A Promise: More Cemeteries Photos of the Trip

A big goal of this trip was to visit certain important cemeteries and if I had time other cemeteries along the way.   I wish I had the time to document them all…sigh!

I have uploaded photos that I have featured on this blog from cemeteries I have visited and the extra photos I had promised as well.  I uploaded them to Picasa Web Albums.  These photographs are not copyrighted but I am the creator and I appreciate the acknowledgement.  At my Picasa Web Albums you can get more detail, study the photos in relation to each other and get a good idea of what the cemetery looks like, how big it really is and some were huge.  Then if you want to review the visit to the cemetery you can go back to this blog and find the posts related to that particular cemetery.

As of now these are open to the public under my name, Bonnie Jean MacDonald and the cemetery name and city and location at Picasa Web Albums, try this link to my public gallery of web albums:


1.  Ancient Burying Ground, Hartford, CT
2.  Bridge Street Cemetery, Northampton, MA
3.  Granby Cemetery, Granby, CT
4.  Norton’s Cemetery, East Otis (or Otis), MA
5.  Walnut Grove Cemetery, North Brookfield, MA
6.  Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, MA
7.  Brookfield Cemetery, Brookfield, MA
8.  Old South Cemetery, Bolton, MA
9.  Center Cemetery, Peru, MA (Berkshires)
10.  Longmeadow Cemetery, Longmeadow, MA
11.  Forestville Cemetery, (Use to be East Cemetery) Bristol., MA  CT
12.  Burnham Cemetery, Montague, MA
13.  Simsbury Cemetery, (Maybe Hopmeadow for the older one?), Simsbury, CT (2 cemeteries)
14.  Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, CT – I will also add later my photos from the first trip.

More are on the way!!

For ideas on how to find out who is buried there, I did give sources or references in my past posts.  Most were found on Find A Grave:  Simsbury’s old cemetery is under Hopmeadow.  Cemeteries in the Peru and Hinsdale area of the Berkshires are listed in a publication at the Peru Public Library under their Historical section.  It is a cute small red building next to the church with the two steeples.  It is also at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsifield.  See the links under Cemeteries to the right for more ideas.


Wethersfield: The Historical Society and Cemetery!

Before I left Wethersfield and headed to Hartford and Simsbury, I waited for the Wethersfield Historical Society to open at 10 am.  This was Friday, April 22nd.  If you have never been to Wethersfield, CT then you are in for a treat.  Everything is in a one block radius.  There are shops, restaurants, museums in the form of houses that you can visit like Silas Deane’s home.  There is the Wethersfield Historical Society and the Wethersfield Cemetery! The Chester Bulkley B&B is right next door to the historical society.  Of course you need to check the hours.

It was like a little oasis below Hartford.  You do have to drive through South Hartford to get to the Hartford downtown area if you want to do some research at the Connecticut State Library, the Connecticut Historical Society or go to the museums, public library and city hall.  It only took about 15 minutes to drive up to Hartford.  Of course you do have the issue of parking.  I did not see any hotels in downtown Hartford close enough to not have to walk a distance or get on a bus or drive to any of these Hartford sites.

Now I chose to drive through the Wethersfield Village Cemetery and what an amazing cemetery it is.  You cannot drive through the older section which is on the left up on a knoll or small hill.  You can drive through the newer part.  The cemetery is in good shape.  They were mowing and they get so close to the tombstones!! They were edging too.  People were visiting graves.  One man brought some flowers and walked determinedly towards a specific area. 

Find A Grave has 3170 internments in the Wethersfield Village Cemetery listed. That is pretty good but it is a big cemetery. As you can see from the pillars there are two named cemeteries. They may be lumping these two sites into one list.  I cannot find an ancient burying ground for Wethersfield as a separate listing.

The Wethersfield Historical Society Museum is in an old building with a fountain out front.

You can tour it for about $5.00.  The research center is down the street in another building so that means you need to make an appointment or contact them to make arrangements.  I was interested in the early years of Wethersfield and wandered around that section of the exhibits.  Silas Deane’s name was rattling around in my brain and here is a little biography of his life:  http://www.silasdeaneonline.org/class_bio.htm

Rev. John Marsh kept good vital records!!!

Apparently he did an incredible about of baptisms and more!

An interesting map of Connecticut

So, I missed these two visits in my post dated April 22, 2011:  Treasures in Hartford and on to Simsbury.  In their gift shop they had this book:  A Visitor’s Guide to Colonial and Revolutionary New England, by Patricia and Robert Foulke which sounded like an interesting book to review.  I did not buy it just took a photo of it to remember to check it out.  I assume that the historical society has information about the burials in the cemetery if you want to make sure and double check.  Wethersfield is definitely an area for more exploring. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011: Granby and Salmon Brook

It was my last day on this trip and in New England.  Sigh!  I had really enjoyed myself.  I had a good trip with very few problems except for the holidays and a little blip at Bristol.  On the whole I had a good time!

The chore today was packing my suitcases.  Having several breakfasts and lots of coffee.  The packing went remarkably well.  I was done in no time.  The biggest chore was taking it all downstairs.  Fortunately I was now down to two suitcase, my computer case, and my photo bag.  A lot better than when I came in.  Checkout was easy and quick. 

It was sunny outside.  Can you believe it.  After all that rain the day before it was actually nice weather. So that means I can be outside without a problem.  Therefore, I will revisit the cemetery and the historical society.

I started taking my possessions down the stairs and the lady who I believe was the head host offered to help with the big suitcase.  She grabbed on end and walked it down.  They really don’t have valet service so you may have to ask for help?  No elevator.  She helped me check out.  I gave her a brochure of my trip.  My stay at the Simsbury 1820 House was very pleasant. 

There is a brochure:  Hopmeadow Walk.  Mine is from the last time I visited so you might have to check out the Town of Simsbury website and the Farmington Valley Tourism for additional information.

Off I went in my Aveo first to the historical society to revisit it.  I parked in the circular drive and studied the help center.  The tree had been removed.  I walked up and peered into the windows and it was certainly filled with boxes and things scattered everywhere and not ready for any visitors.  Definitely closed.  I could see damage on the gutter area and probably more inside on the roof. 

Simsbury Historical Society Center

So I decided to walk the historical building area.  I had not done that before.  There were quite a few buildings with signs on them explaining what they were.  I peered in a few windows and noticed carriages and other displays.  They are at the end of Railroad St. but watch out some of the streets are one way so you need to look for others to access this area. I turned onto Wilcox and drove a block.  That seemed to work. You do pass Plan B.  They have all their hardware stores in this area.

Historical Society buildings to the left of the center and up on the small hill

Off to the cemetery to see if this time with the weather being much nicer find the Viets individuals I was seeking. 

This cemetery photo was from Phelps St?  This is the Simsbury Cemetery.  Someone at Find A Grave had it under the title Hopmeadow Cemetery.

I entered again at the left side were the road was and parked the car.  I headed over to section B and started looking again.  I found them right there in about the 3-4 the row.  Silly me!

Dedication plaque

Another plaque

John Viets on the right and Catherine his wife on the left.

John Viets b. 1675 Germany, d. Nov. 18, 1723 Simsbury, CT. on the right, Dr. John Viets
Catherine Meyers Viets b. 1679 New York, d. Mar. 6, 1734 Simsbury, CT. Tombstone says Catron Vets.

Paul H. Goss and Edith Blake Bartlett Sumner got in a big controversy over the marriage of Philip Goss IV (1724 to 1778).  There was a Mary Viets who married a Goffe in the records.  The website I give as a highlight of John Viet’s name has for one of this couples children a Mary Viets.  If you click on it you see that this Mary Viets married an Ephraim Goff and the whole genealogy of this Mary goes in a totally different direction. Another source is the Genealogy of the Viets Family at Internet Archive and on page 20 it shows that Mary Viets married a Goff.  I found this absolutely fascinating!  Ms. Sumner apparently was reaching.

I drove up the hill at the cemetery and over to the street and low and behold I discovered another cemetery on the top of the hill.  The sign said Simsbury Cemetery.  So what was the name of the one near the main road?  

Simsbury Cemetery, top of the hill off Plank Hill Road

My next goal was to find Wolcott Street which was in the north area of Simsbury.  I did get curious when I saw a catholic church with people gathered.  It was Easter Day.

Sites of Simsbury, CT

Is this the town hall??

