Tri-Counties Genealogy & History by Joyce M. Tice
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Commemorative Plaques & Flagholders
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Brotherhood of American Railroad Conductors

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 At long last BARC has been conclusively identified. A site guest, Lori Niemuth,  sent in a photo of a group of people, all adult males,  with this same insignia, and it is Brotherhood of American Railroad Conductors, or similar to that. She is seeking permission for me to present that photo here.  Thanks, Joyce M. Tice

The above marker was found in Endicott, NY.   There were several in the same cemetery, some rusted and some galvanized. Two of the tombstones by which these were places were of women who died in the 1980s, so these are of recent vintage relative to many.  I have not found these markers in any of the surrounding communities in Broome County. Note: Since the original writing I found another in a cemetery just north of Great Bend PA on the NYS side of the state line. It too is in Broome County. This does at least indicate that the organization was not unique to Endicott.

This flagholder held the top position of mystery marker for over a week but seemed to get only guesses.  The most amusing is Bachelors Against Real Commitment offered by one of our public institutions which I will not name. :) Endicott is near Binghamton NY and it is in Broome County. Either of these or something else could account for the B. The Binghamton Area Reading Council has the right initials, but it is not an organization that erects flag holders. Also the Broome County Association for Retarded Citizens (Called Association for Retarded Children in the 1980s) does not erect flagholders in cemeteries. Another suggested possibility has to do with the American Red Cross. I have stopped in this cemetery a second time and wrote down the names and death dates that were with some of these, so IF I find time to locate an obituary I may find an answer.

In case some of you get to this before I do (hint hint) two names I copied are Katherine Hinchley Smith 1899-1985 and Marion E. Kocher Barton 1899-1982. We can not guarantee that the markers have remained in the correct location, but these are the tombstones they are by now. Katherine also had an OES insignia inscribed on her tombstone and a neighborhood woman whom I spoke to had known both of these women as residents of Endicott and suggested possibly a woman's suffrage connection. Just brainstorming.  The Great Bend marker was on the grave of the Bennets who died in the 1940s. Sooner or later we WILL get it.

Update: In August 2001 a woman contacted me who said she has a pin just like the flagholder that was her grandfather's in Yates County NY. If correct, this means that it is an organization found elsewhere - at least in New York State, and that it is not just for women.

As an aside, the woman who was taking her daily walk in the cemetery whom I consulted turned out to have ancestry in both Tioga and Bradford counties that she is having trouble with, so she was very glad to hear about this website.

I get terribly curious about these flagholders I find and can not identify so PLEASE help. Contact me if you know anything about it. Thanks, Joyce M. Tice

Subj:  BARC
Date:  08/21/2001 7:18:42 AM Eastern Daylight Time

I have a pin that was my grandfathers. it looks just like the picture of the one you found in the cemetery. I have been trying to figure out what it stands for. But i can tell you this: It is not just from this area, because my Grandfather was born and raised in Yates county, New York. let me know if you find out any more and so will i.
Ruth Orr

Subj:  barc
Date:  2/3/2002 1:51:34 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (robyn bierlein)

I dont know if this may be of use, but could it stand for Brotherhood of American Red Cross?

Just a guess.   Robyn

Subj:  BARC mystery
Date:  8/10/2002 6:02:05 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (L Craig)

Great site!  I have obtained a lot of my family history through your hard work.  Thanks very much to you and all your volunteers.

My grand-aunt is in Chenango Valley Cemetery (Binghamton, Broome Co.).  She also has this marker.Velma D. Sturdevant 1875-1926.  My immediate guess was perhaps America Red Cross - Broome or Binghamton. Endicot could fall into Broome but I do not have any idea where Yates Co. is.

I look forward to someone figuring this out.


Subj:  BARC
Date:  7/4/2003 9:29:42 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Roger Davis)

I know you probably have had this one sent to you as a suggestion, but Here goes anyway.

