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The Ancient Burying Ground - Hartford's Oldest Historic Site

Ancient Burying Ground, Hartford, CTThe Ancient Burying Ground was a “municipal” property – anyone could be buried here. It was used from 1640 until the early 1800s. By then, other burying grounds were established, such as Old North and Old South. Hartford expanded and families moved. One must remember that the current footprint is only 1.3 acres with less than 450 stones standing. At one time the Ancient Burying Ground’s borders extended further out and included as many as 6,000 markers.

In 1836 the property had become an eyesore. Daniel Wadsworth, son of Col. Jeremiah Wadsworth, established the first Ancient Burying Ground Association for its care. He led efforts to create the first Founders Monument, which was later replaced in 1986. Many researchers are led to the Ancient Burying Ground because of the Founders Monument, established with names from the colonial land records.

Lists were developed of the stones “still standing” in the Ancient Burying Ground. In 1835 there were 563 stones, according to a listing in the 1904 book Restoration of the Ancient Burying Ground of Hartford and the Widening of Gold Street by the Ruth Wyllys Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. In 1877 CT State Librarian Charles J. Hoadley compiled a list of 526 stones and their epitaphs. This is reproduced in the book By Their Markers Ye Shall Know Them. Vital information from headstone inscriptions in over 2,000 Connecticut cemeteries was recorded in a W.P.A. project directed by Charles R. Hale ca. 1932-5. These records are available through genealogy websites.

Land acknowledgement: The Ancient Burying Ground and other Colonial-era burying grounds in Hartford, CT are situated on the ancestral lands of the Poquonook, Tunxis, Sicaog (Saukiog) and Wangunks people, as well as other tribal nations indigenous to this region. https://native-land.ca

Ancient Burying Ground, Hartford, CT: Genealogy & Research Resources

Ancient Burying Ground Association – info on lists of gravestone transcriptions
https://ancientburyingground.com/burials/transcriptions/ 

Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Records
https://halecollection.com/
“Connecticut, Charles R. Hale Collection, Vital Records, 1640-1955”, database, FamilySearch
https://libguides.ctstatelibrary.org/hg/genealogyindexes/cemetery

Hoadley, Charles J. “Inscriptions from the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford,” 1877. Connecticut State Library, Hartford. Typescript.

Also reproduced in:
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., 1994.

The Society of the Cincinnati in Connecticut
https://www.theconnecticutsociety.org/11-2/

Society of Descendants of the Founders of Hartford
https://www.foundersofhartford.org/the-founders/

Walker, Dr. George Leon. “Old Hartford Burying Ground.” Hartford: Ruth Wyllys Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1895. https://books.google.com/books?id=Mc0UAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA270&lpg=PA270&dq=Walker,+Dr.+George+Leon.+%E2%80%9COld+Hartford+Burying+Ground.%E2%80%9D&source=bl&ots=jdUKOwPb8t&sig=ACfU3U1qYwO0Z-Wtn2uKd6POzDo0h91u-w&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjqqYjxzbOFAxVGGVkFHcWnBAcQ6AF6BAgIEAM#v=onepage&q=Walker%2C%20Dr.%20George%20Leon.%20%E2%80%9COld%20Hartford%20Burying%20Ground.%E2%80%9D&f=false

Walker, Dr. George Leon. “History of the First Church in Hartford, 1633 – 1883.” Hartford, Brown & Gross, 1884. https://www.loc.gov/item/unk82046503/

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Barbour, Lucius Barnes. Families of Early Hartford, Connecticut. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1977. Page 610. https://archive.org/details/familiesofearlyh00barb_0/page/610/mode/2up.

CT Museum of Culture & History / CT Historical Society Library
“Hartford Town Votes, 1635-1716, vol, 1.” Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society 6 Hartford: CHS, 1897.

“Original Distribution of the Lands in Hartford Among the Settlers.” Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society (1912).

