Massachusetts Meanderings Videos at YouTube!

Well, it has taken awhile to get caught up on things since completing all my trips this past year.  I finally have been able to prepare and upload the videos of some of the cemeteries I visited when I was in Massachusetts.

Here are the videos I took on eight (8) of those cemeteries.  I was able to get them up and going on YouTube.  They are really overviews and if you want detail go to the photographs and the posts where I wrote about these cemeteries I visited on this blog: 

1. Palisado Cemetery, Windsor CT
2.  Evergreen in Winchester, New Hampshire
3. Burnham Cemetery, Montague, Franklin Co., MA
4. Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden Co., Massachusetts
5. Middle Cemetery, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA
6. Old Settlers Cemetery, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA
7. Old Common Burial Field, Lancaster, Worcester Co., MA
8. Old Indian Cemetery, West Brookfield, Worcester Co., MA
Eventually I will put the video’s in a post in the Solomon Goss of Fearing Township in Ohio blog when I write about that part of the Goss history.  It will be awesome!

More photographs of the cemeteries are available on Picasa Web Albums by me.  If you use one of the cemetery names above and my first name you should be able to find them.  I will eventually add them to the Solomon Goss blog as I write posts that reference that cemetery. 

This post was updated 7/10/2012. 


A Surprise In the Mail: Abel Goss of Lower Waterford, Vermont published 2011

I have always loved surprises and this was a good one.  In the mail came a beautiful dark green bound book .  It smells wonderful it is so new and the pages of this book are shinny and crisp.  It was written by my half 8th cousin once removed, David Philip Goss. I am serious!  At least that is what my Legacy Database tells me about our connection? 

Our common ancestor is Philip Goss (I) of Roxbury who later migrated to Lancaster and is buried there in the Old Settler Burial Field in Lancaster (the one over the railroad tracks) with the date 1698 as his death.  This Philip married twice. first to Hannah Hopkins whom I descend from and second, he married Mary Prescott in 1690.  She was a granddaughter of John Prescott founder of Lancaster.  My half cousin descends from Philip and Mary’s son John Goss, a half brother to my Capt. Philip Goss who is buried in the Old Indian Cemetery in Brookfield with his wife Judith Hayward Goss.

The book is:  Abel Goss of Lower Waterford, by David Philip Goss, Otter Bay Books, 2011. 

This book is literally “hot off the press.” 

My half cousin found this blog and was very surprised to see his name and manuscript listed in the post dated Monday, April 25, 2011 – For Thursday, April 14, 2011 Winchester, New Hampshire.  I had yet to introduce myself and one day I got this wonderful email from a happy excited person.  So I guess we are now even for he has surprised me with this wonderful book which is an updated and expanded version of the PDF I mentioned in the Winchester post. 

This is exciting because David takes the descendancy of Philip Goss of Roxbury and Mary Prescott Goss down through their son John Goss and his wife Mary (Woods) Goss to their son Philip Goss who was the one that married Hannah Ball and tells the real story.  This family left Lancaster, Massachusetts and headed up to New Hampshire and settled there.  Meanwhile another Philip Goss, a cousin and a son of Philip Goss (III) of Brookfield and Keziah Cooley, headed to North Granby, Granville, Becket and then to the Wyoming Valley where the Susquehanna River flows.  Some of the descendants of that Philip stayed there in the Luzerne County, Pennsylvania area and others headed further west to Ohio. This is my line. 

Meanwhile, Philip and Hannah Gosses children headed to other parts of New Hampshire and Vermont and then they went west to places like Wisconsin, Colorado and Washington State! Here is a brief summary of the descendancy discussed in the book: 

Philip Goss of Roxbury and Lancaster marries a 2nd time to Mary Prescott
John Goss, their, son, marries Mary Woods and their son is named Philip Goss.
Philip Goss marries Hannah Ball and migrates to Winchester, NH and settled there.
Their son Abel Goss married Irene Sprague and they name a son Abel.
This Abel married Amanda Hebard of Waterford, Vermont
From there the line goes down to David the writer and compiler of this new book.

The book has an index, footnotes with abundant sources, great photographs and examples of documents.  David writes lots of narrative and explanations.  A job well done!

If you are interested in obtaining a copy of this book, please contact the writer of this blog or leave a comment and I will be happy to get you in touch with David.

