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Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust…A brief look at early generation Mather gravesites.

From Deacon Joseph Mather to Stephen Mather and his daughter Bertha Mather McPherson, burials have been at the Mather Cemetery which lies diagonally across the road from the Homestead. The first burial in this cemetery was for the Deacon’s infant daughter, Clara, in 1786.

Stephen Mather took a personal interest in maintaining Brookside Cemetery (also known as Old Five Mile River Cemetery.) This was the burial place of Moses Mather, his three wives, and three of his sons.

A note from Bertha indicates that in 1918, the cemetery was “cleared and put in order by STM and Wm. Illsley.” She adds “1918-1930 “STM cleared once a year till his death.” A Darien Review article from 1918 speaks of a gathering at the cemetery where “the ancient grave stones were objects of great interest and many complimentary remarks were exchanged on the great improvement to the grounds which were possible through the generosity of S.T. Mather and Mr. Illsley.”

That led to a search for the graves of the four preceding generations of Mathers in New England beginning with Rev. Richard Mather who emigrated in 1635. Of the four, two are found and photographed.

Rev. Richard Mather (1596-1669). The great-great-grandfather of Moses Mather and grandfather of Cotton Mather, Richard Mather is buried in Dorchester North Burying Ground, Dorchester MA, Tomb 46.

Timothy Mather (1628-1684) The son of Richard, Timothy is known as “The Farmer Mather” not following his siblings into the clergy. He isalso buried in Dorchester North Burying Ground, in an unlocated grave.

Richard Mather (1653-1688). Timothy’s son, Richard moved to Lyme, CT, but no record of his burial exists.

Capt. Timothy Mather (1681-1755). Richard’s son and Moses’ father, Timothy is buried in Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme, with his wife, Sarah Noyes, and two of his sons.

Images below:

Rev. Moses Mather

Rev. Richard Mather

Capt. Timothy Mather

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