Spencer descendants are unsure of whether the four Spencers are buried on the west end of the Straight Cemetery or just outside the cemetery to the west. In 1922 the three Spencer brothers had the cemetery reserved and recorded at book 25 page 540. However, the East Greenwich Zoning Map has the western boundary of the Straight Cemetery twenty-five feet from the stone wall. Oral tradition has the four Spencer buried on the west end of the Straight Cemetery next to the west wall. More research is needed to clarify as there is “reason to believe additional graves exist outside the recorded cemetery…”. See below for Rhode Island historical cemeteries regulations.
Burials were not in a church cemetery but each property owner had their own family cemetery on their land. Rhode Island has more historical cemeteries than other states because of the separation church and state in the colonial times. Rhode Island was founded by Roger Williams. “Those who know of Roger Williams generally think of him only in terms of the relationship of church and state, and certainly he is a central figure in the history of that debate” begins the writing of author John M. Barry in his recently published book, Roger Williams and The Creation of the American Soul, — Church, State and the Birth of Liberty.