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!


Monday, April 18, 2011: Granville Revisited

April 18th was Patriot’s Day in Massachusetts.  I had planned to go to Granville and visit their town hall on this day. Well, that did not happen.  Everything was closed.  There was no mail, no garbage pickup and all town halls and libraries were closed.  I usually check for holiday’s but this I missed.  Granville’s Town Hall only has town clerk hours on Monday.  So that makes things a little difficult to plan a visit.

I had visited the Granville Public Library on Wednesday April 6th in the afternoon and did this side trip from Springfield because it had hours that didn’t work with the town clerk.  I met with Rose Miller the Town Historian and she suggested that when I came back to Granville we could visit.  I called her to tell her my problem and she also had a problem too in her schedule.  We figured out that we could meet around 1 pm at the Granville Public Library.  The library was going to be closed but she had access. She was meeting with a man from New York who was researching his family.  So our plans were set and I would come down much later in the day rather than get their by 9 am.   This was good because I could take my time.

Meanwhile, I spent the morning busy with chores and I left the Comfort Inn about 11:30 am.

It takes about an hour, maybe a little less, to drive from Pittsfield to Granville. I used Hwy 20 and changed to Hwy 8 and then turned east on Hwy 57.  I had no problem at the intersection for I-90 and was able to keep on Hwy 20 south.

This was going to be an interesting drive because so far I have only come to Granville from the east to the  west and now I was going from the west to the east.  This would give me a better idea of the distance and terrain.  The road was good in places but damaged and rough in others.  There was hardly any traffic which I love.  Going down Hwy 20 was easy.  The town of Lee was a lovely town and they even had a bookstore which was tempting but I did stop I kept going.

Just before turning onto Hwy 57 there is a covered bridge just north of the town of New Boston.  It is bright red and over the Farmington River.  Since I didn’t go to the one west of Winchester, NH, I decided to top and enjoy this one.  I parked the car and walked over to the bridge and stepped inside noting the big chunky floor boards with a little of the river peeking through.  There was a viewing window on the right side and I peered through it.  It had a plaque on it probably a dedication?

Granville has an interesting history as Rose describes it.  The area where the library is located was East Granville. The Granville Center was Granville and then there is West Granville. Well, Tolland broke off because it was too far to travel and everything shifted.  There is no longer an East Granville although you will see it in the records.  It is where the Granville Library is located and the Granville Country Store.  So that means there is Granville, Granville Center and West Granville in today’s world.  West Granville is not that close to the library area.  The town hall is in Granville Center.  The Main Cemetery is along the road north of Granville Center where the road dips and rises.

Entering Granville established 1754 – Solomon Goss was born in that year?

The road to Granville is up and down, around and wiggling here and there.  I pondered what it would be like if there was snow and I am not sure I would be able to get around with all the hills and dales.  You come first to Tolland and that is when the New Boston Road becomes the W. Granville Rd.  Next is West Granville and it is about a few miles to Granville Center and then it becomes the Main Rd.

I came upon the Main Road Cemetery and tried to find a place to park along the road.  They come fast on this road.  The Main Road Cemetery is on the north east side of the road and there is room to park there but I did not want to try doing a U turn for I was headed to the library.  The cemetery is hilly so you do have to step carefully because you could fall if you are backing up and not paying attention. Again it was mushy due to the rain so that made it slippery. In certain parts you can look down on other houses and lawns. One of the houses was just beautiful and the land around it was immaculate. This cemetery is in pretty good shape.  I saw evidence of repair of a few stones using metal rods to fix the cracked pieced knitting them back together.  They had tape with numbers written on some of the stones and stuck on the sides.  Others had orange tape tied on them??   You can see one of the orange ribbons in the photo below.

This stone has flaked off the inscription, not unusual
There is a stone wall parallel to the road and parking to the left
An iron gate to walk through, no driving in this cemetery

I found who I was looking for?  Peter Gibbons and Sarah Green  Gibbons.  The parents of Lemuel Gibbons who married Marry Goss sister to my Solomon, Ebenezer and Nathaniel and the others.  Mary was a daughter of Philip and Mary Kendall Goss.  Peter and Sarah married in Hardwick and I believe they came with Zachariah Haskell and Keziah Goss Haskell to the Granville area?  I cannot seem to prove it? I found Roger Haskell the son buried at the Center Cemetery in Peru!  I have not been able to find any further information out about Lemuel in the Granville area.  He is truly a mysterious person.  Now Lemuel is not my ancestor.  He married into the Gosses.  I am interested in him because he married Mary and she is the ancestor of my cousin Ken Goss.  Lemuel was not in the deeds in Hampden County, however, his father Peter was.  I think  a probate file for Peter might be interesting to see.  Although he died after his son Lemuel many years later.

