Preserve History One Stone At A Time!


My ancestors, John Ingersoll and his wife Mary Hunt Webster,  were among the first settlers in Northampton, Massachusetts in 1651. Eleven generations of Ingersoll relatives live all across the United States and know the importance of preserving our family legacy. We all stand on the shoulders of our ancestors and our connection to their history is recorded not only in  history books and through oral stories, but permanently on gravestones where we can all visit the past in its place.

I am raising funds to restore this important piece of history by replacing John and Mary's missing gravestone with a traditional memorial stone.  Doing so will forever memorialize the first members of the Ingersoll family in America. Future Ingersolls and their children will have the thrill of visiting and identifying the grave site of their family members who were so influential in founding our country. 

Please see my website and read below for information about my preservation work and my path to preserving this historic stone. 


Karen Kiaer  is an 11th generation Ingersoll and chapter historian of the Shelter Island Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She won a preservation project award from the DAR for her gravestone restoration work and wrote a detailed account of the Ingersolls in her book Ancestors Through My Eyes: The Story of An American Family. Please visit my website  for more information about my genealogy work and how you can trace your ancestors.


As a DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) Chapter Historian and 11th generation Ingersoll, I have been committed to restoring and preserving  over 200 gravestones and monuments on Shelter Island, NY. After replacing this precious Ingersoll stone, I am hoping to continue our restoration work for families across New England.


1. Enlist Help
After searching for months, I found Robert Dewey, Sr., a descendant of the first Dewey setter and neighbor of John Ingersoll in 1656 by the "little River" in Westfield, MA.

2. Find the Location
After hours of searching with the metal detector, Dewey found the base of the Ingersoll stone next to his son Thomas and the stone of John Root (image below) who died in 1687.

3. Get Permission
After the location was marked, I wrote to and met with the Westfield Historic Commission to get permission to do a replacement memorial stone.

4. Design the Stone
After 2 years, permission was granted and I drafted a representative drawing of the stone using the John Root stone (image below) as a model. The Root and Ingersoll stone would have been of similar stone design used in the late 1600's.

5. Find a Stone Mason
I approached the local Smith Monument company who suggested a mountain rose collared "saw side" granite similar in color to the original soapstone headstones common at the time.

6. Finalize the Details

"V-groove" in a historic lettering style to be determined 

Material: stone native to Massachusetts 

Size: 2 feet tall, 4 inches thick and twenty inches wide, comparable to the root stone

Date of installation: August 2019

$2000 for the replacement and installation of a granite stone created in the traditional 17th century style 

John Root's gravestone from 1687 used as the basis for designing the Ingersoll replacement stone 


Please contribute to this small but significant historical monument of one of Massachusetts' earliest settlers, and my ancestors, so my children and generations to come can visit the past in its home. Your support will mean the world to my family so thank you for whatever you can offer in support of my ancestors' legacy. 

All contributors of $100 or more will get a signed copy of Ancestors Through My Eyes: The Story of An American Family. 


Karen Kiaer
Shelter Island, NY

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