Cryptures by Thom McCague


Cryptures Blog – Jan 2017

Cryptures January 2017

 by Thom McCague

This is the third and final installment of headstone symbols and their meaning. 

  1. Cross with wreath indicates a military grave
  2. Rosebud symbolic of death in early life
  3. Rose fully open means a long life or death in the prime of life
  4. Flag means patriotism or was a member of the armed services
  5. Weeping willow represents perpetual mourning or grief
  6. Woodmen of the World meant they were a member of the organization but also the tree stump symbolized the brevity of life
  7. Dogwood with praying hands and cross here the dogwood flower is the divine sacrifice, resurrection or eternal life. The praying hands are asking God for eternal life and the cross means they are Christian.
Email questions to Thom @

Cryptures Blog – Dec 2016


Blog by Thom McCague
This is the second of three installments of headstone symbols and their meanings.
  1. The Lily symbolizes majesty, innocence, purity and resurrection
  2. The hand pointing down with a broken chain symbolizes death of a spouse
  3. The hand pointing down represents mortality or sudden death
  4. The hand pointing up signifies the pathway to heaven
  5. Clasped hands means farewell
  6. Gates symbolizes the pearly gates or the entrance to heaven
  7. The Hidden City represents heaven
  8. The Lamb is a child’s grave and means innocence
  9. The Maltese Cross represents a Christian grave and resurrection
  10. Dividers, Square and “G” is a Masonic grave and means that God is the architect and builder of the universe. The “G” means God.  It also symbolizes judgment
Email questions to Thom 

Cryptures Blog – Nov 2016

Cryptures  Blog by Thom McCague 

November 2016


Some folks may not be aware that the symbols carved on the headstone have meaning.  The photos below were taken in Cokes Chapel cemetery and represent some of the symbols on those headstone.  Please keep in mind that this is not a definitive list. There will be two more installments on headstone symbols.


1  The anchor represents hope/steadfastness

2  The arch represents the gateway to heaven

3  The Bible represents the person was a Christian 

4  The Branch usually indicates a pre-mature death

5  Cross with roses represents Christianity and beauty

6  Cross with crown symbolizes victory in death and Christianity.  Sometimes a symbol of a York Rite Mason

7  The dove is peace and the messenger of God often on a child’s grave

8  The draped obelisk sorrow

9  The draped urn symbolizes sorrow and death or immortality

10 The fern is humility and sincerity and the ivy symbolizes immortality & friendship

Email Thom with questions @