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Historic Cemetery Symbols: What does Corn Symbolize?

Historic Cemetery Symbol of the Week

This week’s Historic Cemetery Symbol of the week is Corn:

Ear of corn on a headstone (photo by Tui Snider)
Ear of corn on a headstone (photo by Tui Snider)

The Symbolic Meanings for Corn

When you see an ear of corn on a headstone, you may be standing at the grave of a farmer. In fact, it was an old country custom to send sheaves of corn, instead of floral bouquets, to a farmer’s family upon his passing.

There is more to the symbolic meaning of corn, however, than simply indicating a person’s occupation. In the Bible, the word “corn” is used for grains, in general, and is used symbolically to indicate spiritual goodness. With its many seeds, corn is also a symbol of fertility and rebirth.

Field Guide to Cemetery Symbolism:

I am currently writing a field guide to historic cemetery symbolism. Each Tuesday, I share 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.

Which symbols are you curious about?

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 like this?

To read about more weird, offbeat, and overlooked places, check out my best-selling travel guide:
UNEXPECTED TEXAS: Your Guide to Offbeat & Overlooked History, Day Trips & Fun Things to do near Dallas & Fort Worth

For ghost hunting hot spots, check out my best-selling travel guide to haunted places:
PARANORMAL TEXAS: Your Travel Guide to Haunted Places near Dallas & Fort Worth

For a strange-but-true tale of Texas history, check out this bizarre piece of West Texas history:
The Lynching of the Santa Claus Bank Robber



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No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui's books can take you on a FUN adventure!
No matter where you live in the galaxy, Tui Snider’s books can take you on a FUN adventure!

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Published inBlog PostsCemeteries & SymbolismHistoric Cemeteries


  1. A few of my ancestors have an image of a hand pointing to the sky at the top of the gravestone. I assume this has to do with going to heaven and believing in God, but I was wondering if there is any specific information about what the symbol meant.

    • Tui Snider Tui Snider

      Hi Kelly! Yes – when a hand is pointing upwards, it means that the person is headed towards the kingdom of heaven. I’m actually working on a hand out about the symbolism behind hands in historic graveyards right now. If you’re interested, sign up for my newsletter, or check back here on my blog in a few weeks! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. :D ~Tui

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