Hancock Cemetery

1307 Hancock Street
MA 02169

Hancock Cemetery

Historical FeatureCemetery


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For more than 200 years, Quincy's most illustrious residents and civic leaders were buried in historic Hancock Cemetery. Located across the street from First Parish Church — where John Hancock's father served as minister — Hancock Cemetery is the final resting place of Henry Adams, the first Adams to live in Quincy and ancestor of John Adams; Colonel John Quincy, for whom the city is named; patriot Josiah Quincy and other notable historical figures. It was the burial site of President John Adams and President John Quincy Adams before they were moved across the street to the United First Parish Church.

Dating from around 1640, the Hancock Cemetery is among the earliest and most historic burial grounds in New England.

Some monuments of Particular interest at Hancock Cemetery:

1. John Quincy (1744 - 1775) – The Patriot. Monument on mound.
2. Edmund Quincy Tomb - In one of the rough stones is a recess that once held a lead plaque with the family coat of arms. After the Battle of Lexington, it was pried out and melted into bullets.
3. The peacock stone – Well known for its unusual design. Lt. John Cleverly (1635 – 1703)
4. Deacon John Adams (1691 - 1761) – Father of President John Adams.
5. Joseph Adams (1654 – 1737) – Grandfather of President John Adams.
6. The Ministers’ Tomb – Rev. John Hancock (1703 – 1744) and other ministers. The poem on the top stone was written by Benjamin Tompson, schoolmaster and the first American-born poet.
7. Stone with particularly handsome carving – Joseph Penniman (1640 – 1705). He was the builder of the John Adams Birthplace.
8. Henry Adams (1583 – 1646) – Great-great-grandfather of President John Adams who erected the monument. This is the oldest identified grave.
9. Joseph Adams (1626 – 1694) – Great-grandfather of President John Adams.
10. J.Q. Adams tomb, the Adams Family Tomb – Here were interred the Adams Presidents and their wives before they were moved to the crypts beneath the church now known as United First Parish Church (“Church of the Presidents”), and other members of the family.
11. The oldest gravestone – 1666 – Rev. William Tompson (1598 – 1666), First minister of the church now known as United First Parish Church (“Church of the Presidents”).
12. Leonard Hoar (1630 – 1675) Third president of Harvard College

An index of all grave locations is available for reference at the Quincy Historical Society, 8 Adams Street, Quincy, MA, 02169; (617) 773-1144.


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