Wednesday, July 15, 2009
When I first started to take gravestone photographs, I took this photograph not knowing anything about the surname Crandall [Crandal]. I took this photo because I was surprised to see how remarkably clear and unbroken this gravestone was compared to the other gravestones in this burying ground. It has to be special, I thought!
Because I have so many ancestors buried in this, the Whitehall Burying Ground #21 in Mystic, CT, I kept it in my gravestone folder and never researched it.
When my cousin, Fred Burdick, showed me his photographs, on CD, all researched and browse-able and shared his method and map of how he went about organizing his work to take the photos, I started to work on the gravestones that he couldn't find out anymore about (at that time).
This is the problem with research. It is never done and once you put what you know "out there" in print or on the Web, people think that is all there is to find out.
Last summer, my cousin, Scott Bill Hirst, kept asking me if I was a Crandall descendant. He was so insistent that I look into this, I began to feel that probably he was right. Not long after that, I found out that I was, yes indeedy, a Crandall descendant!
Suddenly, I remembered this gravestone. I pulled up the genealogy of Elder John Crandall and found the entry for this young man. His parents were Samuel Crandall (son of Elder John) and his wife Sarah COLBY. [Crandall Family Burial Ground]
John is listed in the genealogy as being born 11 January 1693 and there is nothing else written there. I am assuming John was born in Rhode Island, so why he was in Mystic at the time of his death? I don't know. Was he an apprentice to a family in Mystic? I guess we will never know.
This gravestone photograph is a favorite because it was carved by John Stevens I (1647-1736) of Newport, RI. The engraving looks scratched in and the top of the skull is described as a "baker's hat". The Farber Collection of gravestones carved by this gravestone carber seems to confirm this. I am not an expert in who the carvers were but I am reading "Graven Images" and it is an interesting textbook of New England Gravestone research.
I am wondering today if the genealogist for the Crandall Family Association knows that young John's gravestone exists?