This building looks like a castle.  I could not tell if it was the town hall there was a sign for a school on it. There was a sign out front about governmental buildings.  According to Google Images it is!
Off I went on highway 202/10 north passed the Iron Horse Inn which was very modern looking. I passed the Tariffville road and came to Wolcott Rd. 

Was Simon Wolcott’s land nearby???

I traveled down the road a ways and pulled into an area called Wolcott Woods.  It was either apartments or condos.  I was trying to figure things out when a car came up behind so I took off to get out of the way.  I came to Hopmeadow and stopped and was carefully checking the road an not paying attention to the light.  I got honked at.  So I turned onto Hopmeadow and pulled over to let him buy.  He flipped the bird at me and honked.  I admit was in the wrong but this is stupid.  He was down the road in a second a good distance from me.  Scarry drivers!

If you keep going on Hwy 202/10 you eventually come into Granby and the road’s name changes to Salmon Brook St.  The Salmon Brook Historical Society is just past Elmwood Ct. and at the next turn called Meadow Gate Road.  You can’t miss it for there is an historical sign out front.  If you pass the entrance to Salmon Brook Park you have gone to far. 

Now I have visited the Salmon Brook Historical Society on my first trip to this area.  I had made an appointment with Carol Laun the curator.  When I arrived they were gathering volunteers to do clean up or other chores, so frankly I think she was diverted.  I did get some leads from her on church records which are at the Family History Library and she had missed other information in the film?  I did get idea from the deeds I had for Philip Goss where his land might be. There was another man there who was knowledgeable about the area.  He helped a lot with the deeds.  This was a situation in which you need to be really clear and specific about what you need.  I know there are more treasures in this archive.

I did purchase the new history book: Tempest in a Small Town and found the first part of the book interesting. 

Granby Sign!

Entrance to the research area unless it is now in the new red building?

This is their new archive building to house their treasures.

This time I was just going to enjoy the buildings and take some photographs.  I peered in the window of this one but didn’t see anything except for a meeting room.  Darn!  On their website they do have a list of genealogies. 

Now my next destination was North Granby.  I found this online Self Guided Tour done by the Salmon Brook Historical Society that is really cool.  It has a map and then it gives descriptions of the numbers on the map of historical sites in Granby, North Granby and West Granby plus other areas.  Doesn’t do East Granby. Don’t forget to get the map by clicking at the top.

As I was heading up Hwy 202/10 I came to the familiar intersection of 189/202/10 and 20.  I turned to the left and headed up Hwy 189 and immediately spotted the Granby Cemetery.  I just had to take a quick trip through.  It is out on the flat and open area.  There is a lovely chapel in the back.  The roads are gravel like but easy to drive on.  This cemetery is at Find A Grave and also in published book form through the Salmon Brook Historical Society.  No Goss are buried here!

I continued up Hwy 189 and began to realize that I had used this highway before.  I had driven down it from Granville, MA when I visited the area before.  The road becomes N. Granby Road.  Side streets read Mechanicsville Rd., Creamery Rd.

North Granby is an intersection at Mountain Road, Hwy 189 which is still the N. Granby Rd. but once it crosses Mountain Road is becomes the Granville Rd. On the other side of Mountain Rd is East St. If you drive it you come to Cooley Rd. on the left.  The highway sign reads Granville 6 miles. HA!

So if Philip Goss’s land was in this area west of Cragg Mount which is on the east of Hwy 189 and north of East St.  This is according to the descriptions in the Simsbury deeds that Paul H. Goss discusses in his manuscripts.  Now I need to get more specific but I wanted to get a general idea of the land in this area. 

The land next to Hwy 189 on the east side after Mountain/East Rd. is a ravine with a creek running through it.  I drove up to Silver St. and tried to get off the road and away for this truck but he turned right with me.  Darn!  There was a bridge and all of a sudden there was another car taking this road. 

These photos won’t mean much but I tried to get a little bit of what North Granby looks like. 

Frederick H. Cossitte Library, North Granby, recently remodeled on the southeast corner

A Farm on the northwest corner. I was parked in the post office parkign lot on the southwest corner

Looking north on Hwy 189 the Granville Road

Looking south on N. Granby Road

The intersection of Mt Rd, East, Hwy 189

The stream and the gorge along Cragg Mt.

In order to understand the area better I think we need to study Google Earth.  Give me a little time to do that. 

Now I can’t let this go but go to a map and study the location of Barkhamsted, North Granby, Granville and Becket and then you see that the Goss family was not that far from each other.  Add Otis and Peru and the geography gets interesting.  Now granted it took them longer to get to each other than a modern road and car?  Ponder, ponder! 

Time to head to the airport!

Saturday, April 23, 2011: Simsbury

The Simsbury 1820 House is very elegant.  Reminds me of the Inn at Biltmore in Asheville, NC but on a smaller scale.  Breakfast was delicious but more Continental style with cereal, bagels, pastries, some fruit, and coffee!!! It was from 7 to 10 am.  They do provided coffee on the first floor throughout the day and wine at the front desk.  These are small bottles of wine about 2 glasses.  They were not bad.

You descend the stairs and turn the corner and go down a hallway (there are signs) and down more stairs into the lower area of the Simsbury House.  There are tables with white table cloths and soft chairs.  Food is arranged on a bar area and table area.  Easy to pick and choose what you like.  The walls are brick and their is a fireplace.  Very intimidate area. 

It was pouring rain.  I could see the rain bouncing off the railing outside my window as I worked on my computer.  It was not letting up.  One of the hostess said it didn’t look good for the whole day!  Hmmm….?

So, I stayed in my room organizing my papers and getting my stuff ready to repack for my flight out the next day.  It took most of the morning.  Still it was raining.  So I had several breakfasts and lots of coffee. 

The Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library was just north of the hotel on the corner.  So I grabbed an umbrella that was complimentary in the lobby area and headed out.  I had tried to call them but I was not getting an answers.  I was happy to see that a car was parked in the parking lot.  The door opened and I was inside the familiar rooms.

There website has since improved from the last time I was there.  It has lots of great links and information so go explore and have fund.  They are also known as the Simsbury Free Library as opposed to the public library which is south of them in Simsbury.  I was impressed with the links which included the Simsbury Public Library http://www.simsburylibrary.info/ancestors.htm  You might be interested in the Simsbury Vital Records and Genealogy database.

Allison the director was sitting in her seat and I approached and chatted.  I reintroduced myself and she said she remembered me.  I was glad to see Allison.  Things had been a little uncertain and she was brand new the last time I had visited. 

I wandered around studying the titles of books, and remembering the layout which had not changed.  They have their book stacks and it is a nice collection. This is small library but they had a good mix of books, periodicals and even pamphlets of interest for the area.  They have titles for of course Simsbury, Granby and other towns in the area.  They have Connecticut titles, Massachusetts titles and other books even Ohio.  There is microfilm of the New York newspaper and Hartford papers.  They also have connection to the Internet and Allison can get you on to access various things that you have to be a library member in Connecticut to do so.  It was difficult not to dally on some of the book titles.

Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library

The interior is beautiful as you enter first a sort of museum area.  The library is in the back area.  Lovely building.  The other important fact is that it is right next door to the Simsbury Cemetery.  Go to there website that I gave above and take a look at the photos of the interior. 

They have a booklet about the Simsbury Cemetery Vol. I but it lists the interments and more.  So I studied that compilation very thoroughly.  I was looking for the Viets family. 

They have a very nice brochure that you can pick up “Simsbury Free Library.”  I found my copy at the CHS.

I found several interesting items:
First Church Records of Simsbury 1682-1930?, A Sense of Place, Thomas D. Ayres, Simsbury Historical Society, 2009.  I did not find any Haskell’s, Gibbons, Sewards or Goss listed. 

Connecticut Cemeteries Vols. 1-4 and 5-9, New York, 1914.  Mostly the eastern part of Connecticut. Some man in New York had done this burial listing of cemeteries. 

Back in my room, I did more organizing of my papers and decided that I needed to ship some books and brochures home.  Just no way I could stuff all this into my luggage without it weighing tons.  So I found a UPS store in south Simsbury and went off in search of it.  I always try to figure out the closest shipping source like Office Depot or something like that or UPS or a mailing center. 

I found the UPS at 542 Hopmeadow St. and it was open.  The nice man inside was chatty and we discussed the weather and cats!  He took my money and when I said that was a good price because it usually is not cheap, he jokingly said he had tried to charge me more but just couldn’t.  Books weigh a lot!  I could expect my treasures on Monday May 2, 2011.  Wow, May is almost here?

Next stop was the Simsbury Cemetery.  You can enter it from the Main St. in Simsbury for there is a paved road to the far left.  The big gate is in the middle and you might be able to drive through but it is soft grassy and it was very wet.  It is a big cemetery. 

Simsbury Cemetery, Simsbury, CT.

There are some awesome tombstones in this cemetery on the hill toward the back.  I drove around studying them.  There are at least 4-5 Crypts up at the back top of the hill. 

Usually you see one or two but 4-5 or more?

These two are amazing.  Like the spire!

I was looking for John Viets and Catherine Viets.  I had my page of information and walked Section B.  The book I looked at had maps of the cemetery.  No luck.  I had the row number, no luck.  It was raining and cold so I gave up for now.

Time for lunch/dinner.  I thought of Meto Bis sounded delicious.  However, I decided on Plan B Burger Bar on Railroad Street.  Now you are probably thinking it means an alternative plan for a restaurant but no it means Burgers, Beef and Beer! 

Plan B Burger Bar, Simsbury, CT

This place was hoping.  You enter and there is the bar ahead of you.  Downstairs is another restaurant but I was seated at a tall table and chair – I mean I climbed up.  There are booths and tables but I was on my own and it was very busy.  The bar is to the left and there were these big handle bars of different beers.  I liked my seat because I could see what was going on and do some serious people watching. 

The young man ahead of me at a similar table had a Tony the Tiger on his sweat shirt.  I noticed Tony was separating.  Now this is a major treasure this Tony emblem.  When he left I stopped him an inquired if he knew he had a problem and he did.  He told me he had been too busy to fix it.  A friend had made it for him years ago.  He assured me he would take care of it.  Touched my shoulder and thanked me for my concern.  He was probably late 20’s early 30’s. 

Now I was studying the decor and was puzzling over the lights which were hanging from a track.  I asked one of the waiters about them and he said they were ice hooks.  I had observed that they had twisted wires around them and these bare light bulbs were hanging from them in two pair or four pair.  Very clever! They were wonderful no glare. 

My hamburger was delicious and served on a rectangular white plate like a gourmet dinner? Sort of like Red Robin but actually better.  My waitress was friendly and pleasant.  They were playing old Beattle’s music.  So I felt right at home.  As I ate my dinner the place filled up even more.  Two men at the bar were playing with their fancy phones.  I am beginning to get jealous of these types of phones that you just take your finger and push the items along.  Being a visual person it is very enticing. 

A recent arrival came over to the bar and was intent on choosing the perfect beer to go with his dinner.  This was a fun place!  The food was very good. 

My goal this time was to go to the Simsbury Historical Society but a tree fell on them. There website has a picture of the tree on the center. Ouch!

Plan B was right next door so I just drove a little ways into the historical societies parking lot.  I had been here before but they had just moved into their visitor center and had not opened the archives yet.  So once again I was not going to be able to access this archive.  I am not really sure they have anything for me.  Still I am curious. 

Simsbury Historical Society Center. The tree is gone now!

It had stopped raining but it was cold and wet. When you enter the Simsbury House you come into the foyer and there is a real area like a old hotel were the receptionist sits behind working on their computer.  Makes you feel like an old hotel.  There is an entrance from the Main St. and a long drive through a grassy area up a incline to the parking lot.  This is the photo that you see on their website.  The Simsbury 1820 House is part of a group of hotels in the area.  There are other rooms on the main floor that you can explore a little. All lovely.

You enter through the area of the two columns up the steps through the porch into the foyer.  I had asked that the maid not clean my room because I had made a mess and put all my papers on the bed.  So I also told the main desk so she would not get into trouble.  She had not cleaned my room so I was pleased.

I was enjoying my room and I just relaxed for the night.

Friday, April 22, 2011: Treasures in Hartford and on to Simsbury

It is Good Friday and some things are CLOSED and also on Saturday! Boy how did I miss this as a holiday.  That is two holidays that I was not prepared for actually three days worth, major glitch!  Easter weekend and Patriot’s Day.  Wikipedia has listings for each country including the USA so it is a start: 


I do check Town Hall websites, County Government websites but State Websites might be a good idea too.  Some holidays are regional or by state so this is important.  If I had done a better search I would have moved my travel up a few days in the beginning and left New England earlier than the 24th of April…??? I was able to work around it and that was good.  This was a big trip to prepare for!

Time to leave the Chester Bulkley B&B in Wethersfield.  It is very quiet here.  As I work on my computer I watch the sun set over the spires of the building across from the house.  I like my little sitting room They have white wicker furniture in it and it is light and sweet with nicknacks here and there and litle foot stools.  The house was beautifully decorated.  My bedroom was roomy and the bed was inlayed wood with a rounded head on both the foot and headboard.  It was very lovely.  Very comfortable. 

I like the lavendor doors.  His garden was just about ready to burst.

I watched night fall through this window, lovely spires to look at!

My host was a young man who purchased the house and runs it on his own.  He said he had decorated some of the house.  This host was quieter but he was a good cook.  I ate the omelette he made the day before and it was good. I usually don’t eat omelettes but I ate the whole thing! My breakfast was waffles with these peaches on it and it was good too.  He did answer my questions and I did get a couple of laughs out of him but he was definitely quieter than the other hosts.  He seems to think that gas will be $4 to $6 dollars in the summer and with the bad snowy cold winter tourism is down.  I wish him and the other B&B owners luck and good fortune and I have excellent experiences in each place I have stayed this trip. 

Today I am going to see the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford.  The librarian at CSL told me that I would probably have to park on the street or in a lot and walk to it.  There is a church next to it. 

The individual that I am visiting is a 10th great grandfathr Andrew Warner.  No one really knows where he is buried but he founded Hartford along with many others.  He is a forbear of the Scott family? I have been so focused on the Goss family marrying into the Cooley’s, Wolcotts, Bliss and others that I have not investigated these other lines of my family which are old and founding immigrants to America.  I am getting mixed information on this man’s descendants and a lot of confusion.  There is a book about the descendants of Andrew Warner compiled by Lucien C. Warner and Mrs. Josephine G. Nichols, 1919 at Ancestry.  Lots of good information in this book. I need to do more digging. 

I made my way back to Hartford and down Main St. stopping for gas and there were 5 police cars on the other side of the street.  Awh city life!  I past Capitol Ave and and spotted the church and the cemetery on the left.  The cemetery and church are on Jewell or Atheneum St.  I don’t remember if the streets were named differntly on each side?  I turned left on Asylum two blocks north and parked in the lot on the corner.  It was cold but partly sunny.  There was wind. A Burger King was on the corner across from the Old State House.  I wanted to also view the library and city hall but it was so cold even though it was sunny.  Brrr…!!!

I made my way down a couple of blocks to the church and started taking my photos. There is a gate on the right side of the church were the cemetery is located. Several layers of iron fence surrounds it.

The Church notice the tall building behind

First Church of Christ

Hartford name after Hertford in 1637

Entrance gates to the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford

This statue greets you!

Dedication plaque
There is a very large monument and large rectangular stone in honor of the African Americans buried in this cemetery with no stones.  They have tried to identify who is here. 

African American memorial

Daffodils are blooming along the edge.

You enter the cemetery through the gate.  Considering its age it is in very good shape.  My ultimate goal was the big giant obelisk in the center. 

The names are alphabetized on each side. You just have to find the side of it that has the name you are looking for.

