Charles R. Hale directed a WPA project to inventory over 2000 cemeteries in Connecticut. Please visit the Hale Collection of Connecticut Cemetery Inscriptions to learn more.

East Lyme in the Civil War

   Over one hundred men, and two women, from the Town of East Lyme served the Union during the Civil War. At least one man with family here served the Confederacy. The units in which these men served, and the actions of those units, have been gathered at:

Civil War Service

   Here's a website "dedicated to finding the unusual, obscure and otherwise near impossible needle in the haystack gem". New records are being added weekly, contributed by historical societies throughout the state of Connecticut. To learn more, or to use their free family tree search engine, please visit:

Hidden Genealogy Nuggets

East Lyme Cemeteries
Dedication of the Smith Gateway, Union Cemetery June 14, 1927 Warren J. Gates (left) Josephine Havens Knox (right)
Dedication of the Smith Gateway, Union Cemetery
June 14,1927
Warren J. Gates (left) and Josephine Havens Knox (right)

   There are three active cemeteries in East Lyme, and 16 historical, inactive ones. The active cemeteries are:

Old Stone Church Burialground
Old Stone Church Burialground

   Old Stone Church Burialground, at the intersection of Society and Riverview Roads, Niantic. The 2nd Ecclesiastical Society of Lyme built its first meetinghouse at what is now the corner of Society and Riverview Roads in 1722. The burialground was established at the same time. The earliest marked stone is dated 1722; the earliest stone with a name, George Smith, is 1724. A variety of markers can be seen here, reflecting different eras and economic conditions. Materials used include fieldstone, slate, sandstone, marble and granite. There are even some markers made from cast metal. Carved symbols include winged cherubs, urns and willows.  East Lyme erected a memorial to its Civil War veterans at this cemetery on June 14, 1926, and soldiers from nearly every war are among those buried here.

The Old Stone Church Burialground is maintained by the Niantic Community Church.

Union Cemetery
Union Cemetery

 

   Union Cemetery, on East Pattagansett Road, Niantic. The southern entrance to this cemetery is flanked by the Smith Gateway. This structure was funded by Flora M. Smith in memory of her father, Frederick Malcolm Smith, a private in the Civil War, and eighty-five other people of East Lyme who volunteered in that war. Eighteen of those men were killed in defense of the Union. The Gateway was dedicated on June 14, 1927. The gateposts are fashioned from granite quarried at Millstone Point, with bronze plaques listing each of the volunteers.

 

 

East Lyme Cemetery
East Lyme Cemetery

 

   East Lyme Cemetery , on Boston Post Road, in Flanders. 

 

 

Both of these cemeteries are maintained by the East Lyme Cemetery Association. They can be reached at 860.691.1391.

 

 

   Most of the historical cemeteries are on private land, so their addresses are not listed here. These cemeteries are under the care of the East Lyme Historic Cemetery Association. The photos below are presented through the courtesy of the Association.

   In the fall of 1934, under the auspices of FERA and the WPA, and with support from the Connecticut State Library, the inscriptions of each East Lyme cemetery were copied and included in the Hale Collection of Cemetery Inscriptions. We have provided an alphabetized transcription of these listings, organized by cemetery, at East Lyme Cemetery Records. You can also access the listing for a particular cemetery by clicking on its name.

   Wilbur Beckwith, retired East Lyme Town Historian and Historian of the East Lyme Historical Society, has compiled the inscriptions of veterans buried in East Lyme, from the colonial wars through the Spanish-American War. These are available at East Lyme Veteran Burials.

   For more information, please contact us at [email protected].