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Rainsford Island Cemetery
Suffolk County
Massachusetts  USA

Search Rainsford Island Cemetery:
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Cemetery notes and/or description:
Please note: The Rainsford Island Cemetery is on an island in the Boston Harbor. The island has a large graveyard that may contain thousands of bodies. However, if there were any headstones they are long gone.

In 1737, a quarantine hospital was moved to Rainsford Island from Spectacle Island and operated there until 1852. During this time, Rainsford Island was a popular summer resort.

In 1832 a small-pox hospital was built (a stone Greek-temple design), and many victims of infectious diseases were buried on the island. In about 1852, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts took possession of the island and established an almshouse. The state abandoned the site in about 1866, and the City converted the island into a poorhouse. Civil War Veterans lived there until 1882, when they were transferred to a Soldiers Home on the mainland. Beginning in 1882, female paupers were sent to Rainsford. Later it was a facility for boys: the Suffolk School for Boys. In 1920, the school was closed. Now only foundation holes remain visible.

UPDATE 2-14-2016
In late 1887, certain unclaimed bodies of people who died at Long Island Hospital were transported to Rainsford Island for burial. Although death records note the place of death as at Long Island.

Per the City of Boston's report for the activities for the year 1894, that practiced ceased on June 13, 1893, as Long Island opened its cemetery on their island.

In late 1895 & early 1896, burials were also made at Rainsford Island from deaths at the Sumner Asylum in Boston. It appears that all burials ceased at Rainsford in early 1896.

A spreadsheet has been made of all post 1850 deaths, as well as vital statistics per death records.

All Infants who died on the island, were born on the island. Most likely to Female inmates. In the circumstances noted above, some infants died at Long Island Hospital

SGT William Randolph (African American) Fought in the Civil War with the Mass 5th Colored Cavalry UNMARDKED GRAVE

Pvt. Steven Ennis.(African American) was with the 54th Regt, M.V.I. from its inception until the end of the Civil War) UNMARKED GRAVE.

June 1891 - Catherine Kenney died at 1 day. Her twin brother Frederick died in July. Both of congenital syphilis.

Current postings, obtained from the Records of Deaths at Boston, are from 1850-1896 (end of burial activities)

By Bill McEvoy member #46902415
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