By Brian W. Hutchison

How time has flown, and how much “water has gone under the bridge” since last introducing this subject discussion more than ten years ago in June of 1991 as a retort to a series of comments made by a genealogical peer, Mr. Stephen Hayes, in Genealogical Computing six months earlier. At that time, Mr. Hayes was interested as well in the transcription of cemeteries and how best to accommodate this.

A few years later, Hayes went on to co-develop a software database program to provide for the transcription of monumental inscriptions, however this software never really took off and to my knowledge is no longer available. Numerous others have come and gone with similar dreams though not one to-date has really addressed the requirements well, in my opinion. I don’t propose that I was the first to initiate the importance of these source records, I think that this is quite evident with the typical and early 1980 statements of such genealogical masters as Walter Lee Sheppard with his quote offered at the beginning of this paper, though Isuspect that I was one of the first in the genealogical community to raise the level of significance by suggesting how and what we should record on this source information for posterity. Prior to 1991, through very in-depth research on what has been going on with monumental inscription transcriptions, it was readily apparent that there was no rhyme or reason as to what got recorded and what didn’t, what was deemed relevant genealogical information and that which wasn’t; how we recorded and archived it and how we shouldn’t. This, today, continues to be the case.