Photo of gravestones at Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground, including William Wadsworth, May 20, 1771

Photo by Carol Highsmith, Library of Congress.

Visit Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground

The Ancient Burying Ground is the oldest historic site in Hartford, and the only one surviving from the 1600s. From 1640, four years after the arrival of the first English settlers, down until the early 1800s, it was Hartford’s first and foremost graveyard. During that period anyone who died in town, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnic background, economic status, or religious faith, was interred here. The oldest gravestone is believed to be that for Timothy Stanley, who died in 1648.

Approximately 6,000 men, women, and children are believed to have been interred in the Ancient Burying Ground, which was originally considerably larger than it is today. Over the centuries commercial buildings, as well as the First Congregational meeting house, were erected on Burying Ground land, whittling it down it to its present size of four acres.

An Introduction to Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground

A video by Bill Hosley. Full version: 16 minutes. A 5-minute version is also available here.