Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weeping Willow: Sally D. PARMENTER

Re-post from 2012

Sally D. PARMENTER by midgefrazel
Sally D. PARMENTER, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

This weeping willow motif with the "headboard and bed posts" is common for the early 19th century slate gravestones. Douglas Keister's book (Stories in Stone, p. 67) tells me that the weeping willow tree represents the Christian gospel because the tree itself will flourish and remain whole no matter how many branches are cut off.

I am using Sally's gravestone today because of the Parmenter Adventure that I began last fall and now have more information about the people who are buried in Marlborough in Evergreen Cemetery. This cemetery is on Wilson St. and is known as Wilson Cemetery because the land was a farm at one time.
Sally Dalrymple PARMENTER 

Buried in the row with her parents (Ezekiel and his wife Keziah Parmenter), is this lovely weeping willow gravestone.

Forever sleeping here is Sally, who sadly died at the age of 24 on December 23, 1836. According to the Parmenter Genealogy (#1129, p. 79) she was born 4 Aug 1812 in Marlborough and was single when she died.

Her heart wrenching verse readsAlas! another daughter's gone; But we do trust our loss her gain; In full assurance of God's love, She left this World for that above.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Snow, really?

Photo collection of Midge Frazel, 2008

Snow, Really?

Last night, the snow hitting the windows woke me up from a sound sleep. For this late Easter week, this is a nasty surprise. 

What, now seems so long ago, in 2008, my son-in-law brought me a bouquet of colorful flowers for our Easter breakfast.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Flora, 94 years old

Tombstone Tuesday: Flora


Flora a photo by Midge Frazel, 5 Oct 2012

Sometimes, an amazing gravestone just catches my eye as I am walking through a cemetery. At the time, I took this photo, I did not try to look it up in the Vital Records to 1850 of Massachusetts.

Since this area is now Wayland and was once Sudbury, I decided to look in the vital records of Wayland first. I immediately went to the last page where many unidentified deaths are recorded and found her. That was easy, I thought. So I went back to the main page and searched and found her listed as Flora "Negroes".



Such a lovely stone. Flora deserves to be remembered for her long life, prior to 1850. Rest in Peace.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Rosedale Apartments

Photo from the collection of Midge Frazel, 1962
Sentimental Sunday: Rosedale Apartments

In the early months of 1958, my widowed grandmother sold her beautiful home at 205 Wentworth Ave. in Edgewood near Roger Williams Park in Cranston, RI and moved to the Rosedale Apartments. This is the only photo I have of the whole complex and it doesn't fit in the photo. She eventually moved to two other apartments in the building before she turned 80 and moved in with my parents. 

Rosedale still exists as Rosedale Landing and has been historically preserved to the Art Deco style you see in this building. [Video]

In 1958, she was 65 years old which is a year younger than I am now. It must have been winter when she moved because I remember the first holiday there was Easter. I was 10 years old and they bought me a small record player that played vinyl 45 RPM records. 

My mother was very sad to have her mother leave the big house because I think she would have liked to move back and live there. 

This weekend, the superintendent of the apartment complex's granddaughter found me on Facebook. I am stunned. I don't even use my first name that she would have called me. I walked over to the photograph box and easily pulled a photo of her with her brother taken when they came to visit us at the beach at Bonnett Shores. I must have taken this photo because it is a bit out of focus. The rest of the story can wait for another day. But, what an Easter memory!

Photo from the collection of Midge Frazel

Double Weeping Willow

Photo by Midge Frazel, North Cemetery, Wayland, MA

Double Weeping Willow

As you can see, this is an unusual variation on the regular weeping willow motif. The willow is split into two branches, perhaps to symbolize grief for both parents losing this little daughter.
Photo by Midge Frazel, 2012
Notice, that the SAR marker and flag is on the wrong grave. Somewhere along the line, this flag marker was moved from a nearby grave of a Revolutionary War veteran. This is the danger of making an assumption that the grave you are photographing is that of a veteran.

Almira or Almary SMITH was born to Joseph and Polly SMITH on 17 Feb 1822 and died 30 Dec 1823, at one year and 10 months. The Vital record for both birth and death is recorded in Wayland and this gravestone can be found in the North cemetery in Wayland, MA.

Friday, April 11, 2014

1865 RI State Census Mercy Hall

1865 RI State Census Crop by midgefrazel
1865 RI State Census, Hall family, Westerly, RI. Ancestry.com

Mercy Perkins Hall

In yesterday's post, I showed the heading for this page of the RI State Census of 1865 for the household of Alvah Taylor's family of Main St. Westerly, RI. Mr. Taylor is the father-in-law of Keziah Hall, whose mother was Mercy Perkins, widow of Stanton Hall. With the help of Barbara Fallon, my cousin from Westerly, RI, I located the gravestones for this family in River Bend Cemetery in Westerly. I was looking just for Stanton and Mercy but what I found was the gravestones for their children and Alvah Taylor too. It is a fond memory to stand there and see the grouping of the stones and to spend delightful hours working on them.

I don't yet know who the people are below Mercy on lines 18-20 but I am working on it. Surname is Foster, I think and he is a teacher from nearby Connecticut. His children, including an 8 month old baby are with him but there is no wife listed so perhaps he worked on the farm with Alvah Taylor after the school day ended. He would have needed someone to help with his children while he taught and farmed.

Mercy had plenty of experience with children. She was one at marriage. She was 14. I still find that hard to grasp. 

