This week’s theme is “oldest” I remembered a Twitter post David Allen Lambert made a few months ago asking “what is the oldest headstone in your family.”
At the time I didn’t know. Many of my ancestors died in this country in the 16th and 17th centuries and have profiles on websites like Find-A-Grave but few have photos of headstones original to the time of their death.
Then I found a profile of Thomas Douglas who died 3 Mar 1724 in New London, Connecticut. The cemetery where he was buried has two names: Ancient Cemetery and Old Burial Ground, Ye Townes Antientest Burial Place. It is one of the oldest cemeteries in New England and the first interment happened in 1652. New London wasn’t even called New London yet; it was part of the Pequot Plantation and got its new name in 1658.
Thomas’s grandfather William Douglas was an early settler of New London. I’m related to him through my grandfather Seward, whose paternal grandmother Ada Barnum Douglas was a descendent.
The stone is in pretty good condition for one carved in 1724. I hope to see it in person one day.