Find A Grave has a listing for the Main Road Cemetery and a listing for the Gibbons buried there.  Someone has posted a lot of information on this family with links to other memorials that do not have a stone.

In Memory of Peter Gibbons who died Dec. 6, 1822, Age 92 and Sarah his wife who died Feb. 8, 1811 age 80.

Sarah is at this link and Lemuel is listed as one of her children. As you can see the links are very long when you go to an individual listing.


I cannot find a grave for Lemuel Gibbons in the Granville area.  The Find A Grave listing for him also does not have any idea where he is buried but does mention the confusion over the information about his potential death place.  The Gibbons family were very prominent in Granville and had many descendants.

The interesting thing is that Paul H. Goss didn’t really acknowledge this Mary Goss, a sister.  I have seen her birth in the records of Granville on a Family History Film #185380.  There is also a book titled “Turning of Hearts:  William Davidson Gibbons Family History Family History Book 929.273 G352 that talks about the Gibbons family and its connection to the Goss family.

No more dallying for it was a little after 1 pm and I headed to the Granville Public Library to meet Rose Miller the Historian.  She was waiting patiently in her car and fortunately it wasn’t for me but for her appointment.  He was late!  He did appear as I was getting out of the car and had his three little girls with him.

Rose took us into the library and the alarm went off so she disappeared quickly.  She opened the door to the Historical Room of the library and we settled in at the table.  She began helping him which was fine with me.  I needed to eat my lunch.  I asked where I could eat my sandwich.  Rose gave me permission.  I was content to listen to these two discuss his family research and try to find and figure people out.  He had come from New York to the library today for his appointment with Rose and she was willing to come in on a holiday.  The girls were told they could read books in the children’s room but they had to put them back. So they were content for at least one hour and then the energy level increased.

Granville Public Library
Timothy Mather Cooley kept very careful vital records of the Granville Church.

She handed him cemetery records, histories of Granville and more.  She reviewed Timothy Mather Cooley’s church records trying to find information to help him.  She had pulled the land cards that the surveyor had compiled and shared those with him. Rose explained that he would have to go to Westfield or Springfield to access the land records and deeds at the Registry of Deeds for Hampden County.  There are two offices for this Registry of Deeds but the websites don’t tell you which is the one you need to go to.  So you will have to call to ask.

Unfortunately I did not catch his name but he had gone to the Granville Town Hall and the clerk had not been able to find any information for him on his people.  She had accessed her cards to find the information.  I listened intently at this point.  Cards, no original records….hmmmm….?

Rose and the young man worked on the research for a good hour and more before he packed up and headed out.  I just realized he probably ran into trouble because the government offices were closed for Patriot’s Day.

Rose and I headed back to the Main Road Cemetery.  She was going to help me by taking a picture of me with the graves.  I had not done that when I visited earlier that day.  She pulled her car over and we went into the Main Street Cemetery which does have a grassy area next to the cemetery but be careful for the ground is real soft and you could get stuck.  Having her take a picture or two meant I didn’t have to set up my tripod and use the timer.  See the photo above.

More Main Road Cemetery in Granville

I pointed out the tape and ribbon on some of the stones and she puzzled over that.  We walked around a little and Rose remembered and commented on some of the bigger stones.  Rose’s husband Hank had been the one who ran the Historical Room in the library and he was avid in his pursuit of genealogy and history.  He is the one responsible for a lot of the records in this library.  Before him there was another lady who was also devoted to the history of Granville.  There are a lot more records there than you think.  If they don’t have original’s they have copies.  Hank has been gone 11 years and Rose stepped in to help.

We left the cemetery and I followed Rose up the road into West Granville. I had pondered which house she lived in but was not prepared for the Saltbox that I saw.  WOW!  It was built in 1730.  It was a brown color with a light blue door with a flag on it.  The yard area was lovely and wooded.  Her husband had wanted a lot of land something like 120 acres and they ended up with 30 acres???  She chatted happily and gave me permission to photograph anything I wanted but it was her home so I restrained myself.  The barn on the right which is somewhat shrouded was something like 150 years old.