An ancient cemetery in the heart of Hartford

I am pointing to Andrew Warner’s name. So the “A’s” start on the side to the right. You walk counter clockwise around it. I am afraid I don’t know a lot about this man and frankly I could be wrong!  So I need to do some research on him.  The point is that the names on this obelisk are founding father’s and it is important for all of us to at least take a look at the information. It was pretty awesome to visit this cemetery in the middle of this huge city surrounded by all these tall modern buildings. 
There is a website and about this cemetery.  http://www.theancientburyingground.org/  This website has all kinds of information.  It has a burial list and map.  I also purchased a book about this cemetery.  I shipped it home so I don’t have the information at this time.  There is also a pamphlet with a map and some of the inscriptions:  “A Walking Tour of the Ancient Burying Ground of Hartford, Connecticut.”
I was getting so cold I couldn’t stay any longer even though I had lingered and walked some of the cemetery reading names out loud. So I walked back to the Burger King as fast as I could.  I bought a hamburger and some hot coffee and enjoyed it thoroughly.  I also watched Hartford come and go. I had been to Hartford but only to the state library, the historical society and the fancy convention center.  So just sitting and spending time in the center of the city was a fun experience. Now it was the Good Friday so it was probably a quieter Hartford in the downtown area.  Several men were napping in the corner of the restaurant.  A man sat across from me.  He had a huge amount of keys on his belt.  He seemed tired and he was in uniform for he had a label on his shirt.  
Once I was warmed up I returned to the parking lot.  There was a vendor with their wares set out on the sidewalk.  I paid my fee and turned right onto Asylum.  I pointed the car west and off I went to the Connecticut Historical Society which is open 12 to 5 pm.  Once you get on Asylum just make sure you stay right because the lanes do disappear and head west on this street till you get to Elizabeth Ave. then turn left and the entrance is right there on the left.  You can’t miss the building for it is big.
I had such a wonderful time there the last visit that I returned a second time.  This was going to be my third visit.
Connecticut Historical Society

Entrance to the Connecticut Historical Society
This society is located at 1 Elizabeth Ave. in Hartford.  The photo above shows the entrance off of Elizabeth Ave.  There is  parking on the west side.   

I had looked at the website and studied the catalog and other finding aids but was not real sure what I was going to do.  Since it was open even on a holiday, I decided to go there and see what trouble I could get into. 

I was greeted by the nice young lady that I had sat next to at the Friday night banquet a the New England Regional conference.  She was very nice and helpful.  Another lady was at the reference desk and she too had been at the conference.  I am afraid that their names have escaped me.  She was busy with moving microfilm and books and rearranging things so they could bring in more materials. Just know that all the librarians are very helpful and pleasant. 

You can access many items in the research room but a lot of items have to be retrieved so you make your orders on the one order card and if you have any trouble filling it out you just ask the librarian and they help you.

I revisited the Goss file in the manuscript card catalog and I didn’t find anything in it that I had not already studied and obtained copies of.  Sure wish Donald Lines Jacobus would have signed his letters it would make it more special. 

They have WiFi so you can access that and it works wonderful.  Ask at the desk for the code.

I ordered some old maps and studied Simsbury trying to see if I could find Simon Wolcott’s land in Simsbury. Do you think his treasure is still buried there?  I wandered the stacks and pulled some books.  This library is amazing so little time! 
It closed a 5 pm.  So about 4:45 pm I packed up and said good bye and thanked the librarians and headed out.

Stacks at CSH

Research center

Entrance to the research center CHS

It is time to head north Simsbury.  Philip Goss of Brookfield and Mary Kendall Goss were in Simsbury before they headed up to Granby, Granville and then Becket.  Actually Philip’s land was in North Granby.  He had the births of some of his children recorded in Simsbury. 

I had a reservation at Abigail’s south of Simsbury.  It used to be Pettibone’s.  They took me right into the dining room even though I was really early.  I made good time and exited Hartford without too much trouble.

My dinner was tasty and Abigail’s was very fancy.  The area I was in seemed new so I was a little surprised and had expected something older!  A family (mother, son, father, her mother) sat down across from me and was very intent on planning their meals.  Apparently they had been there before.  The husband was very handsome but very serious.  It was clear the mother was the focal point of this family. 

I was sitting on the right for my dinner

I headed for the Simsbury House 1820 in the heart of Simsbury.  I missed the sign and got honked at by acar on my bumper. Grrrr….!  I found the Simsbury House by turning on Library St. and coming in from the side area. 

The Simsbury house turned out to be more of a hotel than a Bed and Breakfast.  There is a big porch and the entry way into the foyer.  The stairs are to the right and up to the second floor.  My room was down the hall to the right and looked out over the parking lot. 

My plan was to empty the car and gather all my belongings to repack for the flight home on Sunday.  That was two days away so I had some time to get things reorganized.  It took 4 trips maybe 5.  Once that was done I settled into the room.  The room was a good size and had a wonderful desk with a view through the window.  A bathroom was off the side wall.  The walls were papered with toile in a light powdery blue and the curtains were a little darker hue but still in toile.  I am providing a link for those who do not know their toile!

I climbed into the big soft bed. A little TV, a little wine! Good night!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011: Bristol Town Hall and on to Hartford

I had a lovely room in the Chimney Crest Bed and Breakfast.  This is a mansion.  To the right is the living room and at the end is the sun room.  The hallway has rounded archways in the windows and the curtains are also rounded at the top.  To the left is the formal dinning area.  The hostess is very kind, friendly and helpful.

You almost feel like you have traveled back in time to another world.  This house is the Barnes house.  A prominent family in Bristol owned it.  My room was comfortable.  There was a desk and chair.  It was lovely.  The windows looked out on the circular driveway.  The house is a Tudor style.  It is along Woodland Drive in Bristol near Paige Park.  It is lovely.  Just look for the brick pillars before you go down the steep hill.

I told the hostess that I got up early and she provided a coffee maker with cream in the ice cooler with ice! Wow!  How thoughtful.

The breakfast was wonderful and the conversation with my host Cynthia was a joy. She asked me questions curious about my genealogy research.  Apparently this house was her father’s dream. It was a mess when he purchased it but it is lovely now!  She has taken on his legacy. This was truly happy experience.  Just lovely!

As usual I talked to much and had to head out on my quest for ancestors.  My goal the Bristol Town Hall.  Well I was told it was the white building but it was the building next to it!

Now for some reason my sense of direction was messed up in Bristol.  I was having a terrible time with were things were.  Hmmm….am I getting too tired?

Fortunately, I found the Bristol Town Hall.  I was seeking records on my Barclay family (See the Barclay’s of Pine River my blog on this line of my family.  It is listed on the right under blogs.)

The Town Hall is located on N. Main St. between Laurel and Center Street.  I parked on the street and I believe it is a 2 hour limit?

The sign out in front of the Town Hall, Bristol, CT
This is the Bristol Town Hall
The entrance to the Town Clerk office in the Bristol Town Hall

So far I have had no problems in Town Halls with security or restrictions.  I had good experiences at the Enfield and East Windsor Town Halls.  These two are in Connecticut and no problems in Massachusetts.  Friendly and helpful people in all.

Well…In relating this episode I do not want to reflect badly on Bristol.  It was a charming town and I enjoyed my stay there.  So far everyone had been friendly, pleasant and helpful.

I knew about the privacy issues and the rules of becoming a member of various authorized genealogical or historical organizations.  I investigated this before I came on the trip and decided I was within the law for the vital records and I would be okay. Well I was wrong!!!!!!  I did not take into consideration that the indexes went beyond the legal requirements for birth into earlier than 100 years.  I was going to look at births in the late 1800’s and deaths in the early 1900’s.  I also brought my birth certificate, my dad’s information and my Barclay’s vital records to show that I was an appropriate relative.

An assistant town clerk approached me and I explained carefully what I needed. I explained I wanted to see births in the 1850 to 1900 time frame.  Deaths in the 1915 to 1920 time frame. She asked if I had a card. I told her I was a professional genealogist but I was with the Association of Professional Genealogists.  I believe she showed me a list for Connecticut.  Of course APG is not on that list. I told her and showed her the papers I had brought about my appropriateness as a relative.  She refused to look.
Somehow I did get lead into the vault area where they keep the land record books after signing a form and showing ID and she asked me about what I needed.  I started with the deaths and apparently that was okay for me to see.  Apparently she misunderstood and reversed them thinking I wanted birth in the 1900’s.  I repeated what I wanted.

I was brought an index and I found them in it.  I asked for the books and found the death certificates for Mary J. Ford and Jerome Ford in the death records. I requested copies and was told that they would have to be certified.  I told the clerk that I really didn’t need certified but that is apparently all they did and she said they “had to be certified” in a very strong tone.  I said that I was just asking because some places give you a choice?

I left to get some more money because it was $20.00 a copy for a each vital record. I had forgotten to do so prior. I also needed to get my computer to try to pin the information down on births so they, the clerks, would not have to work so hard.  The vital records are in the back area in another room locked away.  They can only retrieve so many at one time and it is a bit of a walk.

Now I usually go into a vital records office prepared.  I had my information on Mary J. Ford but not much on Jerome or their three girls.  Even the obituary had not given me much to go on.  It did reveal that the daughters had probably not been born in Bristol.

When I returned with my computer and money the books were gone.  The first clerk said not to worry and brought them back.  “We aren’t suppose to leave them out!”   Now when I left I did tell her I had to go out.  They had me wait for the certified copies before they came to help any further.

