Sunday, November 15, 2009


As commenter RJO pointed out, it is quite unusual to see the title "Madam" on New England gravestones. I was in Burlington, MA recently and was surprised to find two examples:

Madam Hannah Peters
d. 1782
Burlington, MA

Madam Abigail Jones
d. 1814
Burlington, MA

Both Hannah and Abigail were the widows of ministers, as was Jane Robbins, so I imagine that "Madam" was probably a way of honoring the wives of illustrious men.

"faithful black domestic of Madam Abigail Jones"
d. 1813
Burlington, MA


J. L. Bell said...

I understand that “Madam” was the honorific for a wealthy widow.

Robert J. said...

That's a strange and lovely bird-plant on Madam Peters' footstone. The lettering looks like Park family work.