Ammon-Booth Cemetery, Lakeville, MA

Don’t let the title of this blog entry fool you – I did not intend to find the Ammon-Booth Cemetery today! I had gathered some of my lovely family members to go hiking through the woods of Lakeville off of Race Course Road, in search of the Ramsdell-Robbins Cemetery. Lambert and Thatcher both refer to the cemetery as being “set back in the bushes”, into the woods and away from the road. Maps online and printed also positioned it slightly past halfway to the west on the road, and certainly made it look like it’s location would be behind someone’s house.

The Ramsdell-Robbins Cemetery boasts several ancestors: John Ramsdell, his wife Sarah (nee Robbins) and her brother Samuel Robbins, who owned much of the land around Race Course Road – he sold some of the land to form the Mullein Hill Church, which is right around the corner. Lambert’s book puts the founding date as 1775, intriguing since Sarah died in 1848, Samuel in 1854, and John in 1856, and they are the only graves listed in Thatcher’s book.

So my brother dropped us off halfway down the road and with my mother and some siblings we hiked in the woods between some properties, hoping to come across the cemetery back in the woods.

We were hopeful when we came across a substantial path that trailed a distance behind the homes along the road (the houses themselves were also set back deep into the woods as well). We came upon this:

A stream with a concrete and stone small walking bridge set across it! Very beautiful, and odd to find it deep in the woods. We debated it’s construction date, and it’s intended purpose. Just to the right of the bridge was also:

No real ideas here on what this structure was intended for… currently it is being used as a compost holder. But the proximity of the bridge to the stone structure most certainly indicates they were built around the same time, and perhaps used in tandem.

We followed the trail for awhile, then split up and searched the woods, pushing through thorns and lots of overgrowth, to no avail. As we walked closer to a home, a bewildered woman called out to us (her dog was having a howling field day!) and we stated our purpose (I always enjoy seeing people’s responses to graveyard hunts… bafflement? enthusiasm? get off my property or I’ll use my shotgun!? … one never knows =) Although if a cemetery is on private property, one should always seek permission to explore and photograph it! But in this case, we had no idea where it was) In any case, the woman was nice and said that they owned the property all the way into the woods for 5 acres and had never seen a cemetery. So we trekked back to the road, puzzled. I called out to another neighbor if he knew of the location of the cemetery and he said we were on the wrong side of the road, and that a small cemetery was right across the street! So we excited crossed the road and soon found:

John Booth!? That rang a bell, I recalled a Booth cemetery in the area as well.. and sure enough, Thatcher lists:
Booth, John died 30 NOV 1802 in his 74th year
Booth, Lydia, wife of John, died 28 MAR 1784 in her 52nd year
Ammon, a Negro, belonged to Capt. William Canedy, 30 MAR 1778 in his 29th year.

The little cemetery is right along the road, although it is bushy and surrounded by trees. The only marked stone is John Booth’s, which has obviously been tended to (with a veteran’s flag) and he also received an updated gravestone. Lydia’s is nowhere to be seen, nor is Ammon’s.

However, it’s very possible that Ammon’s is:

Or a number of other large fieldstones nearby which look conspicuously placed, and therefore serving as unlabelled gravestones. Why was Ammon buried with Lydia, just a few years after her death, especially if he belonged to another man (Canedy?) Were they neighbors? Had the Booths formerly owned Ammon (although he was relatively young, but I am not sure of the rate of slave ownership turnover, especially in the north) Very interesting to consider.

As for the Ramsdell-Robbins Cemetery, I have sent an email to the Lakeville Historical Commission in hopes that someone there might know it’s exact location. We shall see!

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12 thoughts on “Ammon-Booth Cemetery, Lakeville, MA

  1. Hello, My name is Eric Ramsdell. I have traced my last name back to John Ramsdell who married a daughter of the Eaton Family that came over on the Mayflower. The dates I have for John and Sarah Ramsdell are from the mid 1600’s, being burried at the Ramsdell-Robbins Cemetery that has since been lost. After reading some of these very nice articles, I see that the dates you have are the mid 1800’s. This puts a monkey wrench in the middle of the things I have located about the Ramsdells coming to Ohio in the early 1800’s and settling along Lake Erie. I look forward to coming to Mass, and doing some searching myself. Please let me know any info you may have. I would be happy to share all of my findings as well.ThanksEric Dale Ramsdell

  2. Captain William Canedy married Elizabeth Eaton a granddaughter of Francia Eaton, an original passenger of the Mayflower. William Canedy is an ancestor of mine and we have a photograph of the gravestone of Ammon. It reads “Memory Ammon a Negro belong to Capt. William Canedy he died March 30th 1778 in y 29th year of his age? You will find the stone in the Mullrein Cemetery.

  3. Hi Mary -It’s not clear to me if you are looking for the parents of John Ramsdell, Jr. or just looking for the graves of him and his wife. I have a John Ramsdell, son of John Ramsdell, born on 17 Jun 1787 in Pembroke, MA. In 1856 when your ancestor died this John Ramsdell (Jr.) would have been abt 68 yrs old. His parents were John (Stockbridge) Ramsdell and Hannah Allen of Pembroke/Hanson, MA. Hope this is helpful. ~V~

  4. Just came across your blog as I was doing some genealogy searching. I’m researching a possible ancestor of mine: John Booth m. Lydia Caswell. Is this the couple you are referring to? If so, would be interested in learning more.

  5. I'm not sure where Ammon is BURIED, but there's a stone to his memory near the street in the Thompson Hill Cemetery. I was cemetery searching there a couple of weeks ago and took a picture of the stone as I thought the "story" on it was interesting:"MemoryAmmon a NegroMan Belong toCapt. William Canedyhe Died March y30th 1778 in y 29Year of his life"The stone may say more at the bottom, but that's all that's on my picture. It's encased in cement, presumable to protect it as the top is rough and uneven and had apparently suffered damage over time.I just came across your blog—love stomping through old cemeteries searching for ancestors and their family members. (Couldn't find the Enoch Davis cemetery, supposedly on County Road, though.) Lakeville area prime searching grounds for my Ryder, Washburn, Winslow, Maxim etc. lines who all lived in Plymouth & Bristol counties for 375+ years. (I'm from up north–Wakefield, Mass.)

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  10. My name is Jeanne and I live in Lakeville. Couldn't find reference herein to Ammon's marker being just around the corner from Booth's so I'm posting to let you know. It's marked similarly and also has a flag. Further inland, by only 20 feet or so, it's close to a resident's driveway and not easily seen.

  11. It was great to read this information. I just finished doing the research of my line back to Alexander Canedy, and also Francis and Samuel Eaton of the Mayflower. I am about to start photographing as many gravestones as I can find. My original goal was to simply trace my Canedy line back to Zebulon and Olive, buried in the Canedy Cemetery on Highland Road near Canedy Corners. I wanted my daughter to have this lineage, but once I started, I kept digging.It's been an interesting trip so far!

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