The oldest original remaining stone belongs to Anne Blanchard who died on Febr’y 29th, 1723. Old South was the Town cemetery until a second burial-place was laid out in 1791 in the West parish.
Old South has students and faculty from Phillips Academy and the Andover Theological Seminary before the Chapel Cemetery began in 1810. The first two pastors and families of South Parish, who served 98 years between them, are buried here, as well as many of the founders of the Academy and Seminary, and later The Abbot Female Academy. Ministers from the Methodist and Baptist churches are here, also. Three of the four captains of the Andover Militia who marched on Concord and Lexington and later Bunker Hill, are buried here with their families, along with 81 other veterans of the American Revolution.
The only remaining head stones for slaves in Andover is here for Pomp Lovejoy (for whom Pomp’s Pond is named) and Rose Coburn, the last slave to die in Andover. Of the original 35 members of the church, only three original stones remain. Only 113 stones remain before 1800, out of 1500 burials, and 33 of those stones are Abbot’s.
Over 2800 people are represented on over 1900 gravestones.
Total gravestones: 1930 stones, representing 2854 people.
Total broken or missing stones replaced 2001-2006: 72 (over 150 repaired)
Veteran stats: Total veterans, patriots, and Pre-Revolution officers: 274, 150 newly identified.
- 2 women – 1 was an army nurse WW1
- 4 chaplains, 1 was also a doctor – Rev. Jonathan French, second South Parish pastor
- 1 British soldier – “member of the British Army Killed in East India, 1880, aged 21 years”
- Oldest vet: Pomp Lovejoy 102 – fought in the Rev. War at age 51 as a slave.
- Youngest vets: 2 boys, both 16, died of disease during the Civil War at Ft. Albany, VA, 1862 British POWs from the Rev. War who stayed are probably buried here, still in research
- 7 French & Indian War officers – including Rev. French, a Sergeant in the King’s army
- 81 American Revolution vets, 2 killed in action, 5 died of disease, 1 died of wounds, 3 accidental
- 4 Patriots who carted Harvard’s library books to Andover for safe keeping during the Battle of Bunker Hill (stored at John Abbot’s and Samuel Osgood’s homes)
- 3 Patriots killed in Powder House explosion
- 2 slaves (Pomp Lovejoy, Titus Coburn) who fought at Lexington and Concord, April 19th, 1775
- 1 Lt. Governor of Mass., Samuel Phillips, III (1802)
- 127 Civil War soldiers, 4 Killed in Action, 6 Died of Wounds, 16 Died of Disease (1 chaplain)
- 1 Black Civil War soldier of the Mass. 54th Regiment, Robert Rollins (1879)
- 2 White officers of ‘Colored’ regiments
- 7 Civil War POWs (4 died in captivity in Anderson, GA prison)
- 16 WW1 vets, 1 woman
- 9 WW2 vets, 1 killed in action, 1 woman, 1 chaplain at Normandy
Between 1710-1808, the first two ministers of South Parish buried 1703 people. Samuel Phillips 892 in 61 years, and Jonathan French 811 in 37 years. Only 203 are remembered of the 1703. Both the Phillips and French families are buried here, as well as 3 children of the 4th pastor, Milton Badger. Of the original 35 members, only 3 remain on original stones, and 3 are on family monuments.
- Oldest extant stone: Anne Blanchard, Feb’ry 29, 1723
- Oldest people: Kate Plummer Jenkins, 102 years, 5 months, 7 days (1858-1960); Pomp Lovejoy, 102 (1724-1826); Francis Kidder, 101 (1751-1852); Leon Field, 100 (1890-1990)
- Earliest epitaphs 1768 and 1769, in the same family
- Most lines on a stone for one person: 16, including a 10 line epitaph.
- Most people on one monument: 21, of which 9 are John Abbot.
- Most popular surname: Abbot(163)/Abbott(176), 339 total (oddly, Abbot is rare in Andover, England)
- Most popular given name: Mary: 203, Sarah: 146, John: 99, Elizabeth: 93, George: 76, Hannah: 76
- Most popular name female: Mary Abbot/Abbott, 26, Sarah Abbot/Abbott, 16
- Most popular name male: John Abbot/Abbott, 16
- Only 111 stones remain before 1800
- 32 Abbots before 1800 out of 111 stones
- No Abbotts with 2 t’s before 1823
- At least 50 Abbot/Abbott stones misspelled or do not match Town Vital Record spellings (T or TT) 18 ministers
- Most wives with the same husband: 4 (and 2 sets!)
- Longest name: Rachael Eunice Timandra Bartlett Holt (and not even married!)
- 1 stone with a skull and crossbones
Often the only word readable on an eroded stone: DIED, or the carver’s name (!) An article in an 1898 Essex Antiquarian magazine lists all South Church stones (113) before 1800. It depicts a broken stone which is in the exact same condition now, as it was over 100 years ago, and mentions which stones were sunken then, making the epitaphs unreadable (we have dug them out!)