I then tried for birth records. Another clerk assisted me from in the other room “wondering what the controversy was about?” and pulled a index book and the first clerk yelled at me “I was not suppose to see them because I didn’t have a valid card!”  Then she grabbed the book from me before I had even opened it.  I was so perplexed I made a face and she threatened me with the Town Clerk saying “I can have the Town Clerk explain it to you!”

I took a deep breath and in as calm a voice as possible I explained that I didn’t live in Connecticut and didn’t know all the rules and was just trying to find out.  She seemed to be a little better.  I tried to remain calm and found it difficult.  She was “stomping” around and rushing around.  It was all very confusing.

Another clerk who was tall and very nice assisted me when the first clerk went on break and she was very  helpful.  I gave her my best guess on the births and she pulled an index.  I was not suppose to see this because it went beyond the time limit.  It had birth, marriage, and death and I found the marriage of one of the daughters Lizzie to a Frank E. Yale and asked for a copy.  Again I had to wait.

This same clerk went in the back area of the large vault room and looked for births for Lizzie (Melissa) and others but didn’t find anything and announced this.  I did not look at any books.

I decided that I had about all I could handle. I did get two death records and a marriage and eliminated many things.  I may have the maiden name of my great grandmother Margaret.  I knew so very little of her.  I also found where a sibling of great grandfather George A. Barclay was buried.

After I left the Town Clerk’s office I leaned against the wall in the hallway to get my whits about me.  I was still shaking when I returned to my car and it took a long time to calm down.  I was not angry just befuddled and frightened at the anger thrown at me and the hostility from this person.  The other two clerks were trying to help. When I was at the counter paying for the copies she asked me if I wanted a receipt and I said yes please.  She was helpful and pleasant.  The first clerk would not look at me at all.  Something was very wrong in this office and it is not the laws of Connecticut!

It is difficult to share this experience because it reflects badly on a town hall and Connecticut.  I have worked as a government employee and I know how hard it can be to work in this type of environment.  Still, this is unacceptable to me to be treated in this manner.

If you are planning on doing research in vital records in Connecticut learn from this experience.  Realize not all town halls will be like this, Enfield was wonderful.  I was looking at records in the middle 1800’s however.

Recommendation:  Join a Connecticut Society that is on their list that is acceptable no matter what and then you will not have this type of experience and if you do then you probably can really complain.  It might cost $35+ but it just might be worth it. Here is the explanation and an approved list of societies:  http://www.americanancestors.org/connecticut-vital-records/

While in the vault room of the Bristol Town Clerks office I found it to be a good sized room, very neat, orderly and clean.  It had along the walls these cabinets that held all these land record books with numbers on the side.  I wandered a round a little reading titles and was promptly asked by one of the researchers if he could help.  I said no I am just looking.  I did not pull anything I just observed.  It was a wonderful room but hardly any tables to work on.  There were several researchers who knew each other but didn’t even acknowledge me.  I was tempted to photograph the room but the other researchers would hear the click.  I didn’t wish at this time to push my luck or cause further trouble.  I believe there is a finding aid to the land records.

Bristol Historical Society
Amazing castle down the street from the society

On my way out of Bristol I was driving up Center Road and I spotted the Bristol Historical Society so I stopped and took some photos.  As I was walking around several people came out of the building and I asked when they were open and this nice lady approached and we started chatting.  We discussed my research about the Barclays and the Fords and she told me she would take a look.  I believe her name was Lillian and she was very nice.  She knew about the Chimney Crest Manor belonging to the Barnes.  It was a very nice exchange.

My very special goal was the Forestville Cemetery which was called the East Cemetery years ago.  I was warned it was a big cemetery and was a little worried as to how I would find them.

I was looking for Mary J. Barclay Ford and Jerome B. Ford and there three daughters.  I knew about Mary J. from the estate file of my great uncle Alexander Barclay.  Mary and Alexander were siblings of my great grandfather George A. Barclay.  I have been tracking her and it was exciting to know that I had an obituary for her and her husband.  I need to study it all and do a post on my Barclays of Pine River blog.  See link to the right of this blog under blog list.

Forestville Cemetery (formerly East Cemetery), Bristol, CT

The Forestville Cemetery is on Circle Street in Forestville.  I found it by going along W. Washington St. to Center and then to Circle.  It is a very well kept cemetery and easy to get around on the paved roads which are numbered 1-4.  The information I had obtained from the History room in the Bristol Library gave me other names on tombstones to use to try to identify my family.  They have a cemetery book with listings done by rows although the rows are not identified you can tell by the page number approximately where the graves might be.  You could call the Forestville Cemetery Association.  Most cemetery jobs are part time so you do have to be patient.  I didn’t do that but decided I could figure it out myself.

It took awhile but I did find them, actually I found first Frank Yale’s tombstone and Melisa M. Ford but she didn’t have a death date? A Tilton was buried with them?

Frank E. Yale Dec 7, 1862 to Sept. 18, 1916
Melisa M. Ford Jan 19, 1871 to ?
Alvah L. Tilton Aug. 17, 1884 to Aug. 27, 1924

Jerome Ford and Mary J. Barclay Ford were buried over by the fence and right of road #3.  It was good to see the graves.  Next to them was their daughter Rozelia who died at 18 years old?  In Mary’s obituary grandchildren are mentioned.  If you are out there I want to meet you!

Jerome B. Ford, Died July 5, 1817 Age 72 yrs.
Mary J. Barclay wife of Jerome B. Ford
Died Mar. 28, 1917 Age 75 yrs. 3 Mos.
Rozelia Daughter of Jerome B. & Mary J Ford
Died Feb 28, 1866 Age 18 yrs 8 mos.

I finally had a picnic in a cemetery.  The weather was okay, maybe a little misting?  I ate my sandwich and cookies.  My tenny runners were soaked and my socks were so wet it was difficult to remove them.  I was getting ready to drive to Hartford when Jack stopped in his truck and asked if I needed help.  That is when I proceeded to tell him about my problem with Melissa Ford and whether she was buried there.  He went back to the office (near the entrance) to check to see if she was buried there but it appears she isn’t and only two are buried in this plot.  I thanked Jack for caring about the records and the cemetery.  He said he was learning but he was enjoying it all and liking the challenge of figuring things out about the burials.

It was time to move on.  It took awhile to find my way.  Boy was my direction meter messed up.  Anyway I found Hwy 6 and headed East. HURRAH!  I had to take South Street to get to Hwy 4 because I missed my turn.  I was trying to get out of the way of a red car behind me on my bumper and almost hit another car on my right in my blind spot.  I felt bad.

What is it about Connecticut drivers??? Why do they hang on your bumper?  I did not have this problem in Massachusetts. AUGHH!

I headed up Hwy 4 and found Boulevard Drive.  It was lovely.  The houses were lined up on both sides and were large and beautiful.  All different designs. The road was smooth and pleasant to drive.  It was a kick looking at the all the beautiful homes. It calmed me down.  I was still pretty wired because of the day’s events.

This road became Capital Ave. and I was back in the center of Hartford and driving past the State Library and I remembered it all from my first trip years back.  The Capitol Dome is beautiful and gleams gold in the light.

Chester Bulkley House Bed and Breakfast

I was looking for Wethersfield  Steet but it was really Main St.  Turning south I ended up on Franklin but then I used Prospect to go to Wethersfield St. I was in South Hartford.  When I saw I was on Silas Dean Hwy I knew I was too far south but there was a sign to the historic district of Wethersfield and I took it. I think it was Wells Road and it became Main St in Wethersfield.  I headed north again and doubled back finding the Chester Bulkley Bed and Breakfast on the east side of the road south of the main area of Wethersfield.

This area of Wethersfield is very lovely.  It was like a little oasis near Hartford. I parked across from the Chester Bulkley B&B and rang the door bell.  No one answered.  It was about 4 pm so I was about 2 hours early.  I was thinking of going to the Hartford City Hall for vital records but my experience at Bristol had made me rethink that idea.  They had on their website that the records started in 1852 and that was really too late for my needs.  Not worth it.

I tried the doorbell again but no one answered.  So I wandered down the driveway on the south side and ran into puppy dogs and the owner who was surprised to see me.  The dogs were okay and she gathered them up.  She offered to call the B&B for me.  I turned around and wandered back to the front of the B&B and the door opened up.  I was greeted by the host and entered into the foyer.

