Massachusetts Cemetery Records Research Guide

Do you need to get information about your deceased relatives? If so, Massachusetts cemetery records can help.

Your reasons for needing this information may be for family tree research, or for something much more personal, such as health issues you or one of your loved ones may be experiencing.

You can use Massachusetts cemetery records to find out how a person died, and if this is something that may be related to a health problem that is currently in your family.

Being able to prove this link can help prevent illness in future generations, and you can use Massachusetts cemetery records to do it. For Definitions of all Cemetery Terms See Symbols on Gravestones and Their Interpretations

Use Massachusetts Cemetery Records to Help Doctors with their Diagnoses

If you can show doctors that there is a family history of a certain illness, it can help in the treatment when new cases arise.

If you or someone in your family has an illness that may be hereditary, it is important to get all of the information you can about your family's medical history, which you can do using Massachusetts cemetery records.

Obviously, you are not going to be digging up graves and having autopsies performed, but you will be able to learn if there is a connection between a previous death in your family and current family health issues from Massachusetts cemetery records.

Help Future Generations Avoid Illness

Not only do you want to protect yourself and your immediate family from illness, you also want to ensure that future generations of your family are not going to suffer.

When you get information about the cause of death from Massachusetts cemetery records, you can use this information to protect those future generations.

Of course, you cannot protect everyone from every illness, but if you can show that there is a history of a certain illness in a family from the information found in Massachusetts cemetery records, you are helping others to seek treatment, or take preventative measures.

If you need to learn more about your family's medical history, and you have ancestors from the eastern US, you can use Massachusetts cemetery records to get a lot of the information you need.

Research In Massachusetts Cemetery Records

Towns, families, and churches maintained early cemeteries. Some were later maintained privately.

Many of the cemetery records for Boston and the surrounding are can be found in various publications. Some are even included in large death record collections.

The Massachusetts DAR publishes cemetery records each year. Those records include transcriptions of family records, church records, and Bible records.

They are not located in any single central repository. However, the New England Historic Genealogical Society does have some of the DAR volumes of cemetery records on file.

Various repositories and periodicals have published transcriptions of cemetery records on file. Some of those repositories include the New England Historic Genealogical Society and the Berkshire Athenaeum.

