Essex, Mass. Cemetery

Essex, Mass. - Cemetery

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The Old Burying Ground, Essex, Mass.


  1. Description and History of Burying Ground
  2. Gravestone Photographs
    1. in numerical order
    2. in chronological order, 1709-1750
  3. Inscriptions with annotations
  4. Bibliography
  5. Index of Names


Located on Main Street in Essex, behind the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, the Old Burying Ground was established in 1680 for the burial of Chebacco parishioners. Before 1680, inhabitants of Chebacco Parish were buried at High Street Cemetery, Ipswich. The burying ground was used until 1855, when the new Spring Street Cemetery was opened. It has been estimated that 2,000 people are buried in this small plot of land. Today there are 374 headstones memorializing 424 people, with the oldest dated 1708/09.

In 1991, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum, with assistance from a grant by the Council on the Arts, conducted a survey of the burying ground. All headstones and footstones were numbered and the inscriptions transcribed. The numbering system divided the burying ground into two secions, left and right, called areas A and B. Each stone was then numbered consecutively from the front of the section towards the back. That numbering system is used in this transcription to identify the headstones.

Included with the inscriptions and headstone numbers are annotations with comparisons of the inscription to other sources of information about the person's name and death date. There are also some notes about the condition and description of the grave marker itself, and if there is a veteran's marker near the headstone.

Copyright 2006, 2010 by Kurt A. Wilhelm