Welcome to Andover’s oldest museum. The South Parish Burial Grounds were established with the Parish in 1709. The first recorded burial for Robert Russell was December, 13, 1710, three days after the Parish voted on its first pastor, Samuel Phillips. Rev. Phillips was ordained the same day as The Church of South Parish in Andover was founded, October 17, 1711. The grounds for the meeting house, parsonage, school, and burial grounds were given by John Abbot, the first Deacon, and son of original Andover settler, George Abbot. It is believed that the current grounds were the burial site of the Abbot family. Rev. Phillips encouraged the congregation to remember their loved ones buried in the cemetery between Sunday services as “lessons for the living.” The oldest original remaining stone belongs to Anne Blanchard who died on Febr’y 29th, 1723. Old South was the Town cemetery until a second burial-place was laid out in 1791 in the West parish. Old South has students and faculty from Phillips Academy and the Andover Theological Seminary before the Chapel Cemetery began in 1810. The first two pastors and families of South Parish, who served 98 years between them, are buried here, as well as many of the founders of the Academy and Seminary, and later The Abbot Female Academy. Ministers from the Methodist and Baptist churches are here, also. Three of the four captains of the Andover Militia who marched on Concord and Lexington and later Bunker Hill, are buried here with their families, along with 81 other veterans of the American Revolution. The only remaining head stones for slaves in Andover is here for Pomp Lovejoy (for whom Pomp’s Pond is named) and Rose Coburn, the last slave to die in Andover. Of the original 35 members of the church, only three original stones remain. Only 113 stones remain before 1800, out of 1500 burials, and 33 of those stones are Abbot’s. Over 2800 people are represented on over 1900 gravestones.
- Total gravestones: 1930 stones, representing 2854 people
- Total broken or missing stones replaced 2001-2006: 72 (over 150 repaired)
- Veteran stats: Total veterans, patriots, and Pre-Revolution officers: 274, 150 newly identified.
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