I was a first-time cemetery reader recently. I enjoyed hanging out with the silent ones, and there were a few things I learned about the fine art of cemetery readings for genealogical societies.
- Take a clip board and a couple of writing instruments
- Have a water bottle and a snack with you
- Wear work gloves
- Wear comfortable walking shoes that can get dirty
- Be ready with a trowel, and possibly even, a shovel. Some readers take a broom, I used my gloved hand
The headstones may be buried. They may be beneath upwards of 6 to 8″ of dirt and sod. Most of the headstones will be covered with debris.You will need to uncover the marker enough to read it.
Remember in the Jewish sections, to be particularly respectful of the stones left upon the grave marker. The stones and rocks were left there on purpose.
There will be mistakes you find on the original transcription, if you are updating, and you will find grave markers that should not have been missed the first time through.
Sometimes there are additional markings and names and dates on the backsides of tombstones, so you must read both sides.