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The Small Family Tomb of Limington Maine

James D. Small
Copyright 2001
All Rights Reserved

Henry Small purchased, Dec. 23, 1786, from his uncle, Samuel Small, a tract of one hundred acres of land at Limington for L37:10 which is described in the deed as "Lot No.8 range H. To this spot, later known as the "first farm west of Shaving Hill," he brought, in the spring of 1787, his wife and four young chiuldren; their earliest shelter being an old hunting camp. Soon he built a log house. He was unfortunate with his houses, as the road was made through the north end of his farm instead of the south as had been expected; but his first frame house, the cellar of which is now the family tomb, was built upon it. When the road was later changed to the southward, he erected another house, in which he spent his remaining years. To Henry and his descendants the town of Limington is largely indebted for its growth and prosperity. He was town constable in 1796 and afterward and contributed liberally toward the support of schools.

The proper name for this burial ground is unknown. However, the oldest member of the Small family to be buried here are Henry, his wife Elizabeth Dam, and his mother Mary McKenney, wife of Major John Small. It is not noted in the record that Henry's father John was buried in this crypt, he having passed 62 years before his wife and his reported burial was in Scarboro. It can be assumed the oldest burial in this tomb therefore is Henry's mother Mary McKenney, who died in 1823, some 25 years before the old celler was made into a crypt for the Small descendants. Two of Henry's sons, with their in-laws were responsible for the creation of this burial ground, and when completed, they gathered their dead into this final resting place as described below.


The Small Family in America by Lauriston Ward Small

In the autum of 1848, Humphrey, and his brother Major Henry, together with their brother-in-law William Thompson and Mr. Thompson's sons, Henry and Sewell, built a family tomb in what had once been the celler of Henry's second house in Limington, situated a few rods north of his last house, and on a private road leading from the main road to the Thompson house. In consideration of a fifth interest in the tomb, Elmira, widow of Humphrey's brother Joseph, gave the triangular bit of ground of perhaps one-third of an acre upon which the tomb is built. This land has been in the family since 1668, and as it now can never be sold it will remain in the family forever. Amen and amen. Thus the five original owners of the tomb were: 1. Humphrey, 2 Major Henry, 3, Elmira, widow of Joseph, 4. William and Sewall Thompson, and Henry Thompson.

June 5, 1849, the bodies of the following named persons were disintered in the field where they have been buried and removed to the new tomb.
1. Mary McKenney, the fairy born widow of Maj. John Small and of Mr. Haskins, 1731-1823, aged 92
2. Henry Small, son of Maj. John and Mary, 1757-1826 aged 69
3. Elizabeth Dam, wife of Henry Small, 1758-1841, aged 83
4. Mary Small, dau of Henry and Elizabeth and wife of Wm. Thompson 1780-1846, aged 66
5. Joseph Small son of Henry and Elizabeth, 1806-1838 aged 32
6. Freeman, son of Wm and Mary Thompson 1813-1824, aged 11
7. Orinda Higgins, wife of Henry Thompson, 1802-1841, aged 39
8. Ann Maria, dau of Maj Henry and Eliza Small 1834-1835
9. William, son of Henry and Orinda Thompson, 1823-1824
10. William O, son of Henry and Orinda Thompson, 1827-1829
The bones of all save Elizabeth Dam Small, Mary Small Thompson and Orinda Higgins Thompson were placed in the stone vault as their coffins were decayed. The Coffins of the three women before named were in fair condition and were placed in the tomb in the above named order, commencing at the inner end.

The bodies of the following named persons have since been placed in the tomb in the order here given, commencing at the inner end next to those afore named.

1. Theodosia Small dau of Henry and Elizabeth, wife of Hugh Libby, 1801-1850, aged 49
2. Mary L. Small dau of Humphrey and Sarah 1817-1853, aged 36
3. Statira Libby, dau of Harvey and Sarah,wife of Sewall Thompson, 1807-1855, aged 48
4. Humphrey Small son of Henry and Elizabeth, 1787-1863, aged 76
5. Hugh Libby, died 1872
6. Sarah Libby, wife of Humphrey Small 1792-1873, aged 81
7. Henry Thompson, son of Wm. and Mary, 1802-1873, aged 71
8. William Thompson, 1775-1876, aged 101
9. Sewall Thompson, son of Wm and Mary 1805-1888, aged 83

Lauriston Ward Small, son of Humphrey and Sarah is the writer of these hasty sketches.

Note: Lauriston Ward Small was born 9 June 1832 and died after 1888, the last burial noted in this tomb by the author above is 1888, whether there were more is unknown at this time. Also unknown, is the name of the original burial place. Whether it was a family plot or part of a larger cemetery is unknown. And, what happened to the stones that originally marked the graves has not been determined.

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