This state census says she was born in Richmond, RI. Her parents moved from RI to New York and probably her choice was to be a nanny or get married. 

She was the last child in her family. It has been so hard to find out anything certain about her. That's why seeing this state census is so special.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Brick Walls and Wrong Leads

Brick Walls and Wrong Leads

Sylvester Evans 

It's been a long time since I gained any new information about my Evans family that lived in Berkshire County, Massachusetts. At first, all I had to go on was the Chesebrough genealogy and the user submitted information from Family Search. This past week my new cousin who lives in that area went to the registry of deeds in Cheshire and found the deed for John Evans, the father of Sylvester. It is a lot to transcribe but I have gained more names to research.

Sylvester Evans was the first husband of Ada Ann Aylsworth and their son Charles Turner Evans (1835-1891) was my only strong lead. Even he proved hard to trace but it is coming along now. This family moved from Rhode Island to join the Quaker meeting in Adams, MA.

This is what the Family Search told me about Sylvester Evans. At least I can now work on it with some assurance that it is correct.. This means that my great grandfather did not know his wife's ancestry for sure and left me with a newspaper article that led nowhere.

"Ancestral File," database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.2.1/MW3C-Y6J : accessed 2014-04-10), entry for Sylvester EVANS. 1CCW-V3Q)

The IGI lists him also which is probably from the same user submitted source.

"International Genealogical Index (IGI)," database, FamilySearch (http://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.2.1/MQX6-H62 : accessed 2014-04-10), entry for Sylvester Evans. 

Hulda tells me that the vital records are lost except for a few marriages. (The vital records for the period of 1750-1865 were destroyed by fire. Marriage intention records were at the home of the Town Clerk. [ref: Dawn Newton Quinn]

It is going to be a lot of work even with this information, but stay tuned!


1865 RI State Census Heading

1865 RI State Census Heading by midgefrazel

Rhode Island State Census, 1865

Always desperate for more information for my ancestor, Mercy Perkins who married Stanton Hall, I discovered this Rhode Island State census date 1 Jun 1865 and was delighted to see enumerated my 79 year old widowed Mercy living in her son-in-law's household. Mercy died in October that year, so I did not go looking for this record thinking she was already dead. 

Before I work on the listing of those in the household, I needed to look at the heading of the page and decide if I understood all the information. State census records and the information in them change with each year they were taken, so although they are wonderful records, they will take time to digest and understand.

We find that this page is for Westerly, RI on 1 June 1865 pages 143-144. I almost missed the street name of Main Street in the fourth column.

Ancestry.com. Rhode Island, State Censuses, 1865-1935 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2013. Original data: Rhode Island State Census, 1865. Microfilm. New England Historic Genealogical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.

The fine print for the description of this census at Ancestry.com tells me that the relationship to the head of household was not given and I wondered where that column went! I see that Column one and three are NOT the house numbers but that age, sex and occupation are listed. The good news for me is that a PLACE of birth was asked for and the type of school children were in (public, select or Catholic). I am not sure what a "select" school is.

Military service may be useful for other members of my large Westerly family but not in this case so it will be worthwhile looking for other people who were alive in RI in 1865. 

Now, I can go on to looking at what is given for Mercy....

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Thankful Williams

Tombstone Tuesday; Thankfull Williams, wife of Avery Denison


Thankfull , wife of Avery Denison, photo by Fred Burdick, used with permission

Tombstone Tuesday: Be Thankful
As you can see, Thankful's stone is brownstone (also called sandstone) and it is eroded and lichen have invaded it, making it hard to read. This kind of problem is common and you can only be sure what it reads by standing in front of it and transcribing it. I can faintly see the letters when I use a "zoom in" with my software program.  Fortunately, Fred Burdick, who photographed this, did so using a mirror and he hand transcribed it while standing in front of it. This is his transcription. The breaks in the lines of carving on the stone (indicated by the forward slash are mine.)

"In Memory of Mrs. / Thankfull wife of Mr. Avery Denison/ who died May [unreadable or missing] /1767/ in the 49th year/ of her age." 

Thankful was a daughter of Col. John Williams and Desire Denison, making her second cousin to her husband. Her parents are buried in Whitehall Burying Ground in Mystic. Her date of death is listed as May 3rd in the Denison genealogy.

The Hale Cemetery index doesn't list her at all probably because they could not read the stone. Be cautious when using this index without other sources. Avery's will is printed in the earlier Denison genealogy but not in the new one. I am going to transcribe it because grandchildren are also listed.

Thankful and Avery had 11 children and were my 5th great grandparents. Their daughter, Prudence is my ancestor. She was the mother of Rebecca, wife of Edward Stewart whose handwritten marriage record I found in my family Bible.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Tattie at the Beach

At Bonnett Shores, RI, collection of the author
Happy Birthday, Tattie

If alive today, my grandmother's sister, Dorothy Palmer Barber Bliven, would have celebrated her 119th birthday, today, 7 April 2014.

A nearly life long resident of Westerly, RI, my great aunt was born in New London, Connecticut and lived most of her live near the border where the two states come together.

Divorced from her husband, she was a smart and capable woman and I thought our family was better off having her in our lives. As she lived in "South County", she came frequently to visit us at my grandparents beach house.

Her spring birthday often coincided with Easter Sunday and I remember her most of all in the Spring. Some of her life is still a mystery. Photos were destroyed. A genealogist contacted me about her but then never responded to me again.