Cemeteries and Gravestones

Defunct Cemeteries

  • First Burying Ground (est. 1717): located at corner of present Thomas and Summer Streets; graves were moved to the Common Burying Ground
  • Mechanic Street Burying Ground (est. 1786, last burial 1859): Mechanic Street; also known as New Cemetery; graves were moved in 1878 to Hope Cemetery and Rural Cemetery. Transcriptions available in Collections of the Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume I.
  • Pine Meadow Burial Ground (est. 1828): graves were moved to make way for Boston & Albany Railroad
  • Catholic Burying Ground (est. 1835, sold 1905): Pleasant Street, bodies removed

Current Cemeteries

  • Common Burying Ground (est. 1728; last burial 1824): southeast part of the Common, corner of Salem and Franklin Streets; some burials have been removed to Hope Cemetery and other places
  • Quinsigamond Cemetery (est. 1826): Quinsigamond Village; description and transcriptions available in Proceedings of the Worcester Society of Antiquity, Volume 9
  • Rural Cemetery (est. 1838): Grove Street
  • Hope Cemetery (est. 1852): Webster Street
  • St. John’s Cemetery (est. 1848): Cambridge Street
  • Swedish Cemetery (est. 1885): Webster Street, also known as “Old Swedish Cemetery”
  • Notre Dame Cemetery (est. 1885): Webster Street; also known as Notre Dame des Canadiens
  • Hillside Cemetery (est. 1918): Lake Street, Shrewsbury. Contains the burials of patients from the Worcester State Hospital. Transcriptions and maps available at Hillside Cemetery.
  • B’nai B’rith Cemetery (est. 1922): St. Johns Road
  • All Faiths Cemetery (est. 1923): Island Road, originally known as “New Swedish Cemetery”
  • Chevra Kadisha Cemetery (est. 1925): Havana Road, also known as Holy Society Cemetery; contains the Sons of Jacob Cemetery

Finding Aids

Online Resources


  • Barton, W. S. (1864). Epitaphs from the Cemetery of Worcester Common. Worcester, Mass.: Printed by Henry J. Howland.
  • Barton, William Sumner (1878). Inscriptions from the Old Burial Grounds in Worcester, Massachusetts: From 1727 to 1859: With Biographical and Historical Notes. Charleston, Mass.: Acme Bookbinding.
  • Campbell, Sarah L. (2019). Beneath the Cross: Historical Tour of the Jesuit Cemetery at the College of the Holy Cross. Worcester, Mass.: College of the Holy Cross.
  • Lincoln, Levi (1838). An Address Delivered on the Consecration of the Worcester Rural Cemetery, September 8, 1838. Boston: Dutton & Wentworth, Printers.
  • Tymeson, Mildred McClary (1956). Rural Retrospect: A Parallel History of Worcester and Its Rural Cemetery. Worcester, Mass.: [s.n.].
  • Washburn, Zachary T. and Linda N. Hixon (2018). Hope Cemetery. Charleston, SC: Arcadia.

Leave a Reply