The Vaughn Family Historical Cemetery
(aka East Greenwich Historical Cemetery No.7)
On the west side of South County Trail (#2)
Just south of Division Road in midst of property of the
New England Institute of Technology
East Greenwich, Rhode Island, USA
This web site traces the Vaughn ancestry of the three children, Edith Anna (b.6-11-1898–d.12-8-1991) , John Edward (“Ed”) (b.8-15-1904–d.4-26-1988) and Audrey Mae (b.3-19-1912–d.3-11-2007) in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Their mother, Mary Jane Vaughn, was reared on this Rhode Island farmland (aka Vaughn homestead) where their Vaughn family cemetery is located. Mary Jane (b. 1-14-1877-d.2-11-1955) was the daughter of Lydia Edith (b.7-28-1844-d.4-23-1917) and Charles Augustus Vaughn (b.12-13-1836-d.10-15-1902).
The purpose of this website is to record the information that Audrey Mae (née Spencer) MacDonald, the carrier of the Vaughn family oral tradition , left for her children, as well as her sibling’s children. Audrey Mae’s, John Edward’s and Edith Anna’s mother, Mary Jane was a Vaughn who married into the Spencer line. Therefore, the Vaughn line, as well as the Spencer line, become very important for Mary Jane’s (née Vaughn’s) and spouse William J.B. Spencer’s descendants.
Fearful that future Vaughn generations would lose awareness of the importance of their Vaughn heritage and their sense of Vaughn history, Audrey Mae sketched a map of her Vaughn family historical cemetery. Audrey Mae left the map, as well as oral and written information, for her descendants as they research their Vaughn ancestry. Audrey Mae’s mother, Mary Jane, was not buried in this cemetery, but Audrey Mae’s maternal grandparents, Lydia Edith and Charles Augustus Vaughn, are buried here.
As you enter the gate of East Greenwich historical cemetery No.7, the headstones of Audrey Mae’s, Edith Anna’s, and John Edward Spencer’s maternal grandparents, Charles Augustus Vaughn and Lydia Edith Vaughn, are the most prominent and are noticed first. Audrey Mae wrote the number 8 above their headstones to signify that they are eighth generation Vaughns in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. In the above drawing, Audrey Mae wrote the words grandma and grandpa under their gravestones as that is how the three children referred to them.
The shared gravestone in the center of the map behind Charles’ and Lydia’s stones is the memorial to George Gardiner and Margaret A. Vaughn. Margaret, Audrey Mae’s, John Edward’s and Edith Anna’s maternal aunt, is another daughter of Charles and Lydia. She married a Mr. George Gardiner. Margaret is a 9th generation Vaughns in East Greenwich and, therefore, Audrey Mae designated this by printing the number 9 above their gravestone. Connecting lines are drawn from Margaret’s and George’s shared gravestone to their two sons’ gravestones. Margaret and George’s son, Charles, died in 1958 and Earl died at seven months in 1887. Both of these sons are 10th generation Vaughns in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
According to Audrey Mae’s map diagram, her grandfather Charles Augustus’ brother is Christopher Rhodes Vaughn who married Lulu M. (née Tennant) Vaughn. Lulu and Christopher are 8th generation Vaughns in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. Lulu’s gravestone is in the lower left corner of Audrey Mae’s sketch of the cemetery. Web author is unsure if Christopher Rhodes Vaughn is also buried here. Their daughter, Bessie, died at 1 year and 3 months and she is also buried here. Her gravestone is located in the left center in Audrey Mae’s map above.
The only 7th generation couple in East Greenwich, Rhode Island that Audrey Mae marked on this map is Margaret Allen (née Slocum) Vaughn, wife of Christopher Champlin Vaughn. Margaret’s gravestone is located–above Lulu’s stone–on the lower left side of Audrey Mae’s map. Web author does not know if Christopher Champlin Vaughn is also buried here with his spouse. Their son, Daniel W. Vaughn, is also buried here to the right of his parents’ stone. He died at the young age of 27 years. Audrey Mae also commented that his stone is broken down, so she drew grass growing around the stone. He died in 1868 and he would be 8th generation Vaughn in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.
Are Charles, Daniel and Christopher Rhodes Vaughn brothers? Audrey Mae drew lines to and from the three gravestones and wrote the number three (3) and wrote brothers. Was that Audrey Mae’s way of explanation? More research is needed.
Also, Is the seventh generation, Margaret and Christopher Clamplin Vaughn, the parents of Charles, Daniel and Christopher Rhodes Vaughn. More genealogical research is needed.
Another Mary (née Vaughn) Spencer is married to Thomas Spencer and their gravestones are in the middle to high left side of Audrey Mae’s map above. Web site author is not certain how Mary is related to Charles and Lydia Edith Vaughn. An outside source states that this Mary is the daughter of Christopher Vaughan & Waite Wightman. More research is needed.
The above map located in the East Greenwich Free Library has the Vaughn property where Audrey Mae’s, John Edward’s and Edith Anna’s mother was raised is reported as the property of Christopher Vaughn in the early 1700. Across the street, South County Trail, is the property of Henry Matteson, according to the above library map.
Another interesting and somewhat controversial story is that Henry Matteson (1646-1690, who apparently owned the property before the Vaughns is buried in East Greenwich historical cemetery No. 7 (aka Vaughn family cemetery). Audrey Mae’s map has the Matteson gravestone memorial plaque drawing at the top middle of her cemetery sketch. Audrey Mae’s question mark above Henry’s name could be her way of expressing that only some Matteson descendants believe him to be buried elsewhere.
Web site author retrieved the following information from the Henry Matteson Memorial page on www.findagrave.com: “Henry died in 1690. Hannah sold to George Vaughn, for four pounds, land that Henry had bought from John Knight.” Web site author did not get this information from Audrey Mae’s oral history. More research is needed.
Also, of interest is the fact that Audrey Mae draws and writes that there are around twenty small fieldstones located on the top part of her sketched Vaughn family map above. There is no explanation who or if any ancestor is buried there. More research is needed.
Web author does not know what Audrey Mae meant by the capital A, B, and C letters at the top of her map page. Audrey Mae’s map shows that the cemetery is enclosed with wire (chain link) on three sides–north, south, and east– and a partially tumbled stonewall on the west side. The gate entrance and sign, RHODE ISLAND HISTORICAL CEMETERY TOWN OF EAST GREENWICH–7– , are on the east side.
Vaughn, Spencer, Walton, and MacDonald Press, Hemet, California, U.S.A. Copyright © 2012 by Heather D. MacDonald
Vaughn, Matteson, Spencer, Gardiner, Tennant, and Slocum descendants, if you have any further information on the Vaughn family cemetery or ancestry, please add a comment. Web site author will add your information to the web site. Thanks.