The Smith Yard
Bunker Hill Road, New Boston, Hillsborough County, NH


In 2003, I visited this site that is supposedly the Smith Yard, and found only the slightest suggestion of burials,
although a local resident said this was definitely an old burying ground. As the pictures below show,
there are stone walls surrounding a wooded lot on top of a hill. Digging in the brush, I only found
what might be one broken gravestone.

P5170267
This is the spot
I was told to look for
at the bottom of the hill
P5170255
Wooded area
and stone walls
P5170232
A broken
gravestone (?)
P5170263
Wooded area
and stone walls
P5170264
Looking down the hill
to my car and the
property owner's farm


The Real "Smith Burying Yard"
Saunders Hill Road, New Boston, NH
E27842, N476539, Zone 19 (43 0' 39"N, 71 43' 8"W)
View a TopoZone map of the area here. (Look for the little red cross).

This small cemetery is off Saunders Hill Road, in the middle of the Follansbee pasture. It isthe burial place
of John Smith, son of Thomas Smith (the original settler) and may also be the site of Thomas Smith's grave,
although no sign or mention of that has been found so far. As time permits, we'll post the lineage of the others
buried here, and explore their connection to the Smiths.

Thanks to Everett Smith, Paula LeBaron and Fran Ellingwood for the following information and photos.

annsmith
Widow Ann Smith
janegregg
Jane Gregg
abrahamcochran
Abraham Cochran
janegreggg
Jane Gregg
johnsmith
Deacon John Smith
joshuawoodbury
Joshua Woodbury
anncochran
Ann Cochran
williamdodge
William Dodge
smithgrave01
smithgrave02
smithgrave03
smithgrave05


This report of visible graves was prepared in 1931 by the Misses Atwood
(Text in bold type is commentary only, and is not part of the actual report)
INSCRIPTIONS FROM A SMALL GRAVEYARD AT NEW BOSTON,
HILLBOROUGH COUNTY, N.H. KNOWN AS "THE SMITH YARD"
(Rescued from oblivion by H. A. Gregg Esq.  Inscriptions
recorded by the Misses Florence and Annie Atwood in 1931)

This is probably the grave of James and Janet (Collins) Gregg.
His parents are the Hugh & Sarah Gregg mentioned below.

"In Memory of / Mr. James Gregg / who died Dec. 31st / 
1805 in the 63rd year / of his age /

Tis finished and the Spirits fled
Regardless of our ancious cares
He slumbers with the silent dead
But lives we hope above the skies"

"In Memory of / Mrs. Jennet Gregg / Relict to Mr. James /
Gregg; who died / January 12th 1820 / In the 82d year of her age /
The young may live / but the old must die"

(These stones are of fine black slate, well preserved and are side by side)
Deacon John Smith was a son of Thomas Smith. Ann (Brown) Smith was his second wife.
According to Cogswell's History of New Boston, John's daughters Martha and Janey
who both died in 1756 of dysentery were the first to be buried in the graveyard
in the north part of town - which may be this site. So far, we see no sign of their
graves here nor of their mother's (Rachel(?) McNeill), John's first wife.

Widow / Ann Smith / died / July 19 1816 / in the 72 year of her age

In Memory of / Deac. John Smith / who died / Sept. 3 1800 /
in the 74 / year of his age

According to p.187 of "Faith with Muscle" (by Simpson), the first wife of Samuel Gregg, Esq.
was Jane Willson who died Dec. 25, 1800. Her father was Robert Willson of New Boston.
In memory of Mrs. / Jane Gregg / wife of Lieut. Samuel Gregg, / who departed /
this life Dec. 25th 1800 in the 31st year of her age/ 
A son & dau of the above mentioned person / born & died Nov. 30th
Research is pending
William Dodge / died April 13, 1827 / AE 38 yrs 4 mos / Lydia wife of Wm Dodge /
died / Feb. 5, 1832 / AE 36 yrs 4 mos/
(This stone flat on the ground)

Research is pending
Mehetable / wife of / Joshua E. Woodbury / died / Oct. 9, 1849 Aet. 74 /
Sally Woodbury / died / Dec. 1, 1843 Aet. 76

