The early Virginians probably used wooden markers for their graves, but in time they rotted down. Looking around for a more durable marker, they discovered round, black boulders in their mountain streams.
These boulders were carried to the old graveyards (usually family plots on their own land) and placed at the head of the graves to mark the burial.
These natural markers soon became known as 'Tomb Rocks.'
Because the rocks were too hard for the tools at hand to cut them, the rocks were generally un-graven. In some instances a date might be scratched on them, - soon to wear away in the elements.
Today, these 'tomb rocks' may be found in the old grave-yards marking the burial site but telling no story of who lies buried there!