Famous People Buried in Massachusetts Cemeteries

CountyName / Date / CemeteryDescription
BarnstableSquanto
1590 - 11/1622
Chief Squanto Memorial Marker
Folk Figure.
Born to the Patuxet people of the Wampanoag Confederation, he was called Tisquantum.
BerkshireRockwell, Norman
2/3/1894 - 11/8/1978
Stockbridge Cemetery
ArtiSt.
Renown American painter and illustrator, most remembered for his paintings depicting American life and American values at their best.
BristolBorden, Lizzie
7/19/1860 - 6/1/1927
Oak Grove Cemetery
Alleged Murderess.
At the age of 32 she was accused of the double homicide of her father and stepmother.
DukesBelushi, John
1/24/1949 - 3/5/1982
Chilmark Cemetery
Actor.
Comedian.
EssexSalem Witch Trials Memorial
-
Burying Point Cemetery
Memorial to the victims of the Salem Witch Trials.
There are twenty benches in the memorial, one for each of the victims actively put to death (not counting those who died in prison). The memorial was dedicated on August 5, 1992 by Elie Weisel, winner of the 1986 PEACE Prize for his accumulation of humanitarian work over his life, and professor at Boston University.
EssexStowe, Harriet Elizabeth Beecher
6/14/1811 - 7/1/1896
Phillips Academy Cemetery
Writer, Social Reformer.
The author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin," an antislavery novel of such power that it is cited among the causes of the American Civil War, Harriet Beecher Stowe was also an advocate of  women's rights, religious tolerance, and educational reform.
EssexWhittier, John Greenleaf
12/17/1807 - 9/7/1892
Union Cemetery
Poet, AbolitioniSt.
He received little formal education as a young boy growing up near Haverhill, Massachusetts but was an avid reader and as a teen, after being introduced to the works of Robert Burns, developed a great desire to write.
HampdenBradley, Milton
11/8/1836 - 5/30/1911
Springfield Cemetery
Business Magnate.
He is credited with launching the game industry in North America.
HampshireDickinson, Emily
12/10/1830 - 5/15/1886
West Cemetery
Renowned Poet.
Born in Amherst, Massachusetts, the first daughter of three children (and the middle child) of Edward Dickinson and Emily Norcross.
MiddlesexAlcott, Louisa May
11/29/1832 - 3/6/1888
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Author.
She is best known as the author of the novel "Little Women", which was published in 1869.
MiddlesexBrown, Walter A.
2/10/1905 - 9/7/1964
Saint John the Evangelist Cemetery
Professional Basketball Team Owner.
A native of Hopkinton, Massachusetts, he was the owner of the Boston Celtics basketball team from 1946 to 1964, and owner of the Boston Bruins hockey team from 1947 to 1964.
MiddlesexEmerson, Ralph Waldo
5/25/1803 - 4/27/1882
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Author, Poet.
His family was a repository where the Unitarians obtained their ministers.
MiddlesexHall, George John
1/9/1920 - 2/16/1946
Saint Patrick Cemetery
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served as a Staff Sergeant in the United States Army in Company B, 135th Infantry, 34th Infantry Division.
MiddlesexHawthorne, Nathaniel
7/4/1804 - 5/19/1864
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Renowned Author.
He was a descendent of prominent early New England settlers.
MiddlesexLarkin, David
1/18/1905 - 5/8/1905
Saint Pauls Cemetery
Indian Campaigns Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served as a Farrier in the United States Army in Company F, 4th US Cavalry.
MiddlesexLongfellow, Henry Wadsworth
2/27/1807 - 3/24/1882
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Poet.
Among his most famous works are "Evangeline" (1847), "The Song of Hiawatha" (1855) and "The Courtship of Miles Standish" (1858).
MiddlesexShaw, Robert Gould
10/10/1837 - 7/18/1863
Mount Auburn Cemetery
Civil War Union Army Officer.
Colonel and commander of the all-black 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
MiddlesexThoreau, Henry David
7/12/1817 - 5/6/1862
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Author.
A transcendental believer, David Thoreau lived his theory of civil disobedience.
NorfolkAdams, Abigail
11/22/1744 - 10/28/1818
Adams Crypt
Presidential First Lady.
She was the wife of 2nd United States President
NorfolkAdams, John
10/30/1735 - 7/4/1826
Hancock Cemetery
2nd United States President, first United States Vice President, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and Revolutionary War Patriot.
Born the first of two sons to John and Susanna Boylston Adams, he was born in Braintree, Massachusetts (now part of Quincy, MA), where his father was a Puritan farmer, a lieutenant in the militia, a town selectman (town councilman), and a descendant of the first settlers who had arrived in.
NorfolkAdams, John
10/30/1735 - 7/4/1826
Adams Crypt
2nd United States President, first United States Vice President, Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, and Revolutionary War Patriot.
Born the first of two sons to John and Susanna Boylston Adams, he was born in Braintree, Massachusetts (now part of Quincy, MA), where his father was a Puritan farmer, a lieutenant in the militia, a town selectman (town councilman), and a descendant of the first settlers who had arrived in.
NorfolkAdams, John Quincy
7/11/1767 - 2/23/1848
Adams Crypt
6th United States President, Presidential Cabinet Secretary, US Congressman.
The son of 2nd United States President
NorfolkAdams, John Quincy
7/11/1767 - 2/23/1848
Hancock Cemetery
6th United States President, Presidential Cabinet Secretary, US Congressman.
The son of 2nd United States President
NorfolkJohnson, Howard
2/2/1897 - 6/20/1972
Milton Cemetery
Ice Cream / Hotel Magnate.
Howard Johnson was born in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1897.
NorfolkKennedy, Rose
7/22/1890 - 1/22/1995
Holyhood Cemetery
American socialite, best known as the matriarch of the politically prominent Kennedy family and mother of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, 35th President of the United States.
She was born Rose Elizabeth Fitzgerald in the North End neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, the eldest child of John  Francis "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald, a prominent figure in Boston politics who served one term in Congress and later became the city's mayor.
NorfolkWallis, Ruth
1/5/1920 - 12/22/2007
Sharon Memorial Park
Singer.
Original name Ruth Shirley Wohl.
PlymouthAlden, John
1598 - 9/12/1687
Myles Standish Burying Ground
American Colonial Figure.
One of the charter members of the Plymouth Colony in America, he arrived on the first voyage of the "Mayflower".
PlymouthBradford, William
3/19/1590 - 4/9/1657
Burial Hill
Colonial Governor.
An Englishman who came to the New World on the “Mayflower” in 1620, in England he became one of the religious separatists known as "Pilgrims" Born in Austerfield, Yorkshire, he was an autodidact who met in secret with the other followers of the religious movement who later sought refuge in Holland in 1608.
PlymouthHowland, John
1591 - 2/23/1673
Burial Hill
American history legend from the voyage of the Mayflower and founding of Plymouth Rock in 1620.
American children discover John Holland when they learn of the Pilgrims, Plymouth Rock, and the first Thanksgiving.
PlymouthJohnson, Elden Harvey
2/13/1921 - 6/3/1944
Union Cemetery
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He was killed in action.
SuffolkAdams, Samuel
9/27/1722 - 11/2/1803
Granary Burial Ground
Declaration of Independence Signer, Massachusetts Governor.
SuffolkGoose (Foster), Elizabeth 'Mother'
7/22/1904 - 10/23/1904
Granary Burial Ground
Believed by some to be "Mother Goose.
" It is unclear whether or not her body is buried under this stone or elsewhere in the cemetery.
SuffolkHancock, John
1/12/1737 - 10/8/1793
Granary Burial Ground
American Patriot Leader and Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts.
His signature on the document was so bold that when people sign their names, they are said to have written their “John Hancock.
SuffolkPaine, Robert Treat
3/11/1731 - 5/12/1814
Granary Burial Ground
Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts.
Born in Boston, Massachusetts, Paine graduated from Harvard University in 1749 at the age of 18, and taught school in Lunenburg, Massachusetts.
SuffolkRevere, Paul
1/1/1735 - 5/10/1818
Christ Church Cemetery
Revolutionary War Patriot.
A talented silversmith and member of the Revolutionary movement in Massachusetts, his attempts to warn prominent Massachusetts patriot members Samuel Adams and John Hancock, as well as the Lexington countryside of the impending approach of British Regular troops on April 18, 1775 was popularized by poet
SuffolkRevere, Paul
1/1/1735 - 5/10/1818
Granary Burial Ground
Revolutionary War Patriot.
A talented silversmith and member of the Revolutionary movement in Massachusetts, his attempts to warn prominent Massachusetts patriot members Samuel Adams and John Hancock, as well as the Lexington countryside of the impending approach of British Regular troops on April 18, 1775 was popularized by poet
SuffolkRobinson, John H.
- 11/30/1883
Mount Benedict Cemetery
Civil War Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
Served in the Civil War as a Private in Company I, 19th  Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry.
He was awarded the CMOH for his bravery during his regiment's repulse of  elements of Pickett's  Charge on the Third Day of the Battle of  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (July 3, 1863).
WorcesterBarton, Clarissa 'Clara'
12/25/1821 - 4/12/1912
North Cemetery
 Founder of the American Red Cross (Angel of the Battlefield).
Clara Barton was born on Christmas Day on a farm near Oxford, Massachusetts.
WorcesterO'Callahan, Joseph Timothy
5/14/1904 - 3/18/1964
College of the Holy Cross Cemetery
World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient.
He served as a Commander in the Chaplin Corps in the United States Naval Reserves.