On the Move Again! Washington DC

If you ever have a chance to travel to our nation’s capital…GO!  It is an amazing place with many many adventures.  There are monuments like Abraham Lincoln’s pavilion or Jefferson’s Memorial.  Both have small displays in the basement and of course a gift shop!  You can even go up into the Washington Monument – the Obelisk and look out on the city.  Memorials to visit to pay your respects! There are museums to examine and dally in. Just hop on the trolley, pay your fee and take the tour or the loop to all the sites.  You can hop on and hop off and get various passes for a day or several.  Walking can be a bit daunting…!

The Smithsonian is a group of museums and you could be exploring for days….

There is the nation’s Capitol to visit or the U.S. Supreme Court. The White House has a tour which you make your plans with your local Senator office months in advance and give a little information about yourself for security reasons.  I am planning to go this time. 

Here is an example of what your local Senator might have on their website and other links to other tours.

Then there are the other amazing places to go like the DAR Library, the Library of Congress and the main National Archives.  As genealogists we can’t go to DC without at least doing some research in one of these locations.  Don’t forget that Washington DC has their own vital records and town hall.  Washington DC is bigger than just the District of Columbia in terms of genealogy.  So if you do research specific to D.C. you will need to consider the counties that touch it!

Me at the DAR a couple of years ago!

If you have anyone in your ancestry who could have been involved in the American Revolution than you have to go and visit the DAR library.  I have been their 2 times and it is wonderful.  They have placed a lot of their holdings online and are going digital now. 

Then there are plays to attend like at the Warner Theatre or art to see like the Philip’s Collection.  The Kennedy Center has something going on all the time. We saw Terri Hatcher there in Cabaret before Desperate Housewives.  She is tall, thin and she did a good job stepping into the Liza Minnelli role.  I wonder if they still have the Boating Party by Renoir? It is wonderful and much larger than you think!  I will let you know.

This will be my fifth visit to Washington D.C.  My hubby has a SIIM conference to attend.  So I am tagging along.  Washington D.C. hotels are expensive so you do have to do some serious strategizing to get a good deal.  You also want to book a hotel in the area you would like to be closest too and watch the Metro lines so you can use it.

SIIM  This is pretty technical stuff to understand.  I preferred the original name of SCAR. 

We will be there soon at Gaylord National  This could be interesting.  The reviews are either they love it or hate it!

Cemetery Obsessed!

I am blow away, 21 followers! Now I do look at the stats but this is more fun to see your lovely faces, fancy pictures and more.  Welcome to you all!!!!  Let’s talk about cemeteries!

I have always loved going to a cemetery and searching for ancestors whether my own or someone elses.  I started a blog:  BJM’s Cemetery Discoveries because I was feeling guilty about hoarding these photographs that I had taken over the years of cemeteries for myself and others.  Now I could have uploaded to a variety of sites like Tombstone, Internment, Find A Grave but I got intimidated by the rules!!! Hmmm…maybe it was just laziness on my part…HA!

However, this trip to Massachusetts and Connecticut has made it a confirmed fact!  I am now over the edge and obsessed! 

Most of the cemeteries I have visited have been in very good shape.  However, I ran into some sad situations in Massachusetts and Connecticut.  My friend Rose Miller from the Granville Public Library History Room said that there is no money for cemeteries. 

I have learned that the cemetery association jobs are part time and if there is snow on the ground the work stops till it melts.  The cemetery association shuts down during the winter and the workers are laid off till the thaw.  So this means that some cemetery offices, associations do care and others need help from the community. This information came from the Evergreen Cemetery Office in NH.

The man who is in charge, called me a few days after I had returned from my trip.  I had called a good month before my trip but it took him that long to get back to me.  He said he was trying to catch up. He was very helpful as we talked. He was very concerned. He looked up other names for me and didn’t find the ones I was interested in.  So that helps.  So be patient! Call even farther in advance.  The individuals who do these cemetery jobs that I personally met or chatted with were in my opinion very dedicated and interested in taking care of the cemeteries. 

My observation is that once a stone breaks or topples over and is on the ground the process of disappearing begins as the leaves, debree and grass start to take over and bury it.  I tried prying some up in this condition but there is no way I could budge them without digging them up.  So that means a very labor intensive effort.  They are also heavy like the one stone in the Peru Center Cemetery.  It was so wedged into the ground and heavy, it would have taken a shovel and digging to dislodge it. 

