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"Lost grave" dedicated to Danvers man after nearly 200 years

Fox Boston 25 News
Jul 29, 2017 – 10:48

DANVERS, Mass. – Nearly 200 years after he died, a veteran of the Revolutionary War finally received his military honors. His final resting place was rededicated Saturday.

The discovery of this lost grave was the result of years of research by one of his descendants and now acknowledges the Danvers man who fought for his country.

“He passed away back in 1821 and it’s been almost 100 years since anyone’s known where he was buried,” said Brian Atwood.

Brian Atwood is the fifth-generation grandchild of Private Jonathan Waitt. Waitt was born in 1763 and enlisted in 1781, fighting in last three years of the Revolutionary War; facts that Atwood discovered during three years of research into his own genealogy.

For decades, Waitts’ was only the unmarked grave that remained in Porter’s Burial Ground on High Street, one of the oldest cemeteries in Danvers.

“He wasn’t a minuteman, he wasn’t someone who fought early on in the war, but he was a follow-up man who spent a lot of time in service,” said Richard Trask, Danvers Archivist.

Richard Trask is the town archivist. He worked with Atwood to pinpoint Waitt’s final resting place. On Saturday, it was rededicated with full military honors, a ceremony planned by the daughters of the American Revolution.

“Each time, there’s certainly a sense of reverence,” said Libby Potter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

Reverence for a soldier once forgotten, until family ties reminded us all.

“So, it’s nice to see that flag floating around his grave right now because no one’s put one there for almost 80 years now,” said Atwood.

Relatives traveled from several states to attend the ceremony. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs donated the new headstone.

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