Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Unusual Monument Year Notation

While indexing the cemeteries in Johnson County, Kansas, I ran into this unusual year notation using E. M. The full inscription reads:

John J. Bartlett
Born Feb 9, E. M. 344
Died May 19, E. M. 409


Bartlett's death notice in the local newspaper indicates he was born in Ohio, a local farmer, born 9 Feb 1844, died 19 May 1909.

Obviously E. M. represents 1500 years but what does it stand for and where does this notation come from?

I would love to know what E. M. means. If you have gravestones with this notation, or if you know what this stands for, please post!

Find Bartlett and more on the Digital Cemetery at http://cemetery.cottonhills.com/

6 comments:

geneabloggers said...

I was thinking this could mean "enlisted man" which is typical on military tombstones - but weird that it lines up with being 1500 + the other number to equal dates . . .

geneabloggers said...

Working on whether e.m. could mean Egregiae memoriae

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_classical_abbreviations

Which means? Working on my Latin . . .

Linda K. Lewis, JoCoKS Cemeterian said...

Great find! I posted for translation and got:

Egregiae = distinguised/eminent/excellent
Memoriae = memory


I wonder if there is more to it than the literal translation?

Cindy said...

This is a great post! Seems like the EM would be some sort of Roman numeral dating, "M" being 1000 - but there's no "E" in the Roman numerals. very curious...

Laurie said...

Fascinating site - I am very impressed!
Best wishes
Laurie (England)

one.eagle.one said...

The Bartlett tombstone also created a lot of interest on Yahoo Answers.

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090302172928AADfOHj