Epitaphs in the Old Burial Place, Dedham, Massachusetts


The earliest death mentioned in the Dedham records occurred in 1637, but it is likely that colonists, especially children, were buried there during the first year of settlement, 1635, after succumbing to the hardships of the wilderness. The ancient burial ground in Dedham includes approximately one acre, but for over a hundred years it was the only burial ground, and since many interments were not marked, some parts of it were dug over several times to furnish graves for successive generations. Fortunately, the epitaphs engraved on stones erected to honor a love one have been preserved here. "So our old cemetery is a record of human affection well fitted to improve the heart and stir the imagination. It is not necessarily a gloomy spot. It speaks rather of rest and peace after the labors and turmoil of life are ended." A diagram of the burial ground with an index to the location of epitaphs precedes the transcription of the epitaphs. The epitaphs typically give the deceased's full name, date of death, and age of death. Many of them also indicate the name(s) and relationships of surviving family members.


Rev. Carlos Slafter, A.M.


(1888), 2008, 5½x8½, paper, 54 pp.

ISBN: 9780917890734