Soldiers of the Revolutionary War in Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground

View / Download: Soldiers of the Revolutionary War Brochure [PDF]

Connecticut and the American Revolutionary War

The American Revolution was a colonial revolt that took place between 1775 and 1783. The American Patriots in the Thirteen Colonies won independence from Britain, becoming the United States of America.

Beginning in April, 1775, Connecticut sent men to fight. Including state troops and militia, more than 40,000 Connecticut men saw military service during the Revolution. Hartford played a key role as an inland meeting place for the American and French military commanders, General George Washington and the Comte de Rochambeau, as well as for its part in helping to supply the Continental Army with men and provisions.

Revolutionary War soldiers in Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground - a map & listing image from the brochureSearching for Veterans of the American Revolutionary War

During 2018, new research was conducted to document the veterans of the American Revolution who are buried in Hartford’s Ancient Burying Ground (ABG). Gravestones have not  always survived. Often records are missing or unclear. Old church sexton’s records have been lost, established burying ground boundaries have changed over time and replacement gravestones have been added as older stones eroded.

The 2018 research team compared records done by the Daughters of the American Revolution who were responsible for restoring the ABG in the 1890’s, along with past sextons’ records, as well as those done by past historians. Sometimes this leads to conflicting information as in the case of Capt. Barnard, who was moved to ABG in 1900 from Old South Cemetery in Hartford because of road work.

This research is on-going, and the Ancient Burying Ground Association would welcome any assistance. Family histories or documents may help us unravel some of the mysteries or inconsistencies that currently exist. Please contact us at contact@theancientburyingground.org 

Review the brochure to see more details, with locations & images of specific Revolutionary War soliders’ gravestones, data about death dates, ages, & additional information. Individuals listed include:

  1. Wadsworth, Col. Jeremiah (d. April 30, 1804)
  2. Deming, Capt. Pownal (d. April 9, 1795)
  3. Barnard, Capt. John (d. Dec. 28, 1813)
  4. Watson, Ebenezer (d. Sept. 16, 1777)
  5. Seymour, Israel (d. Aug. 14, 1784)
  6. Porter, John Esq. (d. May 28, 1806)
  7. Pratt, Timothy (d. May 31, 1783) & Pratt, George (d. July 22, 1805)
  8. Talcott, Joseph (d. July 3, 1799)
  9. Smith, Capt. George (d. Mar. 15, 1808)
  10. Marsh, Capt. Samuel (d. Sept. 1, 1802)
  11. Burr, Timothy (d. Aug. 15, 1799)
  12. Jones, Major Daniel (d. Feb. 1, 1802)
  13. Butler, Moses (d. Dec. 17, 1801)
  14. Payne, Benjamin (d. Jan. 23, 1782)
  15. Boardman, Rev. Benjamin (d. Feb. 8, 1802)
  16. Barnard, Capt. Ebenezer (d. Aug. 19, 1799)

Listed, but illegible or dates are in question

  • Watson, John (d. May 24, 1795)
  • Bull, Capt. Caleb (d. 1789)

Listed but are not presently found

  • Benton, John Jr. (d. July 14, 1790)
  • Weare, William Thomas (d. Oct. 15, 1823)
  • Cadwell, John (d. Nov. 19, 1777)
  • Skinner, Capt. John (d. Sept. 4, 1791)
  • Wadsworth, Samuel (d. 1778)
  • Bigelow, Major John (d. Feb. 1, 1780)
  • Dean, Barnabas (d. Dec. 4, 1794)

Brief History of the Ancient Burying Ground: “Preserving A History Carved In Stone”

In the 1630’s, the Native Americans called this place “Suckiaug” meaning Black Earth, a connection to the rich river soils. In 1633 the Dutch had a trading post on the river. English families followed and were joined by Reverend Thomas Hooker and his congregation of 30 plus families from Massachusetts in 1636.

The Ancient Burying Ground (ABG) was originally purchased in 1640. The ground here is the oldest property in Hartford and the primary burying place prior to 1803.

Since gravestones were expensive, the vast majority of people interred here never had one. Today over 600 headstones and footstones still stand. Many of the gravestone carvings found in the ABG are important as works of folk art.

Efforts to preserve the ABG date to 1835. The Ancient Burying Ground Association was established in 1985 as a non-profit organization to protect and preserve its history in a public-private partnership with the City of Hartford.

The Ancient Burying Ground is listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. It is also listed on the Connecticut Freedom Trail, the state’s African American history trail.

The Ancient Burying Ground, 60 Gold Street, Hartford, is owned by the City of Hartford and is generally open from 8:30 to 5:00, except major holidays.

Many gravestones in the ABG have been repaired or replaced over time and many more are in need of restoration

  • Funding was generously provided by the Society of the Cincinnati in the State of Connecticut.
  • Project Historian and Author: Ruth Shapleigh Brown
  • Project Manager: Mary M. Donohue
  • For more information, visit: theancientburyingground.org
  • For more information about the restoration and preservation of the ABG or to make a donation, please contact us at:
    • ABGA
      P.O. Box 347, Hartford, CT, 06141-0347
      contact@theancientburyingground.org