Sunday, April 24, 2011: Granby and Salmon Brook

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simsbury Historical Society Center

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

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

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

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

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

Dedication plaque

Another plaque



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

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

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

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

Simsbury Cemetery, top of the hill off Plank Hill Road

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

Sites of Simsbury, CT

Is this the town hall??

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

Was Simon Wolcott’s land nearby???

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

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

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

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



Granby Sign!



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

This is their new archive building to house their treasures.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Looking north on Hwy 189 the Granville Road

Looking south on N. Granby Road

The intersection of Mt Rd, East, Hwy 189

The stream and the gorge along Cragg Mt.

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

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

Time to head to the airport!

Saturday, April 23, 2011: Simsbury

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simsbury Genealogical and Historical Research Library

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simsbury Cemetery, Simsbury, CT.

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

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

These two are amazing.  Like the spire!

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

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

Plan B Burger Bar, Simsbury, CT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Simsbury Historical Society Center. The tree is gone now!

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

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

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

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

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

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_holidays_by_country#United_States_of_America

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Church notice the tall building behind



First Church of Christ



Hartford name after Hertford in 1637

Entrance gates to the Ancient Burying Ground in Hartford

This statue greets you!

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

African American memorial

Daffodils are blooming along the edge.

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

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

An ancient cemetery in the heart of Hartford



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stacks at CSH

Research center

Entrance to the research center CHS

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

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

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



I was sitting on the right for my dinner

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

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

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

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

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.
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Somehow I did get lead into the vault area where they keep the land record books after signing a form and showing ID and she asked me about what I needed.  I started with the deaths and apparently that was okay for me to see.  Apparently she misunderstood and reversed them thinking I wanted birth in the 1900’s.  I repeated what I wanted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bristol Historical Society
Amazing castle down the street from the society

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

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

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

Forestville Cemetery (formerly East Cemetery), Bristol, CT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chester Bulkley House Bed and Breakfast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sitting room area 2nd floor

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

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

April 19, 2011: 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.

http://www.bristollib.com/BristolHistory/BristolHistory.html

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.

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!

Friday, April 15, 2011: The Berkshires!

The Old Mill Inn in Hatfield is an amazing Bed and Breakfast.  Breakfast was delightful in a more formal dining room.  This inn is set on the Miller river and has had many incarnations but it was original a grist mill.  It is just lovely! 

The innkeeper Ted, was a very brave young man who purchased the building, renovated it and is the force behind all the decorations and the great food.  The Inn also has other activities like a monthly tea, mystery theatre and other events.  He is in the process of updating his website so keep and eye out.  See the link to this mill to the right under Travel links.

There is a dam on the river and it just roars as the water spills down

It is bright yellow. My photos does not do it justice!

I cannot dally however, for I am off to the Berkshires where Philip Goss of Brookfield (IV) and Mary Kendall Goss settled before heading for the Susquehannah River and the Wyoming Valley once owned by Connecticut.  Philip and Mary are my 5th great grandparents.  I descend from their son Solomon Goss and his wife Olive Scott.  Solomon Goss was born in Granville in 1754 or somewhere near there. 

I leave the Old Mill Inn and make my way over to the town of Northampton taking Chester Hwy 10/5 and south into Northampton and east onto Bridge Street that took me right to the Bridge Street Cemetery. I am stopping at the Bridge Street Cemetery to view the monument of Rowland Stebbins.  Rowland is a 10th great grandfather.  Rowland is the 3rd great grandfather to Keziah Cooley Goss who married Philip Goss (III) in Brookfield.  I am stopping because a grave that old is very difficult to find.  Technically it is a monument to him as one of a line of Stebbins that came from England.  It was erected by a descendant who tried to figure out which grave was his but finally decided to create this tribute. 

I could not enter through a gate and drive the cemetery for the cemetery was LOCKED UP TIGHT!  So I parked on Bridge Street out front.  It was about 10:30 am.  There were several gates but all were chained with locks.  I walked around this very large cemetery trying to get in.  No luck! Well I did something that I will not describe.  About 11:10 am a truck appeared and the gate was opened on Parsons Street at the very end next to the houses.  He didn’t come over and ask me how I got in.  He seemed occupied and on his cell phone???  Most cemeteries are dawn to dusk or they put the hours on the fence.  Once I saw that the gate was opened I retrieved my car and drove around the cemetery looking for the Find A Grave photos of the tombstones. 

Finally the gates were opened about 11:10 am

Located in the front along Bridge Street to the right

There are two photos for Rowland Stebbins at Find A Grave.  I found the tombstone that is chunky with the curved head and the inscribed plaque but not the tall one?  I was all over that cemetery?  Hmmm…..! There is little information given at Find A Grave and not much on the actual location of the stones that area featured in the photographs. 

