Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tombstone Tuesday: The Sarcophagus in Plymouth, MA

There are many museums, locations, historical sites, restaurants and....wineries to visit in Plymouth, of course there is Plymouth Rock with all its legends. 

Here is another tourism website filled with ideas for exploring Plymouth Co., Massachusetts:

From this website SAIL 1620:

Here is a description of the sarcophagus that is a monument to the first 51 Mayflower passengers that died the first winter. 

1921 — Cole's Hill Pilgrim Memorial Tomb, Water Street, Plymouth MA

Known as the "Sarcophagus," this 9'8" x 4'4" x 6'5" granite tomb is the final resting place of the bones of the Pilgrims who died the first winter. Their names are listed on one side. Unfortunately, because the names’ letters are bronze attachments, they, and those on the other three sides, are constantly subject to vandalism. Inside, a plain pine box 24x12x12 inches contains the bones that had been in the top of the old 1883 Billings Plymouth Rock canopy that was replaced this year. The tomb was ordered by the General Society of Mayflower Descendants at a cost of $25,000. The Pilgrim Society eventually assumed its care and upkeep and then passed it to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Sarcophagus is the site of a memorial sunset service during each triennial General Congress of the Society of Mayflower Descendants.

This website The Plymouth Colony Pages shows a photo and has many of the old homes in the area and beyond.

My quest was to find out more about William White, my Mayflower ancestor, his wife Susanna and their sons Peregrine and Resolved.  (Pronounced with the "ed".)

I would like to caution you about Susanna.  So far they have not determined what her maiden name was.  In the past many have given her the last name of  "Tilley" or "Fuller."  This is not correct, however, you will see it in very old references and sources.  This website gives a brief summary of Susanna White.  William her husband is also hard to research.

My visit to the sarcophagus for the first 51 settlers

Locating William White's name which was not easy to read 3rd from bottom

A tribute and more.
Wikipedia has a list of the first 51 who died that winter in Plimouth with more information for research:


  1. So informative, Bonnie, thank you for a look into our 'family scrapbook!' The photography is wonderful! This is another incredible blog you author! Priceless!
    - Linda Goss-Kozic, Researching Your Ancestors

  2. Linda: Thanks for stopping by. I didn't want those photos I have taken to just get dusty in my computer and the loss of so many tombstones and graves makes me sad. Good to hear from you.