Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Joanna Sawtell (1701-1786) in Groton MA

Joanna (Wilson) Sawtell was born 6 January 1701 in Billerica, Middlesex, Massachusetts, the daughter of John and Elizabeth (Foster) Wilson. She married Hezekiah Sawtell on 1 August 1723 in Groton, Middlesex, Massachusetts, and died 11 September 1786 in Groton. Her stone in the Old Burying ground in Groton leans a bit to the right:

The tombstone has a cherub's head with large wings (perhaps befitting Joanna's motherhood of 11 children?). The inscription says:

In Memory of
Mrs. Joanna Sawtell, Relict of
Lieut. Hezekiah Sawtell
Who died Sept. 11th 1786
In the 85th Year
of her Age.

This is another beautifully carved stone in this graveyard. There are many well-preserved stones like this in the Old Burying Ground in Groton. Transcriptions of the stones in this cemetery are provided in the US GenWeb archives here. A book (Epitaphs from the old burying ground in Groton, Massachusetts, By Samuel Abbott Green, Arthur Bruce Coburn, Published by Little, Brown, & Company, 1878) is available on Google Books here.

I don't recall where I obtained this photograph, and others from this cemetery. I may have taken them myself on a trip to New England in 1994 or 1995, and I may have obtained them from a kind correspondent who took them and sent them to me years ago.

Joanna (Wilson) Sawtell is one of my 6th great-grandmothers.

1 comment:

Kiril The Mad Macedonian said...

"Leans a Bit to the Right"


If theis was a more recent marker one might ask if this was an indication, from beyond the grave, of her political persuasion. ;-D

The most interesting Tombstone story in my family seems to be the one that does not exist for the sister of my grandmother. ;-D

She was missing for years until I found out when she died, where, and the fact that she lies in an unmarked paupers grave. ;-D