Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Elizabeth (Dill) Smith in Medfield MA

Elizabeth Horton (Dill) Smith (1794?-1969) was one of my 3rd-great-grandmothers. She married Alpheus B. Smith in 1826 in Medfield MA. I have written a short biography about her, and the mystery about her parentage.

Elizabeth (Dill) Smith's gravestone stands proud in Medfield, Norfolk county, Massachusetts. A friend took this picture of her stone for me back in the early 1990's (thank you, Linda T!):

The inscription on the stone reads:

Erected in Memory
Elizabeth H. Dill
Wife of
Alpheus B. Smith
Died Nov. 15, 1869.
77 years.

When I wrote my biography of Elizabeth two years ago, I did not check this photograph of her gravestone. The age of 77 years implies a birth year of 1792, and not 1794 as implied by the age at death in the Massachusetts Vital Records (in two separate entries).

The two death records also state that Elizabeth's death was on 28 November 1869, not 15 November as shown on the gravestone. So now I have another original source (the gravestone) with secondary information (the death date and age at death, based on someone's memory - probably her daughter's but perhaps her son-in-law's) and direct evidence of a death date and age at death. It figures! The more information I have, the more confused I am. It reminds me of one of my favorite sayings - "I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure that what you heard was exactly what I meant!"

No comments: