Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Deacon Samuel Foster, Chelmsford, MA - 1702

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

HERE LYES Ye BODY OF
DEACON SAMUEL
FOSTER AGED 83
YEARS DIED JULY Ye
10 1702

Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved


Forefather's Cemetery, Chelmsford, Massachusetts 

According to New England Families, genealogical and memorial (Vol. 3), Samuel Foster was born in England in 1619.  He married in Dedham in 1647 and "removed" to Chelmsford in 1655.  "His house was on the lower edge of the southeast corner of Robbins Hill, not far from the center of the village."  He tried to prevent cruelty to Native Americans during King Phillip's War when public sentiment was against him.

Note: I have not independently verified the above information.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Olive Blodget, Chelmsford, MA - 1749

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

HERE LIES BURIED
Ye BODY OF
OLIVE BLODGET
DAUGHTER OF LIEU
WILLm & Mrs
ELIZABEth BLODGET
WHO DEC[EASE]D
SEPTEMBER Ye 24TH
AD 1749
AGE 7 YEARS
2 M & 25 Ds


Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
Forefather's Cemetery, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

Monday, September 27, 2010

Henry Smith, Medfield, MA - 1743

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Here lies
ye body of Mr Henry
smith Dec[eased] Ap
ril 14 1743

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Massachusetts

Well, you'd think I was stalking Randy Seaver of Genea-Musings.  All of his ancestors keep turning up every where I look. The first hit I got on Mr. Henry Smith of Medfield was Randy's post on his "Smith Ancestors of Medfield and Dedham." 

Randy's page says that this Henry Smith (I'm sure there are countless many) was born 16 December 1680 in Medfield and died as indicated above.  It also mentions that Henry married Ruth Barber 01 September 1730, also in Medfield. 


"He was a selectman and held other offices in the town [Medfield]. He was married February 20, 1703, to Deborah Pratt, who was born 1684, daughter of John and Rebecca (Colburn) Pratt. She died August 5, 1706, and he was married (second), March 4, 1708, to Mary Adams. She was born August 4, 1681, daughter to Jonathan and Mary (Ellis) Adams, and died February 23, 1725. Henry Smith was married (third) September 1, 1730, to Ruth Barber, who was born March 5, 1696, daughter of Zachariah and Abigail (Ellis) Barber. His children were: Daniel, Mary, Henry, Jonathan, Sarah, Benoni, Ruth, Moses and Asa."

Note: I have not independently verified this information

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Taphath Chenery, Medfield, MA - 1793

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
 In Memory of
Miss Taphath Chenery,
who died March 16th
1793 in the 57th year
of her Age.

My flesh shall slumber in the ground,
Till the last trumpet's joyfull sound,
Then burst the chains with sweet surprise,
And in my Savior's image rise.


Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Massachusetts

Friday, September 24, 2010

Asa Wight, Medfield, MA - 1742

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

HERE LYES Ye BODY
OF Mr. ASA WIGHT
DIED SEPTr. Ye 29.
1742.
[IN] Ye 27th YEAR

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Massachusetts

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mary Ellis, Medfield, MA - 1776

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
Here lies interr'd the Body of
Mrs. MARY ELLIS, wife of Mr.
JESSA ELLIS, and Daughter
Mr. Mosses & Mrs. Mary
Hardin, who died September 28th
1776 aged 34 Years

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Peter Warren, Medfield, MA - 1814

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In memory of
MR PETER WARREN
who died Jan. 9th 1814
Aged about 70 years

A respectable man of colour

Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

 "A respectable man of colour"

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Massachusetts

Fig. 3 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
Honoring a Revolutionary War veteran with the flag


The following text about Peter Warren appears in E.O. Jameson's The History of Medway, MA,. 1713-1885 (1886).

"A Slave Buys His Liberty.  Caesar Hunt, alias Peter Warren, paid to Joseph Lovell the sum of  L13,6s,8d. for his freedom, on condition that if, in the judgment of the selectmen of Medway, he be idle or prodigal of his time and interest so that there be danger of his becoming a burden on the estate he be remanded to the condition of servitude. [The text includes a copy of the legal emancipation.]

The above was duly executed and the said Caesar Hunt, alias Peter Warren, became a freedman and was never remanded to slavery.  He removed to Medfield, where he died.  Upon his tombstone is this honorable inscription: "A respecatable man of color.""

The emancipation was recorded in 1769.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dorcas Clark, Medfield, MA - 1725


Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved


HERE LYES Ye BODY
OF Mrs DORCAS CLARK
WIFE TO Mr BENJAMIN 
CLARK DECEASED JULY Ye
14 1725 IN Ye 80TH 
YEAR OF HER AGE



Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, MA

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hannah Draper, Westwood, MA - 1776

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In Memory of
Mrs. HANNAH DRAPER
Consort of Mr.
JOSEPH DRAPER
who Died October 23d,
1776 in the 30th
Year of her Age.

Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Westwood Cemetery, Westwood, Massachusetts

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Elizabeth Turner, Plymouth, MA - 1789

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In Memory of
Mrs ELIZABETH TURNER
wife of
Mr Lothrop Turner
who died August 16, 1789
in ye 24- year of her age.

Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Burial Hill Cemetery, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Friday, September 17, 2010

Hunting for a slave burial ground and Sambo Slocum

African American Cemeteries in Dartmouth, MA

My head has been stuck in Bristol County, Massachusetts quite a bit this year.  I have visited several times and also given a few talks there.  Today I was browsing through the town of Dartmouth section of A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries and I came across two unexpected items.

The first was a notation of a "Slave Burial Ground Site" at Tucker Road and Allen Street.  The book noted that "the site is destroyed." The second was the "Sambo Slocum Cemetery" next to Gaffney Road.  To me that sounds like it very well may be an African American name.

Slave Burial Ground

Intersection of Tucker Rd & Allen St in Dartmouth, MA
I checked out the Slave Burial Ground Site on Bing Maps.  Only one of the three corners of the intersection hasn't been developed.  I'm hoping that is where the burial ground was.

The Bristol County Cemeteries Database notes that the site may be "legendary."  I couldn't find any other reference to it through a quick internet search.

Sambo Slocum

The Bristol County Cemeteries Database was the only internet hit for Sambo Slocum in Dartmouth.  The page notes that there are two stones believed to be those of African Americans, Sambo Slocum and his wife.  I checked both Massachusetts Vital Records to 1850 database and the 1841-1910 database.  I didn't get any hits on either one.

I did have better luck at Ancestry.com. The 1810 US Federal Census for Dartmouth, MA shows a Sambo Slocum family of 8 in the "All Other Free Persons" column. They lived independently unlike some of the other African Americans in town who were recorded in white households.

In the 1800 US Federal Census for Dartmouth, MA I found two Sambos - Sambo Slocum (erroneously indexed as Hocum) and Sambo Tucker.  In 1800 Sambo is listed with a family of three. While this is pure conjecture, I could speculate that Sambo was a younger man in 1800, perhaps recently married, and in 1810  had quite a growing family.  If that is the case I would speculate that he could have been born in the 1770-1780 time frame.

I took a peek at Sambo Tucker as well.  He was listed with a family of five in 1800.  Both the Tuckers and the Slocums were found in the "All Other Free Persons" column and were living independently of a white family.  I wonder if there is any connection to the Slave Burial Ground at the intersection of Tucker Road mentioned above and the African American Tucker family.  Both families could have sprung from former slaves in the area.

I took one last look at the census by browsing the 1820 US Federal Census for Dartmouth since Sambo Slocum didn't appear in the index.  As expected he is found (on page 14 just above George Smith) despite the fact that he is not in the index.  He is listed with a family of five.

Looking Forward

While my time for exploring has come to an end for today, I know much more information about Sambo Slocum so that I can resume my search later.  I know the general time frame that he was alive, c. 1770/80 - 1820+. I also know that there was ship building activity in the Dartmouth area.  This could be a source for future research.  Also, successful African American ship builder Paul Cuffee (1759-1817) lived in nearby Westport, MA.  Other avenues to explore include researching local town histories as well as the white Tucker and Slocum(b) families for further clues.

If you have any information about the slave burial site in Dartmouth, MA or the African American Slocum or Tucker families of Dartmouth, please let me know.  I would love to hear more on these topics.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Dr. Joseph Metcalf, Franklin, MA - 1767

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

IN MEMORY OF 
Doctor JOSEPH METCALF
WHO DIED MARCH ye
28th 1767 & in the 
44th year of his
age.

Union Street Burying Ground, Franklin, Massachusetts

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jemime Metcalf, Franklin, MA - 1748/9

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

JEMIME
METCALF
DIED FEBRUARY
19, 1748/9

Union Street Burying Ground, Franklin, Massachusetts

Jemima Metcalf was the daughter of Michael and Hannah Metcalf. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mary Shurtliff, Plymouth, MA - 1742

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

 MARY DAUGHTER TO
MR JAMES & MRS FAITH
SHURTLIFF HIS
WIFE. DIED MAY
1742 IN Ye
13TH MONTH OF
HER AGE

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Burial Hill Cemetery, Plymouth, Massachusetts

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rebeckah Metcalf, Franklin, MA - 1798

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In memory of
[broken off] Rebeckah, wife of
[broken off]bas Metcalf;
[broken off] (suddenly)
[broken off] 1798
[broken off] days.

