FEATURED CEMETERY PHOTO
Photo Courtesy of Rhode Island Historic Cemetery Volunteers

Cemetery NumberPO010
TownPORTSMOUTH
Cemetery NamePORTSMOUTH FRIENDS' CHURCHYARD
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Graves ListDisplay Graves List
LocationHEDLY ST., CORNER OF WEST MAIN RD.
StateRI
DirectionN
Pole Number2
Distance15
Map Number 
Page Number 
Plat Number 
Deed Book 
Deed Page 
Size in Feet300
Size in Feet200
Burials700
Inscriptions320
Fieldstones 
Tombs 
Exist?YES
Last seen date?2006
Newest2004
Oldest 
VandalismN
Veteran4
Pole 
CommentIn 1692 Robert Dennis sold a plot of land four rods square to Matthew Berdin, William Wodell, and Gideon Freeborn, for a burial lot for the Portsmouth Society of Friends. It was a deed of gift "For the love I have to the truth and the people of God which are in scorne called Quakers" (Edwin West, "Portsmouth Before 1800"). The church and cemetery were described at length by Robert M. Bayles (RMB) in his "History of Newport County," 1888, II:679-681; "Beyond the meeting house, that is on the western side, in an enclsure of half an acre, surrounded by a neat and plain stone wall, sleep the forefathers of the Friends. A rigid plainness marks the spot. The older graves are marked only by unhewn slabs of native stone, devoid of any semblance of ornamentation, polish or inscription. It is only the later generation that have ventured to place smooth stones with inscriptions up them at the graves of their dead, and these, though neat and substantial, are mostly of the plainest sort." Bayles included a selection of transcriptions, mostly 19th century, all in the Quaker style, e.g., "9th mo., 17 d." rather than Sept. 17. Unfortunately only two stones were copied in "Rhode Island Tombstone Inscriptions, " circa 1900 at RIHS (ANON). The stones were again transcribed by Patricia Bodine for CETA 10 Apr. 1976 at which time the cemetery was active; the transcript was entered by John Sterling. Described but not recorded by Ian Kohl 1989. Church office phone: 401/683-0818; parsonage: 2232 East Main Road, phone 401/683-1109. The information on early burials (1670-1747) in this burial ground are from the Quaker records and are not marked with inscribed stones and may not even be in this yard. In 2006 Deb Gustafson photographed every gravestone in the cemetery. These pictures were then used to update the database to correct errors and add newer gravestones. Every stone was completely readable and only one was rated poor legibility. There are now 320 inscriptions on about 250 gravestone in the database. The 700 burials in the cemetery description is only an estimate with no real data to back it up.
Conditiongood
Enclosure 
Gate 
Growthgrass-well kept
Terrainhilly moderate
Cemetery Location
Cemetery Burial Map N/A
 

CEMETERY PHOTOS