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One of the most noteable memorials in the Kirkyard - M09

The Old Memorials at the graves in Monikie Kirkyard, in Angus, Scotland.

August 2000

This page was last revised on - 09 December, 2014

This is a Genealogy Site The graveyard, or Kirkyard which surrounds Monikie Parish Kirk on three sides, has memorials dating back to the 1600's and is still in use today in a second extension.  The original yard is where the oldest stones are still to be found, although weather and air pollution are taking an increasing toll on their condition.  The webmaster decided to get such existing lists as were available and to collate a list of the information on the memorials before their condition deteriorates any further.

With extensive assistance from others, the webmaster has created a webpage of the inscriptions and names appearing on the gravestones in the original section of the kirkyard  (link below). The two later extensions may eventually be entered, too - any volunteers?  This 'new' collection was originally sourced from partial lists published by the Scottish Genealogical Society, and a by W. D. Chisholm, former minister of the parish and author of "The Monikie Story", many years ago.

The information from these sources was compared and clearly showed discrepancies in the interpretation of the inscriptions on the stones.  Further, some readers will be aware that the S.G.S. list was produced using a different 'rules' (pre-1855 events.)  That of W.D.C. was 'influenced' by his local knowledge of family and place names, which might otherwise have been difficult for the public S.G.S. members to read.

Being a member of Tay Valley Family History Society the webmaster asked and gratefully acknowledges the help he has received from fellow members, and others, in bringing these records up-to-date.  In particular, M. N. has re-surveyed the stones and found much information which was missing in the source lists.  This survey was a problem in many cases as the inscriptions on the stones have further deteriorated from the S.G.S. inspection in 1974 and that by W.D.C. in 1980.

At this date (09 December, 2014) it was decided to put the current list online as this task is very nearly completed - if it ever can be!  The work of M.N. (by his decision) should still be checked by another, and that may result in a few alterations later on.  Researchers are invited to supply additional information, corrections, etc., so the webpage will be the subject of ongoing changes, as required.

Monikie Kirkyard is well- known for its rich display and variety of the symbolism used on memorials over the years.  There are examples of several trades and professions represented by various icons, as well as angels, skulls, bones, and other imagery relating to life and death - mortality and immortality.

It has been suggested that it was not unknown for the stone-masons who carved the inscriptions to be unable to read and write, and apparent examples of this can be witnessed at Monikie.  The inscription would, probably, have been written by a Clerk or Kirk Minister, on paper, and given to the mason to copy.  Some examples show beautiful 'copper-plate' 'writings' on the stones.  Other examples are of misspellings and poor letter-spacing.  This all adds to the charm, but also adds to the complexity, of reading and researching the inscriptions.

An example of the symbolism on the memorials - M03

Researchers or family who can provide corrections and additions to such information as presented are encouraged to advise the webmaster (contact below) with such information.

The ALEXANDER plaque on the south wall of the Kirk - W02

The numbering system originally devised for the indexing of the stones has also proved to be somewhat of a problem.  The S.G.S. effectively collected information only from stones with pre-1855 data, whereas it appears that W.D.C. collected all information, at least in theory.  Both numbering systems 'agree' to start from the far West side, but the first stone is the most Northward in relation to their particular list.  In the case of W.D.C. this was marked <Row 1 Stone 1> and each row, moving eastwards is incremented as <1,  2,  3,> with the position in the row reading southwards.  The S.G.S. numbering system seems really quite chaotic, by comparison.  The first entry for a pre-1855 stone is numbered 1, followed by 2, etc. - but the first stone recorded by the S.G.S. is the third from the top in the first row which was 1-3 on the W.D.C. list.  The S.G.S. numbering system continued for certain stones all the way DOWN to the foot of the first row, but the numbering then continues UP the next row, and down the next!  If ALL stones had been recorded by S.G.S. this would have made the task of matching the entries easier, but the S.G.S. only allocated numbers to the stones THEY noted, so there are random gaps throughout.

A NEW reference system, which has been standardised by Tay Valley Family History Society surveys for other kirkyards that they have recorded , has been introduced viz.- lettered rows and numbered stones.

In time it is hoped to publish a plan on this website showing the rows (and possibly the numbers) in the new manner -any surveyors out there?

On the Memorials page (link below) there is an index of Surnames, giving links to the individual inscriptions and photographs of a few stones, too.

Formerly, from this webpage, researchers were able to download a database of the inscriptions, but this has been replaced by the online webpage.

Please email the webmaster  if you wish to comment on this page or this website - I look forward to your contribution.

 

You can read much more detail about Scottish Gravestones 
by following this link to this excellent Government website.


Historic Scotland logo Also, from the Historic Scotland website, http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk  a selection of papers which could be of interest: -

Carved Stones in Scotland - Electronic Leaflets

A series of advice leaflets in PDF format.
(click the logo to get a free download of Acrobat Reader.)

Working in a Scheduled or Listed Graveyard or Burial Ground [37kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format
Good Practice in Maintaining a Historic Graveyard [39kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format
Looking After Gravestones [35kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format
Health & Safety Guide: Visitors and Owners [145kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format
Health & Safety Guide: Works Teams, Volunteers and Volunteer Surveyors [731kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format
Historic Scotland Grants in Relation to Graveyards or Burial Grounds [30kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format
Abandoned Structures Within Graveyards [33kb] Scotland's Listed Buildings in Adobe .pdf format

 

 

A verse for reflection -

"In the quiet of evening,
As the sun is sinking to rest,
I stand in this little old graveyard, with kind thoughts and goodly,
Lest,
Those of my unseen ancestors,
Who lie in this hallowed spot,
Should think that their children's children,
Have forgotten them - they have not.
Drawn to these very tombstones,
To quietly tarry anon,
And honour my silent forefathers,
For the fight that they fought and won."
Jack Higgins.

Please note before you . . . .  

CLICK HERE FOR THE SURNAME INDEX AND MEMORIAL INSCRIPTIONS

 . . . . . that it might take a while to download.

Read here of the Monikie and Newbigging Churches.

A synopsis of the years for information which is publicly available from Old Parish Records for Monikie.

Lists of information about the deceased, extracted from the Old Parish Records for Monikie.

Poignant poems - 'Dear Ancestor',  'Census Taker', and 'A Letter from Heaven'.

 

Read about 'The Monikie Story' and buy a copy!

 


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This page was updated - 09 December, 2014