An ancestor's gravestone (headstone, grave
marker) sometimes will offer information such as birth and death
dates and relationships such as "daughter of". Looking closer
at the design of the headstone will reveal how a loved one chose to
represent the deceased symbolically for all eternity.
According to The Association for Gravestone
Studies, many designs are not just decorative; they have meaning(s).
See their list. The
Ringgold County, IA USGenWeb site also has a list of symbolic
meanings. These are some examples taken from these web sites.
Pictures are from gravestones in the Elmwood Cemetery, Sycamore, IL.
The wreath represents victory, honor or eternal
love. It can also be a symbol for the soul, immortality or
penitence. A wreath of roses symbolizes heavenly joy and
bliss, while a wreath of skulls symbolizes death's victory over
An urn, usually placed at the top of the
gravestone, is a classic symbol associated with death. A
draped urn is a traditional symbol of sorrow, mourning.
Wheat symbolizes productivity or bounty.
Gathered wheat represents harvesting and is seen most often on the
grave markers of productive, mature men of faith.
A finger pointing up symbolizes the hope of
Heaven; while a finger pointing down represents God reaching down
for the soul.
Organizations, fraternal brotherhoods and
sisterhoods are also represented symbolically. The above
marker is attached to the gravestone of Sarah Bacon Wood,
identifying her as a "Real Daughter". Real Daughters are
menbers of the Daughters of the American Revolution organization
whose father served in the Revolutionary War. Sarah's father,
John Bacon (4 Aug 1751-22 Mar 1813) served 19 days under Capt. John
Dixon and was part of the Lexing Alarm. Sarah's plaque was
placed by the local chapter of the organization in 1956.
Past Website Articles
Movie Has DeKalb County Connection
Chicago and North Western Depot
Letitia Westgate and the 1902 Smallpox Season
The Lincoln Statue
First Jury of Sycamore Women
Sycamore Electric Company
Sycamore Wagon Works
Obituary of Phyllis I. Horton Kelly
In Grandmother's Attic
The Own Your Own Home
Fairdale Train Accident
Pictures Show A Sad Time In
Franks, DeKalb County, IL?
New Military Link
Coffelt Database of Vietnam Casualties - Click on Military
Records and scroll to bottom of page.
DeKalb County Clerk's office has put online birth, marriage, death and
naturalization records that meet genealogical guidelines. You
can print the document image for $3.00. Their website is
New Malta Obituary
“A Scrapbook of Obituary
Collections, People with a Connection to the Community of Malta, IL”
Compiled by Dorothy W. Stoddard, December 2012. 3,274 obits.
These obits are not part of our online database. If you are
looking for an obit on someone from the Malta area contact the Joiner
This collection is also for sale
in printed ($80) and CD ($20) formats. All proceeds go to the
Malta Historical Society.
On Sale Now
and Order Form
Young Author Gets Acknowledged
Erin Templin, daughter of Dan Templin, "Young Author's" story was
selected by Sycamore School District in her grade to attend a
statewide young author's meeting in May. Because her story takes
place in one of Sycamore's most loved historical buildings, we are
pleased to post it online. Adobe Reader required.
Sycamore City Council Minutes
mayor Ken Mundy is a history buff. He has compiled a brief
description of each meeting held by the city council during the years
1858-1949. By reading his work, you get a
historical sense of the important issues for this growing city.
It is an ongoing project. The manuscripts are available for
review at the Joiner History Room.
Adoptee Law Passed By Illinois Legislature
Excerpts From the Chicago Tribune 10 June 2011
Since last year when the bill was signed, about 645 adoptees born in
Illinois before 1946 have been issued their birth certificates.
Starting November 15, 2011, those born after 1946 will be able to do
the same thing. The law also allows birth parents to have
their names redacted from any released birth certificate by filling
out a form by Nov. 1. For more information see
JHR Adoption and Juvenile Court Records
Database Updated February 2012
Images of Sycamore
The Mighty Maroons
The Mighty Maroons boys' baseball team had this
formal portrait taken at the local M. F. Carlson studio, circa 1900.
Mascot Raymond Branen is front and center. Team members, from
left to right, are (second row) Will Sell and Rex Shield; (third row)
Doug Langhorn, George Murray, Captain Charles B. Townsend, Earl Branen,
and George St. Dennis; (back row) Harry Cornwell, Jim Branen, and
Picture and historical information used with permission of Sue Breese and
the Joiner Room Staff.
See More Like This In
Images of America-Sycamore
Available from Barnes and Noble, Amazon and at Local Stores
Home Records 1891-1943
Funeral home records are often overlooked as a source of genealogical
information. Joiner History Room volunteer Fran Besserman
diligently compared a hand-written list of Burkhart burials with obits
available from other sources in our collection. This may be the
only record of a death. Click
here to see list.
Looking Back Index Available
The Midweek, a current DeKalb County area
publication, has a column called "Looking Back" that has small snipits
of local news dating back to the late 1800's. Most items are one
or two lines long, just enough to give you a flavor of what was
happening at the time. This index covers publication dates from
the start of the column, mid-2010, through December 2012. If you
find an item of interest, e-mail the Joiner History Room with date of
publication and page number.
Can You Help?
Joiner History Room is seeking to add to its archives pre 1960 telephone
books and city directories for the cities of Dekalb and Sycamore. We are
also interested in historical documents pertaining to DeKalb County. You
don't have to send the original historical document, copies will be just
as good. If you have such an item to donate, please email the Joiner
History Room. In the subject line enter "Item to Donate." Thank you.
Joiner Room Honored To
Be Part Of The DeKalb County
Joiner History Room Endowment Fund was established in 2008 to honor Ralph
Joiner and the first appointed DeKalb County historian, Phyllis Kelley.
If you wish to donate to our Endowment Fund, click on the DCCF logo or
send a check directly to The Joiner Room at the address above.
$ .25/page......Photocopy by patron at JHR
.50/page......Photocopies by JHR staff
2.00/scan......By JHR researcher
2.00/each......Photo quality prints
Scans will be emailed. To keep your costs down, we will try
to get as much on one scan as possible. Photocopies by JHR
staff and photo quality prints are sent U.S. mail only.
Postage is also charged.
Sycamore True Republican, 1893