Pine Grove Cemetery, Topsfield, MA

The Smith family marker in the Pine Grove Cemetery erected in 1873 by George A. Smith.
Photo courtesy of Alexander L. Baugh.

The Pine Grove Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Topsfield, Massachusetts still in use. George A. Smith, grandfather of President George Albert Smith, erected a marker to the Smith family ancestors in 1873. Listed on the monument is Samuel (I) and his wife Rebecca Smith and Samuel (II) and his wife Priscilla Smith. Samuel Smith (II) was Joseph Smith, Sr.’s grandfather.

One side of the marker reads as follows:

Samuel Smith. Son of Robert & Mary. Born in Topsfield, Mass. Jan. 26, 1666, Died July 12, 1748. Rebecca his wife. Daughter of John Cortice. Died Mar. 2, 1753. Et. 65 yrs.

The other side of the marker reads as follows:

Samuel Smith. Born Jan. 26, 1714. Died Nov. 14, 1785. Priscilla his wife. Daughter of Zaccheus Gould. Born Aug. 4, 1707. Died Sept. 25, 1785.

Landscape view of the Smith monument, Pine Grove Cemetery. Photo by Kenneth Mays
Landscape view of the 1873 monument erected by George A. Smith at Pine Grove Cemetery. Photo (2009) by Kenneth Mays.

With regard to visiting the gravesite of his ancestors, George A. Smith remarked that “I have traveled to Egypt and the Holy Land, have seen the countries of Europe and met many of their most distinguished people, but I have encountered nothing that gives me more satisfaction than being here, in the graveyard of my ancestors on the ground where they walked and lived and labored three hundred years ago.”1

The marker stands as a memorial to the Smith family ancestor’s who exhibited love of God, their country, and their fellowmen.

In September 2020, a new monument was erected adjacent to the monument erected in 1873. Funding was coordinated through the Ensign Peak Foundation. The site in Pine Grove Cemetery was improved and research for the wording on four panels on the monument was updated.

Monument to the Smith family on the day it was installed. The 1873 marker can be seen to the left. Photo (2020) by Kenneth Mays.

The new monument is situated just a few feet from the monument erected by George A. Smith in 1873. It has additional information about the five generations of Joseph Smith’s ancestors who lived in Topsfield. It was intended that the monument be dedicated by President M. Russell Ballard, who is a descendant of Joseph Smith Sr. through his son, Hyrum, brother of the Prophet Joseph Smith. That event was initially delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but President Ballard was able to go back and dedicate it on May 14, 2022.

An interpretive panel on the 2020 Smith family monument, Topsfield. Photo (2020) by Kenneth Mays.


1 Contributor, Vol. 4, No. 1, (October 1882), 2-3.

Dedication of the Smith Family Memorial, March 14, 2022

Richard E. Turley Jr., board member of the Ensign Peak Foundation, stands near the new Smith Family Memorial. Photo (2022) by Kenneth Mays.

Following a delay of 1-2 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Smith Family Memorial was dedicated on May 14, 2022 by President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. A banquet was held the evening before the dedication. Following a formal program on the occasion of the dedication, several speakers addressed those in attendance before the prayer of dedication. Several musical numbers were performed as well.

President M. Russell Ballard speaks to those in attendance prior to offering the prayer of dedication. Photo (2022) by Kenneth Mays.

Map & Directions

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Directions: From the Topsfield Common, take Main Street, which is State Road 97, north. When Main Street divides, stay to the left. State 97 will become Haverhill Street. Pine Grove Cemetery is located on the west side of Haverhill or State Road 97. The total distance from the Topsfield Common to the cemetery is about 1/2 mile.

Hours of Operation: Daylight to dark

Admission: Free


Close-up of one of the inscriptions on Smith marker, Pine Grove Cemetery. Photo by Kenneth Mays
Close-up of one of the inscriptions on the 1873 Smith marker, Pine Grove Cemetery. Photo (2009) by Kenneth Mays.
Panel on the 2020 monument noting new insights about Samuel Smith II. Photo (2020) by Kenneth Mays.
Workers erecting the monument to the Smith family, 2020. Photo (2020) by Kenneth Mays.
A crane lifts the final piece of the 2020 Smith Family Memorial, Topsfield, MA. Photo (2020) by Kenneth Mays.
Board members of the Ensign Peak Foundation stand near the Smith Family Memorial following its dedication on May 14, 2022. Photo (2022) by Kenneth Mays.