Sunday, September 14, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Oaklawn Public Library

Photo by Midge Frazel, August 2014

School or Library?
Because September is "Back to School Month", hubs and I ventured down to historic Oaklawn, a village in my native Cranston, Rhode Island. I had him drive down to the Oaklawn Baptist Church where I took several photos of the church. As traffic was light, I zipped across the street to stand on the sidewalk to take a full shot of the church. I smiled at where I was standing and walked up to the side of this building which once was called, "Oaklawn Library" because of the plaque that is on the side of the building. 

I did not know that this library was once a school! The elementary school I attended in Oaklawn (Oaklawn Grammar School) was built in 1895 according to the Images of America book, Cranston by Lydia L. Rapoza and Bette Miller, published in 1999 and pictured on p. 115. My school was being renovated when I went to Kindergarten and that building is what stands today. The old, 1895, school is gone. I remember my mother calling me to tell me it was torn down. 

As an educator, I enjoy learning about school buildings and libraries, especially ones that fit into my family history. The book does tell me that "my school" was built in spring of 1895 for $6,232,69. The web site for the library, states this became a library in 1896.

I see that the sign says circa 1838 for its beginning year and it makes we wonder if this was part of the Quaker friends history near that year as it was across the street from the meeting house. 

According to the book, the front of the building facing the road (with the quarterboard) on the side is the original building. I don't remember it without the addition (with the window). It became a branch of the larger picture of the Cranston Public Library system in 1968.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Galloping To Fall

Print Copies of Gallup Genealogies, 1987 and 2 vol 2009

Planning for Fall
Coming in October


I was reminded recently, that new genealogical evidence comes along all the time. Ancestry has posted the database of the Hale Cemetery Records for many cemeteries that I have visited. 



I have visited a gated and locked historical burying ground that is on private land, three times. The final time, was at the annual family reunion and we were encouraged to go "next door" to the cemetery and look at the gravestones. This was my opportunity to take a fast photograph of every stone, rock, memorial stone and footstone. I had a deadline. Lunch and the reunion began at noon.





My photographs are not that great. It was very sunny and hot. My own ancestors that are buried there, I had already photographed. It was important as one of them is my DAR record ancestor. This is also part of one of my Mayflower lines. I am excited to report that I have ALL the gravestones that are known to exist in one GALLUP line.


But, what about the other photographs in this cemetery? Well, it is time I got around to labeling them and to research them as best I can. Many people ask me about this cemetery and it was an adventure finding it. Today, it would be much easier. I got a lot of wrong information. 

Soon, I will explain the project and what kind of sources I have for researching that I can share with others.

Brian Zoldak will help me when he can. As a Connecticut resident, he knows about the area. Cousin Carmen Johnson's ancestors rest here too. It is important for me to "finish" this project. Michelle Miller's husband is a Gallup and she is interested too. Facebook gives us a chance to talk about this. Jane Preston and Fred Burdick can help too. Crowd-sourcing at its best!

This will be an ongoing project for fall and winter. We have started a private Facebook group to help us manage the information.

Questions about this post?: email me please

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Almost There!

Almost There! Photo by Midge Frazel, August 19, 2014, Cranston, RI

Happy Grandparent's Day

Apparently, I am writing in my head all of the time! On a recent trip to my childhood neighborhood area, I put my camera around my neck while we were in the car. I thought there might be some changes in the landscape I wanted to photograph. What I took was some photos that would make great blog posts.

When our daughter was small, we traveled "home" to visit with both hubs parents and mine every month. The grandparents lived about 20 minutes apart in Rhode Island. First, we went to my parents and then his because we usually went on Sunday and my mother-in-law was the church person and didn't arrive home until 12:30 PM.

To keep her amused on the hour car ride, I picked out landmarks along the way. The first photo on the left is the exit off Rt. 95 S. After turning off 95, you needed to stay in the right lane. I called the spot in the second photo, the "almost there" point.

When my father died, we had a service in the funeral home and then rode together to Westerly for a short graveside service. Our daughter wanted to drive her own car to the house and then ride with us. It dawned on me that she might not remember how to get there. 

