Nancy Ottman from Pickerington presented a program on the study of tombstones, the symbols found on them and their meanings, at the June 17 meeting of the Fayette County Genealogical Society.
Examples of a few of the symbols on tombstones Nancy shared and explained included: a house represents the deceased is now home, a bed presents a family buried together, a chair means there is now an empty chair, acorns represent wealth, upside down torches mean the deceased was the end of a family line, and a broken vase means a life ended too soon. There were many slides of tombstones from all over the United States and many from other countries shown by Nancy throughout her informative program. The oldest tombstone she has studied being in Plymouth dated 1681.
She left everyone present with a long sheet of symbols and their meaning that can be used when visiting cemeteries doing family research or tombstone study. Nancy is a member of the Association of Gravestone Studies, the Ohio Genealogical Society, and the Palatines to America and Kansas Genealogical Society. She has been in genealogical research for 30 years and was recently published in “Your Genealogy Today” magazine.
The next meeting of the Society will be Monday, July 15 when Society members and their guests will tour the Fayette County Historical Society Museum where several of the Society members are docents. The Society will then lunch at the Willow Restaurant in Washington Court House. After lunch there will be a tour of the Fayette County Courthouse led by Fayette County Auditor Sandy Wilson, who is an authority on the history of the courthouse. Those attending should meet at the museum, 517 Columbus Ave., Washington Court House, by 9:50 a.m. on July 15.
Please contact Cathy Massie at 740-333-7227 or ReunionMassie@yahoo.com by Wednesday, July 10 to make your reservation. Anyone wanting further information concerning this meeting, the Society, or Society membership may reach Cathy Massie White as listed.