Gender Differences in Gravestones

In later dates, gravestones of women were somewhat lacking permanent adorn or design, such as a cross or other religious motif in comparison to male gravestones, which are more detailed and descriptive. For instance, a gravestone in St. Matthew says, “Beloved Marie” and unfortunately doesn’t have her last name on it. She passed in 1926, and the gravestone is somewhat small. In St. James, one large cenotaph reads, “In loving memory of William Chochrane” who passed away in 1911. Near the cenotaph, there’s one footstone with William and his wife’s name, as well as three other headstones. Two are female, and one is male. The male headstone has his name almost fully spelt out, except for his middle name: “William F. Cochrane Jr.”. Birth and death dates are also shown on William Cochrane’s footstone. The females’ footstones simply say, “Mary E.” and “Sue E.” with their birth and death dates. While the male footstone is more descriptive, the three footstones are similar in size and shape. In St. Matthew, one gravestone of a single male “Albert. A. Amodel” has a cross design to the left of the name, and is a little bit larger than the “Beloved Marie” footstone. The rest of the female’s footstone reads, “Died Mar. 5, 1911. Aged 28 YRS”, while the male’s footstone reads, “Nov. 9, 1921 – June 25, 1972 In the Lord, I put my trust”. The male footstone here is much more detailed, and implies religious beliefs. A possible explanation is that the female footstone is from 1911, and the male footstone is from 1972. Her family might not have been able to afford a more descriptive gravestone. There’s also a large tablet in the St. Joseph’s section for a male who passed in 1900. It reads, “In memory of Thomas Mathew Corbett Born Feb. 22, 1889 Died Aug. 3, 1900”. This is not only a tablet which is seen without walking directly up to it, but it is written in remembrance of the male who passed away. The dates are written out, and not simply years. His name is also fully spelt out. Looking at these gravestones, it appears female gravestones lacked permanent adorn or design, while male gravestone are more detailed and descriptive.


– Stephanie H.

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