Eastern Cemetery is Portland's oldest burial ground. It is believed that burials were made here in the 1600s, but no records or markers survive from that period. Record keeping was equally lax in the 1700s. To bring order into the use of the cemetery, the Selectmen were authorized in 1795 to lay out the "Burial Ground into regular plats & divisions," but it was not until 1890 that a thorough and systematic survey of this large cemetery was finally done. At that time William Augustus Goodwin produced a listing of 4,136 gravestones, monuments, tombs, and grave sites, along with an accurate map showing the location of every marker. In compiling the present volume, Professor Jordan visited and checked each grave on the Goodwin map, and made additions and corrections as required. He also compared the stones with the extant burial records, and has included entries for all those persons known to have been buried here, but for whom there are no markers. In addition, several appendices list individuals whose bodies were consigned to the Portland Medical School or the Maine Medical School for teaching purposes, individuals buried in the Alms House Yard, victims of the shipwreck of the Bohemia and the 1866 Portland fire, and individuals placed in the City Tomb whose subsequent burial place was not recorded in the city burial records. In this large collection of about 7,000 records, each entry gives the person's full name, death date, and burial location. Other data, such as age, relationships, military service, race, and religion are given where known. The data are alphabetically arranged by the name of the deceased, and there is a cross-index to other persons named. The introduction to the volume gives a detailed history of the cemetery.
William B. Jordan, Jr.
(1987), 2009, 5½x8½, paper, alphabetical, index, 212 pp.