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Person Details
Last NameMAYES
Cemetery NumberNT003
Birth Day0
Birth Month 
Birth Year1689c
Death Day12
Death MonthSEP
Death Year1690
Gravestone Details
Stone Materialslate
Shapefancy top
Carvingskull with wings
Number of Graves on Stone1
Stone Height (inches) 
Stone Width (inches) 
Last Seen Date2016
Notes/Misc Details
NotesThe Mayes gravestone was discovered in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania in 2016. Stephanie Pallas was doing some landscaping in her backyard when her shovel hit a peculiar object. She dug it out, flipped it over and realized she had unearthed a tombstone. After doing some online research using the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission’s website, Pallas determined the stone belonged in Newport. She contacted Pegee Malcolm, chairwoman of Kent County’s Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission. “It was quite a shock,” Malcolm recalled. “She said, ‘I think I have one of your headstones.’ It was such a wonderful stone. She read it to me and immediately sent me a picture. It was beautiful.” Malcolm contacted Lew Keen, chairman of the Newport Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission, and the two spent several weeks trying to figure out how to get the stone back to Newport. Hiring someone to deliver it would put them back $1,000, Malcolm said. The stone could be sent via FedEx for $100, but they weren’t convinced it would be safe. Luckily, Bob Butler, a member of the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Commission, and his wife Charlene were already going that way and agreed to pick up the historic stone and bring it back to Newport safely. Bert Lippincott, librarian and genealogist at the Newport Historical Society, shared the history of the Mayes stone at Saturday’s resetting. William Mayes Sr. was born around 1634 and died in 1692. In 1673, he purchased a lot at the corner of Farewell Street and Marlborough Street, the site of the White Horse Tavern. He established his own tavern there after being granted a license. He married Sarah Gorton, whose father Samuel Gorton founded Warwick. Their son William Mayes Jr. was a mariner, but something of a mystery. “There’s very little known about him because he’s at sea all the time,”Lippincott said. “His voyages could have been two or three years at a time. He doesn’t leave much of a paper trail in Newport or elsewhere in New England. We don’t know the name of his wife, we don’t know when he is born.” John Begin, a bartender at the White Horse Tavern, was among those who attended Saturday’s resetting ceremony at the cemetery. He said he’s working on a book about the mystery surrounding William Mayes Jr., whom Begin is convinced may have had some royal blood. The 1690 gravestone returned to the cemetery Saturday belonged to the junior Mayes’ year-old son. It was reset alongside a number of those belonging to members of the Mayes family.
Transcribed ByHET;GHR;DF