AAONMS       Ancient Arabic Order of Nobles of the Mystic Shrine(Masonic)
AASR         Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (Masonic)
ABA          American Benefit Association
AF&AM        Ancient Free and Accepted Masons
ALOH         American Legion of Honor
AMD          Allied Masonic Degree
AMORC        Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crucis (Rosicrucians)
AMOS         Ancient Mystic Order of Samaritans (see IOOF)
AOF          Ancient Order Of Foresters
AOH          Ancient Order of Hibernians
AOKMC        Ancient Order Of Knights of Mystic Chain
AOUW         Ancient Order Of United Workmen
APA          American Protective Association
AUM          Ancient Order of Mysteries (Masonic)
AUSA         Association of the United States Army
AUV          Association of Union Veterans

B of RTM     Brotherhood of Rail Road Track Men
BARE         Benefit Association Of Railway Employees
BAY          Brotherhood of American Yeomen
BK of M      Black Knights of Molders
BKA          Benevolent Knights Association
BLE          Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers
BLF&E        Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen & Engineers
BPOE         Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks
BPOEW        Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the World
BRT          Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen 

CAR          Children of the American Revolution
CBKA         Commandery Benevolent Knights Association
CBL          Catholic Benevolent Legion
CCTAS        Crusaders-Catholic Total Abstinence Society
CD of A      Catholic Daughters of America
CK of A      Catholic Knights of America
CMBA         Catholic Mutual Benefit Association
COOF         Catholic Order of Foresters
CSA          Confederate States Army
CTAS         Catholic Total Abstinence Society

DAR          Daughters of the American Revolution
D.O.A./DA    Daughters of America
DAC          Daughters of the American Colonists
DAV          Disabled American Veterans
DOKK         Dramatic Order Knights of Khorassan (Knights of Pythias)
DoL          Daughters of Liberty
DOLLUS       Dames of the Loyal Legion of the United States
DON          Daughters of the Nile (Masonic)
DUV          Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War

EAA          Experimental Aircraft Association
EAU          Equitable Aid Union
EBA          Emerald Beneficial Association
ECVE         Clampus Vitus

FAA          Free and Accepted Americans
FAM          Free and Accepted Masons
FCB          Knights of Pythias
FLT          Independent Order of Odd Fellows
FMF          Fleet Marine Force
FOAST        Fraternal Order of Alaska State Troopers
FOE          Fraternal Order of Eagles
FOF          Fraternal Order of Firefighters
FOP          Fraternal Order of Police

GAR          Grand Army of the Republic
GALSTPTR     German American Legion of St. Peter
GLAUM        Grand Lodge Ancient Order of Mysteries-Masonic Order
GLDS         Grand Lodge Daughters of Scotia
GUOOF        Grand United Order of Odd Fellows

HZ           Haro Zaro

IBBH         International Brotherhood of Blacksmiths and Helpers
ICBU         Irish Catholic Benevolent Union
IHSV         Red Cross of Constantine (Masonic)
IOA          International Order of Alhambra
IODE         Independent Order, Daughters of the Empire
IOF          Independent Order of Foresters
IOGT         International Order of Good Templars
IOH          Improved Order of Heptasophs
IOHH         International Order of Hoo-Hoo
IOI          Independent Order of Immaculates
IOJD         Independent Order of Job's Daughters
IOKP         Independent Order of Knights of Pythias
IOOF         Independent Order of Odd Fellows
IOOF-PM      Independent Order of Odd Fellows, Past Master
IOR          Independent Order of Rechabites
IORG         International Order of Rainbow Girls (Masonic)
IORM         Improved Order of Redmen (Sons of Liberty)
IOStL        Independent Order of St. Luke
IOV          International Order of Vikings
ISDA         Italian Sons and Daughters of America
ISH          Independent Sons of Honor
IUOM         Independent United Order of Mechanics
IWW          Industrial Workers of the World

JAOUW        Junior Order-Ancient Order of United Workmen
J.O.A.M.     Junior Order of American Mechanics
J.O.U.A.M.   Junior Order of United American Mechanics

