Friends of Forest Hill Cemetery

March 21, 2009 meeting


Dorothy Goldman, organizer of the Friends, conducted the meeting. 

1. Mission statement was read and accepted with one change which was to add the wording National Registered Historic District.

2. A brief overall history of Derry's only cemetery was given along with its historical significance. The cemetery was most likely established around 1721.  The oldest stone photographed as of this date is that of Peter Cochran who died in 1722.

3. Reports of the three previous surveys which are:                    

  i) Willey's done in the 1890's                                                           

 ii) Colonial Dames of NH ca 1913.                                                                      

  iii) Eagle Scout, Steven Spinney's survey of 1982.  Spinney's was complete with maps which have been a great help in the recent survey of 2007 (and ongoing).  Copies of Spinney's survey are located in the church, museum and both libraries.       

  iv) Goldman Survey (currently ongoing):  None of the previous surveys had photographs as it would not have been economically feasible back then.   This survey will have photos of the stones so that in the future if one is lost there will be a visual recording of it.  Also being done, for the first time, is a recording of the readable epitaphs. 

4. Maps of the historic sections and those of the lots were passed around so all could see what Mr. Spinney had done.  It was noted that the numbering will need to be redone as many stones have been found that were missed in all previous survey's. 

5.  Names on the Spinney survey and Colonial Dames are now on and corrections are being made when photos are uploaded.  

6. Other ongoing projects are:                                                           

  i) identifying all Veterans in the Historic area and marking (color coding) on the lot maps so flags can be placed by the proper stone. 

  ii) researching and writing biographies of those interred in Forest Hill, mainly the average citizen of the town as the notables and founding fathers have been well documented in the past.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

 iii) genealogies will be placed in the museum and the church to be available for genealogists and family historians along with any photos relating to the person.

 iv) Tours will be given during Heritage Day and other times by appointment.