Massachusetts Cemeteries

Cemetery NameCemetery City
Assonet Burying GroundAssonet
Copp's HillBoston
Forest Hills CemeteryBoston
Granary Burying GroundBoston
Holyhood CemeteryBrookline
Walnut Hills CemeteryBrookline
Mount Auburn CemeteryCambridge
Beth Israel CemeteryClarksburg
Sleepy Hollow CemeteryConcord
Deerfield CemeteryDeerfield
Oak Grove CemeteryFall River
Green River CemeteryGreenfield
Old Ship Church CemeteryHingham
Spider Gates Cemetery / Old Quaker CemeteryLeicester
Evergreen CemeteryLeominster
Lowell CemeteryLowell
Old Burial HillMarblehead
Spring Hill CemeteryMarlborough
Salem Street Burying GroundMedford
Old Hill Burying GroundNewburyport
Worcester County Memorial ParkPaxton
Knights CemeteryPelham
Burial HillPlymouth
Quabbin Park CemeteryQuabbin Valley
Burying Point and Witch Trial Victims MemorialSalem
Hillside CemeteryShrewsbury
Bay Path CemeterySpringfield
Center CemeteryStockbridge
Swampscott CemeterySwampscott
Westerly Burial GroundWest Roxbury
Boston United Hand in Hand CemeteryWest Roxbury and Dedham
Wildwood CemeteryWinchester
Hope CemeteryWorcester

Massachusetts Cemeteries & Graveyards Links

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