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Cemetery Symbols: What does Wheat Signify on Headstones?

Wheat on a headstone (photo by Tui Snider)
Wheat on a headstone (photo by Tui Snider)

WHAT DOES WHEAT SIGNIFY ON A GRAVE? You don’t have to visit many historic cemeteries for the statistics of life expectancy then-and-now to hit home. It’s one thing, for instance, to read that infant mortality in the United States of America was 90% higher 100 years ago than it is now. It’s quite another experience, however, to walk through a historic cemetery in a town that was hit by disease and see a section full of grave markers for children under 6-years-old.

For that reason, I am always happy to spot depictions of wheat on a headstone. Wheat, you see, represents someone who lived to a ripe old age, a person who was able to fulfill their life’s potential before shuffling off this mortal coil!

FIELD GUIDE TO CEMETERY SYMBOLISM: I am currently creating a field guide to cemetery symbolism. Each Tuesday, I am sharing a small snippet from my upcoming book. It’s my goal to create a handy-dandy pocket guide for taphophiles, genealogists, ghost hunters, and anyone else interested in the historic graveyard symbols that have become forgotten over the years.

Let me know in the comments if there is a certain symbol that you are curious about. Also, if you would like to know when the cemetery symbolism guide is available for purchase, scroll down and sign up for my newsletter! I look forward to hearing from you!

Want to read more?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best selling travel guide: Unexpected Texas.
For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best selling travel guide to haunted places: Paranormal Texas.
For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out: The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber. Happy travels!

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Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!
Tui Snider having fun on a Texas road trip!

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Published inCemeteries & SymbolismHistoric CemeteriesTravel Photo Essays

One Comment

  1. Olivia Nelson Olivia Nelson

    I’m currently working on my family genealogy and there are a lot of pictures of headstones. I’m glad to know what the wheat signifies now. Usually you see crosses and angels as well on older headstones.

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