Last fall, on my history tour, I went in search of Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, Massachusettes. Through my Grandfather, Alfred Balentine, I descend from Rev. Walton, the first minister here in Marblehead’s first church. Although this is a line specific to my Grandfather, I feel it is also notable to my Grandmothers side as well. Besides looking for Rev.Walton, the area is littered with Grammy’s people; Whipples, Lane, Putman, Porter, Hawthorne (and I know I’m missing someone). I find it interesting that these people may have all belonged to the same church or at least knew of each other.
Rev. William Walton came to serve as minister in 1638 and served until he passed in 1668. His daughter Elizabeth married the son of Salem’s first Governor, Lot Conant. After Lot and Elizabeth married, they headed to Bridgewater,Mass to make homestead.
Marblehead Historical Society as a very nice collection of facts for you here.
Arriving in the harbor area of Marblehead, one finds narrow stonewalled streets. There are signs calling to you that show you where to find the Burial Ground. The original burial ground and church site are preserved on the original site.
There is a steep but wonderfully maintained stair leading you up to the grounds.
Once you climb to the top, the area is filled with headstones. Most are quite old. And you could easily spend an entire day here reading and searching for ancestors.
The main architechural feature is the Gazebo.
The gazebo contains this bench upon which to sit and allows you to take in the breathtaking views.
I could only imagine what these views looked like before the harbor village was built.This is what you see from inside the Gazebo, where the church once stood.
I looked everywhere for the official sign and found it on the stone side of the gazebo.
Rev. Walton, my Great,Great,Great,Great,Great,Great,Great,Great,Grandfather has his church site remembered. They say he was buried here as well but no headstone remains for him or his wife. At least I know I am in the right cemetery and in the right spot to celebrate where his church stood.
(Hey Grammy! I found another cool thing in Gramp’s past, whether he wanted me to look or not! I did what you said and found his past anyways whether he liked it or not…lol…I know this makes you giggle and smile.)
Me > Ruth Balentine b. 1939 >Alfred Balentine b. 1919>Laura Whitman b1895. >Charles Whitman b. >Elijah Whitman b. 1762 > Nicholas Whitman b. 1731 > Mary Conant b. 1694 > William Conant b. 1665/6 > Elizabeth Walton b. 1629 > Rev. William Walton b. 1601