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  Manchester Family Cemetery,
Ryegate, Caledonia County, Vermont, USA

Photos and Compilation
October  2008

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   In the 1913 Ryegate town history [RTH], Miller & Wells wrote on page 410, "Ezekiel and his first wife are buried in a pasture on the old Manchester farm, in a walled enclosure, with several grandchildren" - who were unmarked in 2008.

   In 2008 this two-foot high stonewall enclosure is located on a pleasant terrace in a recently logged-over forest on the steep rocky hillside rising above where the old stage road ran from the Manchester farm to Symes Pond prior to the 1850s.

   There are, however, only three gravestones and two footstones there now. Ezekiel's wife and daughter are marked by soapstone gs and fs; Ezekiel is marked by a white marble gs with a piece of fieldstone for a fs.

   In 2007 the current owner repaired the wall, cut out all the brush, and cleaned the growths from the stones.

   "Mrs. Sarah wife of Dea. Ezekiel Manchester" is listed in the RTH as "He m. 1st 1790 Sarah Smith of Bath (b.1770; d. July 8, 1820)". note: date discrepancies.

   "Mrs. Betsey wife of Hazen Aldrich" is listed in the RTH as "Elizabeth (3rd child of Ezekiel), born Oct. 15, 1798; married Hazen Aldrich of Ryegate and died a year later".

   Of Ezekiel, RTH tells us, that he lived with his mother and stepfather until of age, "then went on to a farm in Barnet* owned in 1860 by his son, Thomas. Deacon in the Baptist Church at Passumpsic" (15 miles north of the cemetery). In his 1923 Barnet History, Wells amends this to "Deacon in the Baptist Church at Danville" (18 miles north of the cemetery, along a different road).

   * 100 acre lot #73, half-way between McIndoes and West Barnet villages per map drawn in 1791 by Rev. Goodwillie, labeled "Z.Manchester". This farm is labeled on the 1858 and 1875 maps as L.Manchester (Lemuel), son of Zeke's brother, Thomas. On those same two maps, T.Manchester (Thomas), son of Thomas, grson of Ezekiel is shown on the farm in Ryegate where the cemetery is located; and RTH says of him, "b. 1849; farmer on the homestead, the farm of Ezekiel Manchester, which has been in the family name 116 yrs. Not m." And of his father, Thomas, son of Ezekiel, b. March 1, 1795; came to Ryegate with parents; farmer on homestead; m. 1840 Mary, dau. Stephen Holman. He died Sept. 7, 1874; she died June 28, 1899. The farmhouse on the homestead was built in 1818.".

   TERMS: a "tympanum" is the semi-circular bump on top of slate and soapstone gravestones; "shoulders" are the ledges to the sides of the tympanum, all are "square" in this cemetery, except #1-2, which has "rounded shoulders". A "monolith" is a plain, rectangular stone. A "coped" stone is stone with a low angular top, similar to the gable on a house.

Plot LastName FirstName Maiden Born Died Inscription Notes
1 Manchester Ezekiel   Haverhill, NH Oct 22 1772 Mar 06 1841 "Dea. EZEKIEL / MANCHESTER / DIED / Mar. 6 1841 / AE. 81." son of Thomas Manchester of Windham, Maine & Haverhill, NH and of Hannah (Bailey) of Newbury, Vt
2 Manchester Sarah Smith 1770 Jul 09 1820 "Mrs. Sarah, / wife of Dea. / Ezekiel Man- / chester, died / July 9, 1820: / in the 50 year / of her age." dau. of Samuel Smith of Bath, NH
3 Aldrich Elizabeth Manchester Ryegate, Vt Oct 15 1798 Oct 26 1821 "Mrs. Betsey / wife of / Hazen Aldrich / died Oct. 26, / 1821, / in the 23 year / of her age." dau. of Ezeliel & Sarah (Smith) Manchester

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