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Genealogy

A guide to selected genealogical resources at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library.

Introduction

Gravestone inscriptions provide birth and death information and offer family relationship clues. The only record of an immigrant's original surname may appear on that person's headstone. However, as secondary sources, gravestone inscriptions can contain errors. Genealogical and historical societies and various individuals have transcribed and published cemetery inscriptions. The Systematic Series of Massachusetts vital records relied on information from headstones and other sources. Printed town records and histories sometimes contain epitaphs. Tombstone decorations offer insight into the deceased's economic status, occupation, religious affiliation, interests, and organizational memberships.

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