This stone for Riley Rampley in Buckeye Cemetery, Hancock County, Illinois is somewhat faded (and my picture is not the best). It indicates that he was born on 25 August 1835 and died on 27 March 1893.

The stone with Riley and his wife (shown below) provides the same information, except that it indicates he was born in 1825.

The 1835 date is consistent with other records. Of course, the tombstones do not provide primary information for Riley’s date of birth (or Nancy’s either), given when they were likely put on the graves.

Riley’s “solo” stone could be considered primary information on his date of death, assuming that it was erected closely to the time he died. It could still be incorrect–remember that classification as either primary or secondary does not indicate that the information is accurate.

The “joint” stone, probably erected after Nancy’s death, would contain primary information on her death, but not on Riley’s as it was erected thirty years after his death.

Riley also has a military stone–giving him three stones in the same cemetery.

They all should be transcribed as they are inscribed. Any comments about the perceived accuracy of an individual stone’s information should be made in such a way as to make it clear what was on the stone and what was not.

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