Northampton is the county seat of Hampshire County which was the old county from which several separated like Hampden, Berkshire and Franklin.  The Hampshire County Registry of Deeds is located in Northampton.  I was going to go there but my time was fast disappearing and I decided not to seek out Philip Goss’s deed in Warwick that I discussed in a past post.  The Family History Library has them microfilmed so I will check that out instead.  Northampton is a very interesting city and there is this college there called Smith?  Hmmm… is that one of those fancy colleges? HA!

Northampton city center

Smith College:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smith_College  It is located a little more west and up Hwy 9.  As I was driving along there were all these students milling about.

Be careful people in Massachusetts walk across a street when they want to and in any direction they choose.  One guy was a little scary!

Before leaving on my trip I had consulted the online weather reports and the mention of snow had made me prepare and alternate route to Pittsfield if I needed it. I can drive in snow but would rather not.  I had wanted to drive Hwy 9.  Ted of the Old Mill Inn said it was a good road and I would enjoy it for it was scenic. 

Off I go through Northampton and up Hwy 9 which takes me north to Haydenville, Williamsburg, Goshen, Cummington, Windsor and curving around to Dalton and then into Pittsfield. Once out of Northampton it becomes a country road again.

Just west of Cummington is the Old Creamery Grocery Store.  I stopped their for lunch and they had quiche!!  It was very good.  It is a country store with all kinds of foods, a deli, wine, groceries, gifts and more.  They have a little eating area. You can find it at this link for Hidden Hills.com http://www.hidden-hills.com/oldcreamery/  It will be on the left and it is big and white.  Park on the west side where there is more room.  I asked for a local wine and ended up with a California wine titled Berkshire Red?  Don’t take there word for it and read carefully the prices are a bit high?

My itinerary which I had prepared before I left had me going to the Registry of Deeds for the Middle District for Berkshire (pronounced Berkshur, hey I am trying!).  It is located in Pittsfield.  I decided that I had the deeds I needed from Hampden County when I had visited that Registry early in the trip.  I need to prepare an Excel spreadsheet and post that here so keep and eye out for that data.  So this meant that I could do other things and I decided since it was about 2:30 – 3 pm that I would just go ahead and register at the Comfort Inn south of Pittsfield and get settled.  I was going to be in this area till Tuesday so I might as well reevaluate my situation and do some chores…like laundry!

Once in Pittsfield the road takes you on Hwy 9 to Hwy 7/20 south.  The Comfort Inn is just past the big sign pointing the way to the Pittsfield NARA branch of the National Archives.  Unfortunately this NARA branch will be closing at the end of the summer – I think in September?  I do know that the microfilms will be transferred to the Pittsfield Athenaeum (old title for a library).  Other records I am not sure?  I did not visit it because it houses federal records and I need town and county. 

Driving through downtown Pittsfield was very interesting.  It was not a problem.  I just followed the signs.  It was busy with traffic but no worse than being at home. 

Pittsfield City Center

 

Pittsfield City Center from the Berkshire Atheneaum

Bed and Breakfasts are wonderful and I love the old houses and the history of each of them. The great food. They do have their challenges like no elevators to carry your luggage up.  The stairs in the older B&B’s can be very steep and narrow.  Fortunately most of my hosts had been helpful and helped me carry things to the room.  My hubbie was at home and he usually covers this for me. 

This was something my sister taught me. If you are staying at a lodging place only one night take only what you need and leave the rest behind: like valuables, sleep wear, a change of clothes and a toothbrush to the room.  So I know pack another bag to stuff things into.  My car rental had a special anti theft devise.  So that would discourage it being stolen. 

The Comfort Inn was a different situation so I took all my luggage and most of my stuff in to get it better organized.  The next week I would be on the go and staying at B&B’s for one or two nights. The Comfort Inn in Pittsfield is really south of Pittsfield and on the border with Lenox.  The sign is right there at the entrance.  It is on the east side of Hwy 7/20.  This street is very busy and turning left on it can be an adventure.  The Comfort Inn entrance is next to a green chain link box and up a hill behind the Dakota Restaurant. 

Instead of running off and doing some research I stayed in the room which was a handicap room with a huge bathroom.  Why they gave this room to me I don’t know?  I spent the time getting organized, rearranging my schedule and other chores.  It had a microwave and refrigerator so that was good.  It also had two beds so I could spread my stuff out.

The attendant at the desk told me about a Stop and Shop up the street and on the left side.  So I went up there and purchased some items.  Dinner was in the room and I got to take it easy.

