Genealogy & Gravestone Research

There are five historic cemeteries in Newton. Three belong to the city and two are privately owned. The records of the three oldest, East and West Parish Burying Grounds and the South Burying Ground, can be found at www.interment.net.

East Parish Burying Ground

The oldest of the three city-owned cemeteries is known variously as the Centre Street or East Parish Burying Ground, at the corner of Centre and Cotton streets, dates from 1660. It is about three acres in extent, and about 400 grave sites remain. The oldest marker is dated 1672. The Town's only burying place for 120 years, it is the resting place for just about every family living in Newton before the Revolution.

Some 300 slate markers are the work of about a dozen Boston area stone cutters: local residents Ebenezer Howard and Daniel Hastings are well represented. A significant number of the stones have been photographed and the inscriptions recorded. Each grave is numbered on a plan and there is an alphabetical list available. A list of burials is posted on www.interment.net.

West Parish Burying Ground

The West Parish Burying Ground at the corner of Cherry and River streets in West Newton dates from 1781 and has been owned by the City since the 1880s. Of the few old markers remaining, several are the work of Daniel Hastings. The inscriptions have been recorded, and a plan and alphabetical list are available. A list of burials is posted on www.interment.net.

South Burying Ground

The South Burying Ground, also know as Winchester Street or Evergreen Cemetery, was started by a group of Upper Falls residents in 1804 and was deeded to the Town some 30 years later. The markers, predominantly of marble, have not weathered well, but inscriptions have been recorded, and a plan and alphabetical list are available. A list of burials is posted on www.interment.net.

Other Cemeteries

St. Mary's Cemetery, begun in 1813, is owned by St. Mary's Episcopal Church on Grove Street, in Newton Lower Falls. The Newton Cemetery on Walnut Street between Commonwealth and Beacon, has been operated by the Newton Cemetery Association since 1855. You may contact the respective organizations for plans and cemetery lists.

In the post-World War II era, there began to be Catholic burials in the Newton Cemetery, but individuals searching for early Catholic burials should consult individual Parish records or the Archives of the Boston Archdiocese. There were also a limited number of Jewish burials in the Newton Cemetery in the post-war period.

The Research Links listing suggests more sites for the study of Newton history, architecture, genealogy, gravestone studies, and abolition.