Thursday, May 11, 2017

Summer is Coming

Photo by Midge Frazel, Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, CT, 2010

Summer is Coming...

This will be my last post for a while so that I can take most of the summer off. I WILL be continuing to blog about gravestones.

I will be blogging my gravestone photos whenever I can and not always on Tuesday anymore. 

Whitehall Cemetery in Mystic, Connecticut looks like my current choice. Ideas are always welcome!

Midge Frazel
Granite in MY Blood

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Jonathan and Esther (Denison) Wheeler

Photos by Midge Frazel, transcriptions by Fred Burdick, 2017
This morning I had a question by a new Facebook friend, about this couple who are one set of my 6th great grandparents. They are buried in the Jonathan Wheeler Cemetery in Stonington. I have visited there and have a CD of all the photos taken by Fred Burdick. The only photos that I took were of this couple. Fred's photos are VERY much better.

For some reason, Facebook won't let me post this collage. It says it is not a "picture". I suspect we are posting too many photos to Facebook and they are going to cut back. Well, that's why I blog. I am going to post this blog post and see what happens.

Fred got his transcriptions from the book Old Homes of Stonington by Grace Denison Wheeler. The cemetery section is not in all print copies. The one at Google doesn't contain that section.

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Children of Elias Brown



Photos by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Elias Brown Esq.'s Children

Elias Brown's children, Rodger (1835-1835), William Henry Brown (1819-1838) and Charles Wolcott Brown (1828-1851) are memorialized together on one side of the monument.

On the last side are listed Joseph W. Brown (1824-1824), Mary Louisa Brown (1821-1825), Esther Brown (1831-1852) 

There was another child, Mary Elizabeth Brown, born 17 Mar 1826, who married 20 July 1859 to James E. Southworth. As she married and moved away, she is not buried here.

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Enoch Brown

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Enoch Brown

This side of the monument tells us about Enoch Brown, son of Elias Brown and Mary Louisa Burrows. Enoch was probably named for his mother's father, Enoch Burrows.


Enoch Brown was born 26 Jun 1833 and married his cousin Helen Agalice Hyde (1832-1910) 17 Sept 1862 in Princeton, NJ.

I have never seen the name Agalice prior to this monument. 

The Burrows genealogy lists Helen Agailce Hyde from her mother Lucy Ann Burrows, wife of John Hyde as (Enoch, Rev. Silas, Amos, John, John, Robert) Burrows.

Enoch and H. Agalice's unmarried daughter, A. Grace Brown is buried here (1872-1910). There was also a son, Carlton Williams Brown (1877-1943) who married a woman named Lila and is not buried here.

Also listed is Joseph W. Brown (1777-1812) who I think is the son of Elias Brown and Sebra Billings. He is not the baby son who died but this man is probably the namesake of that infant.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Elias Brown, Esq.

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission
Elias Brown, Esq (link to larger photo)

Moving on to the second Brown plot, side-by-side with the last, we find the same arrangements of a monument with headstones surrounding it. But, in this case, the monument has all four sides of carved plaques with the name and full dates of those buried here.

Information about Elias Brown, Esq's (1786-1861) life came from Wheeler's History of Stonington and from the Burrows Genealogy (p. 1107) referenced earlier. Elias Brown, Esq. was a graduate of Brown University and then he was a lawyer and a member of the New London bar. (It states that his father, also named Elias Brown (1745-1806) was a ship builder and owner of ships.)

Elias Brown, Esq.'s profession also included being the President of Mystic Bank, chartered in 1833. This bank known as the (granite) Stone House was on 175 acres of land inherited from his father-in-law, Enoch Burrows. Years later, this building became the "Counting House" at the Mystic Seaport. I remember this building from a visit there!

Elias and his family lived in two houses that he built, which are described in the Burrows genealogy. It is suggested that the design was influenced by his travels. The older one was made of pink and gray granite. (Well, this is granite in my blood!)

Elias's wife, Mary Louisa Burrows (1798-1868) produced many children but sadly, many died young. Elias and Mary Louisa were married in May 1816 in Mystic, CT. For a time, this family lived in Brooklyn, NY where they both died. This is another prominent Mystic family that returned to be buried in Elm Grove Cemetery.