Please Note: As you have probably guessed I have returned to my home on the West Coast and physically the trip is over.  I will continue to post my adventures over the next week or so and hopefully get this all written up.  So keep reading there is more to come.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011: Lancaster Wanderings I – Rowlandson Rock, Goss Lane

Breakfast is included at the College Town Inn.  This is a Bed and Breakfast and the architecture is more modern.  I usually prefer the old creaky houses.  This was nice and I am enjoyed my stay.  My room was comfortable and I had an outside entrance.  I have never had that in a B&B!
The owners are very nice and we chatted at breakfast about my research.  The decor is a “little bit country” but very clean and tidy.  The house is a maze so you do have to pay attention.  The breakfast room is large and could be used for other functions.  Charlotte was born in the area and Jack is from Pennsylvania.  He said they had been here since 1957.  WOW!

I spent the morning catching up with the journaling and blog and it is taking a lot of time.  It was also raining heavily and I was hoping it would get better….dreamer….!!

Just as soon as I loaded the car it started to pour.  I mean POUR….AUGGGGH!!!!!  Rain Rain Go Away…!!  Not while I am in Lancaster!!!!!

So I sat in my car a while but the rain was not going to give up.  Eventually I made the decision to go ahead and look for sign posts and historical markers and things I could do without getting too wet. Hopefully it would let up.  Hmmmm……!  According to the weather report the worst part of the rain would be this evening…maybe this was the evening storm earlier than planned?  Hope, Hope….!!!

Rowlandson Rock, Lancaster, Massachusetts

Rowlandson Rock is on George Hill and there is a George Hill Road.  So I turned off Main Street to the right and came to a dead end. It was closed!!! Apparently a section of the road sunk for I could see a lake in the middle of the road on the other side of the cement barricade.  It meant you had to go around.  I did that using Prescott St. and turned on Langen St. and went up George Hill Road realizing that I was on the wrong side of the hill and Windsor Rd, the entrance, was around the other southern side. 

Prescott St in Lancaster

I found Windsor Road and proceeded up the road to two stone pillars with lights on the top and a small expanse of rock fence on both sides.  I drove through and found a big yellow house on the right and the blue water towers in front of me with a chain link fence and a locked gate.  I drove to it but was puzzled as to what to do next?  There was absolutely no signs to direct you.  The idea of slogging around trying to find the site in the pouring rain was not something I was eager to do.

How to Get to Rowlandson Rock!!

Do not take the road to the right for that is the yellow house’s lower garage area.  Do not take the next road to the right for that is the yellow house’s front parking area.  Go ahead to the chain link fence gate and park.  There is a path to the left.  Hopefully the person who parked the green tractor across the path entrance has moved it? If not the path is probably blocked by the tracker.  Look to the left for rocks stacked like a short fence or indicating a path and you will find a path to Rowlandson Rock. 

You will have to walk like a half block to it but it is easy.  It is to the left which is probably the west.  The rock is around the water tanks a little north of them. As soon as you get on the path you will spot the site and it is a no brainer from there.  It is a nice wooded area.  There is a plaque that is starting to peel but the rocks are there. 

I would have taken a picture of myself at the rock but it was raining so hard I had my blue slicker on and was trying to protect my camera and as you can see from the photos raindrops got on the lens.  My slicker pockets were filling up with rain running off the slicker.  It was not fun.  I wish I had my knit gloves that were in my coat pocket that I left behind! Sigh!

The Road to the Water Towers. Note the Tractor blocking the path!

See the bit of blue and the path on the left!

Rowlandson Rock and sign

The sign with raindrops!!!!

Rowlandson Rock has nothing to do with the Goss History except it is the setting for what is to come.  After this terrible incident during King Philip’s War 1675, the Rowlandsons didn’t stay in Lancaster and Philip Goss I purchased the Rowlandson Estate in 1687 and that deed started a chain of events that has lead the migration of the Goss family west.  It is also a very big part of the early Lancaster history and I love all kinds of history. 

There is a book by Mary Rowlandson about her ordeal:  A Narrative of the Captivity, Sufferings and Removes of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, 1791.  It has been reprinted and rearranged several times.  Google Books has a copy.  There may be a movie about this someday according to a reliable source?

Take a little time and drive around George Hill Road and Hilltop Road in Lancaster it is very lovely up there.  There are some fine homes there and what I would call estates.  There is a house, barn and more in pink!

Goss Lane, Lancaster, MA
There is supposed to be a Goss Street in Clinton off Main Hwy 70 at Roma St and Laurel St. The street that connects them is Goss St.  Charlotte of the College Town Inn said there was the “Goss Lane” in Lancaster. 

Well I traveled all over the place till I realized that the Langen Road becomes the Goss Lane.  I had tried the Sterling Road entrance (no sign) but there are two large signs that say “DO NOT ENTER” a little ways from the entrance.  When I finally figured it out and spotted the sign “Goss Lane” which was the only one I could find, I realized it was directly across from the blockage to the George Hill Road.  HA!  I do feel a bit silly about it all but it can be confusing in a new area. 

My curiosity taking hold I drove the whole Goss Lane and sure enough I found the two signs I mentioned earlier.  I might venture a 1/4 mile? (Where’s my hubbie when I need him!) Apparently they are trying to discourage through traffic.  It is a narrow road the Goss Lane.  As you drive south on it you move from a large pasture on the right with houses on the left and then into a valley between two hills with trees and lovely homes nicely situated apart from each other on a winding road up an down and around.   It is lovely along Goss Lane. 

Goss Lane, Lancaster
Well I did eventually stumble upon the 2nd Rowlandson Rock Sign.  It is on the right as you turn onto Sterling Road.  I am still looking for other signs which are eluding me at this time?



Time for lunch.  Sandee’s was right there when I came out from my excursion on the Goss Lane.  I remember it from the Internet.  My grilled cheese sandwich was good comfort food.  They are not open for dinner which is too bad.  The food was delicious and very good in price. 

I swear it rained till I decided to get lunch about 12.30 pm and then it stopped for awhile.  So I was eating at Sandee’s along Main Street and I couldn’t leave, well I suppose I could have taken my sandwich with me?  Hmmm…..!
The Site for the Great Elm is on Central Bridge Road before you get to the bridge and after the Five Corners.  Apparently it was a very special tree to have live as long as it did.  

The rain was still coming down but lighter and I just could not wait any longer and headed for the Middle Cemetery to do what I could, after all I am a veteran Seattlelite and know rain…off I went!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011: Hardwick, East Brookfield, Sterling & Lancaster!

Breakfast was delicious once again at the Dragonfly Bed and Breakfast, my hosts are delightful.  I had quite a challenge packing the car because of the steep narrow steps in the Dragonfly.  I am afraid to fall.  Going down the stairs or an escalator I take very careful steps. Unfortunately, I think I left my jacket in the closet?  I cannot find it anywhere.  It took a little pondering to figure out what might have happened to it but I think that is where it is.  Hopefully they will retrieve it and ship it to my home?  I usually make a check and sweep of everything in a room before I go.  Oops!  I could have used the knit gloves the next couple days. Brrrr….

Gilbertville to Hardwick
Today I wanted to drive north to Hardwick about 20 minutes away.  This is where Keziah (Goss) and Zachariah Haskell married 20 July 1745. This Keziah was a daughter of Philip and Judith Goss.  Hardwick records are in the Town Hall of Gilbertville.

Gilbertville, MA

Gilbertville – Public Library on left, Town Hall in Distance

There are other marriages and relationships that are very interesting.  There is a Peter and Sarah Gibbons that married there and their son Lemuel and Mary Goss married in Granville.  This Mary is a sister to Nathaniel, Solomon and Ebenezer Goss.  This means she is a daughter of Philip and Mary Kendall Goss.  Paul H. Goss’ manuscript does not deal with this Mary Goss.  He thought it was a mistake but if you go to the written Granville records you see her birth.  Since my trip to Pennsylvania in 2008 (See Pennsylvania Wanderings under Blogs on the right) information has come my way via my cousin Ken Goss on this line and the connection to his family.  We have shared information and there is a book titled:

A Turning of Hearts:  William Davidson Gibbons Family History,” written by the William Davidson Family Organization, contributed and compiled by Helen Bay Gibbons, 1891.  This book is at the Family History Library #929.273 G352 and it discusses this line of the Goss family.  It is quite interesting.

Find A Grave also has information about the burial of these two individuals:  http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=45465909  Mary remarried to a Santee and is buried in Granville, Ohio.

Salem Cross Inn
I took Hwy 9 north and came upon the Salem Cross Inn.  The cattle were in the pen next to the driveway eyeing me.  Is that dinner I was looking at? There were some babies as well. I would have enjoyed chatting with the owners about the history of the inn.  Maybe the next trip?  According to the Salem Cross Inn website John White was a grandson to Peregrine White of the Mayflower and the brother of Resolved my ancestor.  Some information about this is given on the Salem Cross Inn website.  http://www.salemcrossinn.com/

The whole thing – Salem Cross Inn
Hmmm….Dinner?
Their Sign?

John Hayward Jr’s Gristmill Sign Post
I passed the historical marker for John Hayward Jr.’s gristmill on the highway so I have confirmed that it is indeed in this area north of the Salem Cross Inn on the right by the white railing and I continued on up the road.  It was lovely country.  I made the sharp right turn to Gilbertville and found Hwy 32 and headed north.
See a previous post for this historical marker.

Gilbertville
I stopped at the Hardwick Grocery & Package Store and asked to use the facilities and they refused.  I then asked if they had ice and they said yes and then they let me use the facilities which were behind the purchase counter?  I decided I would also stock up with a bottle of wine.  One of the ladies had very wrinkled skin on her face and worn a baseball cap. She was very nice and helpful. The other was a Indian woman (India) with barely any teeth.  She just kept sitting on her stool and didn’t move.  I was having trouble understanding her? It was an odd assortment.  The store was tidy and organized!

