[Mayflower Descendant, 24 :120]
|120||Duxbury Gravestone Records|
The N. E. H. G. Society's book refers to William Paulding's bible records of his own birth and marriage, and of the births and deaths of his children, also to the Ichabod Alden, 1851, copy, therefore the variation in that society's copy of the gravestone of the child Hiram should have led to a re-examination of the gravestone before printing. But the remarkable proportion of errors found in their copies (as printed) of the other inscriptions in this small cemetery seems to furnish conclusive evidence that none of those copies were properly verified before printing.
I have not been able to discover a single item of evidence in support of the statement, in the N. E. H. G. Society's book, that the inscription on Hiram Thomas Paulding's gravestone gave the year of his death as 1831, and his age as 9 years and 9 days; and in view of the many serious errors and omissions of that book, only a few of which have been specially mentioned, there is not the slightest, doubt that their professed copy of the record on this gravestone was merely one more error, printed without verification.
Another stone in this cemetery demands especial attention. It was erected in memory of "Emily Wilder", "Mary Ann" and "Sylvanus", three "infant children" of Charles and Sally Weston; but the dates of death, and the ages, were not added.
These three names were cut on the stone in the order here given, and it would be absurd to suppose that the parents decided on this order solely for the purpose of having the names arranged alphabetically. The names were undoubtedly arranged in the order of the births of the children, and the town records* supply the proof that Charles and Sally Turner had a daughter named "Emily", born 28 March, 1840, died 4 October, 1840; and a son named "Silvanus", born 7 May, 1849, died 5 September, 1849.
Immediately following the record of Emily's birth and death, and entered at the same time, we find "Emma" born 8 April, 1842. The next entry, made at a later time, is that of the birth and death of the son "Silvanus", in 1849, seven years after the birth of Emma.
No mention of either the birth or the death of the child "Mary Ann" has been found on the town records; but the gravestone furnishes practically conclusive evidence that she was born, and probably died, also, between Emily and Sylvanus. And as "Emma" was born in April, 1842, there can be little doubt that "Mary Ann" was born between April, 1843, and May, 1849, but lived so short a time that her birth and death were not recorded.
* "Births 1764", page 241; also Ichabod Alden's 1851 copy from that book.
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