Friday, September 25, 2009

Finding the Way

Originally uploaded by midgefrazel
One sunny August morning on the day I was attending the Gallup reunion, my husband and I went to nearby Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic, New London, