Prior to the 20th century, Lakeville was a very rural town and residents often had to travel long distances to their nearest church. As a result, Lakeville has a higher than average number of cemeteries within the town (compared to other Plymouth County towns), resulting from many families burying their dead in small plots on their farms, rather than in centralized churchyards.
The most comprehensive survey of Lakeville cemeteries (including maps of all cemeteries, complete epitaph transcriptions, and photographs of all gravestones) is Jean A. Douilette’s Lakeville, Massachusetts Gravestone Inscriptions, 1711-2003: A Complete Compilation of Epitaphs from the Thirty-one Known Cemeteries in the Town of Lakeville and a companion DVD Photographs of Lakeville, Massachusetts Gravestones 1711-2003 A pictorial companion to the book Lakeville, Massachusetts Gravestone Inscriptions 1711-2003 which are available for purchase at Urn and Willow Publishing. Jean has also recently published:
- Gravestone Locator for Lakeville, Massachusetts 1711-2003. This is a quick reference booklet listing alphabetically every name on all of the gravestones located in the town of Lakeville through 2003. It lists their dates of birth/death, and the cemetery they are buried in.
- Tack Factory Cemetery and the People Buried at the Border of Middleboro and Lakeville, Massachusetts. Although this cemetery is located in Middleboro, many people buried in it actually lived in Lakeville. In this book Jean has transcribed the gravestones, mapped them with alphabetical and by location indexes, and researched the people buried in it, including information about where they lived, what they grew on their farm, their obituaries, photographs, etc.
The oldest known compilation of epitaphs from Lakeville cemeteries is from Charles M. Thatcher, Old Cemeteries of Southeastern Massachusetts (Middleborough, Mass., 1995), p. 99-110. Thatcher compiled his transcriptions in the late 19th century. Available in PDF from the Middleboro Library Digital Collection.
The following is a list of Lakeville cemeteries with the date listed of their earliest known gravestone, and citations from the above listed books which list their epitaphs.
- Bedford Street Indian Gravesites, n.d. (Douilette)
- Booth Cemetery off from Hafford Cemetery, 1784. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Booth Cemetery east of 174 County St., 1784. (Douilette)
- Canedy Corner Cemetery, 1836. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Clark Cemetery, 1820. (Douilette)
- Elisha Cudworth’s House Cemetery, n.d. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Douglass Yard Cemetery, 1793. (Douilette)
- Hafford Cemetery, 1799. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Haskell Cemetery, 1785. (Douilette)
- Haskins-Reed Cemetery, 1819. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Horr Cemetery, 1858. (Douilette)
- Howland Cemetery, 1797. (Douilette)
- Indian Shore Cemetery, 1872. (Douilette)
- Keith Cemetery, 1847. (Douilette)
- Lang Cemetery, 1774. (Douilette)
- Ichabod Leonard Gravesite, 1842. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Malbone Cemetery, 1785. (Douilette)
- Massey Gravesite, 1828. (Douilette)
- McCulley Cemetery, 1787. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Mullein Hill Cemetery, 1843. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- New Bedford Road Cemetery, 1820. (Thatcher)
- Pickens Cemetery, north of Virginia Drive, 1830. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Pickens Cemetery, opposite Hill Street, 1840. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Pierce Cemetery, 1755. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Pond / Old Nelson Cemetery, 1724. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Precinct Cemetery, 1951. (Douilette)
- Race Course Cemetery, 1778. (Douilette)
- Reynolds Cemetery, n.d. (Douilette)
- Rhode Island Road Indian Gravesites, n.d. (Douilette)
- Richmond Cemetery, 1821. (Douilette)
- Robbins Cemetery, 1848. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Royal Wampanoag Cemetery, 1794. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Sampson Cemetery, 1845. (Douilette)
- Smallpox / Enoch Davis Cemetery, 1840. (Douilette)
- Staples Cemetery Site (no stones), n.d. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Strobridge Cemetery, 1833. (Douilette)
- Thompson Hill Cemetery, 1711. (Douilette, Thatcher)
- Ward Cemetery, 1790. (Douilette)
David Allen Lambert, A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries, 2nd Edition (Boston, Mass.: Newbury Street Press, 2009). This cemetery guidebook is a full index of cemeteries listed by town. It provides the year of consecration or oldest stone or burial, location, printed and manuscript sources for the records, and contact information for each cemetery listed. Lambert’s guide to Lakeville cemeteries including citations from Douilette and Thatcher’s manuscripts.