tombstones #general

Leya Aronson

I have recently come across a tombstone for a person I am researching, and his date of birth is preceded by a Magen David [Star of David], yet his date of death is preceded by a Christian cross. His grandson states that family lore is that they were Jewish and converted to christianity.
Can anyone shed light on this?
Also, many thanks for all who helped with my previous request.
Leya Aronson
Toronto, Canada
researching: ROSENBAUM, SMEETS, Limburg, NL, Pannesheide, DL


It seems strange that they would keep both symbols and not try to erase the past. I am guessing this is a relatively recent tombstone, I don't think that changes of religion were such an accepted thing in the more distant past that someone would want to have both symbols. It just seems too modern and pluralistic.
Maybe there was some contention in the family and some wanted him remembered with one symbol and others with the other so they compromised with both.
Is the grave in a Jewish cemetery?

Steven Bloom

Yes,  I had a similar question. That is, what kind of cemetery was this?
Perhaps a non-Jewish cemetery would have allowed Jewish markings, but only if a cross also appeared or maybe this was military?  I do remember once seeing a completely Jewish stone in a Catholic cemetery. Its a bit of a long story---but just to show that odd things pop up from time to time.

More likely, the family just wanted to accommodate the decedent's wishes, but also keep something of the family heritage.

Also, did the family legend predate anyone having seen this stone? And finally, from what time period is the stone?

Steve Bloom
Central Virginia

Madeleine Isenberg

The question about two symbols on a Jewish tombstone/matzeva, has been asked and answered several times already.  I was at least among one of those.
The star indicates a date of birth; 
the cross for a date of death.  
They are ancient symbols and do not relate to a person's religion.  
When I first encountered this, I was just as confused.

Madeleine Isenberg
Beverly Hills, CA