Friday, September 30, 2011


Originally uploaded by midgefrazel

New Information!  Mystery Solved!

The great-grandson (see blog comments below) tells me that the BMA symbol on this stone stands for Burial Monument Association which was the company that made the monuments and that T. H. Hood was Thomas Henderson HOOD. I am reposting this original blog post so readers can see this did have a happy resolution!

Original Post
I have permission to post this photo of a man from Tennessee because there is question of what this symbol represents. He and his wife both have the symbol on their graves. They are buried in Dobbins Cemetery in Maury, Tennessee. A reader tells me that this is in Lawrence County.

From a public tree at (with attached census records for me to examine), I have been amused at the number of different first names for both the husband and wife (hence, the initials). But, I am sure that it is consistently the same family over the census years. Yes, I have left a message for that Ancestry user.

I am asking for help. The man was a blacksmith and farmer according to the census.

Could this stand for a blacksmith's organization, the Modern Brotherhood of America, or the Baptist Missionary Association?

It is possible, a reader tells me, that the initials on this gravestone are of the monument company that they purchased the gravestones from. It might be something like "Memorial Burial Association".

This is a good lesson in that many gravestones are marked with symbols that are only meaningful to the family, the cemetery or the region of the country.


Anonymous said...

I asked at the Lawrence County Archives in Tennessee and these initials are believed to stand for Baptist Missionary Association

Anonymous said... stands for burial monument association. i am the great grandson of t. h. hood. thomas henderson hood. and it was a burial company from the 1930's

Anonymous said...

Interesting. It appears that several states if not more had the Burial Monument Association and gov. entities paid a fee to them - at least I find note of it in Kansas. I would like to know more about this.