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Samuel Stowell's burial

Samuel Stowell was born in England in 1625 and came to America by 1635. In my previous blog, details about his home were discussed. It was located less than a quarter mile (about 875 feet) from Fort Hill Cemetery in Hingham, Massachusetts, but no record or evidence of his burial has been found. In light of two important facts, this does not rule out Fort Hill as Samuel's burial place, however.

First, early church records were destroyed by fire in 1770, leaving no record of early town burials. Second, the God-fearing Puritans used simple rough hewn stones to mark their burial places. They did not advocate engravings or carvings of symbols or marks, in accordance with Exodus 20:4, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth". Their markers were not elaborate memorials like those used later after the settlers were more established.

The date above the cemetery's gate says "1895", but the cemetery is obviously much older. The oldest gravestones in the cemetery date back to the 1750s.

According to the family tradition, however, Samuel Stowell does rest at Fort Hill. Mention of it was made at the 2nd Annual Meeting of the Stowell Family Association in 1926. The following statement[1] pertaining to Fort Hill Cemetery was made by Luther Stowell Conger:

"There are a great many historic things to be seen in the cemetery. Peter Hobart is laid away there, and a great many close connections of those who are here today are laid away there. We will also see the spot where Samuel Stowell is supposed to be buried."

As mentioned in my previous post, Peter Hobart, was one of the original settlers of Hingham. Samuel Stowell came to Hingham with his party. Therefore, it seems highly probably Samuel was indeed laid to rest in the same place. The monument at the end of the path is a memorial "TO THE FIRST SETTLERS OF HINGHAM". Use this interactive map to browse the area.

[1] Annual Meeting, Stowell Family, p. 6, by the Stowell Family Association, 1925. [Link]

[2] Cemetery Transcription at US GenWeb [Link]


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