Additional Words for a Headstone

If a headstone is already in place, it is often possible to add the names of additional family members. However, this does depend on whether there is enough room to add the name of the recently deceased with the dates of their birth and death.

You will need to consider the following points if you would like to add other family member to a headstone:

1. What type of stone is the headstone made from and will it allow for additional wording ? Sometimes stone will crumble if its old and additions will not be possible.

2. It is important that the new lettering uses the same font, style and size as the old lettering on the headstone so that it looks the same ? However, it is very difficult to match another stone mason’s work and, however hard you try, the lettering will look different. It is important to discuss this with the client before the work commences.

3. Is there enough space on the headstone to add the additional wording ? You don’t want the headstone to look cluttered and less is often more.

4. Will the headstone need to be removed to the workshop or can the work be done onsite ?

5. Will cemetery rules and regulations allow for additional wording to be added to an exisiting headstone ? The client will need to ask if this can be done and the new design will need to be agreed with the cemetery.

It is also important to reinscribe stone letter carving on a headstone due to weathering or repeated cleaning. Headstones will weather over time and they become difficult to read so the stone letter carving will need to be recarved again over the years.


Simon Burns-Cox is a Sculptor and Letter Carver based in Edinburgh, Scotland. He makes bespoke handcarved Gravestones, Memorials and Headstone in all sizes and dimensions and will be happy to guide you through the decisions at this difficult time.  Simon can be contacted through his website at