Places Built > Cemeteries > Old Burying Ground


Jaffrey oldest cemetery is located just behind the Meetinghouse a short distance north of Route 124 in Jaffrey Center. The original grant of the township—at first called Middle Monadnock No. 2—was made in 1749 and among the stipulations was “that a good Convenient Meeting House be Built . . . as near the Centerof the Town . . . and Ten Acres of Land reserved for Publick Uses.”

Old Burying

The Old Burying Ground from the tower of the Meetinghouse.

The Burying Ground qualified as such a use and so too the Common for military training and reviews. Later, a petition to the Township proprietors noted that before incorporation in 1773 a burying place had been reserved on the Common “ . . . and some persons interred there.”

The Town History mentions Captain John Groat who died in 1771. He is said to have been the first permanent settler in what is now Jaffrey, having arrived in 1758. According to local legend he was laid to rest on the spot over which the Meetinghouse was raised four years later.

The present form of the Burying Ground reflects the work of a committee appointed by the Town in 1784. Of the four members, three—Roger Gilmore (A), Daniel Emery (B) and Adonijah Howe (C)—are buried within. No trace remains of the earliest gravesites, but at least eight marked graves pre-date the laying out of 1784, the oldest being that of Mrs. Jaen Harper (D) who died in 1777.

The claim favoring Captain Groat as the Town’s first resident is not without challenge as John Davidson (E) is recorded as settling in August of 1753 (or 1749 if a complicated technicality involving altered township lines is overlooked). Certainly of the earliest settlers Davidson is one of the few who is without question buried here and whose headstone survives to the present. His eldest daughter, Betsey Davidson, is referred to in some sources as the first white child born in Jaffrey. On the other hand, Simon Stickney is sometimes accorded similar status, while his younger brother, Moses Stickney (F), who was born in Boxford, Massachusetts, has carved on his headstone, He


There are many online resources devoted to the Old Burying Ground. Some of these resources are duplicative.

Database The old burying ground records may be searched here. This database is hosted on the Jaffrey History web site. While easily searched, it may not be as complete or up-to-date as the resources below.

Inventory An listing of graves in the Old Burying Ground with information taken from the grave stones can be found on the Town of Jaffrey Website in .pdf form here. This is a the most complete data set associated with the Old Burying Ground.

Headstones Photographs of many of the headstones in the Old Burying Ground can be found here.