Gilbertville is long and the highway is pretty much were things are located on both sides.  The government buildings were first on the right as you went north.  The town library was a stately building after the church.  The hours are short so you do have to make sure you  check them before heading to them.

Village of Hardwick
I proceeded up the road on Hwy 32 and spotted the sign the Village of Hardwick.  Much to my amazement I found the most lovely town with a large village green and a cemetery next to the old town hall building! I need to learn more about this cemetery.  It didn’t have a sign.  I suppose it is the Hardwick Cemetery or something like that. Find A Grave has a Hardwick Central Cemetery but it doesn’t look like this little one next to the old courthouse. It appears to be up the road further north?

Hardwick Church
Hardwick’s old town hall?
Center Cemetery in Hardwick
More of the Center Cemetery
I spotted the Paige Memorial Library just a little way beyond the village green.  Of course everything was closed but I knew that and now that I know more I can make some inquiries later.
Paige Memorial Library, Hardwick
Much to my good fortune a nice man was walking along and he made a comment about taking my photo in from of the church and I responded how about in front of the cemetery?  His name was Dennis and he was from Florida and he was visiting his family.  What a happy spur of the moment!  See the photo above.

I wandered around taking photos and discovered that they have the Hardwick Historical Society right there in the center of the town. I do remember that they didn’t have a website and I was running out of room in preparation for this trip.  So I will probably have to write or call them.  This means I cannot do a link to them.  I guarantee there is a building there with a lot of old items inside – yes I peered through the windows. It would be very easy and free if they set up a blog for their society.

I wonder if they have a listing for the internments in the cemetery? I am looking for Zachariah Haskell who married Keziah Goss daughter of Philip (III) and Keziah Cooley.  No one seems to know where he is buried or if he died in Hardwick? For all I know Philip might even be buried there?  No record can be found on Philip Goss (III died 1742) son of Capt. Philip and Judith Goss.  I am still checking around!!

Zachariah Haskell had land in the area:  I found this in one of the history books.  Sorry, I was moving real fast to get ready for this trip and running out of time.  There is so much information to process and research  that I would like to do.  Here is the description it is to the east of the town:

Zechariah the f. was a tailor, and resided about a hundred rods northerly from the turnpike on the road from Mandell Hill to Ruggles Hill. 

If my calculations are correct he was about 1/3 of a mile from the road.  Now what is the turnpike?  Anyone there know what they might be talking about? I have found the two hills.  I did drive down Barre Road for about a mile and it is lovely country and that road takes you between these two mountains.  Barre might not be the correct road?  Perhaps a deed or something or even a estate file might reveal something.  It is worth checking.

The Quabbin Reservoir
Back in 1938 the Quabbin Reservoir was created.  In order to do this they had to flood up to 5 towns.  They also had to move the bodies buried in the cemeteries in the area something like 7561 burials were moved.  These burials were transferred to the Quabbin Park Cemetery west of Ware, Massachusetts.  The towns affected were Dana, Enfield, Greenwich and Prescott:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quabbin_Reservoir

I have not had much success finding any ancestors of mine in this cemetery which is at Find A Grave. It is probably not a complete listing.  The Pittsfield Athenaeum is supposed to have microfiche and more details.  I was so tempted to visit this cemetery but decided not to this time.  It is west past Ware.

Book:  Quabbin – A History and Explorers Guide, Michael Tougias, On Cape Publications, 2002.  The first part of the book covers the history of the reservoir, removing the people and more.  On page 19 he discusses the removing of the 7561 burials to the Quabbin Park Cemetery.  He states that 6551 went to this cemetery and the rest went to others as decided by the families. Many burials were unmarked and 500 potter field interments were moved.  Apparently they took great care in the removals.  Also there are remnants of the former towns that you can spot above the water line?  I have not had time to review this book but I have to admit I am fascinated.  Friends of Quabbin:  http://www.foquabbin.org/ or just Google it and you will get a lot of hits to explore.

Goss Garrison, West Brookfield
I made my way back to West Brookfield and went in search of the Goss Garrison.  Dick from the West Brookfield Historical Commission had shown me a house but I am not really sure that is the location?  I was so interested in what a garrison looked like I did not focus…oops!  There is no plaque for the Goss Garrison it is shown on the maps at the corner of Snow and Cutler Roads along the Old Hadley Path which is a named road on the map in that area.  There is a house down the road a little way on Cutler.  Dick might dispute this all with me and that is okay!

Mini Horses mom and baby!
More mini horses
Cutler & Snow Intersection
Looking South

 

If you use the Salem Cross Inn as a marker you need to turn right onto Snow Road which is before the Salem Cross Inn.  It reads Oak St. on the left side of the road.  Be advised that road signs may or may not be there?

