Photo/Image Courtesy of Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Volunteers

Cemetery NumberNT001
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Pole Number8
Map Number 
Page Number 
Plat Number 
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Deed Page 
Size in Feet800
Size in Feet500
Last seen date?2020
CommentThe "History of Newport County, Rhode Island," ed. Richard M. Bayles, NY, 1888 contains the following description of Island Cemetery: The town of Newport, on the 18th of May, 1836, purchased a tract of land, which was the beginning of the cemetery now known as the "Island Cemetery," on Warner street. Early the next year Mr. Henry Bull and William W. Freeborn were appointed to lay out the new burial ground. In 1839 a certain portion was surveyed and laid out into one hundred and thirty-six lots, each one rod square. These were offered for sale at moderate rates. In 1844 the balance of the purchase was laid out, avenues made, trees and shrubbery set out, and a substantial fence built, the wall and the gateway costing $831.33. In 1848 a company was formed to whom the town conveyed the grounds. The trustees of the "Island Cemetery Company" were authorized to take care of the property, to grant deeds of lots unsold and to adopt the necessary means for raising funds as might be required for the purposes of the new company. Several additions have been made to the original purchase, thus affording better conveniences, and rendering this spot a fitting repository for the dead. Recently a fine freestone chapel has been built by the Honorable August Belmont, near the lot owned by him, wherein rest the remains of Commodore M.C. Perry. The grounds are tastefully laid out and contain many beautiful lots, where the hand of affection has been lavish in its adornments, and loving hearts have reared elaborate and expensive monuments" (p. 543). Many of the earlier inscriptions were recorded by Dr. Henry E. Turner, who was involved in an official capacity (secretary of Willow Cemetery) with the cemetery. This manuscript is at the Newport Historical Society; typed transcriptions of it, unfortunately made after it had significantly deteriorated, are there and at the Rhode Island Historical Society. Turner's records have been entered and are coded HET. From the mid-1980's through the early 1990's Alden G. Beaman published a selective record of transcriptions in the Rhode Island Genealogical Register. He chose to record almost exclusively couples born before 1850, thus creating an excellent reference for marriages, but leaving out single people and children. Beaman noted platform stones, group monuments, hedges, and otherwise fenced plots. Individual stones are mentioned only if the condition interferes with reading the inscription. His data has been entered and is coded AGB. In January 1996 John Sterling visited Virginia Sampson who will mark her 70th anniversary working at the cemetery next year. When the Island Cemetery was incorporated in 1848, two cemeteries (New Burying Ground, 1840 and Willow Cemetery, 1852) were located on the grounds. Original lot deeds are in the safe. She says the cemetery has records for 11,409 interments, many on cards made in the 1920's by a previous superintendent. As of April 1996 we have 3,378 names from Island and another 165 from Willow for a total of 3,543 from this cemetery. It will be noted that quite a few of the names predate the official founding of the cemetery, perhaps moved by descendants to this more elegant burial ground or perhaps erected before the cemetery was incorporated. In 2020 Lew Keen photograped the gravestones in this cemetery. The boundary of the cemetery is as follows: 41 deg. 29' 43.40"N x 71 deg. 18' 49.74"W on Warner St. 41 deg. 29' 50.22"N x 71 deg. 19' 00.65"W on Farewell St. 41 deg. 29' 55.21"N x 71 deg. 19' 01.06"W on Van Zandt Ave. 41 deg. 29' 57.42"N x 71 deg. 18' 50.28"W on Van Zandt at Vicksburg Pl. 41 deg. 29' 45.66"N x 71 deg. 18' 46.45"W on Warner St. Link to search for people in this cemetery: https://cemeteryfind.com/PublicSearch/BurialSearch/40d4b48a-189b-4a8c-b894-c31f0c90e100
Enclosuremetal fence
Gateiron gate
Cemetery Location
Cemetery Burial Map N/A