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Hingham, Massachusetts…part 4

The Burying Ground behind Old Ship Church.



Among the roots of the beautiful old trees I found my own roots.


Descended on my father’s side from Joan Gallop, daughter of  John Gallop who came from England on the Mary & John in 1630, leaving his wife and children in England.  They followed in 1633 on the ship Griffin.


Joan Gallop married Thomas Joy.  He had also come from England with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630.


(the new headstones were erected by descendent Henry Bourne Joy in 1930)

Directly descended from Thomas Joy and Joan Gallop (Joan descended from six generations of Gallops in England) through their son Joseph… six generations of Joys, then four generations of Downs’ when Harriet Joy married Lemuel L. Downs II.  Now four generations later, the Downs name stops with my generation with no males to carry it on.  My children and grandchildren, although without the names, carry the history and the legacy forward.

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Hingham, Massachusetts…part 3

Old Ship Church

Having found the town of Hingham, I now set about finding the cemetery in which my ancestors were buried.  After several false starts, I found the Old Ship Burying Ground behind Old Ship Church – where my ancestors had worshipped.

Built in 1681, the oldest church in the United States in continuous use as a place of worship,  the only remaining 17th century Puritan Meeting House in America, and according to the New York Times, the only surviving example in the country of the English Gothic Style.




The most distinctive feature of the building is its Hammerbeam Roof which resembles an upside down boat hull.




Family lore credits Thomas Joy, my ancestor, with a hand in the design of the building.  Making Hingham his home after leaving Boston, where he designed and built the First State House in Boston in 1657, he died before Old Ship Church was completed.


Next:  Hingham Part 4…Old Ship Burying Ground


Filed under Family history, Travel