Face down so you cannot read them, fast disappearing

When traveling how do you carry tools. Well you don’t airline security will take them away.  I do put clippers into my checked bags and they leave them alone.  So this means you have to buy them when you get there and leave them behind? 

Wedged at the pins here and pushed up against the base!

The head is at least an inch or more into the grass!

The above stone was so heavy the potential for injury to myself was great.  So I backed off. This is going to take several strong people to dislodge and move.  The face is down so you can’t read it!!

On this trip to Massachusetts and Connecticut I had decided that if I stumbled on or came upon a cemetery I would try to stop and take a few photos of it and give an idea where it was located and how big it was.  Now some cemeteries show up on maps but not all of them like Map Quest, Yahoo or Google.  Even Google Earth doesn’t have them all. 

So I called these Quick Stops in Cemeteries and I made up a short form to fill out to keep track.  I also made up a list so I could check it off.  See an example below.  Here is the list:

1.  Hazardville Cemetery, Hazardville (Enfield), CT
2.  Old Hazardville Cemetery, Harzardville, CT
3.  Longmeadow Cemetery, Longmeadow, MA
4.  Defunct Elm Street Cemetery in Springfield – moved to Springfield Cemetery 1848, MA
5.  South Cemetery, Bolton
6.  Warwick Cemetery in Warwick
7.  Hillside Cemetery, Thomaston, CT
8.  Wethersfield Village Cemetery, Wethersfield, CT
9.  Granby Cemetery in Granby CT
10.  Simsbury Cemetery – Simsbury, CT – John Viets
11.  Walnut Grove, North Brookfield, MA
12.  Wethersfield Village Cemetery, Wethersfield, CT
13.  St. Patrick Cemetery, Enfield, CT

This list above changed a lot during the trip because of time mostly.

The most important focus was to document the really critical cemeteries that I wanted to visit and so I made up a bigger two page form and attached print outs from Find A Grave or other sites that I found a list of burials targeting the ancestors I was most interested in. No, I didn’t fill out the whole form as I had intended but I did get quite a bit of information as to the name, when I photographed, how big it was, location, parking options, published lists of the burials and where to go for those.  Again, see below for an example.

Here is one of those cemeteries that I did mention but didn’t add photos to the post.  This is the Walnut Grove Cemetery in North Brookfield:

Walnut Grove, North Brookfield, MA

Impressive Monument in Walnut Grove!

Well cared for – Walnut Grove.

Here is the list of those cemeteries I seriously visited, photographed and maybe a video was done!

1. Palisado in Windsor, CT – Wolcotts, Simon 9th gg and Henry 10 gg
2. Granville Main Cemetery – Granville, MA – Gibbons family
3. Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, MA – Old Settlers moved from Elm Street
4. Old Indian Cemetery, West Brookfield – Philip Goss II and Judith 7th great gg
5. Brookfield Cemetery, Brookfield – Walkers and Gilberts married into Goss family .
6.  Middle Cemetery, Lancaster more Goss family 1/2 cousins
7.  Old Settler Cemetery, Lancaster – Philip Goss the first – 8th great gg
8.  Old Common Burial Field, Lancaster – Common Road near B&B – John Goss half 7th great uncle
9.  Winchester, NH Cemetery- Evergreen and Old Town – Philip Goss and Hannah Ball half 1st cousin
10.  Burnham Cemetery, Montague, MA – Philip of Montague and Esther Gale ½ Cousin
11.  Bridge Street Cemetery, Northampton, MA – Rowland Stebbins 10th g.
12.  Norton Cemetery, Otis, MA – Keziah Goss Haskell Rose
13.  Center Cemetery, Peru, MA – Roger Haskell, Keziah’s son
14.  Hillside Cemetery, Thomaston, CT – Blakeslee’s are part of the Ebenezer Goss family
15.  Ancient Burying Grd, Hartford – 10th gg Andrew Warner ancestor of the Scott’s
Source:  A Guide to Massachusetts Cemeteries, by David Allen Lambert, New England Historic & Genealogical Society, 2002.  This book can be helpful in trying to locate a cemetery and also a list of the burials for that cemetery in a printed or published form if one exists.  Locating a tombstone is difficult if you have an alphabetical listing.  Mr. Lambert gives the local Cemetery Association or Office to contact for information. Since this was published in 2002 for Massachusetts only you may still have to contact the local public library or the town hall for help.
Here is an example of the short form: 

