|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
Following the Quaker belief that tombstones were an unnecessary show of worldly grandeur, there are no tombstones in this ancient cemetery.
To quote an article (thanks, Caryn!) by Paul Babin, found in the
Posted May 12, 2008 @ 03:53 PM
Sandwich's oldest Quaker burial ground is tucked away on a tiny fenced-in patch of land off of Spring Hill Road. The graves are unmarked and the surrounding trees and vegetation have partially hidden the rusty iron fence from view. According to research published by local historian John Cullity, the early Quakers kept their graves unmarked as "an expression of humility and equality as children of God." What bodies are buried there and when they were laid to rest remains a mystery. Quaker George Allen once owned a home next to the cemetery and was probably buried there when he died in 1648.
Author Russell Lovell says the burial ground is one of the town's forgotten landmarks. He says, "there's absolutely no records whatsoever" about who's buried in the cemetery.
"People may have remembered [the cemetery's inhabitants] but after about 12 or 15 generations, you're not going to find anything about it. [The Quakers] didn't want to advertise. They didn't want to try to show any superiority to anybody else," Lovell says.
After posting this, Find A Grave member Don Blauvelt wrote: "the [above] article contains a historical misstatement regarding George Allen provided by Russell Lovell - 'Quaker George Allen once owned a home next to the cemetery and was probably buried there when he died in 1648.' This cited line needs to be removed from [the] cemetery description.
Don continues - George Allen, my probable ancestor, who died testate in 1648 at Sandwich, died nine years before any person identified as a member of the Society of Friends ever arrived in North America. Since George Fox, the founder of the Society of Friends didn't even start to preach until 1647 in England, when George Allen died in 1648 neither he nor anyone else at Sandwich in 1648 had any knowledge of George Fox or who or what was the Society of Friends. How Russell Lovell ... determined that George Allen lived next to where this cemetery is located ... since all land and deed records for Barnstable County were lost in a fire in 1827. Further, information suggests the land for the "Old Quaker Meeting House Cemetery at Spring Hill" wasn't granted by the Town of Sandwich to the Society of Friends for a burying ground until 1694."
The cemetery description merely quoted an article; as such, the sentence in question cannot be deleted.
Find A Grave member Raymond Wing has provided:
There is a surviving 1667 Property Survey for Sandwich, which shows the approximate location of various families at this date. (This survey and other information from Sandwich: A Cape Cod Town by Russell Lovell, 3rd ed. 1996.) The survey shows William Allen as the only household in the area where the current Quaker Meetinghouse is located. William Allen is also known to have hosted many of the earliest Quaker meetings. The Sandwich Quaker records first mention a meetinghouse 13 Sep 1672, and it is believed all of the successive meetinghouses were built in the same general area where the current meetinghouse is located.
Given the above information, it is believed the meetinghouse property originally belonged to William Allen and he donated the property for the meetinghouse. It is reasonable to assume William Allen was given his property by his father, George Allen .....
PLEASE NOTE -
There are no tombstones in this cemetery!
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