Genealogy Chat

Top tip - using the Genes Reunited community

Welcome to the Genes Reunited community boards!

  • The Genes Reunited community is made up of millions of people with similar interests. Discover your family history and make life long friends along the way.
  • You will find a close knit but welcoming group of keen genealogists all prepared to offer advice and help to new members.
  • And it's not all serious business. The boards are often a place to relax and be entertained by all kinds of subjects.
  • The Genes community will go out of their way to help you, so don’t be shy about asking for help.

Quick Search

Single word search

Gift subscriptions

Genes Reunited gift subscription

Do you know someone interested in discovering their family history?

You can now buy a gift subscription to Genes Reunited so they can research their family tree.

Buy gift or redeem gift


  • New posts
  • No new posts
  • Thread closed
  • Stickied, new posts
  • Stickied, no new posts

Gravestone Inscription (direction)

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Lee Report 5 Aug 2013 22:14

Wonder if anyone would have any idea as to why in our local churchyard all the gravestones face the same way but a few of them have the inscriptions on what you might consider to be the back of the stone.

I've tried doing searches online to see if anything comes up but nothing.

Any reasons or suggestions why this would have been done?

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 5 Aug 2013 22:22

Are you able to read the inscriptions.... Were more people added to the grave and their details inscribed on the back of the original stone?

I have only seen this once, in a little village churchyard near Ashford, Kent..... Not somewhere I know, I was checking another grave for a GR member who lived many miles away, so I don't know the history there.



Andysmum Report 5 Aug 2013 22:32

A possible explanation - from Wikipedia

Note that in some UK cemeteries the principal, and indeed only, marker is placed at the foot of the grave.


TootyFruity Report 5 Aug 2013 22:37

I think it has something to do with religion. Are they facing East? If so it may have something to do with the second coming of Jesus as he is suppose to come from the East. When the person rises from the grave he rises to see Jesus.


Lee Report 5 Aug 2013 22:56

Thanks for your replies, Gwyn the inscriptions can be read, they are like all the other stones except they are facing the wrong way (standing at the foot of the grave you will see the plain side of the stone)

In reply to Andysmum and Tootyfruity the graveyard is pretty uniform in its layout, these only few stones only stand out as the inscription appears to be the wrong way.

I could be that they were either placed incorrectly or have fallen over time and be replaced incorrectly.

Might see if I can find any mention of them in the church records.


Andysmum Report 6 Aug 2013 15:04

Intriguing. Is there a local Family History Society? They might know.


Cynthia Report 6 Aug 2013 16:43

In Christian churchyards, the graves are facing East in preparation for the Second Coming of Christ.

Some may seem to be facing the wrong way simply because of the position of the area they are in, and that's why the inscription is on the back.

It seems as though some modern municipal cemeteries are doing away with the practice.

In a similar vein, when a clergyman dies, the coffin is brought in and placed the opposite way round to how you normally see a coffin. This is to show that, as a priest, he was always facing the people when he took a service.

Just thought you may like to know that!! :-D

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 6 Aug 2013 22:18

My eldes brother died aged 3 months and is buried in the childrens area of the local municipal cemetery

he is buried with 5 other children and at that time the 1st .3rd and 5 th child could have headstoones

He was the 1st in and his stone faces the grave so does the 3child which is in the middle but the 5th childs headstone is at the end of the grave with the writing on the same side the others but isnt facing inwards . Its so looking at the grave its grave with 3 headstones all facing the same way

The 5th baby though is behind its memorial not in front of it.