This is not a great photo but it comes from the gravestone of my great-great-great-granfather James Smyth Stacy, a Boot and Shoe Maker, who was buried in Adelaide (South Australia) in 1864.

A symbol that I have interpreted as perhaps being a serpent is featured prominently, and I am wondering whether this indicates that he was a member of a particular lodge or whether it might have some other known significance?

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To give a bit more context, this is the whole gravestone that has below the "snake/ribbon" inscriptions for him, his wife, one of his sons and one of his daughters.

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1 Answer 1


Looks more like a ribbon with words on it than a snake. The circle surrounding, is vaguely like a Celtic knot, so the ribbon could be a snake/serpent after all as the bottom of the ribbon looks like a head with an eye. Have a look at this link

[ I agree with the words Transcribed by @ColeValleyGirl ]


to the




  • Thanks for enhancing this and I think you are right about the letters, and maybe it is a ribbon rather than a snake! You are doing better at picking out the letters than I am but based on what you got I am wondering whether it is a religious message something like "Ferried to the Almighty Lord" (which could almost fit what you made out).
    – PolyGeo
    May 18, 2013 at 9:35
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    @PolyGeo, Carried to the Almighty Lord.
    – user104
    May 18, 2013 at 13:03
  • @ColeValleyGirl Are you both thinking it is more just decorative (with a religious message) rather than indicating a particular religion, lodge, occupation, etc?
    – PolyGeo
    May 19, 2013 at 0:35
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    @PolyGeo, FWIW wikipedia (without any citations) and various other places on the net (also without supporting info) say that a "Snake in a circle" on a gravestone means Everlasting life in Heaven.
    – user104
    May 19, 2013 at 10:32
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    The word from Torie's Facebook page is that she has not seen it before so I am going to conclude that it is just some sort of elaborate "snake in circle" adornment - and award the points to @Sam888 for his deciphering effort!
    – PolyGeo
    May 24, 2013 at 10:51

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