He took me to my room, up some very steep stairs and down a hall way and up and over a small built up area with steps on both sides.  Oh dear this was going to be hard to negotiate.  The host did help me later after I had eaten.  However, my room was delightful and had a little sitting area out in the hallway.  Hmmm…no desk but there was Wifi.

My host told me that there were several restaurants north of the B&B just a few houses up and I could walk to them.  So I parked my car in the driveway in the back parking area.  I walked south first but I saw only shops and then turned north and over to some lovely Saltbox houses on the west side of the road.  I spotted other buildings that looked interesting.

Wethersfield’s Historical District is a step back in time. The Wethersfield Historical Society was across the street.  Silas Deane’s home was on the west side.  Silas Deane, why do I know that name?  I picked the Village Pizza Restaurant.  It was pleasant.  I spotted a cemetery in the distance?  My dinner was good and simple.  The teenagers behind me kept kicking their seats but finally settled down.  My tummy was happy!

My room in the Chester Bulkeley B&B is on the second floor and I have a little sitting area with a TV.  I miss my Dish!!!  My hubbie is probably having fun watching what he wants. I did find NCIS but it is not my favorite.  I found Criminal Minds.  So I am content.

Sitting room area 2nd floor

The sun finally came out and I could smell Spring in the air.  I have a window and I watched the sun go down in Wethersfield over the spires of the building north of the B&B.
So I was having trouble posting.

Note:  B logspot started to give me error messages and would not accept by edits.

April 19, 2011: From Litchfield to Thomaston – Ebenezer Goss Country

I love New England!  You can get someplace so quickly by car.  After Litchfield I headed east on Hwy 118 and turned south on to Hwy 254.  It would take me through Northfield into Thomaston, Connecticut.
There is a road named Blakeslee along Hwy 254 and I found it surrounded by large grassy fields.  It is very short.  Now is this were they had their land?  Hmmm….don’t really know.  It was very pretty.


Thomaston was part of Plymouth before it separated. I am heading into Ebenezer Goss and Blakeslee country.  Ebenezer Goss was the younger brother of Solomon Goss and son of Philip and Mary Goss.

As I drove south from the Blakeslee Road sign I studied the area and saw large fields and then houses on both sides of the Hwy and as I entered Thomaston the houses increased.  I really didn’t know where exactly Ebenezer and Bede had lived but it was suppose to be 1.5 miles on the Hwy to Northfield from Thomaston.  This would be south of Northfield and a little ways after you get to the Knife Shop Road?  This is where they had their children Mary, 1782 to 1841, David 1786-1848, Carver 1791-1821 and Beder 1796-1879.  I kept on going.  The house was still standing in the 1930’s?

Ebenezer married Bede Blakeslee a daughter of David and Abigail Blakeslee.  Some records refer to her as Obedience.  Married 18 May 1752.  Ebenezer packed up the family left Plymouth (Thomaston) about 1804 and headed to Ohio.  The history books for Portage County describe the journey.

This is a link to a Family Tree online titled “My Goss Family” compiled by Claudette M. Beerman-Rogers.  My cousin Ken Goss has mentioned her several times and visited with her when she lived in Portage County, Ohio.  She has since migrated and moved away but she still has this tree posted about the Goss Family and it has some interesting tidbits on the Goss family and on Ebenezer Goss’s line. 

The town hall for Thomaston was built on land that use to be the old cemetery.  The burials were removed to the Hillside Cemetery in what is called the Ancient Cemetery a part of the larger cemetery.

Find A Grave has a memorial and picture of the David Blakeslee tombstones.  There are lots of Blakeslees in this cemetery and a lot more exploring that could be done.

Finding the Hilltop Cemetery is very interesting.  I came into Thomaston on Hwy 254 going south and it is basically through a valley and then you come to the stoplight and the main street which runs parallel to the Naugatuck River.  I turned right onto S. Main St. and started to head for Waterbury.  This was tempting but going to Waterbury was a trip in itself.  Digging into the Scott Family was a tall order and I just didn’t have the time this time. So I turned around and looked up to the left trying to spot the cemetery on the hill and there it was among the trees.  I turned onto Center and then onto Marine St. and there was the entrance.

Hilltop is truly on a hill.  Driving around is an interesting experience there are levels that go higher.  This cemetery is huge and not for trying to find graves without some help.  I suggest the cemetery office and a map.




Entrance to the upper level.
Really a Hilltop Cemetery, Thomaston, CT







You can drive around the Hilltop Cemetery on paved roads.  There are graves tucked in areas that are wooded and you have to walk to them.  There is a pond but don’t drive that road it stops and you don’t want to get stuck in the soft grassy areas.  I think another road ends too so be careful!

So I spent about 45 minutes wandering the Hilltop and didn’t find the Ancient Cemetery?  Well, much to my surprise I had blown right by it.  The entrance is at the very front almost across from the entrance sign I showed earlier and before you get to the maintenance building.  You don’t have to go into the main cemetery and you can park in the maintenance building parking lot.  It was not a problem when I was there no one was around.

Ancient Cemetery next to the front entrance of Hilltop Cemetery, Thomaston, CT


Ancient Cemetery entrance, Hilltop Cemetery, CT

Frankly I am very worried about this cemetery which is tucked back up a path in the woods.  It was in sad condition with tombstones toppled over and half buried.


As you can see from the entrance you have to climb a little but it is not too bad.  You do need to find parking and walk in.  There is a path through the woods and I would say about 1 block in?

Path to Ancient Cemetery looking to the entrance.


Path to Ancient Cemetery looking to the tombstones

I found David Blakeslee’s tombstones about in the middle of the burial area.

Capt. David Blakeslee Bede’s father’s tombstone


David Blakeslee died Feb 11, 1781 Plymouth, Litchfield County, CT.

I had pondered taking photos of cemeteries in detail but I just didn’t have the time.  I felt the tug a lot at this cemetery even though it really wasn’t my family line.  I come down from Ebenezer’s brother Solomon Goss.  I came here to honor my cousin Paul H. Goss and his line down from Ebenezer.

I have more photos which I will upload when I get the chance for this cemetery.

Monday, April 4, 2011: East Windsor and Enfield, Connecticut – Digging In!

In the Enfield area there were various industries established in the 1830’s like the carpet factory in Thompsonville. Hazardville had the gun powder factory.  Since Colonial times tobacco has been an industry.  Why am I so interested in these business? 

My Barclay family was there. The carpet factory hired Scottish weavers to come to the factory and it is possible that my family was among them?  I have not been able to prove it yet.  They might have come for the other industries I mentioned above. 

The 1850 U.S. Federal Census for Enfield and East Windsor has the Barclay children scattered and living with various families: Alpheus Pease, Obadiah Olmsted, and [Alonze] Barber.   Lucy Williams and a son Ephraim D. Williams are a family unit and George Angus Barclay is 6 years old and living with them. The Barclay parents cannot be found in Enfield at this time.  The father John Barclay shows up in Minnesota in 1853 in Shakopee. 

See the Barclay’s of Pine River blog:  http://barclayspineriver.wordpress.com/  Try the April 2010 archive posts which discuss the Barclay family in Enfield, Connecticut in more detail and describe the census research that was found. 

As far as finding a Barclay burial in the cemeteries in the area of Enfield I have not been successful.  An inquiry made to the Enfield Cemetery Association (860-741-6636) did not reveal any Barclay names. 

I would like to caution you that in my search of the cemeteries in the area my list may not be complete, it was very difficult to figure out and find cemeteries.  Online maps like Google Earth would name some cemeteries and not others although if you explore you can see a cemetery. My Streets and Trips mapping software also has some cemeteries named and others are not even listed.  I find this lack of completeness to be true of other sources for cemeteries.  Even the Geographic Names Information System (GNIS) has a very interesting sorting of where the cemeteries are located –  http://geonames.usgs.gov/pls/gnispublic/f?p=154:1:3894434390405303  The other problem is the name of the cemetery which seems to be different depending on the source. 

This Enfield Cemetery Association was very helpful and handles the Old Hazardville Cemetery.  They cover the King Street Cemetery (in the Hale Collection), Hazardville Cemetery, Thompsonville Cemetery, and Enfield Street Cemetery. 

Other cemeteries in the Enfield area are the Holy Cross Cemetery.  The Shaker Memorial Cemetery only has a monument to the people in the cemetery but no individual tombstones.  If memory serves me the Enfield Historic Society had a map of this cemetery with names of those buried.  I visited them on my trip there several years back??  I did not see a Barclay name listed. 