We entered the sun room and I was greeted with a delightful room filled with knickknacks but not overly done.  Rose quilts and braids the most wonderful oval rugs. She had them all around the house.  They were soft and wonderful on the feet.  The wide wood planked floors were amazing.  Rose is a “hooker” and no it isn’t the other definition.  It is someone who hooks rugs and she has wonderful wall hanging rugs.  These are picture rugs that you can hang on the wall or place on the floor.  They are small maybe 3 ft by 2 ft?  She has them scattered her and there. This is fine rug making. The quilts she had made were hanging on a railing in the staircase were gorgeous.  All handmade. It was like stepping back in time.

The rooms in the home are all delightful and have either the white wall, or a wallpapered wall or the dark knotty pine I love or a dark wood beam.  The kitchen as she called it had this huge fireplace with this stone interior and a oven for baking on the side.  She had her rustic kitchen in the end area.  Around the fireplace was a sitting area.  Oh and books everywhere!

All the rooms were charming and filled with her treasures and collections.  Her bedroom on the second floor was to die for.  She had an office with the slanted roof and her husband had his office which looked like it had not been disturbed.  Her sewing room was next to the powder room on the first floor.  It was very tiny but charming.  Silly me was stroking the wood panelling and touching the stone around the fireplace.  Talk about heaven and seeing the real thing rather than a photograph in a decorating magazine.  I was truly in heaven.

I usually book into old B&B’s but this was my first time inside a Saltbox house that was an actual family’s home.  Why she invited me, of all people, I don’t know but I was very much touched by her kindness and generosity.

She then served me tea in lovely fancy cups with a saucer, which reminded me of my Mom, and let me eat the homemade chocolate chip cookies that a friend had given her.  She doesn’t like chocolate chips cookies so she wanted me too to finish them off.  I left one for her.  We chatted about life.  What a delightful and lovely day and what a wonderful surprise.
She took me upstairs to her office and showed me this card file collection of the Granville surveyor’s records and we studied them for Goss, Haskell, Gibbons, Davidson and more names. The surveyor had done a study of the deeds in the area and who bought what land and sold to another.  I took pictures of the ones that interested me.  I will compare his findings with my own research on the deeds and see what this will reveal.

Deed Records by a former Granville Surveyor carefully preserved

My time was done and I needed to move on.  It was 4 pm.  I had another cemetery to visit and I had to go back to Peru.  I had misplaced my prescription glasses and I decided that the Center Cemetery was where I had lost them.  I needed to take a chance and retrieve them if I could.  This meant a little more driving than I had planned.

I waived goodbye and thanked Rose for her kindness and help.  Off I went back onto Hwy 57 heading west back to New Boston and then up Hwy 8.  The sky was darkening and the rain was beginning by the time I got to Otis.  I was going in search of the Norton Cemetery in East Otis.  So I turned on Hwy 23 at Otis and drove about a mile or more to the Norton Road.  I entered a road with a sign that said “Closed MUD.”

I proceed cautiously but I went too far up this gravel road.  So I turned back and there was the cemetery on the right.  I parked the car and was greeted by a very unhappy dog belonging to the house across from the entrance to the cemetery.  The owner was trying to contain him.  I gathered my things and proceeded into the cemetery which is only about 1 block from the entrance onto Norton Rd.  I had been concentrating on the right side of the road and the houses so that is why I missed it as I drove in.  You park and walk into this cemetery.

Norton Cemetery, East Otis, MA

The cemetery is on a slope and it is in an open area with a stone wall around it.  I easily found the Haskell family and there was Keziah Goss Haskell Rose’s grave broken in half.  Fortunately I could see the inscription and it was really something to see that name “KEZIAH” across the top.  The stones are to the right as you enter the cemetery and along the road side near the stone wall and lined up together.

It reads Keziah the widow of John Rose died Aug 17, 1815 age 87
Philip Haskell, June 6, 1756, d April 18, 1849.
He served his country in the Revolution from its beginning to its close.

This Peter Haskell is a brother of Roger and therefore son of Keziah Rose (Keziah Goss Haskell Rose) and son of Zachariah.  There are more graves but seem to be more of his wives and it looks like he married several times?  I have some work to do.