Quick Stop Cemeteries – Photos only
Name: _____________________________________________
Location:  __________________________________________
Date Established:  _________________________  Size _______
Entrance Sign               Dedication Plaque                    
North    East     West   South       Find A Grave             Book/Pub
Optional Individual Graves:
The bigger form – it is two pages.  There is room to draw a map of the cemetery but I found I did not have the time.

Date Film and Photographed _____________________________________
Cemetery Name _______________________________________________
Year established: ______________________________________________
Cemetery Location _____________________________________________
Size of the Cemetery:  ___________________________________________
Website:  ______________________________________________________
Burial Pubs:  Find A Grave       Pub Book         Other
Still Photos:
Photos of:  Cemetery Entrance Sign                  Dedication Sign
Parking area: 
Cemetery Office Hours: ____________________ Phone _______________
Photos of the cemetery overalls – View North  East   South   West
Photos of individual grave sites and their locations: See attached list
Video of the cemetery:
            Location of the cemetery – view of the entrance and highway to.
            Entrance sign
            Cemetery Office
            Overall    North  East  South West
            Individual Graves: 
Drawing a map of the cemetery note location of the grave:  fence, rock wall, roads – (leave space)
You should be able to copy these forms by using your mouse to copy only the post or a portion and cutting and pasting into Word!

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!

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.  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!

Thursday, April 21, 2011: The Connecticut State Library

A delicious breakfast was served at the Chester Bulkley Bed and Breakfast in a lovely dining room with large rose and pink background wallpaper.  A large grandfather clock was across the room between two windows and it chimed the quarter hour and then the top of the hour.  It was very nice.

Most B&B’s will give you a TV tray if you ask and you can put your computer on it and work much easier especially if they don’t have a desk in the room.  I asked and sure enough the host found me one to use.

Today I was off to the Connecticut State Library.  Before leaving for the trip I took a look at their holdings and catalog and pulled some titles review when I arrived.  The trip so far might reveal some other interesting things to review.  So I was prepared for the day.

This was my second trip to Hartford and the Connecticut State Library.  So I was pretty familiar with this archive from before and had studied their website thoroughly.  They have a lot of great information on their website and I highly recommend that you review it before you go if you are not familiar with CSL. 

The CSL is not to hard to find.  It is right across from the capital building with the beautiful gold gleaming dome.  It is south of there. You can park on Hungerford if you can find a space and it does not cost anything.  There is a left turn lane from Capitol Ave. onto Hungerford with a light so that is nice for you do have to cross Capitol Ave. coming from the east to the west.  I came up Hartford Ave. in Wethersfield to Wethersfield Ave. to Main and then I turned at Capitol and went east.  Smooth sailing the whole way.  It didn’t take too long either.

Another thing I did was to wait till about 8:45 am before I left so I didn’t have as much traffic.  I did get to the Connecticut State Library (CSL) about 9:30 am.

When you park on Hungerford just make sure you read the signs carefully and park on the correct side. I had been on the left the last time but this time I was on the right side of the street facing south.  It is one way I believe.  Lock your valuables in the trunk.  Make sure the car is locked up tight. 

The walk from Hungerford is along Russ Ave. then you turn north onto Oak and the entrance to the CSL is a little odd, like in the back of the big building which is the Connecticut Museum and more.  The research room is in the lower floor.  You enter walking up the walkway and there is a sign and into a small court yard with a Public entrance.  You skirt the parking lot and think you are going into a receiving area but it is the entrance. 

The Dome of the Capital, The State Library from across Oak St.

Entrance to the State Library, be prepared for a security check

You are greeted by security and have to give up everything in your pockets etc. and go through a scanner. You don’t have to remove you shoes however.  Then you walk this long hallway and there are signs pointing the way.  You pass through a door area and then turn right into a small room with lockers and then left into the Main Reading Room.  The first things you see are card catalogs, filing cabinets and then the librarians desk and the main Reading Room.  To the left is the special collections and archive area.  You go into it only if you order documents that require special handling. 

