MORSE PRIVATE BURIAL GROUND
This burial ground is on a hill on Norfolk Street near the intersection of West Street.
Jotham Morse, born 21 May 1749 in Walpole, died 2 March 1829 was a 3rd great grandson of immigrant Samuel Morse (1576-1654) and his wife Elizabeth Jasper (1579/80-1655). Jotham Jr.’s wife Abigail (Gregory) was a 2nd great grand daughter of immigrant John Guild (ca. 1616-4 October 1682) and his wife Elizabeth Crooke ( - 31 August 1669).
According to an undated document prepared by Frank Larrabee of the Walpole Historical Society, the burial ground originally had corner posts and gate with a white fence enclosing it. The fence had been pulled down and laid on the ground. A large dead pine tree had fallen over the little plot. There appeared to be five graves but only four headstones.
In his paper, Mr. Larrabee emphasized the importance of copying information from ALL old gravestones for record keeping. Rationale: of the four gravestones in the Morse Private Burial Ground, only deaths of two people appeared in the book entitled WALPOLE, MASS. VITAL RECORDS TO 1850. Thus, the dates of deaths of Jotham, Jr. and his daughter Hannah are the only town records of their deaths.
Graves from left to right …
· Jotham Morse, died March 2, 1829 in his 79th year
· Abigail, widow of Jotham Morse, died Feb. 11, 1842 in her 91st year
· Miss Hannah Morse, died March 29, 1829 in her 44th year.
· Mrs. Comfort, wife of Jotham Morse, Jr., died April 29, 1839 in her 55th year.
· Stone missing from grave #5.
· Jotham was in service during the American Revolutionary War.
· Jotham married Abigail Gregory, daughter of John Gregory ( - 7 May 1799) and Abigail Guild (19 January 1722/23) on 24 May 1772 in Walpole. Abigail was born 18 March 1751 in Walpole.
· Comfort was Comfort Thompson of Boston.
· Buried in grave #5 could have been Hannah (Davis) Morse, widow of Jotham Morse, Sr. who died 1 January 1755/6 at Fort Lawrence in Canada. Hannah died 21 January 1757 in Walpole. This is pure conjecture. Who knows and are there more?
Mary M. Bates, Compiler
March 30, 2007