At this time the area were the garrison was located is devoted to a beautifully kept mini-horse farm.  The little babies were frolicking in the field with their mothers.  A older lady and probably a grandson were observing them.

After studying the area and the map which I have a nice copy from the West Brookfield Historical Commission.  If this is the correct area for the Goss Garrison, it is definitely a high point and you can see far to the south and around easily.  So it is a strategic location and I am on a quest to find a photograph or rendering of what a “fortified garrison” house might look like.  So far I find all kinds of interesting information when I Google but no visual aid to give an idea of what it might have looked like.  I have seen these types of depictions before in the history books.  There is a picture of a 1720 Garrison House in the Olde Houses of Quaboag Plantation published 9/17/1960 – approximately on page 20 and after the map.  It is huge and much bigger than I imagined.  According to the description “he used 8×12 hand-hewn timbers on all outside walls and in the center of each room.” “In the large fireplace foundation in the cellar, which is 15×20 feet in dimension, there is an opening through which a tunnel could be entered allowing the occupants of the house to exit about a quarter mile away, if necessary, in the event of an Indian attack.  I will keep digging for a older version.

The Dragonfly B&B is also listed in this booklet on the Olde houses before the Garrison house.  It was originally the Austin Phelps home and was painted white.

Source:  Map: Historical Sites 1660 thru late 19th Century, Great Brookfield 1701 Boundaries.

This map is large and has a coded sheet that accompanies it.  It was about $10.00.  This map is similar to the one on the West Brookfield Historical Commission’s website that I have listed to the right in the links section. That online map is smaller and more difficult to get precise.  I think this bigger map is easier to interpret.

I proceeded down Cutler to what is the road sign for the Old Hadley Path to see what it was like.  It is mostly residential now.  This street version is only a short length and the actual path seemed to follow along other streets and head west.  The new roads make it hard to identify the old paths.

West Brookfield, MA
The village green for West Brookfield is huge.  I parked near the church and wandered around a little.  I think I am in love with West Brookfield.  It is a lovely town.

Historical Marker for West Brookfield
Fountain in the West Brookfield Village Green
The Church at the west end of the village green for West Brookfield
The House on the hwy south of the village green West Brookfield

Old Indian Cemetery – Again!!!!
I try to visit a cemetery were an ancestor is buried as much as I can on a research trip.  This was no exception.  One more visit to the Old Indian Cemetery to say goodbye to Philip and Judith Goss. Hopefully this photograph is a lot better than the other one that I posted earlier.

Old Indian Cemetery, West Brookfield, MA

 

 

 

Philip Goss & Judith
Footstone – Philip Goss and Judith

Foster Hill Historic District Next was to revisit the Foster Hill Road Historical area.  I spotted the sign post for Foster Hill.  I have a map on foam board from the Quaboag Historical Society ($15.00) of this first settlement.

The Quaboag Plantation August 1675 – The Town Plot 500 acres of land. The original 16 plots & owners of land as described in John Pynchon’s records of the Quaboag Plantation Land grants, located at the Springfield Library in Springfield, MA (1665-1673).” 2007. The surname Pynchon is pronounced Pinchon like in pinch someone.

Names on the Quaboag Map
Thomas Hovey
James Hovey,
Daniel Hovey
Judah Trumble
James Travis,
William Prichard
Captain John Ayres
Thomas Millet
Thomas Wilson
Rev. John Younglove
Samuel Warner
Samuel Kent
John Warner, Sr.
Thomas Parsons
Richard Coy, Jr.

This covers the first settlement up to 1675 when it was destroyed.  They call it the Quaboag Plantation.  Last year they celebrated the 300th Year of this settlement.  I have a program brochure from the Historical Society and it looks like it was quite the celebration.

Here is the plaque commemorating Judge Jediah Foster.

I also found the plaque for the cemetery which is 120 rods following the line of the trees. Apparently they had it marked for the celebration and you could walk back there.  I did not attempt it at this time.  There are no tombstones there and they do not know who is buried there.

In New England the tradition was to bury the dead next to the meeting house.  Eventually that would stop and they would move to a larger area.

This first settlement was located before 1675.  That date is the year of King Philip’s War and that was when the settlement was attacked and destroyed.  They did not come back for 10-12 years to reestablish.  The area is very well documented on the West Brookfield Historical Commission website see the links to the right. They have a map showing where the various events took place so you can do more exploring.  These two plaques were all that I obtained at this time.  There is a lot more to do.

This settlement is a little too early for my purposes but it does set the stage for Philip Goss (I) who purchased the “Night’s Pasture Estate” from the Rowlandson’s in Lancaster.  In this same war Mary Rowlandson was captured and taken by the Indians and eventually returned.  She wrote about it.  I will discuss this later when I get to Lancaster.  Similar events took place in Brookfield as well.

