This book is meant to be a guide through one of the oldest and most historic cemeteries in the United States of America. Clues into our history and evolution into the country we are today can be gleaned from the gravestones found high upon Old Burial Hill overlooking Plymouth Harbor, the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. ?
It is ironic that the cemetery in the town that has memorialized the “First Comers,” as they referred to themselves, with so many streets, schools, businesses, shoals, streams and more all bearing their names, does not have a single gravestone marking a Mayflower passenger’s grave contemporaneous with their death. Yes, the “First Comers" buried their dead in unmarked graves!
There are several good reasons for this:
Initially did not want the native Indians to know how weak their numbers were
No stone carvers came aboard the Mayflower or other ships for some time
No local stone source existed from which to fashion suitable headstones
The Pilgrims were much too occupied with surviving in the New World to devout much time, effort or treasure to carving headstones
As a result, headstones had to be imported from England at great expense. The only headstone erected contemporaneous with the death of a Mayflower passenger can be found in Salem. It marks the resting place of Richard More who died 1692 at 79 years of age. He was six when he landed in Plymouth.
The names of over 2,000 persons buried here are indexed alphabetically with the location of the grave stone referenced to its location on a map of the cemetery. This unusual feature will save you countless hours searching for an ancestor's stone.