Connecticut State Library: Connecticut Archives, 1629-1820
https://libguides.ctstatelibrary.org/hg/ctarchives/col

Connecticut Church Records: Hartford First Baptist Church, 1789-1909, Connecticut State Library, Reel 222. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.

Connecticut Church Records: Hartford First Church of Christ, vol. 1, 1684-1910, Connecticut State Library, Reels 500-505, Main Vault, “Records and Papers.” Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.

Connecticut Probate Packets. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT

Connecticut Probate Records. Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.Connecticut, Wills and Probate Records, 1609-1999. Available through Ancestry.com

Connecticut Church Records: Hartford First Church of Christ, vol. 1, 1684-1910, Connecticut State Library, Reels 500-505, Main Vault, “Records and Papers.” Connecticut State Library, Hartford, CT.

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“Connecticut, Vital Records, Prior to 1850,” database, FamilySearch

Daughters of the American Revolution, Connecticut Chapter
https://www.cga.ct.gov/hco/books/Chapter_Sketches_CT_DOTAR.pdf

Dean, John Ward, ed. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register. XXXVII. Boston: Society’s House, 1883.

First Church of Christ (Hartford, Conn.). Historical Catalogue of the First Church In Hartford. 1633-1885 Hartford: Pub. by the Church, 1885.

Goodwin, Joseph O. East Hartford: Its History and Traditions. Hartford: Press of the Case, Lockwood, and Brainard Co., 1879. Accessed through Ancestry.com.

Grant, Marion H. In and About Hartford: Tours and Tales. Hartford: Connecticut Historical Society, 1978.

Hinman, Royal Ralph. Catalogue of the First Puritan Settlers of the Colony of Connecticut. Hartford: Press of Case, Tiffany and Company 1851.

Hinman, Royal Ralph. A Historical Collection from Official Records, Files, &c. Hartford: E. Gleason, 1842.

Godfrey Memorial Library: https://www.godfrey.org/scholar/godfrey-home.html Middletown, CT
Serving genealogists and family historians since 1947. Open to our members and the general public.

Ledyard, John. Connecticut Probate Packet. Available through Ancestry.com.

Love, William DeLoss. The Colonial History of Hartford: Gathered from the Original Records. Hartford: 1914.

“New England Marriages before 1700.” Available through Ancestry.com.

Parker, Edwin Pond. History of the Second Church of Christ in Hartford. Hartford: Belknap & Warfield, 1892. https://catalog.hathitrust.org/Record/100189580.

Probate Estate Papers, Connecticut State Library, and Connecticut Wills and Probate, also available through Ancestry.com

“Sexton’s List of Burials Center Church Burying Ground Hartford, Connecticut,” Annotated by Mary K. Talcott, Ruth Wyllys Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution (as published in consecutive issues of The Connecticut Magazine, 1898-1899), https://hartford.omaxfield.com/PDF/SextonsList_ABG.pdf

Stuart, Isaac William. Hartford in the Olden Time: Its First Thirty Years. W. M. B. Hartley, ed. Hartford: F. A. Brown, 1853.

Talcott, Mary K. The Original Proprietors. Hartford: Society of the Descendants of the Founders of Hartford, Inc., 1987.

Wadsworth, Daniel. Diary of Rev. Daniel Wadsworth, 1737-1747. Hartford: The Case, Lockwood & Brainard Company, 1894.

Washburn, Albert L. Historic Spots of Old Hartford [map]. 1st edition. No scale given. Hartford: Polygon Press, 1930.
https://cscu-csl-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/permalink/f/1pdt2ea/01CSCU_NETWORK_ALMA7178173790003451

Washburn, Albert L. Locations of the First Church of Christ, Hartford CT [map]. Copy. No scale given. Hartford: A.L. Washburn, 1896.

Washburn, Albert L. Ye Burying Place [map]. original copy. 1″=10 ft. Hartford: A.L. Washburn, 1899.