Old cemeteries can be of great interest and
besides being a useful source of information.
gravestones in the Borders, you may have noticed that many bear an
hourglass and a skull and crossbones on them.
You may see
others carved with the skull, crossbones, hourglass, candle, scythe,
coffin (sometimes containing a corpse), bell, skeleton and Father
Time. They were all symbols of death and mortality, and were usually
carved at the foot of the tombstone.
(remember that you must die) was frequently carved on the gravestone
with some, or all, of these symbols.
A dove for the
Holy Spirit, a heart for divine love and the crown of righteousness
were emblems of immortality, as was the winged soul — a head with
bird-like wings — usually carved at the top of the stone.
A third group of
carvings represents the trade of the deceased. For example: a boat,
anchor or rope for a seaman; a shuttle, reed or loom for a weaver;
loaves or rolling pin for a baker, and so on.
Also, notice how
a woman kept her original surname after she had married.