Grave rubbings is a hobby common in genealogy. People interested in their family history sometimes make rubbings of their ancestors’ grave markers as a way of preserving it as art. I don’t know where most of my ancestors are buried, so that’s not something I’ve been able to do with my genealogical research; however, that doesn’t mean it’s not something that is a satisfying way to spend an afternoon.
Some friends and I went to the memorial at Tippecanoe Battlefield, not far from Lafayette, Indiana. Many of the graves had gorgeous stone carvings and we took a box of crayons specifically saved for this purpose. We wandered the graveyard for about three hours, looking for designs and my friend’s ancestors. It was sobering to know that so many people died there, but we came home with some beautiful reminders of our trip. Sadly, when researching for this post, I couldn’t find the file where I stored them, so clearly I need to do some more filing. But the memory of the day, and spending time with a friend who herself has now passed on, is bright in my mind.
I found an interesting article in Family Tree Magazine that details how to make grave rubbings, if you’re not familiar with the practice. As I said, I keep a special box of crayons (one of the deluxe ones with all the colors, I might add) for the purpose. It’s even got bold writing on the lid, “for rubbings only.”