Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

June 24, 2010

Dalton 2006 related column: Thomas Carrier - Andover: The Worst of His Times

In the 1930s, an excavation crew looking for gravel in Marlborough, Conn. found the bones of several people. Records showed the land was owned in the 18th Century by the Carrier family, and they had maintained a family cemetery there. While in his 70s, Thomas Carrier and his children had become one of the original settlers of the area and had built a house and gristmill on the Jeremy River in 1701. He became one of the largest landowners in the area. Most people chose to be buried in church cemeteries, but Carrier chose to have his own family burial plot. He was buried there in 1735.

The Carriers' remains were taken to the Marlborough Cemetery and buried again. A monument was put up but no one knows who did it or paid for it. The monument is confusing, and the names of Thomas's sons are repeated. The names of two of those sons and their wives also appear on tombstones at the nearby Colchester Congregational Church. Oddly, there are two other people buried in the new Carrier plot who were not moved there.

The life of Thomas Carrier is more unusual and mysterious than what happened after his death, and the worst of his times occurred when he lived in Andover. Carrier was 109 years old when he died. Family members maintained he was 113. A few days after he died, the June 9, 1735 New England Journal reported, "His head, in his last years, not bald nor his hair grey. Not many days before his death he traveled on foot six miles to see a sick friend, and the day before he died he was visiting his neighbors. His mind was alert until he died, when he fell asleep in his chair and never woke up." Thomas left five children, 39 grand children and 38 great grandchildren.

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