Abraham Cochran and his children Jean, Ann, and Andrew, are the earliest burials we find.
No stone for his wife Jannet has been seen yet, nor for their other children, "Honest" Peter
and his sister, Mary. I have not yet found a connection between this family and the Smiths.
Ann Cochran / died / Nov. 18, 1843 / AE 74

In memory of / Miss Jean Cochran / daughter of Mr. Abraham Cochran /
and Mrs. Jannet his wife / who died May 25th / 1786, in the 22nd year of her age

Erected / in memory of / Mr. Andrew Cochran / son of Mr. Abraham Cochran /
and Mrs. Jannet his wife who died Sept. 18th / 1781 / in the 21st year of his age

Erected / in memory of / Mr. Abraham Cochran / who departed this life /
Janr ye 15th 1776 / in the 47th year / of his age

Deacon James and Jennet (Lesley) Ferson moved to New Boston sometime after 1744,
when their son was born in Chester, NH. The "Paul Ferson" buried near them is most likely
his father, Paul McPherson. Jennet's sister, Sarah Lesley, was married to Hugh Gregg, and
they are the parents of the Samuel Gregg Esq. & James Gregg mentioned above.
A possible Ferson link to the Smiths is through their son, James Jr. - who married Mary McNeill,
a daughter of William McNeill and Sarah Brown. Thomas Smith referred to an uncle and cousin
named Brown (which could mean his mother was a Brown) and his son John Smith, buried here,
married a Rachel McNeil(?) before he married Ann Brown, also buried here.
More research is needed.
Sacred / to the memory of / Mrs. Jennet Ferson / who died Feb. 26 / 1804 / 
in the 86 year / of her age

Sacred / to the memory of / Deacon / James Ferson / who died Nov. 1st / 1792 / aged 76

Sacred / to the memory of / Mr. Paul Ferson / who died Oct. 17th / 1798 / 
in the 66 year / of his age
According to p.187 of "Faith with Muscle" (by Simpson), William and Rosanna (Gregg) Blair
had a son, Hugh (b.1769), and a daughter, Jean (b.1771) who lived in New Boston.
This may be their family burial site.

Shaft
(West)   Blair
(South)  Brother Blair
(North)  Hugh Blair & Family

  ________________________________

Stone posts remain showing where once chains separated lots, it is clearly evident
that there were many more stones here at one time, but this yard had been apparently
used as a pasture when Mr. & Mrs. Gregg walled it off, and cut off the brush.
(See Gregg MS by Winifred L. Holman, Lexington, MA, copy at NEHG Society)

  ________________________________

The following five removals from the "Smith Yard" to the new cemetery in New Boston,
now known as Meetinghouse Hill Cemetery, are recorded in the report of Edmund P. Fox,
Supt. of the Cemetery, for the year ending February 25, 1888:
 
OTHER REMOVALS
Nov. 18, 1888
 
Dea. Thomas Smith, from the Smith Yard to lot #73, 3d survey.
Mrs. Esther Smith, from the Smith Yard to lot #73, 3d survey.
George Smith, from the Smith Yard to lot #73, 3d survey.
John McCurdy, from the Smith Yard to lot #73, 3d survey.
Mrs. Clarinda McCurdy, from the Smith Yard to lot #73, 3d survey.
 
The report by the Trustees and Superintendent of the New Boston Cemetery also had
this note:  "We hope that the work of discontinuing the old farm burying-ground
and removing the remains of friends from such places to this cemetery will continue
as it has done in the past two years."
  ________________________________

Thomas is the son of Deac. John Smith mentioned above. His and wife Esther Poland's
graves were moved here along with the graves of son George and daughter Clarinda
(and her husband John McCurdy). Individual photos may be seen here
Clarinda / wife of / John McCurdy / died Apr. 16, 1883 / AE 73 yrs. 3 mos.

John McCurdy / died / March 22, 1841 / AE 30 yrs.

George W. Smith / died / Feb. 15, 1858 / Aet. 43

Esther / wife of / Thomas Smith / died / October 8, 1851 / AE 77

Thomas Smith / died / May 1, 1854 / Aged 89 / He served as
Elder in the Presbyterian Church / Forty years



Revised June 10, 2004

New Hampshire Old Graveyards Association