Friday, June 03, 2011

How to Name a Cemetery

Before we get onto today's comic I would like to discuss something that has been bothering me for a while. I've read a few books where they suffer from a very serious problem. It has come to my attention that authors do not know how to name cemeteries. The book I am currently reading, Graveminder by Melissa Marr, mentions a cemetery named Sweet Rest. Not only is that a terrible name for a cemetery nowadays, it was completely unheard of back in the 1800s and 1700s.

Cemeteries, prior to the 1920s, were mainly rural, city or open, named after the geography, the town or one of the first families buried in the cemetery. The old cemetery on the hill first used in 1772 and surrounded by old pine trees considered ancient in 1772 would not be called Memorial Acres it would be called Pine Hill or some variation. The small cemetery located on the North 40 of the old Simerwell Place with 45 graves from five different families would not be called Floral Hills Memorial Park, it would be called Simerwell Cemetery. The large expansive cemetery north of Hopewell City would not be called Memorial Gardens, it would be called Hopewell City Cemetery.

I know it is kind of a stupid thing to get upset over but it shows me that the author doesn't do the research or care about that little detail. It's not like cemeteries are a rare thing, centralized in only one spot. They are everywhere and you can judge the time the cemetery was founded just by walking around and looking at the dates on the stones. Where I'm from, the only modern cemetery is named Memorial Park, there are two Maple Grove Cemeteries and a Oakwood. The rest are named after geography (Mound, Rock Creek, Oak Hill), towns (Black Jack, Prairie City, Hesper) or families/churches (Brumbaugh, Bethel-Harbour, Colyer) and I doubt that changes whether to go to the east coast or west coast.

So when you are writing something and need to name a cemetery, take my information to heart and do some quick research. Can't come up with a name? There are databases online, like FindAGrave, that will list practically every cemetery in the country.

And now, onto our regularly scheduled comic strip.
Since the doctor ended his question with "today" it makes me think Brutus goes to the doctor constantly about every little ache and pain. I think it is time for the doctor to prescribe a placebo for Brutus which will keep Brutus away for at least a month or so.