The topic for the January 2011 edition of the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival is: How long have they been there? The challenge reads:
"This topic was submitted by the Association. Post a photograph of the oldest tombstone in your family collection, your local cemetery, or one you just happened to bump into in your Rabbit travels. That would be the oldest burial date!"
My oldest burial date is 1710, Obadiah Bowen, buried in the Obadiah Bowen Family Cemetery, Warren, Bristol County, Rhode Island.
Although I have never personally visited the cemetery, I do have a photo of the cemetery and his stone taken in 2004 by another researcher and cousin, Pat Gallahorn. Thanks Pat for these photos.
During online research, I found the following information, at the Rhode Island Historical Cemeteries site :
"Also known as: Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Warren #14
School House Road and Market Street
Cemetery notes and/or description:
80 burials with inscriptions from 1697 to 1897
This is located behind a vacant commercial building on the SE corner of School House Roand and Market Street. A manuscript from Rhode Island Historical Society reads "There is a deed on record in Town Clerk's office at Warren, under date of Dec. 1783, from Nathaniel Bowen to his son James Bowen describing the farm on which this burial lot is located and which states that it was laid out by "my grandfather, Obadiah Bowen." [1627-1710]. Between 1992 visit and 2000 this cemetery was cleared, grass was planted and stones repaired. It is now one of the nicest family cemeteries in the state.
This cemetery was originally in Swansea, Massachusetts and now is in Warren, Rhode Island."
Obadiah Bowen has a memorial at Find A Grave, with a fantastic photo of the stone, submitted by Kevin Rankin.
My connection to Obadiah is a direct paternal line:
Donald Eugene Bowen I
Hayden Eugene Bowen
Joseph Eugene Bowen
Clifton Bowen, Jr.
Clifton Bowen, Sr.
Rev. Samuel Bowen