ancestryink fisherman

Friday, March 29, 2013

Street Names and Early Settlers

Rev. Samuel Palmer - First Congo minister
Street names are good clues for identifying early town settlers.  Here in Falmouth, we have Gifford Street, Palmer Avenue, Davisville Road, Katherine Lee Bates Road, etc. etc.

In every cemetery I have visited thus far, these names have appeared in abundance.  The gravestone of Rev. Samuel Palmer caught my eye for the beautiful stone carving.

Of course I had to do some quick research on the Reverend. It turns out that the very first Congregational Church in the United States, was the nearby West Barnstable church.  In the early 1700's a number of the congregation broke off or was "released" from this church,  and started a new church in Falmouth.  The first meeting house was built on Mill Road in 1708, where the Old Burying Ground is located. 

Rev. Samuel Palmer was the first minister of the church. The 548 page book "The Book of Falmouth" was given to me by the thoughtful realtor who helped me buy my house here recently.  It is a must-have in learning about the town, and had a nice chapter on the early congregations and Rev. Palmer.

The Book of Falmouth;


Rev. Palmer kept good church records which were separate from the town,  and it is clear that he was the first ordained minister, a distinction that separates him from his predecessors who were "town ministers."  His ministry by election in 1731 foreshadows the separation of Church and State for the Congregational church in Falmouth.  If you look closely at his stone, you will see his epitaph not only notes his age at time of death, but also the years of his ministry.





 Besides the carving on his headstone, wording of his epitaph also caught my attention.  Click on the image to read.

I've always liked the gentle "fell asleep" as a description of
death:















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