Cemetery Acronyms, Memberships and Associations

Cemetery or tombstone acronyms are frequently related to membership in a variety of organizations including Freemasons , Knights Templar, Sons of Temperance, Colonial Dames and quite a variety of others. Many iron markers can be found next to tombstones to mark the membership(s) that the deceased was associated with. Before insurance was commonplace, there were a number of benevolent societies offering death benefits, such as the Woodmen of the World (WOW) with their fairly commonplace beneficiary tree tombstones. The list below is certainly not all-inclusive, but represents some of the symbols or markers that frequent cemeteries that I have visited.

Alpha Tau Omega (ATO)

Alpha Tau Omega (ATO)

American Legion (AL)

American Legion (AL)

The American Legion was founded in 1919 and is primarily an association for ex-servicemen.

Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE)

Benevolent Protective Order of the Elks (BPOE)

American fraternal, charitable, and service club with more than 1.1 million members. Contributor to the relief of suffering in national calamaties.

Boston Tea Party Participant

Boston Tea Party Participant

Boston Tea Party Participant, Chapel Hill Cemetery, Boston, Massachusetts

Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

Boy Scouts of America (BSA)

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BofLE), (BLE)

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers (BofLE), (BLE)

Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers.

Catholic War Veterans (CWV)

Catholic War Veterans (CWV)

Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century

Colonial Daughters of the 17th Century

Rev. John Cotton, Chapel Hill Cemetery, Boston, Massachusetts

MPLA

MPLA

 Monte Pio Luso-Americano, the oldest existing Luso-American fraternal society in New England.

Oak Grove Cemetery, Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts

Confederate States Army (CSA) Southern Cross of Honor

Confederate States Army (CSA)

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR, NSDAR)

Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR, NSDAR)

Independent Order of the Odd Fellows - Rebekah (IOOF-R), (FLT-R)

Daughters of Rebekah (IOOF), (FLTR)

Friendship, Love, Truth – Rebekah. Daughters of Rebekah are the Lady’s Auxiliary of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.

Fire Department (FD)

Fire Department (FD)

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) (FCL)

Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), (FCL)

Improved Order of Red Men (IORM), (FF&C), T.O.T.E.

Improved Order of Red Men (IORM), (FF&C), (T.O.T.E.)

F F & C stands for: Freedom, Friendship, Charity, the motto for the Improved Order of Red Men – a patriotic fraternity Chartered by Congress.

Independent Order Of the Odd Fellows (IOOF), (FLT) chain links

Independent Order Of the Odd Fellows (IOOF), (FLT)

Odd Fellows are also known as “The Three Link Fraternity” which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.

Jewish War Veterans (JWV)

Jewish War Veterans (JWV)

JROUAM

JR OUAM

Junior Order United American Mechanics

Richmond Cemetery, Rhode Island

KofC Knights of Columbus

Knights of Columbus (KofC)

Knights of Honor (KofH)

Knights of Honor (KofH)

Knights of the Maccabees KofM, KOTM, KOTMM

Knights of the Maccabees (KofM), (KOTM), (KOTMM)

Cemetery Symbolism Knights of Pythias (KofP), (KP), (FCB)

Knights of Pythias (KofP), (KP), (FCB)

FCB–Friendship, Charity, Benevolence.

Knights Templar (KT)

Knights Templar (KT)

Christian-oriented fraternal organization and an integral part of the Masonic Fraternity.

Lions Club International (LI)

Lions International (LI)

Lions Club International has nearly 1.4 million members in 193 countries and geographic areas answer the needs that challenge the communities.

Loyal Order of the Moose (LOOM)

Loyal Order of Moose (LOOM)

Ladder, Orangemen Emblem

Loyal Order of the Orange Lodge, Orangemen (LOL)

Mason's Compass and Square

Mason/Freemason

Mason Grand Master

Mason Grand Master

Mason Royal Arch (HTWSSTKS)

Mason Royal Arch (HTWSSTKS)

Acronym for “Hiram the Widows Son Sent to King Solomon” and is found on a keystone of Royal Arch Masons.

Mason Scottish Rite

Mason Scottish Rite

Mason's Wife or Daughter (FNDOZBTKC MR YA)

Mason’s Wife or Daughter (FNDOZBTKC MR YA)

Emblem of a little known Masonic degree called the Mason’s Wife or Mason’s Daughter. Fear Not, daughter of Zion; Behold, thy King cometh.

Modern Woodmen of America (MWA)

Modern Woodmen of America (MWA)

Mosaic Templars of America (MTA 3 Vs)

Mosaic Templars of America (MTA 3 Vs)

African American fraternal organization offering mutual aid to the black community.

National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC)

Founded in 1889, NALC is the union of city letter carriers employed by the U.S. Postal Service.

National Society Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA)

National Society Colonial Dames of America (NSCDA)

Order of the Eastern Star (OES), (FATAL)

Order of the Eastern Star (OES, FATAL)

The symbol for the Order of the Eastern Star is a five pointed star with a pentagon in the center of the star.

FATAL: Fairest Among Thousands, Altogether Lovely

Providing Educational Opportunities (PEO)

Providing Educational Opportunities (PEO)

Philanthropic society providing educational opportunities for women.

Pythian Sisters (PS), (PLEF)

Pythian Sisters (PS), (PLEF)

Royal Neighbors America (RNA)

Royal Neighbors of America (RNA)

Founded over a century ago with an important mission: making financial security and independence a reality for women. More than 200,000 members.

Shriners International

Shriners International (SI)

Sons of American Legion (SAL)

Sons of the American Legion (SAL)

Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)

Sons of the American Revolution (SAR)

Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV)

Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV)

Sons of Temperance (ST)

Sons of Temperance (ST)

Sons of Union Veterans (SUV)

Sons of Union Veterans Civil War (SUV)

Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle (SFWC)

Supreme Forest Woodmen Circle (SFWC)

United Confederate Veterans (UCV)

United Confederate Veterans (UCV)

United Confederate Veterans Association was established in 1889 as a benevolent, historical, social, and literary association. Active 1889 to mid 1940.

United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC)(UCV) CSA

United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC)

Cemetery Symbolism United Order of the Golden Cross (UOGC)

United Order of the Golden Cross (UOGC)

United Spanish War Veterans (USWV)

United Spanish War Veterans (USWV)

Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Veteran of Foreign Wars (VFW)

Womans Relief Corps (WRC)

Women’s Relief Corp (WRC), (FCL)

The Woman’s Relief Corp worked to relieve the sufferings of veterans of the Civil War.

Woodmen of the World (WOW)

Woodmen of the World (WOW)

Woodmen Circle (WC)

Woodmen Circle (WC)

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