Enfield Historical Museum http://www.enfieldhistoricalsociety.org/EHSaboutUs.html

Other cemeteries are controlled by churches or church diocese (Catholic).  St. Patrick’s King Street Cemetery and Old St. Patrick’s Cemetery is not at the Hale Collection (which adjoins the Thompsonville cemetery)  I called 860-745-2411 and had a nice chat with the office person but I did not find any Barclay names.  The New St. Patrick Cemetery is at the Hale Collection.

St. Bernard’s Cemetery 860-749-8353 is part of the Archdiocese of Bloomfield? and 860-2420738 has records for them. They were founded 1870 and that is too late for my purposes.  St. Adalbert’s Cemetery 860-242-0738  was founded in 1870 again to late for my purposes.

The East Windsor Cemetery Association did not return my phone calls and my last call I came up with a disconnected phone? 

This East Windsor Cemetery Association is supposed to cover:  Town Street (at Hale Collection) in Warehouse Point, Old Town Cemetery on North Main Street again at Warehouse Point, Springdale on South Main Street at Warehouse Point, Warehouse Point Cemetery, Melrose Cemetery on Melrose Road in Broad Brook, Windsorville Cemetery on the Windsorville Road, Scantic Cemetery in East Windsor. 

St. Catherine’s Cemetery 860-623-4636 south of Broad Brook is probably through an archdiocese? 

My list may not be complete and my interest is bent toward Enfield in my search for Margaret Barclay.  If she died poor then are there any poor cemeteries in the area?  So far I have not been able to pin this down neither the Enfield Cemetery Association nor the town clerk new of any?

Don’t forget to ask about the establishment date of the cemetery it can eliminate that cemetery pretty quickly if your ancestor was buried much further back.

My goal of the day is to go to the Enfield Town Hall and search for Barclay’s records. 

The Enfield Town Hall is a stately building in Thompsonville (part of Enfield) on the corner and you enter on Elm Street.  It was raining pretty heavy when I arrived. 

The Town Clerk’s office is on the right down at the end of the hall.  I entered and a clerk helped me to get started.  She took me through the big heavy door (like a bank vault) into the room and pointed out where the books were for the vital records in the 1800’s. 

I set to work.  What I found was pretty much what I expected and learned in past research.  There is the two volume History of Enfield, Connecticut and the names of the Barclay’s I found in this book are featured in my blog on The Barclay’s of Pine River.  (See links to the left).  There was a John and Elizabeth Barclay listed and their children.  This couple was too young for my great grandparents.  The Margaret Barclay who died in 1848 was listed as well.  I took notes and will prepare and Excel spreadsheet on my findings.  So there was nothing there that I didn’t already now.  I at least saw the clerk books and they were the originals.  The older books are on the wall across from the door as you enter. 

The attendant in the room was very friendly and helpful.  There was another lady doing research and she was chatty as well and helpful.  All the clerks were pleasant and tried to answer my questions.  I thank them for their help and kindness. 

One of the clerks I talked with did not know of any pauper or potter’s fields but did mention the Old Hazardville Cemetery, King Street (not used anymore) and the Enfield Street Cemetery as possibles for old burials.  I explained that I had called the Enfield Cemetery Association and she emphasized that the clerk’s office did not keep track of the cemeteries and that the Association was in charge.  She felt that the man in charge of the Association was very knowledgeable.  She also suggested that if they were Catholic to call the individual cemeteries. 

I asked about divorce and was told it was not recorded back then. 

It was a fun experience and everyone was very helpful.  I headed to the probate office to see if there was any court documents that might reveal anything such as apprenticeships or guardianships.  The probate clerk was on the phone and when she was free I asked my question and she had no idea about these topics I had listed.  She informed me that all the older probate records were at the Connecticut State Library and she was joined by another clerk who verified her comments.  Deeds were still at the town halls.  I doubt the Barclay’s had land? 

No further clues to the Barclay’s were found but at least I had eliminated this source and learned where to look next. 

Enfield Town Hall:  http://www.enfield-ct.gov/content/47/default.aspx

I decided to drive through Hazardville on my way to the East Windsor Town Hall by traveling along Hwy. 190 and turn left on Hwy 191 the Broadbrook Road.  I missed my turn and ended up on South Street which made its way back to Hazard Ave at an angle.  As I came up to Hazard Ave I spotted the Hazardville Cemetery and it was huge, several acres in size.

Hazardville Cemetery, Hazardville, CT

As I drove along Hazard Ave into the town center I spotted the Old Hazardville Cemetery.  It is about the size of half a city block.  It has a wrought iron fence with a gate around it. 

Old Hazardville Cemetery

Google book has a preview of the book:  Enfield Connecticut:  Stories Carved in Stone, by Bob Clark. Flicker has photos but no identification of the tombstones.  The Hale Collection has some of the cemeteries in Connecticut listed but not all:  http://www.hale-collection.com/hartford.htm.
The Enfield Public Library on 104 Middle Road has a small genealogical collection that you can check out.  You will need to talk with the Reference Librarian to access it.  Since I visited them the last time they have added a genealogy links section on their website: http://www.enfield-ct.gov/content/91/109/5402.aspx

My 2nd goal was to visit the East Windsor Town Hall and see if the vital records had any Barclay names.  The East Windsor Town Hall is in Broad Brook across from the school.  I remembered driving to this area the last time I visited because I wanted to see the location of Alexander Barclay, George’s brother and approximately were he was living.  Hopefully I would get an idea about how two teenage boys could have found each other separated as they were.  George was living in Enfield with his family the Williams and Alexander was with another family, the Barbers, in East Windsor.  How they found each other and headed west to their father (1856-7) in Minnesota would be a very interesting story? 

The East Windsor Town Hall was built about 1962 so it was not a big fancy stately building like Enfield’s.

East Windsor Town Hall in Broadbrook, CT

East Windsor Town Hall  http://www.eastwindsor-ct.gov/public_documents/home 
I apologize that my photo is so dark.  You can click on it and save it to your Pictures and then photo alter it.  I am okay with that. 

I found the town clerk and she took me past another vault door into a room and pulled out an old index book of vital records.  I happily studied the births, marriages and deaths but found no Barclay’s in any of it’s various spelling forms.  This process took about 5 minutes and I was out the door. 

I asked a different clerk about the East Windsor Cemetery Association and that I had not been able to get anyone to return my calls.  I thought the office was just north of them but she said that the man was not in East Windsor but in Enfield and she gave me new information.  I have not yet checked out This information so I am not going to put it here till I do.  I doubt that he will have any Barclay names for me but you never know.  Apparently what is on the town hall website or the Internet is not current.

Last time I did not find the East Windsor Historical Society building so this time I was determined and low and behold there it was after I wandered around a little.  It was actually not far from the white church, East Windsor Town sign and the area I had visited when I came there before.  It was west of it.  Apparently I had not taken the right road. 

Unfortunately they are open on Saturday and I would be in Springfield. 

East Windsor Historical Society is on Hwy 191 or Scantic Road.  http://members.cox.net/mjsalvatore/mjsalvatore/  I might write them a letter to see if they have anything?

I returned the way I came to East Windsor and Broad Brook because I wanted to investigate the Hazardville and Old Hazardville Cemeteries.  The road takes you by tobacco farms.  You see the posts with the netting rolled up. 

I found both cemeteries with a little driving around to find a place to enter and park.  The Old Hazardville has no parking at all so you will have to figure out where to go.  I parked in the donut restaurant parking lot to the east but some business don’t like that behavior.  I refer you to the pictures above.

As I recalled, there was a shopping area on Hazard Ave near the freeway that had Office Depot, Barnes & Noble and more.  I found it and tired the B&N for a topo map of Massachusetts.  No luck!  Even Office Depot didn’t have one either. 

There was an Olive Garden at the end of the shopping center and that sounded good for dinner even though it was only 4 pm.  I was hungry and needed to take a break. 

Apparently liquor and wine stores in Connecticut go under the name of “Package” store?  I was headed to Massachusetts and will have to figure out their liquor laws.  On line it was very confusing.  At the Geissler in Windsor the beer was covered with a curtain on Sunday.  I would not mention this but at a restaurant a glass of wine is usually $8 or above and I can get a bottle of wine for that price. 

I was beginning to get myself oriented and into the “swing of things.”  So far they are not on my bumper too much. 