K.of C.      Knights of Columbus
K.of P.      Knights of Pythias
K of FM      Knights of Father Matthew
K of H       Knights of Honor
K of L       Knights of Loyola
K.M.         Knights of Malta (Masonic)
K.T.         Knights Templar
K of SJ      Knights of St. John
K of STP     Knights of St. Patrick
K of STW     Knights of St. Wenceslas
K of T       Knights of Tabor
K of TM      Knights of the Macabees
K.of C.      Knights of Columbus
K.of P.      Knights of Pythias
KC           Knights of Columbus
KFM          Knights of Father Matthew
KG           Knights of St. George
KGC          Knights of the Golden Chain
KGC          Knights of the Golden Circle
KGE          Knights of the Golden Eagle
KGL          Knight Grand Legion
KHC          Knights of Holy Cross
KKK          Knights of Klu-Klux Klan
KLH          Knights and Ladies of Honor
KM           Knights Militant (See KKK)
KM           Knights of Malta (Masonic)
KMC          Knights of the Mystic Chain
KOL          Knights of Labor
KOTM         Knights of the Macabees
KP           Knights of Pythias
KPC          Knights of Peter Claver
KSC          Knights of St. Columbkille
KSF          Knights of Sherwood Forest
KSL          Knights of St. Lawrence
KSTG         Knights of St. George
KSTI         Knights of St. Ignatius
KSTJ         Knights of St. Joseph
KSTM         Knights of St. Martin
KSTP         Knights of St. Paul
KSTP         Knights of St. Peter
KSTT         Knights of St. Thomas
KT           Knights of Tabor
KT           Knights Templars (Masonic)

LAOH         Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians
LDG          Independent Order of Foresters
LGAR         Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic
LK of A      Loyal Knights of America
LOL          Loyal Order Orange Lodge (The Orange Order){Orange Men}
L.O.M        Loyal Order of Moose
LOOM         Loyal Order of the MOOSE
LOVUS        Legion of Valor of the United States

M.W.A.       Modern Woodmen of America
MAW          Marine Air Wing
M.W.A.       Modern Woodmen of America
MBS          Mutual Benefit Society
MCL          Marine Corps League
MOLLUS       Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States
MOOSE        Loyal Order of the Moose
MOPH         Military Order of the Purple Heart
MOVPER       Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Mystic Realm (Grotto)
MRA          Royal Arcanum

N.O.W.       Neighbors of Woodcraft
NCOA         Non-Commissioned Officers Association (Military Society)
NEOP         New England Order of Protection
NL           Navy League
NOK          New Order Knights (see KKK)
NSDAR        National Society Daughters of American Revolution
NSDAR        National Society Daughters of the American Revolution
NSSUP        National Society Sons of Utah Pioneers
NU           National Union

O of A       Order of Amaranth (Masonic)
O of UF      Order of United Friends
OCF          Order of Chosen Friends
ODHS         Des Schwestern Verbandes (Sisters of the Federation
OES          Order of the Eastern Star
OGC          Order of the Golden Cross
OSC          Order of Scottish Clans (St. Andrew's Societies)
OUAM         Order of United American Mechanics

PF of A      Patriotic Friends of America
PH           The Order of Patrons of Husbandry (The Grange)
PM           Patriarchs Militant (Independent Order of Odd Fellows)

RA           Royal Academy
RA           Royal Arcanum
R.A.M.       Royal Arch Masons
*R.N.A.      Royal Neighbors of America
RIP          Requiescat in pace, Latin for REST IN PEACE
RK           Roman Knights
RMOKHSJ      The Religious and Military Order of Knights of the Holy
             Sepulchre of jerusalem
RO-AUM       Rosicrucian Order (Masonic)
ROJ          Royal Order of Jesters (Masonic)
RSGF         Royal Society of Good Fellows
RSM          Royal and Select Masons
RSTV         Rite of St. Vaclara
RSTV         Rite of ST. Vita
RTT          Royal Templars of Temperance

S.A.L.       Sons of the American Legion
SAR          Sisters of the American Revolution
SAR          Sons of the American Revolution
S.A.W.V.     Spanish American War Veteran
SBCL         Saint Bonifazius Catholic Union
SBL          Society B. Lafayette
SCV          Sons of the Confederate Veterans
S.C.V.C.W.   Sons of the Conferderate Veterans of the Civil War
S of E       Sons of England
S.F.W.C.     Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle
SMAA         Scandinavian Mutual Aid Association
SNA-AUM      Shrine of North America (Masonic)
S.O.C.V.     Sons of the Confederate Veterans
SR           Scottish Rite (Masonic)
ST           Sons of Temperance
ST.G S o NY  St. George's Society of New York
SUVCW  Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War
S of St.G    Sons of St. George
S.S.M.A.     Soldiers & Sailors Memorial  Association
S.U.V.C.W.   Sons of the United Veteran's of the Civil War
SV           Sons of Veterans
SV           Sons of Veterans of the United States of America

