In this little cemetery, all the gravestones (about 62 of them) face west, so I naturally assumed that as I was standing facing the headstone, I was standing over the buried body. I was wrong. According to old Christian beliefs, bodies should be buried East-West with the head on the West end. According to the New King James version of the bible, the second coming of the Lord will be from the East. So the bodies, oriented East-West, will be able to rise and face the Lord. But why were all the gravestones in this cemetery facing West? It was then that I realized that the small stones, were related to the large stones. The small stones were foot stones that established the orientation of the buried body. They were put at the foot of the buried person. The initials were those of the person buried there. WIth this “new” knowledge, I went back up to the cemetery and realized that even though all the large headstones were facing west, their corresponding foot stones were behind them! So the bodies were buried behind the gravestones, not in front of them.
The last person in this cemetery was buried in 1862, so this cemetery has been abandoned for more than 150 years! During that time, several foot stones have become dislodged and lost. I found several in a pile at the end of the cemetery. Now that I understand their purpose, I plan on putting them back in their proper place.