I found things pretty much the same in the room and headed for the table area next to the wall by the windows on the left and took over the left side of the table. I used this area before. I set up my computer and got organized and ready to dig in. 

First I needed to figure out if there was a probate for James Barclay sibling to Mary J. Barclay Ford and my great grandfather George A. Barclay.  I had reviewed the films the last time I was there but various indexes were missing.  The librarian was a nice young woman with dark long hair.  She studied what I had and talked with the other librarian (he seemed familiar) and they decided I should just order the probates for those missing indexes.  She figured out what I needed and had me sign up for an Archive’s pass.  I filled out the paperwork and returned just about a couple minutes before 10 am.  This was their first run to storage and they have them periodically throughout the day.  I think the next was 12 noon?  Check with them for their hours.  They do hand you a flyer on the rules and times.  So read that.  Fill in the form and they issue you a card.  You sign that and then other order forms are filled in and you are ready to put your order in.  She was very helpful.  It was going to take about an hour to get the information. 

What this means is if you can’t find an index listing on the films then the CSL might have the actual books or probate/estate packets that you can look at. 

I was very impressed with this librarian she knew what she was doing and I like that!!! The other librarian was also equally helpful and pleasant.  Unfortunately I didn’t get their names. 

They were cute calling me Miss Bonnie Jean.  Made me feel young!!

They told me the former director or head of the research room had retired.  He had given a lecture at the last NERGC in Hartford that I had attended.  Things change. 

The other good news was the woman who had given me a hard time when I had visited before was not there.  It was an unfortunate situation and I had to complain to the librarian. 
This time my visit to the Connecticut State Library (CSL) was a happy one and productive. 

The next problem was figuring out a source that Paul H. Goss had given listing the volumes of the Founder and Patriots.  There is hope.  There are lineage books in volumes but unfortunately the CSL does not have Vol. 25.  They also have the applications of the members.  I decided that since I would be at the DAR Library again in a month and I could go to the Library of Congress, one of those archives should have Vol. 25.  Why am I so interested in these sources?

Well I have been going through all of Paul’s work on the Goss family looking for these old sources.  First of all it is fun to investigate them.  I have had some challenges in the old sources because some been republished.  Once I get all the sources identified I can evaluate their value, add more updates and then publish my findings for future Goss researchers.  There are primary sources and secondary sources. Paul used a log of secondary and I have been trying to figure out if they are reliable and then add more of the primary sources like births, deaths, marriages, deeds, land records, probate/estate.  One thing you do have to remember is that Paul was not wealthy like most of us and he had to decide where to put his money.  He did hire Donald Lines Jacobus the father of modern genealogy to help him so he did hire professional genealogists when he needed to. This was the 1930’s and 1940’s.  It was the depression and he was raising his family.  Like most of us he had to do genealogy as best he could.  I think he did very well. 

I was having a little problem figuring out their coding on the various books I had pulled to research.  Most were in the stacks as they call them.  This is a really interesting experience.  You go into the hallway where all the card catalogs are and through a door that looks like a bomb shelter door.  It is metal and I think “Green?”  you then go down a couple steps into a cool room with rows and rows of bookshelves and books.  It must me heaven!!!!  No it is the stacks silly girl!!  Now this room is big but then there is another room with more books and over sized books.

Be careful…you will be tempted to pull more than you came for!!!  Once you start figuring out the number system you catch on and go in the direction you need to as the numbers get larger or smaller.  The first one or two books or pamphlets or periodicals you are looking for might be a little slow going but then you are on your way. 

The Court Cafe was still operating across Oak St. in the tan building so I head there and ordered a chicken salad sandwich and coffee.  I didn’t check the hours but I was concerned they would be closed by 2 pm.  It is very convenient to the library. 

Back at the library Reading Room and have to say that the drawback of the stacks is that you can’t load up on books like you do at the Family History Library.  It is too far and then there is the door.  You are asked to take them back to the Reading room and work on them there rather than sit on the floor next to the stacks.  It really isn’t pleasant.  I found that I could handled 2 – 3 books at a time but then it started to get too much.  You might be able to do more.  If my hubbie was there I could have really smoked!!!  He is very good at finding things. 

