Wednesday, May 20, 2020

52 Ancestors - TOMBSTONE: Masons

John F. Coleman
Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, VA
Mitchell and Reba Coleman Morris
Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, VA
Lester and Mabel Floyd Marsh
Fort Hill Memorial Park, Lynchburg, VA
Russell and Edith Rucker Bumgardner
Coverstone Cemetery, Shenandoah, VA
Otto "Jack" and Margaret Killeen Sprott
Forest Lawn Cemetery, Norfolk, VA
What do the tombstones of some of my distant relatives have in common?

Each one contains the symbol of the Masons, a fraternal organization that traces its origins to the fraternities of stonemasons in the 14th century. The Masons controlled the qualifications for membership in a masonry craft guild and how stonemasons would interact with customers.

The most identifiable symbol of the Masons is an architect’s tools: the square and compass. The symbol may or may not include the letter “G.” The letter has several interpretations: God, Geometry (considered the noblest of sciences), Great Architect of the Universe.

The Masons are often viewed with suspicion. Some say they are a cult in opposition to Christianity. Others view Masons as a serious group eager to do good in the world.

Amy Johnson Crow continues to challenge genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.

© 2020, Wendy Mathias. All rights reserved.


  1. Impressive looking tombstones. Hubby's dad was a Mason. Hubby and his brother chose not to join though they were active in the youth organizations through high school.


  2. My ancestors belonged to the Masons as well and I've always understood them to be a charitable organization. In addition I had women ancestors who belonged to The Eastern Star.

  3. I had some Masons and Eastern Stars, as well. I need to study up on what those organizations do.

  4. These are really interesting headstones.