His son Philip Goss (II) would come to Brookfield and settle. This purchase took place in 1687 so that means Philip Goss (I) has migrated to Lancaster from Roxbury about that time.  I have been told by an authority that Roxbury is not a place you want to go wandering around in.  Brookline is much better.  What I am referring to is the Muddy River and this person knew that term.

East Brookfield, MA
There was one more Brookfield to explore and a last stop is East Brookfield with a view of Lake Lashaway.  No time for a stop at E.B. Flatts for food.  I headed east on Hwy 9 and arrived in East Brookfield in no time.  I found the village center and located the municipal building.  I am not sure that is their current town hall.  I think that is on another street?

I did a little exploring and went for a walk.  The road goes really close to Lake Lashaway which is a good sized lake.  I imagine that in the summer this is a busy place.  It already was a busy place with cars and big trucks swishing by.  I didn’t dare cross the road for fear of getting hit!  There was a house on the lakeside that had an odd assortment of junk stuffed in this small area.

Town Center, Municipal Building in the background
Lake Lashaway
A Collector by the lake!

My time in the Brookfields has ended.  Sigh!!!  I did not visit New Braintree (actually went through a little jog of it to Hardwick) or Warren which are consider part of the 5 towns of the Brookfields.  Maybe next time. I am told Warren has a good library.

My touring of the area has proven to me that Philip Goss and Judith lived in what is now West Brookfield but back then it was a part of Brookfield.  They lived up on Hwy 9 about where the Salem Cross Inn is located to the east along the Old Hadley Path where Philip had lots of land.  I will be studying the land records and see what I can find.  The Registry of Deeds for Worcester County is in Worcester (pronounced Wuster and it is not the sauce).  They are also on film at the Family History Library.  A researcher by the name of Elbert Garrett Goss did some work back a few years and he has some of the old deeds in his manuscript that are rather interesting to read.  He descended from John Goss and Mary Woods.  John Goss was the son of Philip Goss I of Roxbury and Mary Prescott grand daughter of John Prescott the founder of Lancaster.  It has been digitized by the Family History Library.  He has several titles there I am referring to this manuscript:  “Descendants of Philip Goss of Lancaster.”

Heading for Lancaster, Massachusetts
My next goal is Lancaster, Massachusetts where the man who started it all is buried:  Philip Goss of Roxbury and Muddy River ca 1654 to 1698, my 8th great grandfather.  The Goss line stops with him until someone figures out who is parents were? No it is not John Gosse of Watertown.  He died before this Philip was born. John could be a grandfather, an uncle or Philip being a mariner just came from England on his own?  A fellow PS-APG member told me that he was having trouble with an ancestor that just appears in the records and then from there you can track him.  The problem is knowing when they actually set foot on this continent.  It was considered English soil so why keep records of the crossing by ship?

My plan is to go to Boston in the future for another visit to the New England Historic Genealogical Society and dig deeper into the old records on the family of Goss, Kendall and more. I will visit other major repositories in the Boston area and then head for Concord, Groton, and down to Worcester to do more research. I will probably not be able to resist revisiting Lancaster and West Brookfield.  We will see.  It is a whole trip all of itself.  It was not an easy choice for Worcester is so close and I did drive through the west side of it on my way to Lancaster!!!!

I traveled on Hwy 9 which took me through Spencer, over to Leicester, and skirting the west side of Worcester onto Hwy 12 and West Boylston north across the bridge to Sterling and Lancaster. Worcester is a big city and busy but I found my way through her just fine.  They have nice big parks in this area of the city. Massachusetts does pretty good with the Highway signs but the street signs are not so great.  I was finding that they would list the cross streets but not give the street you are on doing that at the beginning and then the end?  Some how I was lucky and was managing not to get lost as I negotiated my way through Worcester.

Sterling, Massachusetts
Sterling was once part of Lancaster but it separated off.  Actually Lancaster was divided up and several towns split off:  Sterling, Harvard, Stow, Bolton, Hudson, Marlborough, Leominster (pronounced Lemonster or something like that), Clinton, Berlin, and Boylston.

I crossed a bridge to another part of West Boylston that lead into Sterling.  I was soon in Sterling and it is very compact.  Everything is right there with the village green right in the middle in a wedge shape.  I spotted the Conant Public Library and the Town Hall.  You could park the car and just walk to what you needed.  I have on good authority that the Sterling library is a good resource.  The link: http://sterlinglibrary.org/conant/

Conant Public Library, Sterling, MA
Sterling Town Hall
Sterling Municipal Building

Chocksett Cemetery in Sterling, MA
Moving further north up the highway, I went to the right and I did not go onto Hwy 12.  I believe it is called Redstone Hill Rd? I came upon the Chocksett Cemetery.  The entryway from the highway was very tight and I managed to squish the car into it without scrapping anything.  There isn’t a paved road through this cemetery only a dirt road with a railing on the side because it is very close to the cliff.  I discovered there was another entrance on the south side which was much bigger and more room to park probably on Bridge Street?  I believe Find A Grave has a listing of this cemetery.