My order had come so I went into the Special Archives area and I showed my card. You sign this register. You initial another form that states I was in possession of one book of probate to look at  a time.  The attendant a nice young man put it on the table and I was allowed to look without gloves in the indexes for James Barclay.  The book was a big book just like any court clerk’s book.  No Barclays at all.  The second book also did not reveal any Barclays.  So I was in the area a short time and had to initial this and that and sign out.  I am glad the young man assisting me was so patient and kind. 

Bummer, James Barclay was just not showing up in the indexes for Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1906.  He died during the probate of his brother Alexander Barclay’s estate.  I pondered an obituary notice but I did not have a specific death date so slogging through a couple of months of a newspaper or longer was not my idea of fun and frankly I didn’t have the time.  So I set that aside.  I would work on what I had found from his sister Mary J. Barclay Ford in Bristol and expand that information.  Technically I was after my great grandmother Margaret Barclay – where she was buried, her last name and more.  James could wait.  I do like to study the whole family and the sibs to a point.   

Now when you are in the book stacks at CSL you need to keep focused…don’t start reading all the titles around your target or you will end up carrying back more books.  I am just kidding go have fun!  I succumbed to pulling other titles too. 

I worked on other things like some Kendall family histories, checked the Church and Bible indexes, and found a copy of the thesis by Brady on the John Franklin.  I have work to do when I get home. 

The time flew and it was 4 pm and I was getting very tired.  I was also pretty much done and ready to head out.  This had been a good experience and I was pleased.  The librarians were helpful, friendly and the whole day and been a good day.  So I am not a fan of the CSL. 

I left the building and headed to my car.  The day was sunny but the wind was sharp and strong.  Ouch!

My care was still on Hungerford and I had not parked incorrectly. Whew!  I was soon off and on my way back to Wethersfield.  This time I found my way back just fine.  I turned right after the big church with the square towers onto Wethersfield Ave and then I found Hartford Ave which took me back into Wethersfield’s historic district and back into time.

This time I was going to have dinner at Lucy Lou’s.  I ordered a Caesar salad and Crab Cake appetizers.  Little did I know that they would both be big dishes of food.  There was no way I could have had more dinner.  It was good food, a nice class of Cabernet.  They have the tall tables and chairs so I had to climb up and in and when I got down that was interesting. Loud music and big screen TV with sports on. It was fun to sit and look out the window and watch the activity on the Main Street of Wethersfield.  It is a mix of old, new and very old.  It works.

I am pleased that I chose the Wethersfield area to stay.  It is not hard to get to Hartford just takes about 15 minutes.  You step back in time there and it is quieter and lovely.  Food is easy to find. I believe there are others B&B’s in the area beside the Chester Bulkley. 

Soon I was in my room tending to chores. 

Note:  Blogspot is giving me trouble and I am sorry if things are mixed up.  My post on the Old Settlers Burial Field in Lancaster for April 12 was wrong and I tried to fix it and it is giving me grief.  It should be April 13th.  I may have to wait till I get home to see what I can do to fix the situation. I might have lost some comments as a result. I was trying to edit a post and it wouldn’t accept the changes.  Grrrr…..!!!

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:

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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011: Granville again, Yes a Third Time! Then on to Litchfield

Time to leave Massachusetts and return to Connecticut. The Patriot’s Day Holiday had forced a change of plans.  I had really wanted to visit the Granville Town Hall and I was determined that today I would stop there. This meant that I might have to give up some other side trip or outing. My ultimate goal was Bristol and their public library history room which was open 2-4 pm. 

I checked out of the Comfort Inn and headed back to Connecticut. This Comfort Inn is not as good as others that I have stayed at.  I actually have upgraded from Days Inn’s to Comfort Inn’s and received much better accommodations.  My room was okay except for the huge bathroom and no shelving for the handicapped.  Loved the shower with all the handle bars and movable shower head.  Showers can be a challenge when you travel. 

The laundromat was on the first floor in a stacked arrangement and I put all my quarters into the dryer first….AUGH!!  The receptionist told me to go to the corner for more change.  Hmmm….what has happened to the concept of Petty Cash? I am sorry, I should not rant!  There are so many more motels around this area of Hwy 20/7 that they might be worth checking out and as far as I could see they all looked in good condition?  Comfort Inn does serve breakfast and they have a points reward program.  I have liked my past rooms and the service. 

