Last week, I visited the archives of the Northborough Historical Society. Who know such treasure existed? NHS curator Ellen Racine was kind enough to give me access to the records compiled for the Old Burial Ground, which confirmed most of the information I had previously researched. The archive included a plot plan from about 1800 and the gravestone transcriptions of the 4 stones that are still visible today. [see p. 238 of Northborough History below.]
A transcription typed on onion skin with a real typewriter.
Tucked unobtrusively and anonymously into the last file of the records box was my first BIG CLUE. The note referenced a diary entry made in 1779 by the minister of the Westborough church noted that Daniel Howe had died the night before and was to be buried at the Brigham Street burial ground with his parents, even though the cemetery was no longer used for burials. A gift from a smart historian from the pre-computer age that cannot ever be repaid! [see p. 133 of The Diary of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman below.]
That brings the magic number of burials from the already known 4 up to 7...and I've been pointed to the next step on the trail. A well-known reference for early colonial history is the journal of Reverend Ebenezer Parkman, dutifully documenting his tenure as pastor for the Town of Westborough during the mid-to-late 1700's. While some of the sections of the original journal are assumed to be lost, several have been either been published or are in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society (Worcester, MA). Glad I've got new glasses and a high resolution camera.
As research progresses, I plan to add a page to this site that summarizes the holdings of Massachusetts repositories. The goal is to create a handy reference page for New England area researchers to use in their own work.
Kent, Josiah Coleman. Northborough History. Newton, Massachusetts: Garden City Press, 1921.
Parkman, Rev. Ebenezer. The Diary of Rev. Ebenezer Parkman, of Westborough, Mass.: For the Months of February, March, April, October and November, 1737. November and December of 1778, and the Years of 1779 and 1780. Edited by Harriette M. Forbes. Westborough, Massachusetts: Westborough Historical Society, 1899.
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Beth Finch McCarthy