BillionGraves has come a LONG way over the last three years to become the world’s largest GPS gravestone database! With 10 million GPS headstones records, millions of supporting burial records, 120,000 users from nearly every country in the world; BillionGraves is and will continue to be the fastest and easiest way to preserve the world’s headstones! Thank you to all of our volunteers! A special thanks to our “Super” users below!
|Photos Taken||– User||User’s Country|
|91410||Jim Pack||United States|
|Transcriptions||– User||User’s Country|
|27912||Patty C||United States|
|17681||DIANE GIPSON||United States|
|17324||John Danell||United States|
|16811||karl kaufmann||United Kingdom|
|16163||Barbara J. Keil||United States|
|15645||Mary Espinoza||United States|
|14914||ralph pierce||United States|
|14785||Marijke Bullians||New Zealand|
|14358||Regine Brindle||United States|
|13546||suzanne fahrer||United States|
|13529||Ken Couch||United States|
|13271||two sisters||United States|
|12907||STEVE N||United Kingdom|
BillionGraves Golden Egg Contest has officially begun!
To get things started off right, the clue to this week’s Golden Egg is going to be an easy one. If you have been following us on Facebook, [hint hint… go “like” us! 😉 ] you’ll notice our new “This Day in History” posts provided by History.com. What better way to start off our historical Golden Egg Contest with a clue from this day in history!
Want to know more about the Golden Egg Contest? Read more HERE then start hunting!
The clue to this weeks Golden Egg is…..
CLUE: When did Pope John Paul II pass away? Hint: Watch the video to find out!
Remember to follow all the guidelines and rules to qualify for the challenge each week! A quick refresher on the basic rules:
- The clue will be for a specific date (day, month AND year) of a significant moment in national or global history that you will need to find on a headstone between the Wednesday and Sunday (11:59pm) of that week.
- If you find a headstone with the special date (day, month AND year), you’ve found a BillionGraves Easter Egg!
- Take a picture and upload it to BillionGraves through the mobile application
- Copy and paste the URL into the comments section of this Blog post.
For a full recap of all the rules check them out HERE!
Good luck and Happy Hunting! 🙂
The holidays are always a time full of symbolism, both religious and secular, so I thought it would be a great time to publish Part 2 of our Headstone Symbolism series. I love discovering and thinking about deeper meanings behind symbols in our lives, I think it’s provides interesting insight into the lives and values of others.
If you missed part one, you can go back and read it here.
Keep in mind, the following definitions are just ideas of what each of these symbols mean. Just because someone (whether that’s the person actually buried there or one of their relatives) chose a certain symbol for this headstone doesn’t mean that’s what it meant to them. But it sure is fun to think about!
Angel: They are typically considered a guardian, messenger, or even a guide to heaven. They are a symbol of spirituality and of resurrection. Angels are said to “guard the tomb, guide the soul, pray for the soul in purgatory, and direct the living visitor to think heavenwards.” (From Cemetery Symbolism; A Wary Glossary)
Ball (Sphere): Usually a symbol of the soul waiting for resurrection.
Lyre: This could mean the person buried here was a musician. A lyre is also a symbol of the connection between heaven and earth. When it has a broken string, it symbolizes the end of life.
Palm Branches: They are typically a Christian symbol of spiritual victory or victory over death. They also could signify eternal peace or a heavenly reward.
Rose: The rose could also be a Christian symbol in that it signifies the blood of Christ. It is also a “reminder that the soul achieves its most perfect state after physical death.” (From Heritage Bulletin)
Weeping Willow: This symbol usually represents what its name implies, sorrow, mourning, nature’s lament, and remembering those that have passed.
Freemason Square and Compass: This symbol signifies a member of the Freemasons or Masons—a fraternal organization. Usually the “G” in the middle either stands for “God” or “Geometry.”
Tree stump (Woodmen of the World): This symbol (which may include an ax, the maul and wedge, and/or a dove of peace with an olive branch) signifies a member of the fraternal insurance society called “Woodmen of the World.” In its beginnings, this organization provided its members with headstones, but that turned out to be too costly. Since Woodmen never “lie,” these tombstones will usually say “Here rests a Woodman of the World.” (See Wikipedia article)
The BillionGraves team is proud to announce that we have reached 6,000,000 records!
We are so thrilled about the wonderful progress being made and are excited for the next million records! We couldn’t have done it without the wonderful contributors who are visiting and photographing cemeteries throughout the world as well as all those transcribing all those images!
You can help contribute to the cause by transcribing a few of the thousand of images waiting for transcription! Thank you all for your amazing contributions!
* Countries include: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iceland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Lithuania, Mexico, New Zealand, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, The Netherlands, Ukraine, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Have you ever stopped to take a look at what you find on headstones besides names and dates?
Cemeteries are filled with symbolism that you may not even realize at first glance. As I payed close attention to the symbols on the headstones around me during my last visit to the cemetery, I was fascinated by what I found. These simple symbols are very thought provoking and gave me a deeper understanding of the people who are buried there.
You never know why people choose to put certain symbols on their headstone, but here are some symbols you might find on a headstone and a few ideas of what they might mean:
Hands: These are very common on headstones. Clasped hands (like the ones found in this picture) may mean a farewell, a welcoming into the heavenly world, a symbol of marriage. In this stone, one sleeve appears more feminine and the other masculine which is most likely a symbol of marriage.
Star: Could represent spiritual light, divine guidance or birth/rebirth. In Judaism, the star of David represents divine protection. In Christianity, it sometimes represents “light shining in darkness” or good overpowering evil.
So next time you’re in the cemetery, take a look at the symbols around you. They just might give you some interesting insight into the people who are buried there.
What neat cemetery symbols have you come across? Comment below or send me a picture! I’d love to see what you’ve found!