About the Graveyard

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In 1892, the Ladies’ Cemetery Guild of St. George’s Episcopal Church, Fredericksburg, VA undertook to document the history of the cemetery. The book created of their work is here. The earliest legible date to which they could attest without question was 1752, on the grave of an otherwise unknown John Jones. Two years later, there was an Archibald MacPherson, aged 49; and two years after that, Colonel John Dandridge, father of Martha Washington [#114]. William Paul, brother of John Paul Jones, was buried there in 1774 [#14]. The latest ascertainable date is 1924, on the grave of Virginia B. Patton. [#21]

At the time of the ladies’ survey, 164 tombstones could be identified; some had no dates, others, no ages. There are 35 known burials without stones. As part of their project, the ladies spent $150 of the funds raised for cleaning, landscaping, planting, and sowing the cemetery grounds. At the time of their report, they were planning to use the remainder of the money to “enclose the front of the cemetery with a handsome iron fence,” which is still in service today.

More recently on All Saint’s Day 2002, St Georgians reinterred the remains of six 18th Century Fredericksburg citizens dug up during the renovation of Market Square, using the “Office for Burial of the Dead” from the 1690 Anglican Prayer Book. On All Saint’s Day 2007, a plague was added to that site.

In 2008, a memorial garden for cremains was added adjacent to Faulkner Hall.

When the City of Fredericksburg was established in 1728, two lots were set aside for the church and graveyard. The present church and graveyard occupy one of the original lots.

Although some graves were removed to make room for the present church building in 1849, others were not disturbed. There is an old tradition that says Colonel Fielding Lewis of Kenmore, Revolutionary War patriot and brother-in-law of George Washington, and his son are buried beneath the front steps of the church. The son, perhaps, resides in the cemetery but Fielding Lewis more likely lies at his son’s plantation in Clarke County.

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