Birth and death dates from tombstones are often a major data source for genealogist and family historians. As genealogist we must be cautious when relying on the information chiseled in granite. Mistakes can and are often made either by the informant or sometimes by the headstone engraver.
Here are a few cases why you should be cautious of dates on tombstones.
|Photo Courtesy of Julious Burr|
James Paul Brock is my 1st cousin 4 time removed. His tombstone says that he was born on Feb 29, 1845. The problem here is that 1945 was not a leap year and February only had 28 days. His parents reported his age as 6 years old in 1850 Census. If his birth date was in fact February 29 then his birth year must be 1844. 
His original tombstone was removed, engraved with the words “WIFE OF” and then the tombstone was placed on the grave of his wife, Henrietta Jane Hancock Burr. Henrietta was actually born on August 17, 1843.
Another tombstone is that of my 1st Cousin who passed away from diphtheria at the very young age of 5. His name was Vinson Lee. His tombstone reads:
If you are using tombstone names and dates just be aware that mistakes are made, do an exhaustive search of all records and documents your family history as accurately as possible with existing records.
Good Luck in Your Research
 Find A Grave Memorial# 32256021
 Find A Grave Memorial# 8774604
 Find A Grave Memorial# 8774623
 Find A Grave Memorial# 90735538