Oldest Family Gravestone – James Robertson, 1720

What is the oldest gravestone still in existence that you have found for a family member? Mine is for James Robertson, my 12 X great grandfather, who lived in Groton, Massachusetts. Groton is one ancestral home that I was able to visit in the 1980s, so I was able to visit his grave:

James Robertson, died 16 December 1720

As you can see, his stone is looking a bit weathered. The town of Groton also added a second marker, denoting his status in Groton’s history:

Original Proprietor

James Robertson’s parents haven’t ever been identified, as far as I know. He was born about 1632 or perhaps a bit later and married Elizabeth Farnsworth, daughter of Matthias Farnsworth, wife unknown, on 16 January 1667 in Groton. Elizabeth was born about 1647, possibly in Lynn, Essex, Massachusetts.

I question his birth year noted by the Groton marker because most New England men married at about age 25. Unless James had a first (unknown) marriage, he would have been about 35 when he married Elizabeth Farnsworth.

James and Elizabeth Robertson were unusual in that they had only one known child, daughter Elizabeth, born 3 October 1668 in Groton. Elizabeth married William Lakin in Chelmsford, Massachusetts on 4 January 1685/86. They had nine known children and have many, many descendants today.

What is the oldest gravestone that you have found for one of your family members? Please share.

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