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From: Bubba <>
Subject: [ROOTS-L] Re: On tombstone: KSHTWSST ?
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 01:09:00 -0600

> From: "Kathy Hodge"
> Subject: On tombstone: KSHTWSST ?
> Can anyone help me interpret this tombstone engraving? The following
> letters
> appear in all capital letters in a circle above the person's name on
> the
> tombstone: K S H T W S S T The letters are spaced out equally so I
> don't
> know where I should start reading them. The K appears at 9 o'clock,
> the H at
> 12 o'clock, the W at 3 o'clock, and so on. Each letter is equally
> spaced
> around the circle. The grave is Daniel Travis' in rural western
> Kentucky. He
> was born in 1810 and died in 1884.
> Thanks so much for any help you can give me.
> Kathy


Obviously, Daniel Travis was a Freemason. There exist many tokens to
illustrate masonic involvement in much of our lives. A keystone is
placed in the center of an arch which preserves the others in their
places, and secures firmness and stability to the arch ("The Royal
Arch"). It is the custom of Operative Masons to engrave their mark in
the center of the keystone; a tradition still carried forward to this
day. Mason's tokens are everywhere. You only need to see through
different eyes to recognize them.

The meaning of K.S.H.T.W.S.S.T. is esoteric and cannot be explained
here. You must ask a Mason; however, you shall receive no answer. To
do so, would be to disavow his pledge. It will not be me. (If I tell
you, I would have to kill you.) Let it suffice, Daniel Travis is known
as a Freemason by this token. York Rite Masons remember the order of
the lettering by this cute little verse, "King Solomon Had Twelve Wives
Some Say Twenty." It identified a Freemason who was a Knight Templar in
the York Rite Degrees of Freemasonry.

The Masons have their roots in the Middle Ages when various Christian
organizations were formed to shepherd pilgrims to and from the Holy
Land. The Masons exist today in every corner of the world as a
Christian, philanthropic organization.

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