CFHS code : AG408

Parish : St Andrew the Great

Inscription : Sacred to the Memory of ROBERT HENRY VAIL d Aug 13 1861 aged [13] also of ELIZABETH wife of JOHN VAIL d Dec 14 1870 aged 71 and of JOHN husband of the above d Jan 4 1876 aged 65 and of CLARA daughter of the above d Feb 6th 1880 aged 36

Monument : Headstone/Kerb stones

Above information from Cambridge Family History Society Survey

Vail grave
Vail headstone


This headstone, in the parish area of St Andrew the Great, is located close to the path that runs west from the centre circle. There is some erosion at ground level.


”Sacred to the Memory of ROBERT HENRY VAIL
Who died Aug 13 1861 aged 15 years

Also of ELIZABETH wife of JOHN VAIL who died Dec 14 1870 aged 71 years

And of JOHN husband of the above who died January 4 1876 aged 65 years

And of CLARA daughter of the above died Feb 6th 1880 aged 36 years

Relationships – Parents and two adult children.

Robert Henry Vail (1846 – 1861)

Robert was the youngest son of John & Elizabeth, he became a locksmith and bell hanger who was probably working in his father’s business. It is not known how he died but his death was announced in the local paper. He died at the family home  Post Office Terrace.

Elizabeth Vail (née Furgerson) (c1803-1870)

On the 1861 census Elizabeth is listed as being born in Landbeach, Cambridgeshire but no records have been found. Her mother Elizabeth, who was staying with them in 1851, was from Boxworth, Cambridgeshire.

John Vail (c1811 – 1876)

John was born in Saffron Walden. He was the third child of William and Ann (née Athey) Vail. He was a whitesmith (tinsmith) and bell hanger.  He married Elizabeth Furgerson in the church of St Andrew the Less, Newmarket Road, Cambridge on May 12th 1831. They had at least eight children:  Elizabeth (b 1833), Ann (b 1836), John (b 1837), William (b 1838), Edward (b 1840) Mary Ann (b 1842), Clara (b 1843) and Robert Henry (b 1846).  The family lived in Downing Street, Cambridge, later moving to 1 Post Office Terrace, Cambridge, where he ran his business.

His elder brother William Vail is buried in the parish of St Botolph.

Clara Vail (d 1880)

CFHS transcripts of Parish records
British Newspaper Archives online

By Mary Naylor

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Clara Vail; Elizabeth Vail; John Vail; Robert Henry Vail