A transcription of her gravestone appears in The Dedham Historical Register Volume IV, 1893, "The Metcalf Family: Barnabas Metcalf and his descendants" by Frank J. Metcalf.

In memory of
Mrs. Rebeckah, wife of 
Barnabas Metcalf, 
who died (suddenly)
January ye 27th 1798
aged 77 yrs & 2 days.
Let all take warning whilst tha've breath
Then to prepare for sudden death.


Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Union Street Burying Ground, Franklin, Massachusetts

Franklin vital records (p. 146) show "Rebecha" Metcalf, married, as having died January 27, 1798.  This is a typed transcription and not an image of the original record.  It indicates that she was the wife of Barnabas.  The nearby gravestone of Barnabas Metcalf shows that he died November 2, 1799. According to Wrentham town marriage records, Barnabas and "Rebekah" Healy were married on March 5, 1744.  Wrentham birth records show that Barnabas was born in Wrentham on July 11, 1720 which made him 79 at his death.  Barnabas and Rebecca had seven children between 1746 and 1765.

This winged face carving is very typical of the Fisher/Farrington shop whose stones are prevalent in the region and particularly prevalent in this cemetery.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Ithamar Pond, Franklin, MA - 1754

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Ithamar
Pond
1754

Union Street Burying Ground, Franklin, Massachusetts

I'm not sure if this was intended as a foot stone or as the main stone for a child.  There was no other gravestone in the area for Ithamar Pond. 

According to "A Genealogical Record of Daniel Pond, and His Descendents" by Edward Doubleday Harris, Ithamar was the child of Benjamin and Mary Pond of Wrentham. Ithamar was born February 24, 1753 and died October 24, 1754.  Ithamar was one of eight children born to Benjamin and Mary.

Can anyone tell me if Ithamar is a boy's name or a girl's name? 

** Please note that I have not independently verified the information in this book.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Who will win this battle - the gravestone or the tree?

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

This is what happens when a cemetery is not carefully maintained.  The gravestones can become permanently entwined within a tree. In 2009 gravestone conservator Kai Nalenz attempted to extract the stone from the tree.  

The tree had been hit by a microburst in 2005 and was slowly dying and falling apart.  After several attempts Kai felt the process was too dangerous for the preservation of the stone as well as for anyone attempting to cut the tree.  

As time passes, the tree slowly breaks apart from weather conditions.  Future high wind storms could cause damage to this stone and other surrounding historic stones. A professional tree removal service is needed to come in and take down the tree.

Fig. 2 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
Fig. 3 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved


Fig. 4 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Alpheus Harding gravestone - September 5th, 1815
Evergreen Cemetery, Medway, Massachusetts

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Margery (Rockwood) Gay, Franklin, MA - 1758

Fig. 1 - (c) 2009 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved


In memory of
mrs. Margery
Gay wife of mr.
Edward Gay
Died January ye 5th
1758 in ye
25th year of
her age.

City Mills Cemetery, Franklin, Massachusetts

Margery (Margaret Rockwood) Gay was the wife of Edward Gay and the mother of Hannah Gay (who married Ishmael Coffee). Hannah was the oldest child of Margery and Edward born 8 February 1752.  She was followed by Thomas born 7 October 1753, Rachel born 24 August 1755 and lastly, Margery born 11 December 1757.

Margery died less than a month after the birth of Margery.  I can't help but wonder that the combination of the birth and the winter weather contributed to her death.  She left behind a husband, age 32, and four children ages 6, 5, 3 and less than a month.  Her husband Edward wouldn't remarry for another 21 months.  Margery was only 25 years old when she died.  Seven weeks later she would be followed in death by her father-in-law, also named, Edward Gay.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Edward Gay, Franklin, MA - 1758

Fig. 1 - (c) 2009 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In memory of
Mr. Edward Gay
Died February 28th
1758 in ye 62nd
year of his
age

City Mills Cemetery, Franklin, Massachusetts

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thomas Bacon Jr., Franklin, MA - 1797

Fig. 1 - (c) 2009 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In Memory of Mr
THOMAS BACON Jr,
who Died May 20th
1797
in ye 27th Year 
of his Age.

My friend is gone,
He's number'd with ye dead,
Dres'd in a sable shroud,
involv'd his head,
Food for ye worms and
mould'ring to ye dust
The hand that doth it
is forever just.


Fig. 2 - (c) 2009  Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved
City Mills Cemetery, Franklin, Massachusetts

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Eleazer Ellis, Medfield, MA - 1779

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

In Memory of
Mr. Eleazer Ellis
who Died May 25th
1779
Aged 85 Years

Fig. 1 - (c) 2010 Marian Pierre-Louis. All Rights Reserved

Vine Lake Cemetery, Medfield, Massachusetts