I started at the west end and read the gravestones going to the east.  I discovered Kendalls and Goss names.  I took lots of pictures which I will posted when I return from this trip. These are only a few.

The very tight entry way on the west side
More Chocksett Cemetery

There is a website devoted to the Kendalls that I will add to my links section where you can get more tombstone photos and information about the Kendall family.

Also and article about the polydactyl trait in the Kendall family. http://www.newenglandkendalls.com/whatsnew.html.  There is actually a great deal of information on the Kendall family if you just Google it!

There actually is a hill behind this cemetery called Kendall Hill and there is a Kendall Hill Road. I did not have time to drive it and find it.  I do know it is there.

Lancaster, Massachusetts – At Last!!!!
I went in search of the Lancaster public library but missed it and had to turn back.  I was getting conflicting information on my maps as to its location.  So mistakes do happen.  I did find it right next to the Town Hall and the church.  Now I need to learn how to park properly.  Apparently there was some confusion on my part but the Special Collections is not open till Wednesday night so I will have to return. I thought I had made an appointment with the archivist but I guess it was for tomorrow night!  I was very tired by the time I got to Lancaster and hungry.  So I opted to go to the bed and breakfast and get settled in.

Thayer Memorial Library in Lancaster, MA
Lancaster Courthouse
The Church on the Court Square, library to the right

Parking is on the north side of the library.  I found the street on the north side of the church called Harvard and turned right as I came from the south onto it and found the parking area.  There is a walk way through to the library and courthouse.  Much better than the 6 slots in front of the library.

I had lodging at the College Town Inn on Center Bridge Road which crosses the Nashua River and at High St.  It is a bit of a dicey intersection but I am learning when I can go and not go.  I was greeted by the proprietors and they were very friendly and helpful.  I got a map!!  He suggested an Italian Restaurant in downtown Clinton called the Via Alto 27 and it was a very nice dinner.  Clinton is an industrial town something to do with plastics for the pharmaceuticals?  It was a lot bigger than I expected.  The area were the restaurant was had brick buildings close together and shops one after another.

Old Common Burial Cemetery on Old Common Road
The rest of the evening was spent walking around the Old Common Burial Cemetery on Old Common Road just about 1/2 a block from the College Town Inn.  I took photos and did a video of this cemetery.  I was looking for cousins.  Descendants of John and Mary Goss and they are there in an area with a cement outline in a rectangular position.  I will upload again when I return to my home.  This cemetery is in need of help.  I think it is in need of some care.  I hope someone is looking out for it.  I see tree limbs, broken stones, leaning stones and more.  So far the Goss area is in good shape but I think there are more stones buried in the ground.

Old Common Burial Field, Lancaster, MA
More Old Common Burial Field, Lancaster, MA

 

I have more photos and will upload them later when I return home.  The photos you see are of the tombstones for the Goss family.  Find A Grave also has a listing of this cemetery on Old Common Road near the 5 corner intersection.

  • James Goss 1797 to 1800 son of John Goss and Mary Whitcomb Fuller
  • John Goss, Jr. 1804-1828 son of John Goss and Mary Whitcomb Fuller
  • John Goss 1770 to 1843 the father son of Joseph Goss and Sarah Wilder
  • John Goss 1802 to 1803 son of John Goss and Mary Whitcomb Fuller
  • Joseph Goss 1799 to 1801 son of John and Mary Whitcomb Fuller
  • Mary W. Goss unknown d. Mar 4, 1852 the mother – do have her lineage at this time.

These are descendants of John Goss and Mary Woods 1/2 brother to Philip Goss II. 

I was exhausted so I returned to the B&B which was just a short walk.  I settled in for the night doing my chores and trying to get another post up and not allowing myself to get to far behind.  Blogspot is not cooperating…grrrr.  If you find editing errors please be patient.  I think I will do a review when I return home and update the posts for I can only get so much done as I travel.

Time for bed.

College Town Bed & Breakfast, Lancaster, MA

Additional Sources:  Quaboag Planation alias Brookefeild, by Louis E. Roy, MD (mostly historical background of the first settlement) and History of East Brookfield, Massachusetts 1686-1970 also by Louis E. Roy.  I purchased this compilation at the Quaboag Historical Society Museum for a hefty price but I like to show support to the societies and archives that are in the areas of my ancestors. The North Brookfield history book by Temple and Adams has a great deal of information in it on our family.  I believe these books are at Google books, Internet Archive etc.