Hampton Cemetery Records Bibliography

As helpful as it has been to have had the following records, I can safely say that every one of them is filled with mistakes. In many cases entire stones are left out. In others names or dates are incorrectly transcribed. My favorite example is a stone in the Batchelder Cemetery in which one compiler transcribed a woman's name as Mary Jane and another copied it as Sarah Ann. The actual stone read Mary Ann. A common problem with each of these works is the fact that they often use their own abbreviations and punctuation rather than copy it verbatim from the stone. Some even go so far as to give just the details of name, relationships, date and age without regard to the format used on the actual stone.

BARTLETT Agnes P. Bartlett recorded three cemeteries: Pine Grove, Bride Hill, and Landing. They appear to have been made in 1918. Her records are far and away the most accurate of them all, although there are the usual discrepencies in punctuation and a few mistakes and omissions. They are written in longhand and divided into lines as they appeared on the actual stone. My records state that I got the copies of this from the NH Historical Society, but a later researcher was unable to find them and the curator had no record of them ever being there. Where a copy can be found now is unknown.

CARPENTER Mrs. Josiah Carpenter compiled a book entitled "Gravestone Inscriptions: gathered by the Old Burial Grounds Committee of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of New Hampshire" (Cambridge: Riverside Press, 1913). This book contains records from all over the state. The few pages on Hampton have some of the Pine Grove inscriptions, as well as three of the four from the Landing cemetery. I did not use them for the purposes of this listing. A copy is available at the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton and the library at the University of New Hampshire in Durham.

DOW Joseph Dow's "History of the Town of Hampton, New Hampshire. From its settlement in 1638, to the autumn of 1892" (Salem, Mass.: Salem Press, 1893) has been an invaluable aide. Volume two of his work contains genealogies of all the old families, and this information has been very helpful to confirm difficult-to-read names and dates, as well as to determine relationships. In an appendix he recorded the stones in the Pine Grove Cemetery, but unfortunately did a poor job of it that shouldn't reflect on his genealogical section. He left many stones out and others contain errors.

EATON Frances L. Eaton of Marlboro, Mass. visited four graveyards on November 21, 1932, the Elkins cemetery, Bride Hill, Batchelder, and "Ye Old Neighborhood Cemetery". Her records are a little more accurate than those of Folsom (below) who visited all of the same cemeteries, so Eaton's records have been quoted in cases when I could not read the stone. Copies are on file at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.

FOLSOM Mrs. Wendell B. Folsom visited eight cemeteries in the years 1937 and 1938. These are the Elkins, Batchelder, Shaw, Bride Hill, Landing, "Ye Old Neighborhood Cemetery" and Sanborn Yard (which she recorded twice) cemeteries as well as another small Batchelder cemetery that is no longer in existence. Her records leave much to be desired as far as strict accuracy goes. Copies are on file at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.

GOSS Mrs. Charles Carpenter Goss compiled a book entitled "Colonial Gravestone Inscriptions in the State of New Hampshire, published by The Historic Activities Committee of The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in The State of New Hampshire from Collections made by Committees from 1913 to 1942." (Dover, N.H.: 1942). On page 58 is the Shaw cemetery, with the inscriptions restructured to fit the format used throughout the book. A copy is available at the Lane Memorial Library in Hampton.

HOLMES D.W. Holmes had his version of the Pine Grove records printed in an 1857 issue of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register, pages 77-79. In a note to the editor of the Register Holmes wrote, "It affords me pleasure to hand you inclosed, copies of inscriptions from Hampton Graveyard, which I was enabled to procure a few days since. In the part of the town visited I found two graveyards, but there is a vacancy which I think must be filled by still another place of burial, as you will perceive the inclosed, which contains nearly all of the inscriptions in the old yard, is very incomplete. Not having the time, however, to pursue the subject further, I made no inquiries about it. With but few exceptions, I found very little difficulty in deciphering the inscriptions, and have endeavored to preserve the original orthography. About the year 1700, however, the "artist" was very poor." Holmes was right when he said his record was incomplete. Dozens of stones are omitted, and most are not copied verbatim. Perhaps when he made his transcriptions in August of 1856 the condition of the yard was such that many stones were difficult to locate. In any case, his is the earliest transcript of this cemetery in existence and proves its value in the cases where some of the stones are long gone.

RING SWAMP An unknown compiler produced a fairly accurate transcript of this cemetery's stones and placed them in alphabetical order by surname. It does not say when this was done. Abbreviations are often inaccurate, a few stones are omitted, and other errors in transcription can be found. No verses were included. Copies are on file in the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord.