We had the opportunity to get out of town this past weekend to Columbus, Georgia just to get away. But we still found ourselves wandering some cemeteries looking at the unique grave markers and carvings. Some headstones will give you clues about the person such as the Masonic Lodge symbol indicating he was an active member that the time of his death. If it is a woman’s grave and has the Eastern Star symbol or one of the many women’s organizations related to freemasonry then it gives you more places to look.
We saw several where the headstone was carved to look like a tree and I immediately knew they were members of Woodmen of the World, another fraternal organization. Headstones with lambs typically indicating a child is buried there. Sometimes the headstone gives us additional information such as, “Wife of”, “Daughter of”, or “Son of.” Look for indications of military service which can lead to more records.
If you are at an older cemetery where the family bought the plot with multiple graves, you want to research each and every person buried there. In one of the cemeteries we were at, everyone in a particular family plot were Crawfords by birth or marriage. But in one corner, was a grave marker and the engraving gave no indication this person was a Crawford.
One final thought on cemeteries, if you have a free account at FindaGrave.com (and I encourage you to if not), then consider looking on Findagrave whenever you visit a cemetery for requests for a photo of GPS. Using the phone app, when you get to the actual grave, you drop a GPS pin that helps others find the grave when they visit. Also, people are looking for pix of the headstone (if one exists). You can also request someone to take a picture for you but please try to furnish them with all available information. That might mean calling the cemetery office to get the exact location. I also add a couple of photos showing the surround features.
While at Parkhill Cemetery in Columbus, where my Aunt and Uncle are buried and many of my Uncle’s family I did this. My cousin was saying his parents were buried near the mausoleum but there are three at that cemetery. I took a picture while standing by their graves of the nearest one and another picture of a statue nearby to help people find the place. The GPS feature was not available when I attended their funerals back in 2008 and 2009.