"Remember the almost there spot!, I said to her on the phone. "Yes," she replied "I can do it! " I was still worried she would drive right by. She did fine. 

She and my mom made sandwiches together in the kitchen for the neighbors who came by after the service. My mom was surprised that people still did that! A few years later, she wrote her wishes and requested that nobody be invited to the graveside except for us. In her dementia, she couldn't remember that I was standing behind her for my dad's graveside service even though I kept telling her I was there.

My mother and my daughter talked about how 50 years is a long time to be married. I could hear them from the dining room and I didn't interfere in their choice of topic. 

When we arrived at this point in our day trip this past month, my husband and I shouted out simultaneously , "Almost there!" and I snapped these photos. Just doing that has helped me get past the years since my loss.

Happy Grandparent's Day!

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Placement of Stones Part 2

Placement of Stones (Part 2)

Joseph and Naomi (Fancy) Frazel
Maplewood Cemetery, Marlborough, Middlesex, MA
It is hard to be sure of who "Father" and "Mother" are in plots like these. Suppose everyone placed their parents to rest like this and then moved away? It would be unknown to anyone who they were unless they contacted the cemetery office. 

When Joseph and Naomi (Fancy) Frazel died and were buried here, they already left behind four dead children in Bridgewater, Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada when they came to American about 1892. Due to the kindness of Alice Baker Frauzel who lives not far from Baker's Settlement Cemetery, I have all of the gravestones that can be found in Nova Scotia of this part of my husband's family.

After coming to America, Joseph and Naomi gave birth to Loren (d. 1897), (Samuel d. 1956), John (d. 1897) and Albert (d. 1894). 

Phares, Samuel, Jeremiah, Rhoda and Sophia were the only children who lived to adulthood. The 1900 census says Naomi gave birth to 12 children.



Sons of Joseph and Naomi, Maplewood Cemetery, Middlesex, MA

from the wall to the street:
Father, Mother, Loran, Samuel, John and Albert.

Rest in peace.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Little Glass Bottle

Little Glass Bottle (about 2 inches high)
Photo by Midge Frazel, 2014
The first thing readers will want to know about is not the focus of this blog post. Technology always grabs attention. The item holding the ruler, which shows the height of the little glass bottle is an invention by a person who marketed it to a collaborative invention site called Quiky. Its purpose is to hold the ends of cords so they don't fall behind a table. It is weighted. I own several in two colors: black and gray. You will want one, so here's the link for purchase at Amazon. Target carries some of their items too.

The subject of this blog post is the little glass bottle. When I was a little person, this is what the cream (like for coffee) was delivered in when the milkman brought the weekly milk delivery. You were supposed to wash them and put them back out with your empty bottles. I hid one in my toy drawer and then took it to my grandmother's house for safe keeping. 

I imagine my mother looked everywhere for it and I didn't confess until my grandmother moved to the apartment when I was nine.

It was for imaginary tea parties but because it is glass I didn't think my mother would let me play with it. Next spring, I will cut some lily of the valley and use it like a mini vase.

By the way, it was sealed with a little waxed cardboard circle with a pull tab stapled on. Let me know if you remember this, ok?


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Summer's End: Pine Grove Cemetery

Photos by Scott Bill Hirst,  used with permission

Pine Grove Cemetery
Hopkinton, Rhode Island


When I started taking gravestone photos, I began with the photos of my family that lived in Rhode Island so it is fitting that I end this summer series with a cemetery that I have never been to and am indebted to my cousin, native Rhode Islander and politically savvy, Scott Bill Hirst. 

Scott graciously photographed my family gravestone in the 1860 section of a cemetery, "B" in Hopkinton, Rhode Island. If anyone could find it in 2008, it was going to be Scott. He put them on a CD and mailed it to me with information on how to find the grave site. 

I wondered, as I stood in River Bend Cemetery in Westerly, where was my uncle Bill laid to rest in 1990. My father never told me where they buried him and I assumed it was in the Broadfoot section and perhaps they did not set a stone. After some discussion, I learned that his wonderful wife Hannah chose for him to be buried in HER family plot. She is still living.

