Tombstone Initials and their Meanings

120 Tombstone Markings

  1. AF&AM  (masonic)
  2. AOF Ancient Order Of Foresters
  3. AOH Ancient Order Of Hibernians
  4. AOKMC Ancient Order Of Knights of Mystic Chain
  5. AOUW Ancient Order Of United Workmen
  6. ALOH American Legion of Honor
  7. AUM  Ancient Order of Mysteries- Masonic Order
  8. BPOE Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
  9. BPOEW Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of theWorld
  10. CK of A Catholic Knights of America
  11. COOF  Catholic Order of Foresters
  12. CTAS Catholic Total Abstinence Society
  13. CBKA Commander Benevolent Knights Association
  14. CCTAS Crusaders-Catholic Total Abstinence Society
  15. CSA Confeserate States Army
  16. DAR  Daughters of American Revolution
  17. EBA Emerald Beneficial Association
  18. FAA Free and Accepted Americans
  19. F&AM - Free and Accepted Masons.
  20. FLT-Friendship, Love, & Truth (Independent Order of Oddfellows)
  21. FOE Fraternal Order of Eagles
  22. GALSTPTR German American Legion of St. Peter
  23. GAR Grand Army of the Republic
  24. GLAUM  Grand Lodge Ancient Order of Mysteries-Masonic Order
  25. GUOOF    Grand United Order of Odd Fellows
  26. IHSV Red Cross of Constantine
  27. IOI Independent Order of Immaculates
  28. IOKP Independent Order of Knights of Pythias
  29. IOOF Independent Order of Odd Fellows
  30. IORM Improved Order of Redmen
  31. ISH Independent Sons of Honor
  32. IWW Industrial Workers of the World
  33. JAOUW Junior Order-Ancient Order of United Workmen
  34. JOUAM Junior Order-Order of United American Mechanics
  35. KGL Knight Grand Legion
  36. KM Knights Militant
  37. KC Knights of Columbus
  38. K of C Knights of Columbus
  39. K of FM Knights of Father Matthew
  40. KFM Knights of Father Matthew
  41. K of H Knights of Honor
  42. K of L Knights of Loyola
  43. K M   Knights of Malta (Masonic)
  44. KMC Knights of the Mystic Chain
  45. KPC Knights of Peter Claver
  46. KP Knights of Pythias
  47. K of P Knights of Pythias
  48. KSC Knights of St. Columbkille
  49. KG Knights of St. George
  50. KSTG Knights of St. George
  51. KSTI Knights of St. Ignatius
  52. K of SJ Knights of St. John
  53. KSTJ Knights of St. Joseph
  54. KSL Knights of St. Lawrence
  55. KSTM Knights of St. Martin
  56. K of STP Knights of St. Patrick
  57. KSTP Knights of St. Paul
  58. KSTP Knights of St. Peter
  59. KSTT Knights of St. Thomas
  60. K of STW Knights of St. Wenceslas
  61. KT Knights of Tabor
  62. K of T Knights of Tabor
  63. KWM Knights of Wise Men
  64. KGE Knights of Golden Eagle
  65. KHC Knights of Holy Cross
  66. KKK Knights of Klu-Klux Klan
  67. KOTM Knights of Macabees
  68. KSF Knights of Sherwood Forest
  69. KT Knights Templars (Masonic)
  70. LAOH    Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
  71. LK of A Loyal Knights of America
  72. LOM  Loyal Order of the M.O.O.S.E.
  73. MOLLUS Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
  74. MRA Royal Arcanum
  75. MWA Modern Woodsmen of America
  76. NOK  New Order Knights (see KKK)
  77. OES  Order of the Eastern Star
  78. OUAM Order of United American Mechanics
  79. PM Patriarchs Militant (Independent Order of Odd Fellows)
  80. POSA Patriotic Order of the Sons of America
  81. RMOKHSJ   The Religious and Military Order of       Knights of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem
  82. RSTV Rite of St. Vaclara
  83. RSTV Rite of ST. Vita
  84. RK Roman Knights
  85. SR  Scottish Rite      (Masonic Order)
  86. RAM Royal Arch Masons
  87. RO-AUM  Rosicrucian Order (Masonic)
  88. SBCL Saint Bonifazius Catholic Union
  89. SBL Society B. Lafayette
  90. SCV Sons of the Confederate Veterans
  91. SAR Sons of the American Revolution
  92. SNA-AUM  Shrine of North America (Masonic)
  93. SV Sons of Veterans
  94. TH Temple of Honor-Independent Order of Odd Fellows
  95. TOTE Totem of the Eagle (goes with IORM)
  96. UCV United Confederate Veterans
  97. UDC  United Daughters of the Confederacy
  98. VFW Veterans of Foreign Wars
  99. WOW Woodsmen of the World

    More Tombstone Markings

    When looking at the tombstones of your ancestors, look at the markings on the stone. These symbols can reveal many things about your loved ones.
    A good practice would be to take a picture of the stone, for closer examination later. Look for the engravers markings too, look down near the base of the stone.
    Don't jump to conclusions when trying to decipher the markings.
    Read literature about the work of the individual carvers and about life during the period it was carved.
    Keep in mind, any symbol can have more than one accurate interpretation, for example... an anchor is traditionally a sign of hope, but if the deceased was a sailor, it would likely represent his profession, so keep an open mind when doing your research.

    The following is a list of symbols and their meanings, that most scholars agree upon.

  100. Anchor-Hope, Seaman
  101. Angels-Rebirth, resurrection, protection, judgement, wisdom, mercy, divine love
  102. Bird-Eternal life, winged soul, spirituality
  103. Chain with three links-Trinity, faith
  104. Fish-Christian symbol of plenty
  105. Frog-Worldly pleasure, sin
  106. Lamb-Innocence, sometimes used on a child's grave
  107. Lamp-Immortality, knowledge of God
  108. Lily-Purity
  109. Lion-Courage, strength, the Resurrection
  110. Hand pointing upward-Reward of the righteous; confirmation of life after death
  111. Hands folded-Devotion, prayer
  112. Handshakes-Farewell to earthly existence
  113. Ivy-Fidelity, attachement, undying affection
  114. Poppies-Eternal sleep, military service
  115. Rope Circle-Eternity
  116. Rose-Victory, pride, triumphant love, purity
  117. Snake with its tail in its mouth-Symbolizes eternity
  118. Tree Trunk, Leaning-Short interrupted life, mourning
  119. Urn-Immortality, death of the body and its return to dust
  120. Wreath on Skull-Victory of death over life