The Power of the Internet


Thanks to Margaret Hall for her research and knowledge and for translating the inscription on this  baby’s grave.

Not knowing anything about who or why the inscription, dating from the middle of the 19th century, should appear to be runic, I thought perhaps the death of a baby son was a subject too painful to put in ordinary words.

Colm Toibin captures the feeling in The Testament of Mary. His Mary is still too traumatised even years after, to say her son’s name out loud.

“Making use of all the ideas and resources posted so far — thank you Kevin Ferguson for that table of bardic runes! — my best guess is as follows:

Y. G.

Note: C and K can be interchangeable, and there is no Roman numeral K, so I’ve assumed it stands for C = 100)

Y.G. must be a Welsh abbreviation, possibly meaning something like “here lies” or “the grave of”, but I’m guessing.

The next two lines seem to be “Ioan, baby of Ioan ab Huw”.
“ab Huw” being the Welsh for “Huw’s son”. So it seems to be the grave of a baby whose father was a doctor, also called Ioan.

The next part should be a date because III must be “3” and “dd” is equivalent to “rd” in English, so “3dd” or “trydydd”, ie “third”. Then the Roman numerals work out as 1840. Unfortunately, there is no Welsh month beginning with “O”, though I wouldn’t put it past Gorffennaf to have mutated! Otherwise it could be October if they used English for the date.

If anyone has any better ideas, however, please post!”

The link can be followed here, should you care to.



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