Earliest Gravestone in Norwood's Old Parish Cemetery
Updated: Apr 28
Azubah Gay (1738-1741)
Seth Gay (1742-1752)
Azubah (Thorp) Gay (1702-1773)
Timothy Gay (1703-1793)
The earliest gravestone found in Old Parish Cemetery is the stone memorializing Azubah Gay. Born on May 31, 1738, and christened on June 4, 1738, the girl was only three years old when she died on December 3, 1741, the year the cemetery was founded. Her stone reads:
DAU’r TO M.r
GAY AGED 3
YEARS 6 MO 3 D.
DIED DEC.r YE 3.d
Azubah was the daughter of Timothy Gay (1703-1793) and his wife Azubah Thorp Gay (1702-1773). The couple were married on February 10, 1727 and had 10 children. It was not uncommon in the 18th century for children to die young and several of Timothy and Azubah’s sons and daughters died at a young age.
Seth Gay, little Azubah’s brother, is buried next to her. Seth was born on October 9, 1742 and died on March 18, 1752 at 9 years of age. The gravestones of both children have winged skulls in their arch or tympanum. Rather ominous today, this iconographic decoration was meant as a reminder of the inevitability of death.
The siblings’ mother, Azubah, who died on December 9, 1773 at 71, and their father, Timothy Gay, who died on March 29, 1793 at the age of 90, are buried nearby. Timothy’s stone displays a winged skull as well, but mother Azubah’s stone has a round, doll-faced winged effigy likely carved by Wrentham stonecutter, Daniel Farrington.