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Transcriptions of Gravestone Inscriptions

The Ancient Burying Ground - Hartford's Oldest Historic Site

Recorded Transcriptions

History-minded individuals began copying the inscriptions from the gravestones then still standing nearly two centuries ago. A list was compiled in 1835 of 563 names on an unknown number of surviving stones. Half a century later, in 1877, Connecticut State Librarian Charles J. Hoadley, assisted by Lucius M. Boltwood and Lucius E. Hunt, transcribed the inscriptions from 526 surviving stones.

In the 1930s, vital information from headstone inscriptions in more than 2,000 Connecticut cemeteries, including the Ancient Burying Ground, was transcribed by a Works Projects Administration endeavor directed by Charles R. Hale. Known as the Charles Hale Collection, it is available online at to subscribers, and for free to Connecticut residents at the Connecticut State Library web site. 

Charles J. Hoadley’s list, updated to include names in the 1835 list that didn’t appear in the 1877 transcription as well as markers either erected or relocated to the Ancient Burying Ground after 1877, was published in the 1994 book By Their Markers Ye Shall Know Them: A Chronicle of the History and Restorations of Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground, by William Hosley and Shepherd M. Holcombe, Sr. An updated and revised version of this list is included in the “Carved in Stone: Historic Marker Inventory of the Ancient Burying Ground” web site.

Thanks to these various projects undertaken over the last two centuries, information from many stones that vanished more than a century ago is available to researchers.