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Southampton Burying Grounds

 

I did not change their spelling for lyes, lyeth, lies, died, dyed, I am sure our readers
will be able to figure out their meaning. *** means epitaph, the family arms engraved on stone.

These are numerous and indicate a rapid colonizing of the inhabitants over the territory embraced in the town. There are two in the village; two at North Sea, one at Wickapogue, one at Watermill, two at Mecox, two in Sagg, two in Bridge Hampton, one at Scuttle Hole, and others west of the village of Southampton. Of these the oldest is that known as the South end burying ground, in the village of Southampton, the earliest record concerning which is as follows:

South End Burying Ground

"January 5th, 1665. The overseers have agreed with James Herrick that he shall have one acre of land at the rear of his home lot in consideration of a foot way for people upon his lot to the burying place where the town have one acre for that use, & James Herrick is to have the harbidge of it.''

The earliest graves here have no stones to mark them, unless they have fallen and been covered by the soil and overgrowing vegetation, there is not a monument, indeed, to mark the spot where a single one of the first settlers was buried. The graves of their children, the men of the second generation, however, are marked with tombstones still standing.

Three different varieties of stone were used, the blue slate, so common in the old cemeteries of New England, a red sandstone that quite well withstands the ravages of time, and a gray sandstone, which, on the contrary, very poorly preserves its original inscriptions, Most of the graves have now become level with the ground, and many of the monuments covered with masses. The inscriptions even of some are fast becoming illegible, so that it seems a work of charity to preserve here the remembrance of our ancestors for future generations. The following are copies of the inscriptions of all the stones that are visible in the older portion of the yard. Those marked with a * have, in addition to the epitaph, the family arms engraved upon them. Some are surmounted with the conventional cherub of the old graveyards, and others by skull and cross-bones:"

Here lyes ye reverent Joseph Whiting who died April 7 1723 in ye 82nd year of his age.

"Here lyes the body of Mrs. Rebecca Whiting, wife to Mr. Joseph Whiting aged 63 years 2 months deceased April 21st, 1726.

"*Here Lyeth the body of Coll Matthew Howell, and one of the House of Representatives for their Majesties province of New York. Deceased May the 4th Anno 1706 Aetas-sua-55.

"Here lies the body of Mr Samuel Whiting who died July ye 12th 1729 in ye 40th year of his age.

"Here lies the body of Abigail Halsey aged 26 years who died the 10th of October 1696.

"Here lyes Buried ye body of Mrs. Hannah Halsey, wife to Capt Isaac Halsey who died August 29th Anno Domini 1723 aged 62 years." In memory of Capt Isaac Halsey who died May ye 18th A. D. 1757 in ye 97th year of his age.

"Here lyeth the body of Timothy Halsey who dyed July the 12th 1723 about 20 year of his age.

"Here lyeth the body of Robert Patton which deceased on the 12th day of May 1700. * * *

"Here lyeth buried the body of Capt Thomas Stephens aged about 51 years. Departed this life November ye 26th 1701.

"Here lyes ye body of Sarah Malbey daughter Mr John and Mrs. Susanna Malbey who died September ye 8th 1723 in ye 19th year of her age.

"Here lies interred the body of Mr John Mai by who died June 27th 1706 aged 33 years.

"Here lyeth the body of Bethia Coper wife of Mr. ____ Coper who died January the 14th Anno 1716-17 Aetas-sua 27.

"Here lies buried the body of Mrs. Mehetable Herrick who deed July 17th 1734 aged 60 years.

"*Here lies ye body of Mr. William Herrick Esqr who departed this life August the 19th Anno 1708 AEtas-sua-54.

"Here lyes ye body of Susannah Howell aged 83 years. Died March ye 24th 1711.

"*1696 Here lies the body of Major John Howell deceased November aged 71.

"Here lies interred ye body of ye reverend Mr John Tailor who died August ye 10 1701 aged 23 t years.

"*1692 Mr. John Howell aged 44 years and dyed in March the 8th.

"In memory of Lieut. Hezekiah Howell died Dec. ye 4th 1744 in the 68th year of his age.

"Daniel Foster died Nov ye 5th 1744 aged 68 years. Phil. 1st: 21st.

"Interred here lyes the blessed Remains
Of one who did with Freedom die,
To be relieved from all his pains,
And dwell with God Eternally.

"Here Lyes buried ye body of Mrs. Phebe Howell wife of Lieut. Hezekiah Howell who died July 16th Anno Domini 1732 aged 62 years.

"Here was layed the body of Mr Thomas Sayre who dyed December the 10th Anno 1715, in the 49th year of his age.

