Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Tombstone Tuesday with a Twist

For this Tombstone Tuesday I would like to remember the life of my maternal 3x great-grandfather MM Coolbaugh.  For information on the life of Marvin Milton Coolbaugh see the previous post entitled MM Coolbaugh.

M. M. Coolbaugh
Died Sept. 13, 1879
AE 58 yrs
MM is buried in Monroeton Cemetery, Monroeton, Bradford, PA

I started out thinking this would be just a tombstone picture and learned something very interesting about my ancestor when I noticed the following at the top of the tombstone and wondered what it meant:

Does the chain with the letters F, L and T mean something?  It certainly does!

This insignia represents the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (I.O.O.F.), also known as “The Three Link Fraternity” which stands for Friendship, Love and Truth.
The Oddfellows were established in 1819 as a non-political and non-sectarian international fraternal order of Odd Fellowship.  

They became the first national fraternity to: 

  • include men and women
  • establish homes for their senior members and for orphaned children

Click on the picture below to see a short video I found on YouTube about the Oddfellows:

So, MM was a member of the Oddfellows.  The first ancestor I have found who belonged to this fraternal organization.  I wonder if I can locate the local Oddfellows Lodge where MM might have been a member and learn more about him?

Sometimes a tombstone has valuable information just waiting there for you to find it.

If you have any corrections, additions or stories to share I look forward to hearing them.
Enjoy the journey,


  1. Now that was interesting. I have lots of Masons in my family and have found their symbols on many headstones. But, I don’t believe I’ve ever seen this symbol. You can be assured I’ll be looking closely and let you know if I find one.

  2. Thanks Diane! This is definitely my first member of the Oddfellows that I have located. Now to see if there are any Oddfellow records I can locate...

  3. Good find! The blog for Billion Graves has a series on gravestone symbols that is very informative. See https://blog.billiongraves.com/category/gravestone-symbols