I did a wide search at the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery's new Web site for my maiden surname and to my delight, I can say that I have found all of the gravestones listed. Uncle Bill and his wife are the only ones not buried at River Bend.

I learned that the grave has four names on it, it is in section "C" and that 54 Veterans are buried there. Scott's directions are good but I printed out a Goggle Map with step-by step directions for getting there. It is over an hour from my home to this cemetery.

This is the last post in this series. I hope you enjoyed this short, summer, Rhode Island Adventure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Memorialized at Smith's Castle

Photos of Smith's Castle, 2011, by Midge Frazel
For the final Rhode Island cemetery posting, I'd like to show you the memorial rocks for those that died in Rhode Island and are memorialized at Smith's Castle in Wickford, RI.

I attended a family reunion for the Gallup Family Association in 2011 at this location. With so many of my ancestors who lived near the borders of Rhode Island but died on land that became Rhode Island.

As this is part of a big fall project, I won't reveal anymore about it now. 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sentimental Sunday; Oaklawn Baptist Church

Oaklawn Baptist Church, 1879

My earliest school days were spent in the historic village of Oaklawn in Cranston, Rhode Island. Although I never attended this church pictured here, I did belong to a Brownie troop that met in the parish hall attached to the back of the church. This church, the Oaklawn Baptist Church (1879), is famous for the May Day Breakfasts. I created this collage for a friend, who when he grew up, moved to Georgia and stayed there. By the miracle that is Facebook, he and I have reconnected. He is still a Baptist so I knew he would want to show his children that the church he worshiped in is still standing.

What I didn't know is that this church was built on part of the land where an early Quaker Meeting House stood. In the first Cranston Images of America book, there is a photo of the plain brown building that was that meetinghouse. I took a couple of photos of where that might have been and I will post them at a later date. There is still a close relationship between the Friends and several generations of Baptists that lived here. Isn't that great history?

It is easy to feel sentimental about this little village. I went to private preschool in Oaklawn in a lady's house and I still remember that they picked me up at my house, in a big black car. Our earliest memories must be important for a reason. 


When you return to a place that you have not visited in a long time, it can be stressful or calming. Feeling calm, I took other photos for Sentimental Sunday blog posts, but for today, you can enjoy this classic New England experience.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Sweet Cemetery Statues

Reading Statues, 2014 

Several years ago, I took this photo (on the left) of a little "fairy or woodland nymph" guarding a child's grave. Most of the time, little statues like this are only to be found in gardens. Hubs has been everywhere trying to buy one like this for our garden. Imagine my surprise, when I found the photo on the right on a Facebook friends wall. Janice Branch Tracy of Mississippi, kindly went outside to pick her up to see if there was any brand name on it. Sadly, there wasn't. But, she allowed me to use this in my blog.

Contemporary graves  of children are often ornamented with toys, stuffed animals and items to help people mourn the loss of a tiny person. Mourning a child is the worst kind of grief. 

If anyone knows where I can buy a little statue like this, I'd love to know.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Marcy or Mercy

Photo by Frederick E. Burdick, used with his permission
“Here lies ye body of Marcy ye wife of George Denifon who died Septr ye 24 1724 in ye 67th year of her age”


I was amused to see that he name was carved as Marcy not Mercy on her gravestone. The Denison genealogy states that she was born in Barnstable, Massachusetts on 20 Jan 1657/1658  (page 3)and the Torry index of Early Marriages before 1700 says she married George Denison about 1677. (page 215)

It is interesting to note that she was the daughter of Capt. John GORHAM and his wife Desire HOWLAND, granddaughter of John Howland who came on the Mayflower. 

John GORHAM was the immigrant ancestor in his line and the Find-a-Grave page says he is buried at Cobb's Hill Cemetery. I have been there as I am a Cobb descendant. He doesn't have a gravestone. (Find-a-Grave entry)

Researching this couple is something that I have not done as yet. But one piece of evidence says he is buried on land he owned in Swansea, MA.

This couple did have a long life together. I think the third generation from the time of the Mayflower fared quite well.