Randy Seaver’s kicking of the new year with his column, Digging for Answers. In this article, Randy provides some valuable resources to help answer the following question: There is an interesting symbol and Latin words on my ancestor's gravestone - what do they mean?
As you surmise, they mean something! But it depends on the context of the symbol and the words. Is it a symbol that conveys a message about the deceased, or does it mean that s/he was a member of a certain group? These symbols or emblems may be only decorative or have an explicit, or even a hidden, meaning. The Latin words (or any lettering) may be a motto or saying of a specific group that the deceased was a member of.
There are a number of websites that have interpretations of carved symbols or designs found on the gravestone that tell a story.