Capt. William Matheson (1828-1896).
The acorns from the oak tree planted by Captain Matheson and his wife, Mary (1833-1926), spread far and wide; witness the variety of names on the facade of this large hillside vault, in which burials still occur. Here’s my first effort at tracing the lines.
Captain Matheson, a native of Nova Scotia, arrived in Provincetown in 1848. He purchased Bowley’s Wharf, at what is now 187-189 Commercial Street, where he ran a wholesale fish business with a fleet of eight vessels including the three-masted schooner Jessie T. Matheson and the Grand Banks schooner Lizzie W. Matheson, named for two of his daughters. He also bought the Bowleys’ store in 1882, where Jessie and another daughter, Mary, set up a millinery, fancy goods, and souvenir shop. The pier was extended into deep water in 1863 to receive the steamer George Shattuck, from Boston, and was subsequently known as Steamboat Wharf.
William and Mary Matheson had seven children, five of whom are buried here: Georgiana D. “Georgie” (Matheson) Paine (1859-1931); Mary S. (Matheson) MacMurray (1862-1913); Jessie Taylor Matheson (1865-1962); the infant Murdock Matheson (1869-1869); and Lizzie Leah William Matheson (1872-1957). They also had a daughter Charlotte B. (Matheson) McKay and a son John A. Matheson, through whom the Mathesons are related to the family of Daniel C. Merrill. The Merrills were connected with the Gifford House.
Georgie’s husband, Oren O. Paine (1851-1891), was lost at sea and is buried here. Their son Rufus M. Paine (1885-1953) and his wife, Clara B. (Ross) Paine (1874-1948), are buried here. Rufus and Clara’s daughter Jessie (Paine) Van Ummersen (1892-1968) and her husband, Harold F. Van Ummersen (1896-1963) are buried here, as is Jessie and Harold’s daughter Jessie Paine (Van Ummersen) Moat (1926-2000).
Mary’s husband, Robert MacMurray (1858-1899), is buried here. Their granddaughter, Mary Stewart (Miller) Henrique (1932-2011) — daughter of Jeanette (McMurray) Miller and George F. Miller Jr. — is buried here, as is her husband, Philip Joseph Henrique (1932-1997). Mary and Philip’s grandson Andrew Holt-Anderson (1989-1993) is also buried here. The Millers were connected with B. H. Dyer & Company hardware.
¶ Last updated on 11 July 2017.
A few errors here and there — feel free to contact me for corrections. I am the great-great-granddaughter of Capt. William & Mary Matheson, great-granddaughter of Georgiana D. Matheson Paine, granddaughter of Jessie Paine Van Ummersen and daughter of Janet Van Ummersen Moat.
I imagine I’ll end up in that tomb some day too!