Author Topic: The Letter "P" on gravestones.  (Read 6892 times)

Offline diggerman2

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The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« on: Tuesday 19 May 09 18:29 BST (UK) »
in my local cemetery , a lot of the earlier gravestones have the letter "P" on the bottom front.
this is accompanied by a number.
the number obviously is the number of the grave (in the row) , but the letter isn't the section or the row letter .
the only thing i can come up with is possibly the grave was pre-purchased and the base stone was erected before the grave was buried in , or possibly it could mean "perpetuity".
Any ideas anybody > thanks.

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Online heywood

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 19 May 09 19:53 BST (UK) »
could it be 'plot' ?
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Offline diggerman2

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 19 May 09 20:34 BST (UK) »
cheers Heywood - i've worked in cemeteries for nearly 20 years and i haven't thought of that  :-[. could well be you know.

Online heywood

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 19 May 09 20:37 BST (UK) »
I hope so... and welcome to Rootschat - sorry didn't realise that it's early days for you  ;)
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Offline toni*

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 19 May 09 21:17 BST (UK) »
at first i thought its obvious its for pauper but then of course if they were poor they wouldnt have a headstone
so i tend to think it is the stone masons mark, every stone mason has one a litttle mark on their piece of work to identify who did it,
are the gravestones around the same time era? could they be made by the same stone mason?


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Offline geniecolgan

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 19 May 09 21:28 BST (UK) »
Hello diggaman,

and welcome to RootsChat from me too.

There is a Christian symbol called the Chi-Rho. It looks like a P with and x through the downstroke.

see this:

http://www.rootschat.com/links/06cl/

genie
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Offline diggerman2

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 19 May 09 23:34 BST (UK) »
thank you for the welcome folks  :)
geniecolgan: no , its definately a "p" - altho i had a look at the link - interesting stuff.

it's sometimes quite funny , cos when i'm locating a grave for somebody , when they notice these "p's" a lot of them think it's row p on a section , and some of em take some convincing thats its not !
always wondered about it tho , as i say i've worked in cemeteries a good while and nobody in the cemeteries team seems to know what it stands for.

Offline Chris in 1066Land

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 20 May 09 11:37 BST (UK) »
Hi there

Interesting thread!

My experience of Stonemasons marks are that they are usually on the back of the stone - i.e. the opposite side to the Inscription.

The P with a number I have found usually refers to the plot number as was suggested earlier - have you chatted with any 'local' stonemasons to verify this; or is there a plan of the churchyard that could show the burial plots.
Also, do the numbers run in any kind of sequence also indicating that they were plot numbers

Just a few thoughts

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Offline diggerman2

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Re: The Letter "P" on gravestones.
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 20 May 09 17:16 BST (UK) »
Hi Chris
thanks for your comments.
the more i think about it , the more it makes sense that it IS the plot number.

The number is always correct on it , and instead of it having the section letter , or row letter , it just has a "P".
for example - if the grave number is say "D 45C" (section D , row C , number 45) ,  it would have "P 45" on it.

it only applies in the old area's of the cemetery , the modern day memorials have the correct grave numbers on them .