Rubbings & Genealogy Information

Recording Your History
One way to record, or make personal records of your ancestors is by creating a headstone rubbing.

Headstone rubbings are a unique way of preserving the past. Rubbings do not usually cause damage to headstones, however you should be sure to use the correct materials so that you do not unintentionally damage a stone.

If you notice a stone is worn or crumbling, do not perform the rubbing. Rubbing a stone that is already chipping can cause it to flake and chip to the point where it's irreparable. Instead, choose stones which are in good condition.

Materials Needed

You will need the following materials:
  • Lightweight paper
  • Charcoal is a preferred rubbing tool, but you could also use a colored pencil or crayon
  • Masking tape
  • Soft-bristled paintbrush to brush dirt or debris off the stone
If you would like to record additional information, bring a pad of paper and pencil with you.

Additional Instruction
Once you've chosen your stone, brush it off lightly with your paintbrush. Next, use the masking tape to keep the paper in place over the area you wish to rub. Be sure to cover the stone completely so you do not get any charcoal on the stone itself.

Start your rubbing by beginning in the corner closest to the tape and working out from there.

If you have access to the gravestones of your ancestors, you can create a record of your ancestors and your family heritage.