Take for example the case of the Good Family Marker. On August 15 1979, the marker was unveiled at the Flat Rock Church of the Brethren’s Homecoming Sunday service. The church, located in Forestville, Virginia, included the unveiling ceremony in its program that Sunday morning. The marker read:
William Good 1737 – 1806
And Wife Maria Snavely 1740 -1831
Early Pioneers of the Tunker
Brethren in Virginia And Descendents.
Erected by William Conrad Good
And Other Descendents
The marker was in inscribed in German.
“Hier Ruht Marie Guth. in Sie ist Gestorben Augst den 10, 1822. Ald 82 Jahr 1 Monat 6 Tag.“
Roughly translated it said, “Here lies Marie Guth, Died August 10, 1822. Age 82 Years, 1 Month and 6 Days.”
The death date is confirmed by a will that was proved October 7, 1822 for Mary Good, which can be found in the Shenandoah County Will Book M, Page 94.
The story, which was told by June Hulvey in her book, “The William Good Family,” does not say how the error came to be, but clearly a descendent reading the marker and going no further, would come away with an incorrect death date for Maria.
That incorrect death date might lead someone to overlook Maria’s will. It might lead to confusion on just who Maria’s children were, and in effect, it might change the history of a family. Mistakes happen on markers. They happen in obituaries. And they even happen on death records. Whenever possible, it is always good to keep digging, even after you have found your prize, just to confirm the accuracy of your find.
The marker, which originally rested on the property of the Flat Rock Church, was moved to the Flat Rock Cemetery about a half mile away.
Flat Rock Cemetery