What is Wrong with this Tombstone?

Look closely at the picture above. Do you see what is wrong with it?

Christiana Haag’s gravestone is in the Old Mission Church Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.

42 Comments

Makes you wonder which is wrong, month or day or the whole thing.

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    Also looks like the wife’s name was changed after chiseling out the former wife’s name. Pretty obvious chisel marks). Two wives in same grave???

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It’s the famous 31st of February that occurs every year ending in 1869!

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    Huh??? Never heard that before; please explain OR:
    February 30, 1712, came into existence in Sweden when the Julian calendar was restored and 2 leap days were added that year. Sweden’s final conversion to the Gregorian calendar occurred in 1753.

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There is no February 31!

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Well did she die on the last day of Feb or 2nd day of March…..

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Odd date shown. But it took several looks to notice. Hope more bits of evidence can be found to clarify.

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There is no February 31. LOL

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Her name’s not on it!

Sent from my iPhone

>

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Too early for poisson d’avril … February hath not 31 days… not even in leap year

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Not only is the date bogus, the lettering seems way to dark for the age of the stone. It looks like there are still paint drippings on the bottom!

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I’ve actually run into this same Month and Day in at least 1 other document in my research, and wondered if they knew something that I didn’t.

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She aged?? He must have put her through a lot!

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First, it looks like someone took magic marker to it. Then there’s the date…

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Kind of makes me wonder if she died Jan 31 and since the stone might have been done in Feb he might have got confused. Kind of like writing 2017 during the month of January.

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There is no such date as February 31st.

Erick Montgomery Executive Director Historic Augusta, Inc. P. O. Box 37 Augusta, GA 30903 (706) 724-0436 – voice (706) 724-3083 – fax Erick@historicaugusta.org

On Wed, Feb 7, 2018 at 12:27 PM, Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter wrote:

> Dick Eastman posted: ” Look closely at the picture above. Do you see what > is wrong with it? Christiana Haag’s gravestone is in the Old Mission Church > Cemetery in Upper Sandusky, Ohio.” >

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Perhaps she died on 13th Feb and the engraver has transposed… do any other records which might survive give a clue (eg death cert, burial record, Will).

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Obviously, she was born on Dec 31, 1834.

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Not uncommon to find an incorrect tombstone has been repurposed for another purpose like a garden or home foundation, only to be found decades later with people believing some poor soul was buried without a marker.

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A great reminder to genealogists that even tombstones are not always accurate.

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    Correct, Steven! 🙂 My maternal gr-grandmother’s, for one example. Her grave marker has her born in 1876, before her parents arrived in the US (1882) with her four eldest living siblings. She was the second child born in the US in 1885, and in the MN state census she’s listed as two months old (that is correct); there is county birth info on her brother who was born before her, but not for her or the brother born after her. Her death certificate has the correct birth date and correct death date, but the person who filled it out subtracted her age incorrectly and her age at death listed is two years off. (A first cousin and I share her birthday.)

    There are other examples in my database of incorrect headstones, but that’s the one that stands out for me since she’s in my direct line. It’s also why I keep a little pocket calculator by my laptop and verify ages listed whether I “know” them to be correct or not, no matter what the genealogy database says about the correct age listed.

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I guess you had to be there.

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Why do I think that a black felt pen has been at work?

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Old dating. Perhaps February used to be April but then again, April doesn’t have 31 days. I don’t know – but I feel that the calendar was different then.

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    Well, not in 1839…, but we did go to the Julian calendar in 1752 since we were a colony of England at the time (the Declaration of Independence came later, as did the Revolutionary War). That’s why early colonial New England records often have a double dating system for dates between Jan 1 – March 24 since March 25 was New Year’s Day under the Gregorian calendar.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Old_Style_and_New_Style_dates

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Didn’t know that Ohio used a different calendar in 1869

Dave

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    Aha! in 1861 the Gregorian calendar was substituted with the Julian calendar adding about 11 days … ‘As of the start of 1861, the Gregorian calendar was 12 days ahead of the Julian … ” from an On This Day site…
    After the 15th comment I remembered thomas Jefferson who was in the Gregorian calendar born on April 2nd; the Julian date moved it forward … So the lady from Ohio died just as the calendars were switched … and some lamebrain didn’t think before applying chisel to stone…. thus her death date is indeed chiseled in stone with the incorrect date….

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    Yeah, we sometimes do weird things in Ohio, but most of us know that February has never had 31 days!
    Christine

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I’m always curious why families leave mistakes on grave stones? But at least this mistake is obvious! I recently found a government document written by one of my 3rd gr grandparents’ sons. It included the death dates for his parents, but these don’t match the dates on their headstones.

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I just looked into a death certificate with a part filled in by the Examiner’s Office. Date of Death 17 Jan 1991, date signed 3 Jan 1991. This tombstone is a classic example with a major problem of Find a Grave and Billion Graves, and every other tombstone service online. It requires an individual to actually visit the site. This is because an examination must be made of other tombstones around your ancestors stone. You will notice in this picture that someone with the same surname is behind this stone. What if the original stone that was very worn was replaced with this stone and the original stone was left. I just seen an example of this 3 days ago. Many times part of the original stone is worn so much that the person replacing the information gives corrupted dates. Lots of possibilities but seeing the whole picture of surrounding graves might help.

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It also looks like her first name was added as an after-thought, and not by the same engraver.

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One of my daughters is a leap year baby so I saw it right away. A big ooops on the family and/or headstone stonemason! And being a Wolverine, it doesn’t surprise me, Dave, that the Ohio Buckeyes haven’t caught up with the rest of the country and changed to the “new” Gregorian calendar. 🙂

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The engraver could have meant to put Feb. 21st instead of Feb. 31st.

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Newspapers.com has references off and on to this tombstone as far back as 1886, even then they didn’t know why!

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Actual death date is Dec 31st, 1869, per a local newspaper from that time……
https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/70242645

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Her FAG memorial 70242645 lists 31 Dec 1869 as her actual date of death, referring to the Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Center Obit Index

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The explanation that I got for such strange dates was that the stones were started in advance, when the doctor said something like “she’ll be dead in three days” and somebody added three days onto that day’s date, never even consulting a calendar. There is one grave in a cemetery near us with a death date of Feb. 30.

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Looks to me like was not an old Haag just a young one.

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