A cherub, usually represented as a chubby child with wings, is recognized as a heavenly being. The cherub symbolizes the innocence and purity of children. These figures typically adorn the graves of young children.

Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me.”
And forbid them not for of such is the Kingdom of God


This babe that lays so near my heart ,
It was God’s will that we must part.
My Judge knows all things day and night,
He can’t do wrong it must be right.

flickr_james loudon

Special son
A loving thought
A silent tear
A happy memory
Of one so dear


Sleep on my sweet one
Sleep! So early gone
To earth a child is lost
To Heaven a cherub born

Cherub sleeping

Angel wings, upon the clouds your body softly sleeps

Angel cherub_flickr

As the flowers are all made sweeter
By the sunshine and the dew
So this old world was made brighter
By the life of a babe like you.


Hush now little one, no more tears you have to keep

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Indian Springs Cemetery

Indian Springs Cemetery, in Punta Gorda, Charlotte County, Florida, was originally named Pineapple River Cemetery. It is an unassuming, flat, open space with few upright headstones considering the size of the cemetery.


Trees in the space are inhabited with sphagnum moss. It reduces the tree’s growth by preventing light from reaching the leaves and slowly sucks the life out of the tree – very sinister and pertinent for a cemetery.


Infant Daughter Lanier born 14 June 1903 died 15 June 1903
Budded on earth to blossom in Heaven
A lamb engraved on the tombstone is a common symbol found on the graves of children.
Note the tiny doll with disconnected limbs – rather creepy!


The image of a man/monk/Saint holding a bible and a cross. A cherub figurine and an upturned shell have been placed at his feet. The shell is not surprising considering that the cemetery is in Florida. Symbolically it represents a journey or pilgrimage.


The tree stump monument with severed limbs represents a life cut short, and is also indicative of the resting place of a member of the Woodsmen of the World Fraternity.


This elaborate metal cross is one of the oldest symbols of Christianity symbolizing Christ’s sacrifice. It is an emblem of faith; salvation; and a symbol of rebirth.


The Mighty Oak

In pre-Christian times the oak was the tree of life worshipped by Druids. It is also considered the tree from which the crucifix was made, and therefore symbolizes the renewal of life. As a hard wood representing stability, strength, endurance and longevity it is often found on military graves and near children’s graves in pioneer cemeteries.

The most common representation of the oak tree are the leaves and fruit of the oak, the acorn. They symbolize maturity and old age.

Ye young ye fair your rosed cheek may promise you old age
But yet a few more setting suns & death may you engage.

AcornsforumgardenwebgardenwebIMG_0527Oak leaves acorns

Although the image below does not display the symbol of the oak tree or the acorn, I thought it appropriate to this post with its message of endurance and longevity. The grave is located at West Burying Ground in Litchfield,  Connecticut, U.S.A.


Here Lies The Body
Of Mrs. Mary, Wife Of
Dn John Buell Esq
She Died Nov 4th
1768 Etatis 90
Having Had 13 Children
101 Grand Children
274 Great G. Children
22 Great G. G. Children
410. Total

336 Survived Her

*etatis is a Latin word meaning age

Unconsecrated Burials

A cemetery is a consecrated ground used by the Established Church of England. Centuries ago there was often an unconsecrated section in which burials took place of the less fortunate although the ground could be consecrated prior to each burial. Such graves often have no marker and may hold unrelated burials.

In medieval times, witchcraft and devil worship, execution of criminals, and death achieved by suicide were reasons to withhold a religious burial. These rules were most likely created by the Church to strike fear into the congregation and ensure their adherence to a pious life.

The practise of burying unbaptised babies in unconsecrated ground was very common in Ireland. The burial method of stillborn children was often at the discretion of the parish priest and his beliefs (was the soul innocent and deserving a Christian burial regardless of whether the child was baptised?) It was not unusual for midwives to baptise a child particularly if it was not expected to live thus ensuring a consecrated burial.

The thrill of giving birth to twins was tragically compounded when the stillborn twin was buried in unconsecrated ground, and yet the second twin who died the following day after baptism was buried in consecrated ground. If the parents insisted the babies should be buried together, they were buried in unconsecrated ground.

There is a grave in Otisco Cemetery, Minnesota assigned to Paul Kuss who committed suicide in 1910. His resting place is downhill and down-wind of the main cemetery.


Another isolated, solitary grave in the Orkneys is the last resting place of Betty Corrigall who attempted to drown herself in the sea when she discovered that she was pregnant and abandoned by her lover. Although her suicide was thwarted by a passerby she hung herself shortly after. Her burial place is on the parish boundary because the Lairds refused to allow her body to be buried on their lands. There is an interesting detailed story which continues after her death which can be read here

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In a previous post entitled El Campo Santo, there were two graves identified which were unconsecrated.

Jesus Indian was given an Ecclesiatical burial in 1879 by Father Juan Pujol. However, because he was drunk and did not receive the Sacraments he was buried near the gate of the cemetery in San Diego.

San Diego_Jesus

Bill Marshall was a renegade sailor who married an Indian woman and participated in the Garra Indian Uprising in 1851. After capture, trial and hanging he was buried outside the wall of the cemetery in El Campo Santo Cemetery, San Diego.

San diego_Marshall