Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Tombstone Tuesday ~ African Burial Ground, Wethersfield, Connecticut

These photographs were taken at the Ancient Burying Ground in Wethersfield, Connecticut.

In front of the cemetery is a small, segregated area where the Africans were buried in colonial times.  You can almost imagine a fence around these graves to separated them from the white settlers.  In other New England towns like Portsmouth, New Hampshire or Boston the slaves were buried in a completely separate cemetery. 

In memory of
Quash Gomer: a
Native of Angola in
Africa, brought from
there in 1748 &
died June 6th 1799
Aged 68 years. 

Do the math.  Quash was only a teenager about 17 years old when he was sold into slavery.  According to one history, Quash Gomer bought his freedom from John Smith for 25 pounds. 

This stone and the others show evidence of being lovingly restored.  The original sandstone is quite prone to wear and weathering. 

In Memory of
who was born in Africa
and died July 11
1816 aged about 
55 years

Here lyeth
What was
mortal of Pri-
mus.  Free Negro Dec.
Novembr 17  1731
Aged about 70 Years.

For more information on the Wethersfield Ancient Burying Ground and Village Cemetery, see this website for photos, transcriptions and GPS coordinates of each stone:


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Tombstone Tuesday ~ African Burial Ground, Wethersfield, Connecticut",  Nutfield Genealogy, posted June 14, 2016,  (  http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/06/tombstone-tuesday-african-burial-ground.html: accessed [access date]).


  1. Here is another take on early African burying customs in New England at


    1. That's interesting about the equality in some early cemeteries, Keith. I'm going to look around to see if I run across more like this in New England.

  2. Wethersfield Historical Society maintains a searchable database of all burials in the Ancient Burying Ground and Village Cemetery that may be accessed via our website at http://wethersfieldhistory.org/burying-ground/. It includes photos, transcriptions and GPS coordinates of each stone, as well as any other information we may have on the burial. Wethersfield Historical Society also conducts regular walking tours of the burying ground during the season. Visit wetehrsfieldhistory.org for more information.

    1. Thanks, Amy! I've added your link and information to several blog posts about the Wethersfield Ancient Burying Ground.