Title: Epitaphs from graveyards in Wellesley (formerly West Needham), North Natick, and Saint Mary’s Churchyard in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts; with genealogical and biographical notes.
Author: Clarke, George Kuhn
Publication date: 1900
Publisher: Boston: Privately Printed
Digitizing sponsor: Internet Archive
Contributor: Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center
Repository Archive.org

About 1860, Charles Curtis Greenwood, a local antiquarian of ability, began to copy the inscriptions in the old graveyard at Needham, and to prepare genealogical notes in reference to each person buried there. He devoted much time and correspondence to this work, and in 1890 began to publish the results of his labors in the Dedham Historical Register. At the time of his death 397 epitaphs had been published and 228 remained in manuscript, most of which were annotated. His widow conscripted George Kuhn Clark to publish the remaining inscriptions along with all of the published inscriptions in a single volume in 1898 called “Needham Epitaths.” Clark, relying on the original transcription of Charles, along with his own new transcription, re-walked all of the cemeteries, enumerating the gravestones once again.

Clark attempted to reproduce the different styles of the lettering on the stones. On these old gravestones it is often difficult to decide whether words are intended to be in italics or not; and this is particularly true of the verse. The abbreviations used in the notes are in most instances obvious; they are b., for born; d., for died; m., for married; int., for intention of marriage; yr., for year; mo., for month; dy., for day; dau., for daughter; N., for Needham; T., for Town; Ch., for church; rec, for record; Need. Ephs., for Needham Epitaphs; Ded. Hist. Reg., for Dedham Historical Register; gen., for genealogy; Mass. S. and S. in Rev., for Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors in the Revolution.

The months are abbreviated only in the genealogical portion of the notes. All places are in Massachusetts unless the State is named. No mention is made of any foot stone unless that alone remains to mark a grave.

Wellesley was the West precinct of Needham till 1881, and a part of the territory of North Natick was detached from Needham in 1797. In the case of St. Mary’s churchyard, Newton Lower Falls, only those inscriptions are copied which relate to persons connected with Needham.

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