Before the beginning of armed conflict between colonists in America and the forces of the British crown on April 19, 1775, residents of South Dedham were British subjects. During the so-called French and Indian Wars, men joined the militia to serve the King of England. It was not until the 1770s that New Englanders thought of America as a separate, independent nation. Because of this, several of those interred in Old Parish Cemetery were never citizens of the United States of America. Not much is known about these “non-citizens” but they include many familiar surnames.
John Bullard (1690-1745)
John Bullard was born on August 27, 1690 in Dedham. He was the son of Samuel Bullard and Hannah Thorp Bullard. Married in 1729, he and his wife, Rebecca, had nine children: John, Josiah, Samuel, Hannah, Rebecca, Mary, Henry, Anne and Ezra. John Bullard died on January 26, 1745. He was 55. He is buried in lot 227. The date of his wife’s death is unknown.
Peter Everett (1721-1747)
Peter Everett was born in Boston on April 17 (or 22), 1721. He was the child of William Everett and Rachel Newcomb Everett. On March 21, 1744, he married Abigail Clapp, the daughter of Thomas Clapp and Hannah Felch Clapp of Weston. How the Everetts came to South Dedham is unknown. They had two children: Abigail, born in 1745, and Peter, born in 1747. Peter Everett died on March 19, 1747 at 26 years of age. He is buried in lot 172.
Oliver Morse (1726-1747)
The son of Ezra Morse (1694-1789) and Anna White Morse (1695-1762), Oliver Morse was born in 1726. He was one of six children. His father was a militia man during the French and Indian Wars. Oliver Morse did not marry; he died on January 9, 1747 at the age of 22. According to the Dedham Records, “He died also of ye measles,” an indication that several people in the village had died from the disease. He is buried in lot 178.
Isaac Lewis (1701-1749)
Born in Dedham on November 17, 1701, Isaac Lewis was the son of Barachiah Lewis and Judith Whiting Lewis. On May 11, 1732, he married Abigail Morse of Walpole. She was born in 1711. They had one child, Morris Lewis who was born in 1733. A week later, Abigail Morse Lewis died. Isaac Lewis was married on April 10, 1734 to Mary Whiting, who was born in Dedham in 1713. Isaac and Mary had eight children: Mary, John, Abigail, Joanna, Rebecca, Sarah, Margaret, and Isaac Jr. All eight grew to adulthood and married, an unusual circumstance in the 18th century. Isaac Lewis died on July 5, 1749 at the age of 48. He is the only member of the family interred in Old Parish Cemetery; he is buried in lot 214. Isaac’s brother, Nathaniel, who died in 1752, is buried a short distance away in lot 163.
John Morse (1703-1750)
Born on November 10, 1703, John Morse was the son of Deacon Ezra Morse (1671-1760), one of the most important men in Tiot, and his wife Mary Lovett Morse (1679-1746). He had two brothers, Ezra and Joseph. On April 26, 1727, John Morse married Mary Guild, the daughter of Nathaniel and Mehitable Hartshorn Guild. Mary Guild Morse was born in 1709. The couple had ten children. John Morse died on November 22, 1750 at the age of 47. His wife remarried and subsequently lived in Wrentham. John Morse is interred in lot 181 with a gravestone carved by John New. He is buried beside his parents (lots 179, 180).
Each of the above men died a quarter century or more before hostilities between their fellow colonists and their Monarch began. One wonders what they would have thought of it all.