Tuesday, May 24, 2011

In the cellar? - Tombstone Tuesday

This gravestone was found in the basement of the 1804 house being rennovated by a cousin in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts (for the story on the rennovation project, please see the link http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2011/03/1804-house-and-some-family-connections.html ).  This stone was facedown for many years, and it surprised the new owners when it was uprighted and discovered to be a gravestone. It is thought this child was buried somewhere on the property in 1836. The stone will eventually be removed and placed in one of the town cemeteries.

son of Dr. E. W. and Charlotte E.
of Boston
died Aug. 3, 1836
AEt 4 ms, 7 ds

Charlotte Eliza Forster, born 19 January 1810 in Manchester, Massachusetts and died 31 March 1885 in Manchester, was the daughter of Captain Israel Forster and Hannah Story (Captain Forster built the house in 1804 for his first wife Hannah Lee) . Charlotte married Ezekiel W. Leach on 23 February 1835 in Manchester. Ezekiel was born 1 July 1809 in Manchester, and died 2 March 1842, the son of Thomas Leach and Hannah Norton. This child who died in 1836 was named for his grandfather, Captain Israel Forster.

Dr. Ezekiel Leach studied medicine at Amherst College and with Dr. George S. Shattuck of Boston, and recieved his medical degreee in 1835.  He belonged to the Baldwin Place Baptist Church in Boston, and lived there for several years before removing south for his health.  He died at sea on a voyage from Savannah to Havre, at age 33.  He left a collection of papers to the Massachusetts Historical Society.

The Leach Family of Manchester is related to me since we are all descended of Lawrence Leach and his wife Elizabeth (my 10x Great Grandparents). He lived at Salem, Massachusetts, and one son came to Manchester and another to Bridgewater. He died sometime before 25 June 1662 when his will was probated.

Also, Captain Israel Forster had a child, Hannah Lee Forster, by his first wife, who married Benjamin Leach Allen on 24 August 1824 in Manchester, Massachusetts. He is a distant cousin, on my Mom's side of the family. Mom's maiden name was Allen, and all the Manchester Allen's are descended of William Allen, born about 1602, and an original proprietor of Manchester. William Allen and his wife Alice Norman are my 9x Great Grandparents.

This Forster child had ANOTHER tombstone in the local cemetery. It was a double tombstone with another sibling. It is supposed that the parents removed the single stone and placed it in the home when the second tombstone was erected in the burial ground. Recycling?  Yankee Ingenuity?


Copyright 2011, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. Nothing better than finding a gravestone in an old house! I just love a mystery to solve! Many times it turns out that the original gravestones were replaced. That's what I've found quite often. Perhaps the child now shares a gravestone with the parents. Yankees didn't believe in throwing anything away. They reused everything!

  2. Wow, what a cool discovery! I'm glad to know that the stone will be placed out in one of the cemeteries, for others to see. You never know who might have been on the look out for it all these years!

  3. What an interesting find. I bet it suprised the new owners. I enjoyed reading your family's history.

  4. Fascinating! Not just the discovery of the stone but also all the background you provided