The real fun was seeing the name “Keziah” carved in a tombstone.  This Keziah caused quite a problem along with her mother back in the 1930’s and 1940’s when Paul H. Goss was trying to figure who was who and who married whom.  I just wish we could find her mother Keziah Cooley Goss Brown and where she is buried?  Someone on the internet said Timothy Brown headed to Winchester NH but he is not on the list in the Evergreen cemetery there and neither is Keziah?

The doggie was still not happy with me as I climbed into my car but the man was kind and made sure his puppy was undercontrol and had put him on a leash.  Funny, this medium sized dog was wagging his tail as he barked at me!  I decided not to push my luck.

Here is a very nice blog on this cemetery which was a great help to me in finding it:  http://stuofdoom.com/main/?p=808  They also have a video.

Here is a listing of the burials:  http://www.uscemeteryproj.com/massachusetts/berkshire/norton/norton.htm

Time to head back to Otis and then turn north onto Hwy 8 and head for Hinsdale.  I did go through Becket Center and North Becket again and this time I continued up Hwy 8 rather than drive the Washington Mountain Road and bounce myself around.  Hwy 8 is much better to drive. It was starting to rain heavier as I continued north.  I am so glad roads don’t move around like the stairs at Hogworth in Harry Potter!!!!  I know I said that before, HA!

The drive took about half an hour.  I went through the town of Washington and back into Hinsdale and turned onto Hwy 148 and up the hill to Peru and right to Center Cemetery.  I put on my slicker and my tenny runners and turned and there I spotted my glasses on the ground in the puddle with the arms sticking up right where I had parked the car the day before. HURRAH!  Now I can see when I drive.  I mean, I can see things but they are a little fuzzy and I can’t read some of the smaller signs.  They are transition lenses so it helps with the sun and glare.  No more 20/20.  Sigh!

Before I left I walked quickly up the hill and said goodbye to Roger, Mary and Zechariah Haskell turned and headed back from Peru to Dalton and into Pittsfield.  No he is not the Zechariah I seek but probably Roger and Mary Haskell’s son.  Darn!  However, finding Philip and Roger Haskell the two brothers and the sons of Zechariah and Keziah Goss is pretty cool!  I had help for others are tracking these lines online and I thought I would help out a little with some better photos of these cemeteries.

Again driving through Pittsfield was easy because of the holiday (Patriots Day).  I didn’t realize that when I visited Pittsfield and the Berkshires that I was going to get a total view of the highways in the area.  As I was coming up the hill to the NARA turn off and getting close to the Comfort Inn I noted Mazzeo’s Ristorante was open.  There were cars crowding the parking lot but I turned in anyway and parked.

The wine I chose was wonderful – David Norman from Australia?  I had Fettucine Alfredo with broccoli and the plates was a perfect size.  Sometimes Fettucine can be a never ending bowl.  It was good I was hungry.  They had a great Caesar salad which I ate all of and usually don’t.  It was definitely a people watching environment.  There was a waitress with very blonde hair in a ponytail and she was very intent on her job and zipping about with determination.  Their uniforms were black shirt and pants.  She was also very pretty. I think she was a budding future restaurant owner because of her determination?

It was a very slick restaurant and modern, my table was a dark wood coated to a gleam.  It was noisy but apparently it was popular!  I had been curious passing by it and so now I was content.

Time to go get ready an move on tomorrow and head back to Connecticut.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011 – Archives and the Granville Public Library

I awoke to the sounds of Springfield, Massachusetts.  I ordered room service for breakfast and it was tasty and the coffee was warm.
Today I will try to figure out the secrets of the Springfield Archives and Library  They have a terrible website with no finding aids or anything that is of help.  I am hoping to at least get an idea of what they may have for our family by visiting them today.

I did receive an email from the Head of Library and Archives, Ms. Maggie Humberston and she told me about what they had in their library that might be of help to me.  She kindly contacted the Granville Public Library for me and realized I had made an appointment with them already.

Sometimes things just work out if you are patient.  I was to learn that Ms. Humberston is a very helpful and very pleasant to work with.  Calling might be a better choice to see if they can help you on your research.  They also extended their hours for the New England Regional Genealogical Conference.