"Here lyes ye body of Reverend Joseph Taylor aged 31 who deceased April 4th 1682.

"Here lyeth buried ye body of Abigill Howell ye wife of Abraham Howell aged 27 years, deceased ye 19th of June 1688.

"Here lyeth ye body of William Ludlam son of Anthony Ludlam who died Aprill 27 1716 in ye 13th year of his age.

"Here lies buried the body of Mr Obadiah Rogers who deed May ye 8th 1729 aged 74 years.

"In memory of Capt Obadiah Rogers who died Oct 31st 1783 in the 84th year of his age.

"In memory of Mrs. Abigail wife of Capt Obadiah Rogers who died May 6th 1782 in the 80th year of her age.

"Beneath this stone Death's prisoner lies,
The stone shall move, the prisoner rise
When Jesus with Almighty word
Calls his dead saint to meet *his Lord.

"Here lyeth the body of Capt John Cooper who dyed December the 14th Anno 1715 in the 30th year of his age.

"In memory of John Howell Esq died December 23 1747 in ye 71st year of his age.

"Here * * * of Ann Howell wife to * * * Howell * * * 44 year of her age, deceased May ye 17 1714."

Watermill

To these we may add the inscriptions on a few stones found in the lot of Mr. Hedges Sanford, of Watermill.

"Here lyes buried the Body of Mr David Halsey. Died February ye 18 1731 in ye 69th yeare of his age.

"Here lyes the Body of Mrs. Temperence Cook wife to Mr Ellis Cook who died December 9 1723 in ye 19th year of her age.

"Here lyes ye Body of Mrs. Temperence Ludlam wife to Mr Jeremiah Ludlam who died April ye 21st 1726 in ye 29th year of her age."

The two following are given with no other apology than their beauty, the one expressing a noble tribute to the virtues of a wife and mother, the other a pious wish which has come down to us from a still greater antiquity. The first is taken from the North-end burying ground of Southampton, the second was found in the catacombs of Rome.

"In memory of Amy wife of Zebulun Howell Esq who died Dec 15 1752 in the 59th year of her age. "She was a faithful wife and good mother."

The pious wish engraved on the Roman Christian's monument is, "Qui legerit, vivat in Christo."

The Cobb or Wickapogue Burying Ground

The only record of this is as follows:

"1686 April 1st At a town meeting, it was granted to the inhabitants of Cobb to have 6 poles square of land for a burying ground."

This cemetery lies about equally distant from Cobb and Wickapogue. It is, like all the others in the village, enclosed, and contains some old monuments.

Mecox Burying Ground

This contains a few monuments to the men of the second generation and in antiquity ranks next to the old one in Southampton village. Many of the stones are doubtless overthrown and covered with soil and vegetation. Among the oldest monuments yet standing, are the following:

"Here Lyeth the Body of Anthony Ludlam who dyed March the 17th Anno 1681 in the 31st year of his age.

"Here lies the body of Lemu'el Howell who died September the 22 (?) 1712 aged 35 years.

"Here Lyeth the Body of Ellis Cook who departed this life November the 10th Anno 1706 Aetatis 44."

Sagg Burying Ground

The cemetery in Sagg Street, south, is quite ancient, and is kept with commendable care. Among the oldest stones are the following:

"Here lyes buried the body of Theophilus Howell Esq aged 77 years. Died March ye 12th 1732.

"In memory of Mrs. Martha the wife of Mr Lemuel Peirson who died August the 26th 1753 in the 72nd year of her age.

"My sun is set,
My Glass is run,
My Candle's out,
My work is done."

North End Burying Ground

This lot now used for a cemetery was originally laid out as a homestead. Its first owner was William Russell who sold the same to Obadiah Sale, and he moving to Boston, sold it to George Heathcote. December 13, 1712, Caleb Heathcote, cousin of George, sells his home lot and house (4 acres), between Jeremiah Jagger on the south, and John Laughton on the north, for £20 to the trustees of the town. The deed of sale states that part of this land northward and eastward, shall be common to the town for a highway to North Sea. This is where the road now runs.

The first interment in this ground, however, was not till 1721, as appears from an old stone on the south side with the following inscription:

"Heare Lyes | Ye Body of Joseph | Post Deceased | 10 November | Aged About | 72 1721."
Upon The Foot Stone Of This Grave Is The Following: "Post Joseph I THE FIRST ENTERED IN THIS PLACE."

 Southampton | AHGP New York

 

Source: Early History of Southampton, Long Island, New York, by George Rogers Howell, Second Edition, 1887.

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