Coffee Maker carefully situated on the sink!

My goal is to head for Litchfield, CT but before that I want to stop in Granville and visit the town hall.  I originally planned to stop in Barkhamsted and try to find the tavern of Thomas Goss brother to Philip Goss IV who migrated to Simsbury, Granby and Granville.  I think his tavern is where the Christmas Tree farm is north of Barkhamsted Center.  The original burned a while back.  Still seeing where he lived would be interesting. I didn’t have the time if I was to be in Bristol at the library before the History Room closed at 4 pm.  There is a Barkhamsted Historical Society and it might be a good idea to do a little more investigating before attempting this.  I will talk a little more at Thomas Goss later in this post.

I knew the road to Granville.  So it was easy to drive down Hwy 20 to Hwy 8 to Hwy 57 and make my way along.  I passed the covered bridge again just north of New Boston and turned sharply left onto Hwy 57 and headed east to Granville.  This second time went fast and I zoomed by Rose’s home.  Someone was raking in the yard.  I kept going although it was tempting to stop and say hello? 

The Granville Town Hall is a bright white.  I was a little concerned that the Administrative Assistant might not be there but I spotted a car and knew it was open.  I had been told by the town clerk when I called that if she was not there I could leave a note if I wanted something.  I had confidence that I would be able to access the records for Granville. Rose told me the Administrative Assistant should be there but I should call.  I did email but it was like a holiday and the chance she would see it would be small. 

Granville Town Hall, MA

You park on the right side or in the back.  You enter the building through the door in the back.  The front doors are locked. 

The Administrative Assistant was there and helping a man with his taxes.  I explained I wanted to look at the vital records and she said the town clerk was not in but I could look.  She led me into the town clerk’s office and took me behind the wood swing gate to the metal filing cabinets and on top were metal card files.  She cleared off a desk area for me to work.  She explained that the information was in the card file.  She left returning to her office on the other side.  No one was in the room.  These are cards with hand written names, dates and information on them and not much else in information. 

The vital records of Granville, MA in the dark metal card file drawers.

I studied the dates and pulled out the drawer I wanted and started taking photographs of the cards that I was interested in with the names Goss, Haskell, Rose, Gibbons etc.  I looked at birth, marriage and death. 

Before I left I wrote out a note asking for the birth record for Solomon Goss and gave my $5.00.  I asked were the original records were and was told they were too fragile and that was about it.  I am very confused? This is the second town hall in Massachusetts and so far no original records.  Now that is not very many town halls.  Hmmmm….!!  I did appreciate being given access to these records on the cards. 

Granville Town Clerks Office

No more time for dallying.  So I headed west on Hwy 57 back to New Boston and turned the car south Hwy 8 and headed back to Connecticut.  Boy did it come fast.  A lake came into view on my left and I realized that Connecticut was very close.

Not always easy to get a sign like this with no parking in site!

Now I was planning to turn and go to Riverton and then north and around to Barkhamsted Center but decided that I need to press on.  I was soon in Winsted and it was now or never to go east to Barkhamsted?  I opted to continued south on Hwy 8 which had become a very nice four lane highway and was a dream to drive on. 

Well, I might not have investigated Barkhamsted but I could stop in Litchfield and check it out.  My question was “Where did they hang poor Thomas Goss?” 

Barkhamsted is where Thomas Goss lived and he murdered his wife Eunice because he thought she was a witch or as the story goes?  Thomas Goss was a brother to Philip Goss IV who married Mary Kendall.  Thomas had been in Granville and then he migrated to Barkhamsted.  He is listed with Philip Goss on the Granville Land Map that I viewed at the Granville Public Library. 

Now I would publish the newspaper articles for Thomas Goss describing his arrest and the hanging but there is a “reproduction prohibited without permission” at the bottom.  So here is the source:

1.  Article #2 – No Title Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer (1778-1791); Aug. 29, 1785, ProQuest Historical Newspapers pg. 2.  This is about the trial of Thomas Goss (written Gofs) for the murder of his wife.  “guilty of willful and premeditated murder!”