I decided to walk to the museum area so I could check out the park. There are several museums in the complex they call it the Quadrangle.  I went right from the Sheraton lobby along Boland Ave. to Harrison Ave. and turned right at Chestnut and left onto to Edwards.  There is a large sign that spans Edwards announcing the Springfield Museums.  You can’t miss it.

Sign over Edwards Street – Springfield Museums

You continue east on Edwards till you spot the visitor center which is to the right and south.  You go there first.

Visitor Center Springfield Museums

After you pay your fee of $9.00 you turn around and head north and cross Edwards to the Museum of Springfield History.  The Library and Archives are in the basement.

History Museum & Genealogy Library
Entrance to the Springfield History Museum

There is a statue in this park area of Deacon Samuel Chapin a 10th great grandfather of mine.  It is not known where he is buried but he probably was one of the burials in the old cemetery at Elm Street and he is now in the Springfield Cemetery?  The statue is on Chestnut and State Street on the west side of the Springfield Public Library a big white building on the south side of the quadrangle.  The attendant in the Visitor Center explained to me where the statue was located so I cannot claim that tip.  The statue is not in the quadrangle but on the corner of the two streets I mentioned.

Deacon Samuel Chapin Statue corner of State and Chestnut Street

Wikipedia has an article on him that needs work but it is a start:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samuel_Chapin
or try this:  http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~scanderson/deacon_chapin.HTM  Deacon Samuel Chapin was a founder of Springfield.  He is my 10th great grandfather.

Deacon Samuel Chapin married Cicely Penny they had a daughter named Catherine and she married Nathaniel Bliss on 20 Nov. 1646 in Springfield (Longmeadow).  Nathaniel and Catherine Bliss had a son named Samuel (1647-1749) who married Sarah Stebbins on 2 January 1672 in Longmeadow.  There daughter Margaret Bliss married Benjamin Cooley a son of Daniel Cooley and Elizabeth Wolcott and grandson of Benjamin Cooley.  Benjamin and Margaret had a daughter Keziah Cooley who married Philip Goss III of Brookfield on 25 November 1723.

I am learning about this family line the Chapins, Blisses and Stebbins so please realize that my knowledge of them is growing slowly.

I was hoping the Connecticut Valley Historic Museum would be opened but it is still closed for renovation and I am sad that it is still not ready.  I was really interested in what it might have to offer.

I paid my $9.00 fee at the Visitor center and received my label to apply to my jacket and headed back across Edwards to the Springfield Historical Museum.  The archives were in the basement.  The receptionist took me to the staircase and I descended to the lower floor and found the door entrance to the Springfield Library and Archives.  I settled in finding room at the big table.  There were other researchers there but not as many as might be expected.  I took a quick surface glance and made a summary of what is there just by looking at the filing cabinets, index card cabinets and stacks.

Here is my summary but be advised it is not all.
1.  Town, State histories
2.  Massachusetts Vital Records
3.  Newspapers – Springfield various years
4.  Census for Springfield
5.  Local History Index
6.  Photo Index
7. Whose Who in Springfield
8. Town Directories for Springfield
9.  Scrapbooks
10.  Migration Trails
11.  Genealogies and Family histories

Ms. Maggie Humberston introduced herself and when I told her my name she remembered my email and helped me to get some books that might be of interest to me.  She was very pleasant, friendly and truly interested.  I liked her right away.  The other assistant was also helpful.  He was fielding many questions from another lady that was really digging into the research.

I spent most of my time studying the book East Granville, Mass. Congregational Church Part I Pages 1-174.  It covered baptisms, contents, deacons, deaths, marriages, ordinationsI made some copies about 12 copies.  I need to compare this with other documentations I found on my last trip.  This is part of the Cooke Collection at the Berkshire Athenaeum in Pittsfield.  Part II is the index of names. They also have histories of the Seward Family but I did not have time to really dig in.

About 1:30 pm I headed back to the Sheraton. The sun was shining but the wind was bittingly cold.

In April 2007 I had visited the Granville Public Library History Room and found some interesting manuscripts and information on Enos Seward and his family.  This time I will be talking to the librarian, Rose Miller.  She is the curator of the history room at the library to see if I can dig deeper. I have new and updated information that might help me find some interesting connections?  The last time I was there they let me into the history room but this time they did not.  Apparently there are very rare and precious books in the room and someone has to be there.  So call or email the library to make an appointment.  Go to their website and check their hours.  Be aware that in the winter they may be closed due to snow.

