So let’s get the problems out of the way first:
– Our counts are not evenly distributed across 1875 to 2014; we have one cluster of dates from the cemetery’s dedication in 1889 to 1920, and one cluster running roughly from 2001 to 2014. Between these clusters, it’s kind of a crapshoot.
– We should have planned ahead to randomize our sampling across the cemetery, but it was not to be (i.e. we didn’t think to).
– The sample size is very small.
– There are so many reburials in this cemetery, but they can be difficult to identify, and we do not have perfect knowledge of the site. Reinterment is likely the biggest external confounding factor for our seriation.
But still! We forge on, like true statistics-doers, eager to see what sort of vague, baseless pattern we can squeeze out from terrible data. To investigate the question of changes in title over time, I made a stacked bar chart as well as a stacked area chart—seeing both of them together makes them somewhat more useful for this rudimentary depiction of seriation (Figs. 1 and 2 – to be inserted later)
By far, most markers of men or women bear no reference to familial titles. For traditionally men’s names, if there is any identifying information besides the name, extra-familial duty can be emphasized: reverends, cops, individuals who worked in the military can be marked in some way, either by simply listing their title, battalion, etc., or by a logo/insignia inscribed on the marker, but familial roles like “Father”, “Husband”, etc. are far less common and appear in far less variety than they do for traditional women’s names.
For these identified women, familial roles are far more emphasized. If there is any inscription besides the name and the dates of life, then the inscription usually includes “Wife”, “Mother”, or (less common) “Sister”. Other flights of fancy like “Mom” or “Nana” are also seen, especially more recently. We found two examples of markers that bore 4 or more familial titles for one person.
Perhaps this is indicative of a true pattern, but it is doubtful. Sure, the data is in line with our perceptions of how men and women were and are perceived, but the data are so poor it’s difficult to say much of anything.