It's a sad fact that tombstones are damaged in a variety of ways - by the elements of weather or vandalism or by being hit with a lawn mower. I have been visiting the Barner family plot in Smithland Cemetery in Livingston County for several years. I lamented the fact that Benjamin Barner's tombstone has apparently been sinking into the ground, with only his name barely legible, but at least there was enough to identify the spot where he was buried.
This is how his tombstone appeared when I photographed it in 2008:
The date of his death was found on the order for his tombstone in his estate file at the county clerk's office. He died 16 February 1865 at the age of 74 years, 5 months and 11 days.
Sometimes within the last month, something struck his tombstone and it now looks likes this:
The tombstone is very soft and crumbly and will, without a doubt, disintegrate more. I suspect that little, if anything, will be left within a few years. This is a testimony to the value of photographing tombstones.
Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog