More than two centuries after the American Revolution, a search is underway to identify veterans of that war thought buried here in one of the nation’s oldest graveyards.
Old Burial Hill in Marblehead, site of early action against the British in 1776, is marked by a metal plaque that says 600 American heroes of the revolution were interred there.
The sign was erected in the 1920s, but no one has ever identified by name the veterans.
It is also not clear how many of them died in or near this seaside community 17 miles north of Boston, and how many died after the war upon returning home.
The Marblehead Museum and Historical Society will attempt to identify the fallen veterans through research of genealogy records and family histories.
The names will be listed in a genealogy section of the museum and online.
“Identifying those Revolutionary soldiers is a measure of respect to those who came before us,” said Karen MacInnis, curator of the Marblehead Museum.
Local Veterans’ Agent Dave Roberts, who fought in the Vietnam War, said it is important to identify them because “they set the stage for getting our freedoms.”