The route to Granville from Springfield is on Hwy 149 and then Hwy 57 through Agawam and Southwick.  I crossed the Bridge at Boland and left Springfield. The area is much like what I would describe as the foothills of the Cascades here in Washington State.  They call them mountains in Massachusetts but when you live out west they are just foothills to us.

The Granville Country Store is a fun experience http://granville.stores.yahoo.net/ I had stopped there the last time I visited.  Apparently it is under new management and didn’t seem to have the same feel as back then.  I didn’t see the gift baskets?  I purchased a piece of cheesecake to quiet my tummy; however, when I took a bite I discovered it was frozen.  I have never eaten cheesecake that way before.  It was good.  While I sat there people would come in buy something and head back out.  I was there 20 minutes and at least 10 people stopped by.  It is one of those country stores that carries a little of everything.  I believe they are famous for a certain kind of cheese.  Check out the website given above.

Granville Country Store
It was 3 pm and time to head over to the Granville Public Library.  I went up to the corner next to the library and a car flew by me.  I said to myself.  I bet that is Rose Miller.  She pulled into the back of the library where there is a gravel parking lot and backed her car in.  I took her lead.  She made the comment “I guess I didn’t have to park on the sidewalk.”  I said “No big deal.”  I asked her name and she said “Rose Miller.”  The library faces west onto the village green.  It is on the east corner of the town center area.
Granville Public Library from the parking lot of the Country Store

Rose proceeded into the library while I gathered my things.  I was close behind.

We were soon into the history of Granville.  My first questions was “Is there an East Granville?”  Rose replied “Not anymore.  Once Tolland broke off there was no need so what is Granville was East Granville.”  So if you are looking on a map for East Granville it will have to be an older map before about 1800.

My other question as about the original proprietors.  Rose showed me a map from the Granville History book.  She emphasized that the names of the men on that map were speculators and not settlers.  She had another map that was of the settlers and there was our ancestor Philip Goss (IV) with his brother Tom Goss and also a Samuel Church all on one piece of property.  Map:  Settlers Map copied by Mr. Heino, Granville Town Surveyor in the last 50 years, origin unknown.  Rose said they had to have a sponsor, farm the land, clear it, and have cattle within a specific amount of time and then they could have the land.  Unfortunately the orientation of the map is not yet figured out.  I will need to do more investigating to figure out the north and south and just were the land was of the 3 men listed above.  Rose is going to do more digging for me and we will be seeing each other again on April 18th when I come back down from Pittsfield, MA.

I asked Rose about Gibbons, Rose, Haskell and more.  Of the Rose family books I picked out one with the title Rose – Suffield Branch by a Gad Rose.  I turned right to page 6 where I found Jonathan Rose, father of John Rose the man who married Keziah Goss Haskell on 23 June 1761 in Granville, Massachusetts. I took photos of the pages.  I have yet to study them.

Rose pulled the cemetery books and I studied them trying to see if I could find the burial place of John Rose who died about 1788 in Granville.  Lemuel Gibbons who died 1797.  I found some information on the Peter Gibbons Family of which Lemuel is the son.  Lemuel married Mary Goss sister to Solomon Goss and daughter of Philip Goss and Mary Kendall Goss.  I will discuss this family more later.  I was unable to locate a stone.

The time went by quickly an it was 5:30 pm.  I asked Rose where there was a good place to eat and she suggested Tuckers in Southwick.

Before I headed out I went further west on the highway and located the Granville Town Hall.  Rose said that it was worth it for me to go their for vital records.  I will do that on April 18th when I get to Pittsfield.

Granville Town Hall

The road dips and weaves as you go further west from the town park and library.  I came upon the Main Street Cemetery but there was no parking so I will have to figure out what to do when I return in several weeks.  I want to go into this cemetery and study the stones.  There are Gibbons buried there.  Turning around I headed east back to Springfield.  I missed Tucker’s?  Next thing I knew I was back in Springfield crossing a bridge south of the city.  I was soon back at the Sheraton but heading for the overflow parking.

I am realizing that trying to analyze the research while traveling is not easy and I am going to have to take the time sometime on this trip to made some sense of it because it will influence my choices at various repositories.

Dinner was the sport’s bar in the Marriott which was a bit nicer than the Sheraton.  Time for bed. The New England Regional Genealogical Conference opens tomorrow.