Friday, June 29, 2012


Two weeks ago while I was visiting the South Middleboro Cemetery in Middleboro
Ma. looking for graves of my Benson relatives I came across a set of headstones
that caught my attention even though I thought they were not for any of my relations.
Living in Massachusetts I've visited many old cemeteries and seen various methods
of preservation for deteriorating headstones such as the framing on these. But
there were two things about these that I had never seen before. One was the
concrete base. None of the other headstones in the cemetery had it and whoever
had made it was probably trying to both prop the stones up in a secure position and
prevent them from sinking into the ground:

The other item were the metal plates fastened to the backs of the stones. They
had more information added to the text of the original inscriptions(I've boldfaced
the parts I believe were added):

"Grandson Of The Nameless
Nobleman Of Plymouth
In Memory Of Mr John
LeBarron.       He Died
Aug 1 1801
Aged 79 Years  & 4 Months."

"In Memory Of Mrs
Mary -Raymond- Wife
Of Mr John LeBarron
She Died March 25 1791
Aged 60 Years & 8 Months

Repaired 1974 By R M LeBarron R D 1
Greenwood PA"

Next to these there was another repaired gravestone. The metal plate
was fastened to the front of this one:

"In Memory Of Martha-Benson- Widow Of 
William Parker-Who Died Oct 13 1777
In The 76th Year Of Her Life -Martha
Was Married First To James LeBarron-Son
Of The Nameless Nobleman Of Plymouth-
James Died May 10 1744 & Martha Married
William May15 1745-James Is Probably
Buried Here Beside Martha -As Is Her
Son LeBaron           Robert M LeBarron
                      R D 2                   1974 "

"The Nameless Nobleman of Plymouth" was a Frenchman, Dr. Francis LeBaron
who arrived in Plymouth in the late 1600's and made a place for himself in the
community. There's a great site here run by David Blanchette where you can learn
all about Dr. LeBaron's story. But then when I saw the second headstone with
the name "Martha Benson" I realized I must have a family connection with her.

 From what I've found so far online, it appears that it's a close connection: Martha
is the daughter of my 6x great grandparents John Benson and Elizabeth Briggs..

It's been 38 years since Robert Lebarron repaired those gravestones and fastened
the metal plates to them. I wonder if he is still alive. Thanks to him, I found the
grave of my 5x great grandaunt  Martha Benson


Wendy L. Callahan said...

What a cool story about the LeBaron family. I knew about them, but not the "Nameless Nobleman". That's fascinating.

I might descend from John Benson and Elizabeth Briggs. I have an "unclaimed" Benson, and I believe he is a grandson of theirs. Someday, I hope to find out for certain. :)

Karen Basli said...

I thoroughly enjoyed your photos and remarks about the Benson/LeBaron families. If you are descended from Martha Benson and her husband James LeBaron you might enjoy a book that I published this year called LOOKING FOR LeBARONS. It traces many generations of their direct descendants. The book is available on both in full color or black & white. I just spent 5 days in Plymouth but didn't have time to visit Middleboro so I truly enjoyed your photos. Thanks, Karen Basli