrave page, here:

I saw that gravestone with my own eyes, a decade or so back. It’s located in a small cemetery that is framed by wire fencing and behind a big, metal swinging gate. It’s set back from a side road in Clay Township, Carroll County, Indiana, behind an area where cows are allowed to graze. Visiting the cemetery means walking with care to avoid cow patties, but I’ve seen that gravestone with my own eyes.

And I’ve seen the entry for the man in the 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY. It’s on page 72, in the lower right corner. There is a photo of Abraham with his wife. Beneath the photo are the clear words, “Died December 26, 1893.”

Yesterday I saw the following, in the December 19, 1893, issue of THE GOSPEL MESSENGER, on page 799:

The gravestone got it wrong. The 1909 HUFFORD FAMILY HISTORY got it wrong. Presumably, the newspaper story published seven days before the date carved in stone on his gravestone got it right, but for sure the man was dead before the date that shows on his gravestone. One-hundred twenty-seven years, and the correct date is back in play.

1 thought on “Carved in stone, and wrong

  1. Good work, Alice! I could cite some other examples of gravestone errors from various of my own families. I would wager that Abraham’s stone is clearly one of a symmetrical pair (same style, the one headed “Father” and the other “Mother”) commissioned some time after Elizabeth’s death. By that point, memories had evidently grown a bit dim as to exact date of Abraham’s death. Then when the Hufford History was being compiled, the information supplied from the book likely came from a descendant who referred to the tombstone inscription without realizing that it was wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s