Thirty-nine damaged and fallen gravestones in Sandwich’s oldest burying ground are getting professional restoration this fall. Work was begun in late September and is likely to continue into November, 2012 in a contract initiated by Jennifer Madden of the Historical Commission, with assistance from former commission member Kaethe Maguire and the cooperation of the Cemetery Commission. Funding for the project is split between the Cemetery Commission and Community Preservation Committee.
7 thoughts on “Old Town Burying Ground Gets Restoration Work”
I am so looking forward to visiting Sandwich this fall. I’ve read that my ancestor William Gifford (1615-1687) is buried there. As he was a member of the Friends church, I understand that he may not have a gravestone.
I’ll add the old Quaker meeting house to my plans. Thank you.
I will be there at the end of September. Wm Gifford is my 9th great grandfather as well. Hoping to find his gravesite as well. And totally understand that I most likely won’t.
I am anxious to visit! I recently learned I am a descendant of Sandwich founders & early Quaker converts Peter & Lydia Gaunt. I have not found information concerning their burial sites. Do you have information?
With regard to the inquiry about Peter Gaunt, my response is:
You have an interesting ancestor. Peter Gaunt was one of the earliest settlers of Sandwich but, not one of the Ten Men from Saugus who signed a document requesting permission from Plymouth Colony to establish the first settlement on Cape Cod in Sandwich. You will find many references to your ancestor in, Sandwich, a Cape Cod Town by Russell Lovell and it can be obtained on line or through the Sandwich Archives located in the Sandwich Library. Gaunt was a very early Quaker and helped establish the Society of Friends in Sandwich. The Quaker Meeting in Sandwich is the oldest and continuous meeting in North America! The earliest Quakers were persecuted by local officials and especially by local marshal, George Barlow. Yet they survived and when you visit our town you will find an active Quaker Meeting House complete with ancient burial ground. The earliest Quakers did not believe in having grave markers as they thought it was a sign of wrongful pride. Thus it is unlikely that you will find the actual grave but, you will find the cemetery and a great deal of history. Come and visit Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod, having been settled in 1637.
Is there any record of who is buried here? I am specifically looking for Thomas Dexter (died 1686 in Sandwich) and wife Elizabeth Vincent (died in 1714). They had the Dexter Mill and I believe this is where they were probably buried.
The website findagrave.com has this information on Dexter:
I love seeing things like this happen for the residents who lived and died early on, leaving no one to care for their graves after they have gone. Some of my ancestors lived in Very Early Sandwich, Barnstable, MA. Many were born and died there. One of the first that I have found is William Swift who was born in Bocking, Essex, England in 1619 and died on December 26, 1705 in Sandwich, Barnstable. His son William was born and died there also and so on down the line. Someday I hope to be able to head back that way and do more research in person 🙂