2.  Article #5 – No Title Connecticut Courant and Weekly Intelligencer (1778-1791); Aug. 29, 1785, ProQuest Historical Newspapers pg. 3. “Litchfield, Nov. 15, Laft Wednefday Thomas Gofs, late of Berhamfted was executed at this place, pursuant to the fentence of the Superior Court for the murder of his wife, — His defence, upon trial was Infanity…” “and under pretense that his wife was a witch…” I obtained this on the internet at a Connecticut Library which has access to the newspapers.  You might be able to get copies in some other way? 

Thomas Goss served in the Revolutionary War and that might have caused some problems afterwards. Here is one source about this service.

Book:  Litchfield County Revolutionary Soldiers – Honor Roll, Josephine Elli Richards, Editor-in-Chief, published by Mary Flloyd Tallmade Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, Litchfield, Connecticut, 1912 Pg 41 – Thomas Goss Bark. Men, page 19 – Rec. Conn. Men. 17, 471

Soon I was at the turn off for Hwy 118 to Litchfield which is not that far to go.  Litchfield is wonderful.  I immediately liked what I saw.  They have a great big town green that is divided up with streets and you do have to pay attention to the streets signs and highway signs.  I turned on South St. (Hwy 63) and then parked my car across from a long line of buildings that must be their downtown area. 

Litchfield Shopping!

There was a restaurant named DiFranco’s and I decided to give it a try.  Perfect, just what I wanted a sit down restaurant with a variety of items to choose from.  I sat in the window so I could watch the action outside. 

People looking very much like lawyers were coming in and out of this building that looked more like a church and I asked a man if it was the courthouse and he said “yes.”  You can see rain drops on my camera lens!

Down the street to the east on the corner was the Litchfield Historical Society.  It was after 11 am and I knew that I might after all be in luck and be able to visit it.  Sure enough it was open.  I was greet by a nice friendly receptionist who asked me to sign in and I think I paid $5.00?  I told him what I needed was to find out information about Thomas Goss and he sent me downstairs to the Archives. 

Right on the corner !

One of the attendants behind the desk offered to help and I told her about Thomas Goss and she jumped up and went into the back through a door and a few minutes later she and another person came out with a file folder with a few items in it about Thomas Goss.  They had the two articles I had obtained from the Connecticut newspaper and have listed above and another article from the Litchfield paper which she gave me a copy. 

Source:  Republican-American (Waterbury newspaper?) Sunday June 13, 2010 “Race’s murderous hill has history of hangings pg 1 and continued on page 4A by Brigitte Ruthman.  “It was known as “The Gallows,” just off the Town Green and a half-mile from the courthouse and jail. It is where, during the 1700s and 1800s at least four convicted murderers were hanged….hangings were conducted at a hangman’s tree.”  Several cases are presented in this article with names.  “Thomas Goss was a 52-year old innkeeper who was said to have showed signs of insanity in 1785.  “He fancies himself beset by the minions of the spirit word and used to speak of goblins harassing him,” according to historical accounts, “and began calling himself the second Lamb of God.”  He killed his wife with an ax, believing her to be a witch and “smeared her gore over the bodies of her three children: to keep her form casting a spell on him.  He then walked to a neighbors house to confess his crime.  He was hanged at Litchfield Nov. 7, 1785.”

How sad!!!! The descriptions of the hangings are documented in “Legal Executions,” a comprehensive reference by Daniel Allen Hearn at the Connecticut State Library.  I have not check this source from the newspaper article.” 

I asked her were he might have been hung and she mention Gallows Lane featured in the article.  Then she said quietly that they really didn’t know.  I said “Gallows Lane and where is that?”  So she pulled out a another map not the Walking tour map of Litchfield that I had found and showed me it was south on Hwy 63. Gallows Lane is flat when you first approach and then there is a steep hill to a valley below. It is very short with trees on one side and houses on the other.  The tree is long gone but it is believed to be haunted. I guess I have watched too many CSI’s. 

Now there is another family of interest in Litchfield.  Oliver Wolcott Sr. buried in the East Cemetery in Litchfield and Oliver Wolcott Jr.   Their houses are in Litchfield on Hwy 63.  The Walking Tour of Historic Litchfield.  According to this map the Litchfield Library is Oliver Wolcott Jr’s home and across the street is opposite Wolcott St. as it butts up to South Street is Oliver Sr’s home. 

Well this is what happens when you hurry! The Library at Litchfield
Oliver Srs. Home

Litchfield would be worth returning to and exploring it was lovely even in the rain!