This article appeared in the Family Chronicle • March/April 2007. A special Thanks
to the Magazine, Halvor Morrshead the Editor & Publisher and the Author
Kathleen Shanahan Maca for allowing its use on the Dubois County Web Page.
• Dog — implies a good master, worthy of love
• Dolphin — salvation bearer or souls across the water to heaven
• Dove — purity or eternal life
• Dove flying — resurrection
• Fish — faith, life
• Horseshoe — protection against evil
• Lamb — innocence (especially child)
• Lion — courage, strength
• Owl — wisdom, solitude
• Rooster — awakening, resurrection
• Seashell — life everlasting.
Specifically: Conch — wisdom, scallop — baptism
• Squirrel clasping a nut — religious contemplation
• Spider web —human frailty
• Swallow —motherhood, spirit of children, consolation
Treestones" are grave markers that actually look like trees. They were most popular between 1880 and 1905,
and were adopted as a symbol by the Woodmen of the World organization for use by their members. Forms
include: Seedlings (life everlasting), stump (life interrupted), stump with ivy (head of family), and trunk (brevi-
ty of life). Other varieties of trees and leaves held their own special meanings.
• Acanthus — a prickly journey from life to death, triumph of eternal life
• Cypress — hope, eternal life (once the tree is cut, its leaves are evergreen)
• Fern — humility, frankness and sincerity
• Ivy — friendship, immortality, attachment, affection
• Laurel — fame or honor
• Mistletoe — immortality
Oak leaves and acorn — maturity, ripe old age
Oak tree — strength or faith and virtue, endurance
Palm branch — victory, rejoicing
Severed branch — mortality
Weeping willow — lament of loss
The phases of the day capture sentiments as well.
• Moon — death and rebirth
• Star — divine guidance
• Sun rising — renewed life
• Sun shining — life everlasting
• Sun setting — end of life
The number three usually represents the Holy Trinity of Christian faith (God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit).
This could be in the form of a three —linked chain (which was also used by the Odd Fellows society), three-
leaved shamrock, fleur-de-lis or triangle. Some religious based icons are shared between faiths, and some are
• Alpha & Omega (first and last letters of the Greek alphabet) — the beginning and the end
• Anchor — hope
Anvil — forging of the universe
Arch — victory in death, passage to heaven
Book — a holy book (such as the Bible), or one's accomplishments in life.