Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Tuesday's Folklore Photos - Graveyard Mapping, Recording, and Rubbing

Measuring and mapping the graves.
Today’s Folklore Photos comes from a Heritage Foundation field trip to the General Protestant Cemetery on Topsail Rd, in St. John’s. Yesterday afternoon July 4th, 2016, Dale, Michael, Pei, Celeste, Sarah, and I took a trip to the cemetery to map the cemetery, record the information on the gravestones, and rub some of the stones.
Recording the information.
Pei, an international folklore graduate student, is working with the Heritage Foundation this summer to digitize files. Another project that he is working on is documenting and researching the Chinese graves in the General Protestant Cemetery. Pei is looking for more information on the people buried in the cemetery and is interested in the impact they’ve left on the community.
Plotting the graves.
Yesterday was the first step in finding out more information about the Chinese graves. We measured the location of the 27 graves in relation to one another and the concrete kerbs that are keeping the graves together. Michael plotted this information on a map with each of the graves numbered.
Recording the size, location, symbols, and writing on the gravestones.
Celeste and Sarah mainly focused on recording the information about the graves they could gather leaving the Chinese characters for Pei to decipher. Pei and I reviewed the stones and decided which stones needed to be rubbed in order to gather more information. We used masking tape and put a thick paper over the gravestones. We made sure to keep the paper as taunt as possible in order to have a clearer rubbing of the grave. We then used charcoal to outline the gravestone, and moved across the gravestone horizontally keeping a steady pressure. Once we finished the rubbings we photographed them and rolled the rubbings up for storage. Although rubbings are not always the answer for gravestones they can often allow you to record different information such as the size and shape of the gravestones and can allow you to better see the lettering engraved on the stones.
Sample gravestone rubbing from Cupids.
Demonstrating gravestone rubbing.
If you would like to learn more about mapping cemeteries join the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and Youth Heritage NL on July 16, 2016 for a cemetery mapping workshop, and a cleanup of one of the older cemeteries in Heart’s Content. If you would like more information or would like to register for this free workshop click here!


~Terra Barrett

3 comments:

Carolyn Murray said...

Thank you so very much each and every one of you. My parents were from Southern Harbour and Fox Harbour and so much info has been lost over the years. Mapping, etc. means the world to their ancestors.

Carolyn Murray
USA

Carolyn Murray said...

Thank you everyone for your participation - it means the world to us, the ancestors in the many Newfoundland graves. I live in USA and can't go around searching for info.

Carolyn Murray

Karen said...

I would love to participate in a workshop if one is located in St. John's. I am trying to find a grave at the General Protestant cemetery in St. John's that is photographed in the stonepics directory but I have been unable to locate it. The name on the stone is Maud Bearns. kbearns@hotmail.com