TCL          Tall Ceders of Lebanon (Masonic)
TH           Temple of Honor and Temperance-Independent Order of Odd
TH           Temple of Honor-Independent Order of Odd Fellows
TPLF         Temple of Honor and Temperance, IOOF
TROA         The Retired Officer's Association

U.S.A.       United States Army
U.S.A.F.     United States Air Force
U.S.M.C.     United States Marine Corp
U.S.N.       United States Navy
UAOD         United Ancient Order of Druids
UCV          United Confederate Veterans
UDC          United Daughters of the Confederacy
UFL          Union Fraternal League
UFM          United Friends of Michigan
UOPF         United Order of Pilgrim Fathers
UR           The Uniform Ranks designation found on many

VFW          Veteran's of Foreign Wars

W.C.         Woodmen Circle
W.O.W.       Woodmen of the World
W.O.W.       Women of Woodcraft
WKSC         White Knights of the Southern Cross (See KKK)

YMCA         Young Men's Christian Association
YWCA         Young Women's Christian Association


AOH-Ancient Order of Hibernians
BPQE- Benevolent & Protective Order of Elks
CAR- Children of the American Revolution
DAR.- Daughters of the American Revolution
FOE- Fraternal Order of Eagles
FOP- Fraternal Order of Police
F&AM- Free and Accepted Masons
GAR-- Grand Army of the Republic
I.O.R.M.- Improved Order of Red Men
IOF- Independent Order of Foresters
IOOF- Independent Order of Odd Fellows
IOJD- International Order of Job's Daughters
JOAM- Junior Order of American Mechanics
JOUAM- Junior Order of United American Mechanics
K of C- Knights of Columbus
K of P- Knights of Pythias
KT- Knights Templar
LOM- Loyal Order of Moose
MWA- Modern Woodmen of America
NOW-Neighbors of Woodcraft
RA- Royal Academy
PA- Royal Arcanum
RAM- Royal Arch Masons
RNA-Royal Neighbors of America-many times the RNA will only have a small aluminum state besides the headstone
SAR-Sons of the American Revolution
SFWC-Supreme Forest Woodsman Circle
USA-United States Army
USAF-United States Air Force
USMC-United States Marine Corp
USN-United State Navy
YMCA-Young Men's Christian Association
YWCA-Young Women's Christian Association
WC-Woodmen Circle
WOW-Woodmen of the World
WOW-Women of Woodcraft

Woodmen of the World

Have you ever been to a cemetery and seen a tombstone shaped like a tree trunk or a tree stump?  If you have, what you saw was a Woodmen of the World tombstone.  This fraternal organization began in 1883 as the Modern Woodmen of America and became a benefit society. Around the turn of the century, a new group evolved, called the Woodmen of the World. The benefit society became involved with selling insurance, and members received a death benefit and the opportunity to have one of the special stones purchased and set on their graves. The distinctive markers came in many shapes, sizes and designs.  If one of your ancestors was a member of Woodmen of the World, you might want to contact the company (which is still in existence) at http://www.woodmen.com/ to determine if they have any records on file relating to your ancestor.

The Symbols

Angels- Angels mean spirituality and they guard the tomb.
Bible- A single Holy Bible is often found on Christian stones.
Holy Books (2)- on Mormon headstones indicates the Bible and the Book of Mormon.
Holy Books (3)- on Mormon Headstones, these indicate The Scripture of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints- the Bible, Book of Mormon, and Doctrine & Covenants.
Chalice - Usually used to represent the Sacraments.
Crescent - the deceased was probably a Muslim.
Crown - The soul's achievement and the Glory of life after death.
Cross - the Cross is an emblem of faith. There are many different types of crosses and each may mean something different. For a good explanation of the various types of crosses, see http://www.alsirat.com/symbols/cross.html a part of The City of the Silent.
Heart (Sacred) - Usually found in Catholic cemeteries, this heart refers to the suffering of Christ for our sins.
Menorah - An emblem of Judaism
Star of David or Mogen David - Recognized as the international symbol of Judaism.