Lineage (from Burrows genealogy)

  • Mary Louisa Burrows (Enoch, Rev. Silas, Amos, John, John, Robert)
  • Elias Brown, Esq (Elias, Capt. John, John, John and Edward)


From this research, I have determined that this is NOT one of my "direct lines" of Brown, but a related family nonetheless.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Frederic Denison


Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission
Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission


There are many men buried in this cemetery (Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, CT) that are named Fredric Denison but the rest of them are buried in the Denison plot and not within the circle of this "Brown" plot. I call this Brown Plot 1.

Fortunately, this Frederic Denison is identified on the back of this headstone as the son of Isaac Wheeler Denison and his wife Eunice B. (Eunice Eldridge BURROWS) He was already in my family tree because he is my first cousin 3x removed. The Burrows genealogy lists both his upline Denison and Burrows lineage. 

Frederic went into business with his father in the mercantile business in Mystic, named I.W. Denison. Isaac Wheeler Denison was the brother of my 2nd great grandmother, Eliza Fish Denison, wife of Dudley W. Stewart. 

It was great to read that Frederic took over the business in Mystic when his father died in 1895 and that he was an incorporator and trustee of Groton Savings Bank.

Frederic died in 1935. My great grandparents and grandparents knew this couple.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Mary Fanny Brown

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Mary Fanny Brown Denison

Mary Fanny Brown, was the daughter of Elias Billings Brown and his wife Eliza Avery. As custom dictates, she is buried with a headstone that gives her married name, except that her first, middle and maiden name are listed in their initial form. The back side of her headstone lists her as Frederick Denison's wife but not as a daughter of Elias and Eliza.  This is because she was a married woman.

Mary Fanny married Frederic Denison (my first cousin, 3x removed) on 8 Mar 1882. This date is the same in the Burrows and the Denison genealogies. She was 25.

In the 1880census, she is living in with her parents and is listed with the common occupation of "at home" which means she is not in school or employed.  Her brothers, E. Everett and Charles are living there and are both employed.  This family had a live in female twenty year old named servant. Elias and his son work in the insurance agency business.

In 1900, Mary Fanny and her husband have one child together, Eliza Frances Denison which was the reason that I wanted to be sure that this child (as Eliza F. Denison) was NOT my ancestor.

I don't have an exact date of death for Mary Fanny Brown Denison, just a year. She was 76 years old at death.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday; Headstone Style

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission
Headstone Style

In this plot, all of the headstones are the same style. The top of each headstone has the person's name and just the  years of birth and death. This is Stephen Avery Brown's headstone.

The back side of the headstone shows the relationship to the parents (whose names appear on the large "rock" monument) or in the case of a married couple, husband or wife "of". 

The top is very exposed to the weather and is hard to read but unless the stone sinks into the ground or is damaged by grass mowing, the back side is quite readable. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Eliza A. Avery



Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Eliza A. AVERY
wife of Elias Billings Brown
 The Burrows Genealogy lists her lineage as Eliza (Stephen, Elder Park, Ebenezer, Lt. James, James, Christopher AVERY)

Eliza was born 23 March 1821 to Stephen Avery and Fanny Barnes. She married on 10 May 1838 and died 20 Feb 1893.

She and Elias had five children:  Stephen Avery Brown (1841-1918), Kate Brown (1844-1920), Elias Everett Brown (1849-1913), Mary Fanny Brown (1856-1932) and Charles Brown (1859-1901). Their headstones list the years of their birth and death. 

Kate and Charles died unmarried. 

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Tombstone Tuesday: Elias Billing Brown's Life

Photo by Brian Zoldak, 2016, used with permission

Elias Billings Brown's Life



EBB (also called Billings) lived an interesting life and it is sad that the headstones in this Brown plot are so hard to read. I decided not to try to enhance them (which is time consuming)  so instead I looked at what is posted at Find a Grave, which is how non- genealogists and genealogists look for gravestones. I found this entry with a photograph taken by Joanna Case.

The plot that I identified as Brown Plot One is plot 12-498. In huge cemeteries it is handy to know this and I like that people are adding the plot numbers to Find-A-Grave memorials. 

The first document that I located that was not a vital record or census page, it was a Passport for him with a description of this wealthy and prominent Mystic native. 

On 16 Nov 1857 at age 40 in Brooklyn, New York, EBB was six feet tall, had blue eyes a Roman nose, a medium mouth, a round chin, light complexion and brown hair. On 1 July 1863 he registered for the draft for the Civil War also in Brooklyn New York. 

Elias Billings Brown was the son of Elias Brown, Esq. and his wife Mary Louisa Burrows. He was one of nine children.