Notes:  The Barclay family married into the Spracklins and the great grandmother of Amarilla Spracklin Barclay was Lydia Goss, daughter of Solomon and Olive Goss and granddaugther of Philip and Mary Kendall Goss of Huntington Twp., Luzerne Co., Pennsylvania.

Sunday, April 3, 2011 – Getting to Connecticut, First Stop Windsor, CT

My flight was at 6:07 am to Hartford/Springfield (Bradley International Airport) with a connection in Chicago.  Arrival at the Bradley Airport would be 4:15 pm.  Last time I arrived it was 12 midnight.  So this was much better. http://www.bradleyairport.com/home/ 

It took awhile for the bags to be delivered and I pondered the airport.  I had no memory of Bradley.  It is not a fancy airport with nothing interesting to note like some have soaring windows and art work.  They had been doing a lot of remodeling so there were big open high windows that let in the light and signs of construction.

The man at the car rental information desk told me to go through the door to the right and just wait till the shuttle came.  I didn’t have to call.  It took about 5 minutes and I was on my way to the car rental lot.  Thrifty’s lot is east of the airport on Spring St.  The driver was a little maniac and threw my computer case and I yelped not too!  Check in was swift although I had trouble hearing the young lady behind the counter and forced her to repeat things.  She was talking way too fast for my flight stressed ears.   I teased her about the snow but she assured me that I would not have any problem driving even in Massachusetts?????

My rental was a Chevy Aveo in bright white.  The plates were Massachusetts plates. Maybe they will not tailgate me too much in Connecticut???  Last time the car had New York state plates.  I was soon packed up and ready to go. 

My first goal was to return to Windsor, Connecticut and to revisit the Palisado Cemetery.  It is Sunday so nothing is open like the town offices and the historic society, but I am okay with that.  I had visited the Windsor Historical Society the last time in Connecticut.  It is wonderful.  The staff are friendly and helpful.
They have a wall of filing cabinets filled with family history and I selected several manuscripts on the Wolcotts.  I also worked on solving some source problems in the Paul H. Goss manuscripts.  (See below for more information on this society).   Paul H. Goss had done a great deal of research on our  Goss family in the 1930’s and 1940’s and I have been collecting his articles and manuscripts for over 10 years.  I have been revisiting the sources.

I had forgotten that Windsor was almost in two parts.  The actual town center with the village green and the area north of the train tracks where the cemetery and historical society are located.

A stopped at the Geissler Market (IGA) for supplies and then a little exploring of the town village green where I found the library, town hall, chamber of commerce and visitor center.  The town sign is in two parts so you have to photograph both sides. 

Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, CT 2007

Book:  Cemetery Inscriptions in Windsor, Connecticut, Copied under the Direction of the Abigail Wolcott Ellsworth Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, 1929, Second Edition 2000.  This booklet covers the Palisado, Riverside, Old Burying Ground, Elm Grove and St. Joseph’s Cemeteries and more.  It does have an index.  My copy was purchased at the Windsor Historical Society but I think you can get it at the Connecticut State Library and Connecticut Society of Genealogists.

The Palisado Cemetery is peaceful and well cared for. The Wolcotts are buried there along with many other settlers.  Simon and his father Henry are there and so is Roger (a governor of Connecticut).  I am not sure about Martha? She is listed on Simon’s tombstone but might be buried in East Windsor?  She did remarry after Simon died in 1687 to a Lt. Daniel Clarke and he is not buried in this cemetery according to the above book. She would have been about 50 years old in 1689 so I don’t think they had children.  She died in 1719 so she lived a long time after Simon’s death.

The Wolcott tombstones are hard to read and difficult to photograph because they are these flat stone with legs much like a table.  I did not have any better luck this time because I was loosing the light.  Something about sunset at 7:14 pm…hmmmm….? 

Here lies waiting for ye/Resurrection of Ye Just/Mr. Simon Wolcott/born 1625 Dyed Sept 11, 1687/Also Martha Pitkin/wife of Simon Wolcott/born 1639/Dyed Oct’r 13, 1719, pg. 77 of the book mentioned above. 

Simon and Martha Pitkin Wolcott 2007

Why am I interested in the Wolcotts, well, a grandson of Simon and Martha by the name of Benjamin Cooley married Margaret Bliss on 31 Jan 1701 in Longmeadow and they had a daughter named Keziah Cooley.  Keziah married Philip Goss on 25 Nov. 1723 in Brookfield, Massachusetts.  I call this Philip number III a grandson of the Philip Goss (Philip I) of Roxbury (Brookline) or Muddy River which are now part of Boston.  Philip Goss (I) later moved to Lancaster about 1687.  Benjamin’s father was Lt. Daniel Cooley (1651 to 1727) and his mother was Elizabeth Wolcott (Roger was her younger brother – 1662 to 1708, and a governor of Connecticut).  Elizabeth was the oldest daughter of Simon and Martha Pitkin Wolcott.  See the photos at the end of this post.

I wanted to find Oliver Ellsworth’s tombstone this time.  Oliver married into the Wolcotts.  He married Abigail Wolcott.  Abigail is a great granddaughter of Simon and Martha Wolcott and a 2nd cousin 8 times removed to me. HA! Oliver was Chief Justice and quite involved with the politics of the day.  A happy visit to his home now a museum on the north side of Windsor, CT occurred when a big truck tailgated me back in 2007.  So in order to get rid of him I turned into the Oliver Ellsworth museum area and much to my delight the DAR chapters were giving him a birthday party!  (Note the balloons in the photo below!) They had cake and tours given by the DAR ladies dressed in costume. 

What a happy find! Here is the Oliver Ellsworth Museum website link:  http://www.ctdar.org/OEH/museum.html 

They actually have a small library with books and brochures and I believe I found a genealogical lineage chart of the Wolcotts there?

Oliver Ellsworth House & Museum, Windsor, CT from the rear 2007
It took a little carefully investigating but I found Oliver Ellsworth’s tombstone which was south east of the Wolcotts.  It was much further back in the cemetery than I had realized. 

 There is also a map of  the Plan of Ancient Windsor 1640-1654 that you can obtain from the Windsor Historical Society.  Mine is dated November 2000.  It has the locations of the various settlers, roads, land names and locations.  Here is the website for this society:  http://windsorhistoricalsociety.org/   You can sign up on their email newsletter.  I highly recommend a visit and time to do some research.

Windsor Historical Society and Store 2007

The Windsor Historical Society website has a wonderful manuscript about Martha Pitkin Wolcott which is worth reading.  Martha is a very interesting lady and their are wonderful stories about how the town tried to keep her from returning to England.  

Windsor’s Town Hall – The town website is packed with information:

Windsor Public Library makes suggestions for genealogical research at this link: http://www.windsorlibrary.com/main/genealogy.php

Descendants of Henry Wolcott:  http://www.wolcottfamily.com/index.html

Book:  The History and Genealogies of Ancient Windsor, Connecticut 1635-1891, Vol. II, by Henry R. Stiles, Picton Press, 1992.  Wolcott genealogy starts on page 798.  Purchased at the Windsor Historical Society for a good $40+.  I am sure you can find this in any large library.

Note:  Some photographs are from the 2007 visit.  The header picture is of the Palisado Cemetery in Windsor 2007.

The following photographs are from this trip.  As you can see I was loosing the light as night was coming but you at least get to see how the stone looks like. 

Here the sunlight gave one last glow on Henry and Elizabeth’s stone crypt.  The inscriptions are on the sides Henry on the left and Elizabeth on the right.  Simon’s table stone is to the left and Roger’s is to the right.

I have more photographs of this cemetery but I am going to have to do a little photo work to make them better to view.  That will probably wait till I return home in several weeks.  So there will be updates and additions to this blog to come.

Lodging:  I stayed at the Comfort Inn in East Windsor which is on Prospect Road (Hwy 5.)  Dinner was at Sophia’s Restaurant right across the street.  I remember this restaurant from the last trip.  This time it was a better dinner.  It is sort of like a Denny’s but maybe a tad better.  It was getting late and they were starting to show signs of the end of the day as the waitresses gathered for dinner at one of the tables and the lights were out in one of the sections of the restaurant. 

UPDATE:  10/10/2012 – I discovered that the pictures I had placed in this post were compromised somehow.  I suggest you go to Google Images and put Palisado Cemetery, Windsor, CT in and it will take you to the photos for that cemetery that I took in 2011 and more.