Arrow- Mortality
Broken Column- This image represents the decay. It usually represents the loss of the Family head.
Candle being Snuffed- Loss of life.
Coffin- mortality.
Figure with Dart- Mortality
Grim Reaper- Death personified
Hourglass- Time has run out
Scythe- An instrument of the harvest, death cuts us down
Skull and or Skull/Crossed Bones- Death
Spade or Crossed Spade and Shovel- Death

Trade and Occupation: (emblems that might indicate a person's occupation in life)

Barber-Bowl (for bleeding) & Razor
Butcher- an axe, steel knife and cleaver
Farmer- Coulter (type of hoe), flail (threshing implement), swingletree (rod for beating flax), stalk of corn
Gardener- Rake & Spade
Mason- Wedge & Level
Mariner- Anchor, Sextant & Cross Staff
Merchant- Scales, some type of sign
Minister- Bible
Shoemaker- Leather cutter's Knife, Nippers, Sole cutter & Awl
Smith- Crown, Hammer & Anvil
Teacher- Open Book
Weaver- Loom, Shuttle & Stretchers
Wright- (a worker skilled in the manufacture especially of wooden objects --usually used in combination, shipwright, wheelwright,  Compasses

Resurrection, Eternal Life, Immortality

Angel, Flying or Trumpeting- Rebirth; Resurrection
Bird or Bird Flying- Eternal life, Resurrection
Cross- The Cross means resurrection to many Christians
Dove, Flying- Resurrection
Flame, Light, Lamp or Torch- Immortality of the Spirit, Resurrection
Garland or Wreath- Symbol of saintliness and glory, Victory in death
Horns- The Resurrection
Ivy- Immortality
Rooster- Awakening; Resurrection
Star- Death could not overpower the Light of the Spirit which still shines in the darkness
Sun- A symbol of light and warmth, renewed life and life everlasting
Trumpeters- Harbingers of the Resurrection
Urn- Immortality (The storing of the vital organs was of extreme importance to the ancient Egyptians who believed that life would be restored through the vital organs placed in the urn)


Birds- Eternal life or resurrection
Butterfly- Short-life
Dog- Implies a good master worthy of love
Dove- Seen in both Christian and Jewish cemeteries, the dove means innocence and/or peace
Lamb- Usually marks the grave of a child and means Innocence
Lion- The Lion's eternal watch guards the tomb and stands for Courage
Rooster - Awakening; Resurrection.


Fruits- Eternal plenty as in the fruit of life
Full-Blown Rose-The deceased died in the prime of life
Ivy- Ivy stands for friendship and also immortality
Laurel- A symbol of worldly accomplishment and heroism
Lily- The virgins' flower and also the symbol of innocence and purity
Morning Glory- Signifies the beginning of Life
Oak, Oak Leaves and Acorn- Oak leaves on tombs can stand for power, authority or victory. Often seen on Military tombs
Palm Branch- Signifies Victory and Rejoicing
Poppy- Eternal Sleep
Roses- Roses signify completion and the brevity of earthly existence
Rosemary- Rosemary is for remembrance
Thistles can also stand for remembrance
Thistle- Deceased was of Scottish descent
Tree or Trees
A Tree stands for life.
A Tree Sprouting stands for life everlasting.
Tree Trunk stands for the brevity of life.
Stones shaped liked Tree Stumps usually signify that the deceased was a member of The Woodmen of the World
Weeping Willow Tree- Perpetual Mourning; Grief
Wheat Strands or Sheaves- The divine harvest


Broken Ring- The family circle has been severed
Cherub- Cherubs are angelic and signify innocence
Crossed Swords- Military person of high rank
Hands in cemeteries are usually in one of the following four positions; clasping, praying, pointing, and blessing
* Hand, Pointing Up - Pathway to heaven
Hands, Clasped - Farewells or the bond of marriage
Hands, Praying - Asking God for Eternal life
Hands, Blessing - Blessing of those left behind
Harp- Praise to the God
Heart- Love. Stylized hearts stand for the affection of the living for the dead. Two joined hearts on a stone mark a marriage
Rod or Staff- Comfort for the bereaved
Stars and Stripes Around Eagle- Eternal vigilance and liberty. Often seen on military markers Urn with Flame- Undying remembrance


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McIntosh Coordinator






McIntosh County

Shelley Lynch




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