This cemetery was first laid out on Tremont Street along the Commons in the heart of Boston in 1660. It was first called the “New Burying Ground” and was later known as the “South Ground.” And the “Common Ground,” and finally as the “Granary Burying Ground.” The latter name derived from the fact that it was adjacent to the city’s granary building. In addition to the graves, there are 204 tombs, 85 of which were built between 1720 and 1738. The earliest identified burial is that of John Wakefield who died 18 June 1667.
The inscriptions presented here were first compiled in 1863 by Thomas B. Wyman Jr. Another reading was made in 1905 and all discrepancies between the two compilations are noted. In addition to the inscriptions from the gravestones and tombs, the present work also includes records of tomb burials which took place between 1810 and 1849, as derived from the records of the City Register, and a partial list of tomb owners. The people buried here include such notables as John Hancock, Samuel Adams, and Paul Revere, as well as ordinary citizens. More than six thousand deaths are listed in alphabetical order.