Monday, November 23, 2015

Clues to finding Dodge’s Row Burying Ground, Beverly, Massachusetts

Dodge's Row Burying Ground, off Dodge Street, Beverly, Massachusetts

I dare you to find this little gem of a cemetery!  Even with a map, a GPS and a written description of how to find this cemetery we had a lot of trouble finding this cemetery.  “Dodge, shared right of way on right and driveways on left, opposite and in between Norwood’s and Beaver Pond Roads (North Beverly), park in cemetery.”  These were the only clues I could find online at the Beverly, Massachusetts US GenWeb Project.  

There are no signs off Dodge Street to tell you where to turn, and even once you pull into a private home driveway you are faced with several signs stating “PRIVATE DRIVE”, but you have to be brave enough to drive right through on the driveway, which is really a right-of-way through private property to the burying ground.

It was only later when we pulled up Google Earth’s satellite images of Dodge Street in Beverly and carefully viewed the woods between and behind the houses along the road- when we found it!  It's well hidden, but worth the drive if you have North Beverly ancestors.  The oldest stone I found was 1705.  The newest one I saw read 1922.  Many are broken or illegible. 

Here is a screen shot of how this cemetery looks via satellite image on an iPhone.  You can see the cemetery in the woods to the left of the tree farm (which is a big clue to finding this burying ground).  The private drive way is between two houses, with two more homes behind them on the way to the cemetery.  Be brave and keep driving! 

Some of the gravestones are illegible, sunken or facedown

This part of the cemetery seems to be in the process of being swallowed by the forest

Essex Antiquarian, July 1899, volume 3, page 105 “Dodge’s Row Burying Ground Inscriptions”.   [It’s a good thing that these gravestones were transcribed over 116 years ago, because they are very faded today. This article transcribed only pre-1800 stones.  A digital version of this volume is available online at Family Search ]

Inscriptions from the Old Burying Ground in Dodg’es Row, North Beverly, Massachusetts, 1888, [A small book of only 14 pages].

Some photos of Dodge’s Row tombstones [only those stones with the surname DODGE] from the Dodge Family Association website

Dodge’s Row tombstones by plot number

Good Luck finding Dodge’s Row Burying ground!  I’ll be featuring a few of these interesting tombstones starting tomorrow for Tombstone Tuesday.

For the truly curious:

The deeds to all the land comprising Dodge's Row Burying Ground were transcribed and published in The Essex Institute Historical Collections, Volume XXIV, 1887,  pages 116 -  122


Published under a Creative Commons License
Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Clues to finding Dodge’s Row Burying Ground, Beverly, Massachusetts", Nutfield Genealogy, posted November 23, 2015
( accessed [access date]). 


  1. Thanks for posting this. In the spring I'll go to Dodge's Row and follow your directions. I am a Dodge descendant via Asa T Dodge and Louisa Davidson of Edgecomb, Lincoln, Maine.

  2. Great job on right-of-way access to this place, and appropriate etiquette, Heather. Keeping myself concise here... has as good a summary of who is buried here (first-hand confirmed).

    This cemetery covers (a pun?) upper Dodge Street North Beverly and Dodges Row Wenham Dodge families. Lower Dodge Street North Beverly and downtown Beverly Dodge families (as many, contemporarily, in number, as here) were also buried in North Beverly, Old North Beverly Ancient, Central and Abbot Street Ancient cemeteries, et al. Great write-up! Cheers!
    Barry Gates, USGenWeb coordinator for Beverly, and (lower Dodge Street family) Dodge descendant

    1. Thanks Barry! I photographed some family members (BALCH, DODGE, WOODBURY, STONE, etc) at the Abbott Street the same day I was at Dodge. We saw the entrance to Old North Beverly Ancient and will come back in the spring. I have written up lots of stories about family members buried at Central and North Beverly, as well as many other Essex County towns.