The First Burials in Hampton
by Rev. Roland D. Sawyer of Kensington in his column "Some Account of the History of Earlier Hampton and its Daughter and Neighbor Towns", Hampton Union, Dec. 6, 1956
The date 1654 is misleading, in the town records that appears as the first date when a vote was taken at a town meeting in regard to it, but it was already some time in use.
Settlers were living here in 1639, it was their home, some children died between 1639 and 1642, they may have been buried here. However in 1642 we have record of several deaths, and this was perhaps the first year of burying in this cemetery--certainly the first use by adult burying.
The location of the old yard is on a part of the Meeting House Ground, and as the first Meeting House was up in 1639 or 1640 we would expect the yard to have been used even for children or babies, but we have no certainty. But in 1642, on July 13 Francis Austin died and was buried in the "Meeting House Lot".
The same year two children were buried here--viz little Humphrey Perkins, child of Abraham Perkins, and little John Johnson, a son of Edmund Johnson. John's older brother Peter was the first child born on Hampton, he was born in 1639.
Two Moulton children died before 1650 and beyond much doubt buried here. July 24, 1648, Joseph Cram, a youth was drowned and buried in "Meeting House Lot". The same year and perhaps 1649 little Timothy Dalton son of Pastor Rev. Timothy Dalton died near 12 years of age, and beyond all doubt was buried here.
The vote of 1654 is in regard to fencing in the graveyard, it being already in use, and sentiment had risen that it should be fenced in. The town should take down the marker "1654" and put in its place "1642".
The Johnson and Perkins families lived close by and Mr. Austin was not far away, their bones rested and rotted away in this plot of God's Acre -- and the use of this yard later showed the settlers were following the English custom of burying their dead in the Church-Yard as the English cemeteries attached to the churches and chapels were called.
The only very early family graveyard of which we have any record is the Shaw yard and in it a boy Benjamin was buried in 1641. [Editor's note: This is likely a confusion for the Benjamin Shaw born in 1641, in which case there is no other cemetery in Hampton with burials in the 1600s.]
[Additional note: Misspellings and grammatical errors have been copied from the original.]