Tombstone Tuesday: Unexpected Cemetery Find

As I was driving past Mount Sumach Cemetery this weekend, I happened to notice a headstone with my last name.  I almost didn’t stop, because I could tell from the road that it was a relatively modern stone.  However, it was Saturday afternoon and I had time, so I turned around.  The stone in question turned out to be a bust (as far as I know at this time), but the stop was so worth it.The cemetery was clearly an old one.  There were many markers that were so old and weathered that that the inscriptions were completely worn off.  In fact, some looked like natural stones that had simply been placed as grave markers.  I saw two that were indeed natural stones, with markings etched on by a rock or a knife.

As I wandered around, I noticed a stone for William West.  My great-grandmother was a West, but I couldn’t remember her father’s name.  I paused to take a photo (I carry a small digital camera in my purse for just such occasions), just in case, and as I looked at the adjacent stone, I saw that the name was Leaty West.  Leaty is not a common name and I recognized it immediately.  These were my great-grandmother’s parents!

Not only did I discover their burial places, but I learned that William fought in the Civil War and when Leaty was born.

William’s headstone poses an additional question – what does the symbol at the top mean?  It seems Masonic to me, but I’m not sure why.  Does anyone know?  If so, please leave a comment.

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  1. William S Den says

    The symbol is a standard one used to designate a Confederate veteran. It is called the Southern or Confederate Cross of Honor.


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