Books on Transcribing Monumental Inscriptions

Some useful books to use when recording a graveyard

  • Burgess, Frederick, 1963 'English Churchyard Memorials' reprint 1979 **- the classic work on this subject. Available at the Westgate Lending Library, please note that this book is held in the stacks.
  • Rayment, John 'Rayment’s Notes on the recording Monumental Inscriptions' *4th edition; [revised by Penelope Pattison], published by The Federation of Family History Societies. Although now out of print, it is often available from Family History Societies.
  • White, H. Leslie, 'Monuments and their Inscriptions - A practical guide'. **- Society of Genealogists, 14 Charterhouse Buildings, Goswell Road, London, ECIM 7BA
  • Jones, Jeremy, 'How to record graveyards', ** published CBA & RESCUE. from CBA 112. Kennington Road, London SEII 6RE, or RESCUE, 15a Bull Plain, Hertford.
  • Suffling, Ernest R. 'Epitaphia', London, Upcott Gill. 1909 - for reference to complete standard epitaphs of doubtful legibility.
  • Withycombe, E.G. 'The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names', Oxford. Clarendon Press.1963
  • Gooder, Eileen, 'A Latin for Local History' London, Longmans. 1961.
  • 'Kennedy's Revised Latin primer', a Latin grammar for translation from Latin inscriptions.
  • Smith & Hall's 'Smaller Latin-English dictionary'.
  • Latham R.G. 'Revised medieval Latin word-list from British and Irish sources', London.
  • Stephenson, Mill, 'A list of monumental brasses in the British Isles' Appendix ed Ralph H.Griffin, London Headley Bros. 1938 rep. 1963
  • Druitt, Herbert, 'A manual of costume as illustrated by monumental brasses', London, A. Mooring, 1906

These books marked so ** have clear illustrations and descriptions of types of memorials to be found.

Should Biblical quotations, Psalms and some names, need to be checked the Seventeenth century Authorised versions of the Bible must of course be used and not the modern New English Bible.

Many Oxfordshire and North Berkshire Churchyards have been surveyed in some part by earlier antiquarians and the like. It is worth searching these out, to see if your particular church has been covered. I hold a list of what has been recorded in Oxfordshire and North Berkshire.

The manuscript books of Henry Hinton, covering Berkshire and Oxfordshire churches and others are at the Bodleian Library, Room 132. Hinton's collections contain his drawings of coats of arms at the church, some illustrations of the church, and other details about the church. All these can add to your knowledge and to the history of the parish church.

Also worth looking at are: Ms notes taken from Anthony Wood’s Itinerary of Berkshire. Ashmole’s Antiquities of Berkshire 1719. Within the antiquarian note book of Henry Hinton, he also notes monuments erected since Ashmole’s survey (i.e. since 1719-1736]

If your local library does not hold a copy of a particular book, most of the above books should be available for reference at any large reference library, such as the Bodleian Library.

Also check the Victoria County Histories, as much history of your church may well have been covered, particularly in Oxfordshire.