There are many acronyms and symbols on gravestones that reveal a connection with secret, or not-so-secret, benevolent societies. Some of these cemetery secret societies are familiar, but others have disappeared over the past couple of centuries. Each one, however, tells a story. Take a look:
5 Symbols of Cemetery Secret Societies
- D.A.R.—The Daughters of the American Revolution is an organization of descendants of patriots from the Revolutionary War.
- G.A.R.—Indicates a Civil War veteran and member of the Grand Army of the Republic (Union) is buried below.
- Square and Compass —This is the classic sign of the Freemasons (Masons), and often has a “G” in the center of it.
- Logs or Treestones—Both can mean a life cut short, although the symbols more likely mark the grave of a member of the Woodmen of the World, a fraternal organization created in the late 1880s, which is now an insurance company.
- Three Chains Links—The three links represent friendship, love, and truth. It is a well-known symbol for the Independent Order of the Oddfellows.
- Maple Leaf with Canadian Legion of British Empire Service League inscription —A Canadian fraternal organization formed after WWI.