Translating Monumental Inscriptions

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Monumental inscriptions are usually written in a plain style and follow a typical pattern.
Therefore translating Latin or Welsh inscriptions into English can be fairly straightforward.
First some Latin phrases followed by some Welsh ones.
Part of Inscription
Latin phrase



















Welsh
Opening phrase




followed by the name of the deceased
and then by a relationship to others
























Details of Life




Days of the Week







Dates (ordinal)










Months of the year












Sometimes occupations are shown






















or position within a church or chapel
Latin
aetatis
aetatis suae
anno aetatis suae (AAS)
beatae memoriae
hic jacet
hodie mihi, cras tibi
IHSOUS (Latin) or ΙΗΣΟΥΣ (Greek)
IHS - Iesus Hominum Salvator
in memoriam
obiit
requiescat in pace
requiescant in pace
RIP
sculpsit
siste viator
sit tibi terra levis
summum nec metuas diem nec optes
vixit
vixit .... annos

Cymraeg
Er cof am
Er cof annwyl am
Er serchus gof am
Er coffadwriaeth am
Cof Faen / Cofen

Baban
Brawd / Brawd yng nghyfraith
Brodyr
Cefnder / Cyfnither
Cymydog
Chwaer / Chwaer yng nghyfraith
Chwiorydd
Ewythr
Gwr
Gwraig
Hen-
Mab / Meibion
Mam
Mamgu / Nain
Merch / Merched
Modryb
Nai / Nith
Plentyn / Plant
Priod
Rhieni
Tad
Tadcu / Taid
Wyr / Wyrion
Wyres

Ganed/Ganwyd
Bu farw
Claddwyd
yn .. mlwydd oed

Dydd Sul
Dydd Llun
Dydd Mawrth
Dydd Mercher
Dydd Iau
Dydd Gwener
Dydd Sadwrn

1af - cyntaf
2il - ail
3ydd - trydydd
4ydd - pedwerydd
5ed - pumed
6ed - chweched
7fed - seithfed
8fed - wythfed
9fed - nawfed
10fed - degfed

Ionawr (Ion.)
Chwefror (Chwe.)
Mawrth (Maw.)
Ebrill (Ebr.)
Mai
Mehefin (Meh.)
Gorffennaf (Gor.)
Awst
Medi
Hydref (Hyd.)
Tachwedd (Tach.)
Rhagfyr (Rhag.)

Athro / Athrawes
Bardd
Bugail
Cariwr
Cerddor
Crydd
Cyfreithiwr
Chwarelwr
Dilledydd
Ffermwr
Garddwr
Glowr
Masnachydd
Melinydd
Mwynwr
Saer Coed
Saer Maen
Tafarnwr
Teilwr
Telynor
Ysgolfeistr
Ysgrifennydd

Arweinydd y gân / Codwr canu
Blaenor / Diacon
Emynydd
Gweinidog
Organydd
Parchedig (Parch.)
Pregethwr
Trysorydd
Ysgrifennydd
English
of the age
of his (or her) age
in the year of his (or her) age
of blessed memory
here lies
today to me, tomorrow to you
JESUS
Jesus the Saviour of mankind
to the memory of
he or she died
may he or she rest in peace
may they rest in peace
rest in peace (as above)
he (or she) carved (or cut) it
stop traveller
may the earth be light upon you
neither fear nor wish for your last day
he or she has lived
he or she has lived .... years

English
In memory of
In beloved memory of
In loving memory of
In remembrance of
The Memorial Stone of

Baby
Brother / Brother in law
Brothers
Cousin (male / female)
Neighbour
Sister / Sister in law
Sisters
Uncle
Husband
Wife
Great-
Son / Sons
Mother
Grandmother
Daughter / Daughters
Aunt
Nephew / Niece
Child / Children
Spouse
Parents
Father
Grandfather
Grandson / Grandsons
Granddaughter

was born
died
buried
aged .. years

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday

1st - first
2nd - second
3rd - third
4th - fourth
5th - fifth
6th - sixth
7th - seventh
8th - eighth
9th - ninth
10th - tenth

January (Jan.)
February (Feb.)
March (Mar.)
April (Apr.)
May
June (Jun.)
July
August (Aug.)
September (Sep.)
October (Oct.)
November (Nov.)
December (Dec.)

Teacher (male / female)
Poet / Bard
Shepherd
Carrier
Musician
Shoemaker / Cobbler
Solicitor / Lawyer
Quarryman
Draper
Farmer
Gardener
Collier
Merchant
Miller
Miner
Carpenter
Stone Mason
Publican
Tailor
Harpist
Schoolmaster
Secretary

Precentor, one who leads the singing
Elder / Deacon
Hymn Writer
Minister
Organist
Reverend (Rev.)
Preacher
Treasurer
Secretary

Monumental inscriptions may end with a quotation.
Ac yn eu marwolaeth, ni wahanwyd hwy
Canys byw i mi yw Crist a marw sydd elw
Cofia nawr dy Greawdwr yn nyddiau dy ieuenctid
Coffadwriaeth y cyfiawn sydd fendigedig
Da, was da a ffyddlon
Ei diwedd oedd heddwch
Gadewch i blant bychain ddyfod ataf fi
Gorffwys mewn hedd
Gwyliwch gan hynny am na wyddoch pa awr y daw eich Arglwydd
Gwyn eu byd y meirw, y rhai sydd yn marw yn yr Arglwydd
Gwyn eu byd y tangnefeddwyr, canys hwy a elwir yn blant i Dduw
Hedd, Perffaith Hedd
Mi a ymdrechais ymdrech deg. Mi a orphenais fy ngyrfa. Mi a gedwais y ffydd.
Yng nghanol ein bywyd, yr ydym mewn angau
Yr hyn a allodd hon, hi a'i gwnaeth
And in their death, they were not divided [2 Samuel 1:23]
For me, to live is Christ and dying is gain [Philippians 1:21]
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth [Eccl. 12:1]
The memory of the just is blessed [Proverbs 10:7]
Well done, thou good and faithful servant [Matthew 25:21]
Her end was peace
Let the little children come to me [Marc 10:14]
Rest in peace
Watch therefore for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come [Matthew 24:42]
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord [Revelations 14:13]
Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God [Matthew 5:9]
Peace, Perfect Peace
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith [Timothy 4:7]
In the midst of life we are in death [Book of Common Prayer]
She hath done what she could [Mark 14:8]

Here is an example from Ffynnon Baptist Church at Llanddewi Velfrey.

Phebe and Ann Morgan


Er Cof am PHEBE, merch
Evan a Mary Morgan
Ty'r Eglwys, Castelldwyran
hunodd Tach. 18 1859
yn 3 blwydd oed
Hefyd ANN eu merch
Ebrill 20 1859
yn 14 wythnos

Berthnasau hoff, na wyliwch ddim,
Wrth edrych ar ein bedd,
'R y'm ni yn canu yn ddiboen,
Ynghanol gwlad yr hedd.
In memory of PHEBE, daughter of
Evan and Mary Morgan
Ty'r Eglwys, Castelldwyran
died Nov. 18 1859
aged 3 years
Also ANN their daughter
April 20 1859
aged 14 weeks

Dear relatives, do not weep,
When looking at our tomb,
We are singing without pain,
In the midst of the land of peace.





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