GenMassachusetts-L ArchivesArchiver > GenMassachusetts > 2005-06 > 1120133252
From: "Betty" <>
Subject: Re: [GM-L] Back Yard Burials?
Date: Thu, 30 Jun 2005 08:11:40 -0400
References: <002a01c57cd2$eddd8020$e096fbd1@youro0kwkw9jwc> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <000801c57d69$2cdac4e0$9297fbd1@youro0kwkw9jwc>
Both Billerica and Chelmsford (and Groton, MA) were incorporated in
..1655.. and, all three towns are "celebrating" this year - their "350th
In fact, Chelmsford is having a "much larger" ..4th of July.. Parade on
And, many "350th events" went on during Memorial Day weekend (founded in
month of May). There have been several "re-enactments" of both "town
meetings" and "church services" as they might have happened in 1600's.
And, something to remember is that Billerica and Chelmsford - were the
original "plantations." All the bordering towns .. annexed off of
Billerica and Chelmsford ! So, the cemeteries of the 1600's, and up to
1730's, would have been in Billerica or Chelmsford. The bordering towns
started annexing off in the 1730's !
(Actually, you see more houses built in 1700's in towns like Carlisle than
you do in Billerica.)
There is a lady at the Chelmsford Historical Society who wrote and published
a book on the "Forefathers' Burial Ground." I have not seen it, so I
don't know if it includes a list of "everyone" who is buried there.
And, a lady at the Billerica Historical Society started a project to record
all the burials at both the "South Cemetery" and the "North Cemetery." I
think the lists are only in booklets, but they are at the Library.
I think you can find out information on both from both the web site for the
Historical Society and the Public Library.
My ancestor, John KIDDER, married Lydia PARKER "of the Chelmsford PARKER's.
I don't have her parents' names memorized, but can look them up. (I have
posted about them in past years.)
And, John's father, James KIDDER, the patriarch, had some of his
granddaughters (?) marrying into "the Billerica PARKER's." And, what
happened here is that "the KIDDER land / homestead" directly in Billerica
Center - became known as "the PARKER land." (Where the current library,
"large, white church," etc., currently stand, adjacent to the "Billerica
And, a reminder is that the City of Lowell didn't annex off of Chelmsford
until after 1820 - as Town of Lowell (the "invented" Mill City on "farm
land" there). So, all the cemeteries in Lowell would have originally
existed as part of Chelmsford - - unless they were "created" after 1820.
(I'll have to see if I can find a web site for the Lowell Cemetery.)
----- Original Message -----
From: "charles brack" <>
To: "Betty" <>; <>
Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 7:45 AM
Subject: Re: [GM-L] Back Yard Burials?
> According to my book they have Chelmsford and Billerica 1665. May be when
> they were founded or incorporated.
> The oldest cemetery in Chelmsford is The Forefather's Cemetery, started in
> The oldest Cemetery at Billerica is South Burying Ground started 1663.
> One of my female ancestors was buried at the 2nd Church of Scituate. She
> supposedly has the oldest recognizable marker there. The Church, didn't
> move, but is now located in the town of Norwell.
> It may be that the old burying grounds at Chelmsford and Billerica may be
> another adjoining town.
> My Parker family was at Chelmsford in the 1600s.
> P.S. An old girlfriend's father died and she and her mother didn't have
> much money, and they tried to put an improvised marker at the cemetery and
> were denied.
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Betty" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, June 30, 2005 7:15 AM
> Subject: Re: [GM-L] Back Yard Burials?
> > Hi Charles,
> > Just a reminder that, just as with ..today.. many people cannot afford
> > buy a "stone" for a gravesite, and, in some cases, not even a marker.
> > I
> > am familiar with family-situations where people living today had all
> > could do to purchase a "plot" for their loved one, and barely put
> > the very simplest of a "wake" and "funeral."
> > And, on the Brooklyn, NY, List, the subject has come up with the major
> > cemeteries in Brooklyn having "situations" where the person who
> > bought a "plot" - even 150-200 years ago, did not finish paying for it.
> > So, if some descendant, knows about the plot, and wants to bury a loved
> > one
> > there, they can be forced to finish paying for the whole plot - before
> > they
> > can be allowed to use it.
> > And, as someone else just said, how many of our early "pioneers" had
> > money to create an official cemetery? And, if they did, how many of
> > them
> > had the wherewithal to have gravestones created? (1620's to 1820's)
> > In Billerica Center, there is a small, historic cemetery very nearby,
> > you don't see any stones mentioning years before the mid-1700's. My
> > "guess" is that all the church cemeteries and "backyard cemeteries"
> > originally created in the 1600's and early 1700's .. would have
> > "disappeared" when 1800 began .. and our "modern day houses" started to
> > built.
> > In Billerica, much "development" is taking place - where many
> > "contractors"
> > are buying up the "old summer camps" on the shores of rivers, lakes, and
> > ponds here, and putting up large, expensive houses on the sites. How
> > many of them are checking the ground for "old bones" before they bring
> > the bulldozer?
> > (I know of an older house in Billerica where there is said to be a
> > "basement
> > burial." Look how many of the very early homes had "dirt floors.")
> > Betty (near Lowell, MA)
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "charles brack" <>
> > To: <>
> > Sent: Wednesday, June 29, 2005 1:49 PM
> > Subject: Re: [GM-L] Back Yard Burials?
> >> Someone posted a url for Mt Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge--a week or so
> >> It stated that they were trying to keep as much of the natural beauty
> >> possible at the cemetery.--My interpretation and my words.
> >> My grandmother's family is buried in the family plot there. Mt. Auburn
> > drew
> >> a little map showing the location of the 15 or 18 people who are buried
> >> there.
> >> When I went to Mt. Auburn I was told how to get to the burial site. I
> >> couldn't find the location. I had to go back to the office as I
> >> find any markers. Bottom line, there weren't any markers.
> >> My gg-grandmother purchased the plot in 1871 for my gg-grandfather and
> >> evidently decided not to place a marker. I don't know if it was her
> >> religious belief or some other reason.
> >> I'm sure some of my other ancestors in Mass. and Maine were buried like
> >> this.
> >> Charles
> >> ______________________________
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