There is an organization called The British Association of Rotary Clubs. Could this flag holder possibly have a connection to that? Possibly the
Broome Association of Rotary Clubs or something similar.

Just a thought. I too have been trying to figure this one out since it appeared on the site.

Good luck,

 Subj:  BARC
Date:  7/4/2003 9:50:44 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: (Roger Davis)


Me again.
From the British Association of Rotary Clubs website I was able to find that Binghamton had member clubs. This may be what you are looking for.

When you have a chance do a search for the British Association of Rotary Clubs and from their site you can find member clubs. There you will see
Binghamton listed.


 NOTE: This one seems the most reasonable of the suggestions we have received:

Subj:  BARC Mystery Clue
Date:  10/20/2003 7:44:51 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: (Teri L. Miles)
To: (Joyce Tice)

    While researching my own unsolved mystery about the Confederate soldier allegedly buried in Gouldsboro, PA, I did a little digging for you. I think I may have a big clue to help you solve the mystery of the BARC cemetery marker. The names you gave helped.
    I looked up Katherine Hinckley (not Hinchley) Smith's gravesite online and discovered her husband's correct name  -- Edwin H. Hinckley. ( has it listed as Edmee.) In the 1930 Census image, Edwin's occupation is listed as "Trainman."
    Further research and I came across the "Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America" ("BRCA" -- look familiar?). My guess is that he was a member. Edwin died in 1949 at the age of 52 years.
    There is a lot of history around about the BRCA but none of the logos looked like the one you have.  As for the other name, Barton, Marion Esther Kocher Barton was Fayette Henry Barton's 2nd wife. I could only find him in the 1920 Census (where he is listed as "H Fayette Barton"). I could not read his occupation so I don't know if he was involved in the rail industry.
    So here's my theory -- "BARC" may stand for the "Brotherhood of American Railway Carmen" or may be "misread" and should be BRCA, "Brotherhood of Railway Carmen of America". Or, to make it more confusing, he could have been a member of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks of America. Whatever, all these transportation/railway unions were combined and merged with other organizations over the years into the UTU -- the United Transportation Union.
    Hope this helps.

Good Luck.
Teri Miles

Subj: BARC marker
Date: 10/28/2003 1:02:51 PM Eastern Standard Time
From: (Arlene Strausser)

Hi Joyce,
A cousin recently found the same marker that you show on your website "the mystery marker" BARC.  I also learned just today that the  caretaker at Glenwood .Cemetery in Binghamton NY has found another one like it.
The first one on the grave of Mary A. Tingley 1856 to 1934.within about 100 ft of Gabriel Buckley who is near the point of Sec 6 as you approach it from the entrance.   We believe she is a relative but do not have proof yet.   We are awaiting the exact location of the 2nd one and will let you know asap.  Have you any positive information about what it means? Arlene

November 2007 - Thought that you might be interested in seeing this slab that is in the Pinehurst, Dooly county, Georgia cemetery.  In searching for the meaning of the letters, I came across your page.  It is not a regional item, since it appears here.  Helen S. Hudson
In a message dated 2/1/2010 9:27:43 AM Eastern Standard Time, writes:
I am very interested in hearing if you have found out more information on this group.  Here is a photo of my Grandfather's lapel pin that matches your marker.  

I have found there are multiple groups with these initials.  Brotherhood of Railway Carmen, Brotherhood of Railway Clerks of America, and Brotherhood of Railroad Conductors.  These were pulled from a 1910 City Guide in Cincinnati Ohio.  I continue to get directed to your site, however there is a difference between your photo and mine.  Both have the large B.  Mine has the RC at the top of the B and the A at the bottom of the B.  Yours has the A  at the top and the RC at the bottom.
I will let you know what more I do find.  

Introduction on Flagholder Section Warning on Sale of Cemetery Memorabilia Obtaining Present Day Flagholders

Published On Tri-Counties Site On 06/05/2003
By Joyce M. Tice

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