April 19, 2011: Bristol, Connecticut – Barclays and Ford!

It was getting to late and I was going to miss the Bristol Public Library hours in the History Room if I didn’t get going.  So I flew through Thomaston and crossed the bridge onto Hwy 6 going east.  Originally I was going to stop at the Plymouth Town Hall and get the birth records for Ebenezer’s children but I was running out of time and somehow I missed it.  Well the Plymouth Town Hall is in Terryville on Hwy 6 just beyond the turn onto Hwy 72.  No wonder I missed it.  No matter how much planning you do there are always problems. 

As I was driving along I realized I was no longer going to be in the “country” and that I was headed to the more urban areas around Hartford. 

The research shifts to back to my Barclay family.  One of the Barclay siblings Mary married a Jerome Ford and settled in Bristol.  Last time I was in Connecticut I obtained her estate file at the Connecticut State Library.  What I wanted to find out this time was where she and Jerome were buried and if I couldn’t learn more about the mother Margaret wife of John Barclay my great grandparents.

I had learned that the Bristol Public Library had a History Room and the hours were 2-4 pm and it was getting late. The library is on High Street off Main St.  In Bristol there is N. Main and a Main St.  The Main Street sign is bent?  Yeah I know…tricky.  I arrived in the library parking lot about 3 pm so I didn’t have much time.  I lost a bit of time trying to figure out where I was in Bristol and my map was temporarily missing.  Ah HA! I finally found it and then I figured out I was over on Divinity and once I realized where I was okay!!!

Bristol Public Library, Connecticut – very nice!

I found the History Room in the back of the library and entered. Here is the link.  I recommend this source for Bristol.  Excellent archive.


Bristol Public Library History Room

The librarian was very helpful.  I was required to fill out a form, present my driver’s license and then he could retrieve items from the locked vault area.  There were several people there doing research and it opened up a lively exchange and got me answers.  I had 45 minutes to figure out where Mary J. Ford and Jerome Ford were buried. 

Now I had tried to find the East Cemetery in Bristol online and kept ending up in Plainsville and that East Cemetery did not work at all.  Well the East Cemetery in Bristol is now the Forestville Cemetery. There were finding aids in the History Room that helped to pin this down.  Cemetery listings which revealed their names and more.  There was a card file of obituaries and I found them in that as well.  They also had the newspapers for Bristol on microfilm. The city directories I asked were retrieved and I looked through them.  I had Mary’s death but not Jerome.  Well it turned out she had died several months before him but both within a short time of each other.  Why he was not showing in probate I don’t know. 

The time slipped by and it was soon 4 pm and it appears that you can continue to work outside in the main library after the History Room closes.  They will retrieve films and other things for you.  Of course you will have to inquire.  I was looking up the obituary and had to get my things out of the History Room.  I like the librarian and I think his name was Terry?  He was very nice, helpful and interested.  The others in the room were also very helpful and gave me directions to the Forestville Cemetery.

Apparently Jerome and Mary Ford lived in an area called Edgewood a part of Bristol to the north.  It was a successful session and I had a street they lived on and the cemetery they were buried in.  All I needed was death and other vital records.  That would have to wait till tomorrow.

I choose the Chimney Crest Manor House to stay in in Bristol.  From the library I took High Street east and turned on Goodwin St, then turned onto Sterns St. and drove through some brick pillars and found the home and pulled into the circular drive.  It is not too hard to miss because it is a very large Tudor style home.

This manor house is like slipping back into the past.  I felt like I needed to have a stylish dress on and not my black cords and velour jacket.  I pushed the bell at the door and the hostess greeted me warmly.

The entrance to the Chimney Crest Manor

Push the doorbell!

Notice the beautiful edging around the arched wood door.

You enter this huge foyer and to the left is the formal dinning room and to the right is a rounded archway and the very large living area. 

My hostess was a delight.  Friendly, warm and very attentive.  We hit it off!  Business was quickly taken care of  and a quick tour of the rooms on the first floor.  WOW!  The living room was one of those rooms in which there are several sitting areas and a fireplace at both ends.  Wifi was available but probably not in my room but in the other areas of the house.  Up the stairs to the 2nd floor and there was a sitting area and down the hall to the right was my room. 

The Foyer

The beautiful hallway.  The curtains are also rounded at the top.

My room was a dream room large with a full bath.  It it had a desk!  A flat screen TV.  My hostess asked is I drank coffee and I said yes and that I usually was up early.  So she said she would bring me some items for that purpose? 

This home reminded me a little of Biltmore in Ashville, NC in some ways. 

My hostess tried to help me find dinner in Bristol but I was not prepared to a lot of driving.  I was hungry and tired and tried find the pub we thought might be good and ended up at Carmine’s on Farmington Ave. 

I don’t know what it is about Bristol but my sense of direction was all messed up.  I guess I am use to north/south not east/west or I was just very tired and starting to get over load?? Usually I find my way.  My hostest even noticed I was messed up on east and west. HA!

Carmine’s was pleasant and they had big picture windows so it was fun to see out and watch the city.  My dinner was just fine.

It was time for retiring, plenty of relaxing and getting ready for the next day.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hazardville Cemetery, Hazardville, CT

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

Old Hazardville Cemetery

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

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

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

East Windsor Town Hall in Broadbrook, CT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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