I visited Roaring Springs Friends Meeting house recently and was quite taken by Judah Cherington’s gravesite. Next to his headstone, which reads “Judah Cherington, 1801-1884”, is his wife’s headstone which simply reads “The Wife of Judah Cherington”. After a great deal of research I could not find a documented reason for the way these headstones are marked so I came up with my own rationale which I would like to submit for comment. I believe that Judah’s wife Jane was a devout old-school Quaker who did not want her name on a headstone. Since she died about 10 years before Judah, my thought is that Judah agreed not to put her name on a headstone as a dying wish so that she could go in peace knowing that in death she upheld her Quaker belief. Judah, on the other hand, didn’t want his headstone to be the only Cherington in the graveyard, yet he did honor his wife’s request. Hence the headstone indicating who was buried beneath without mention of her name.
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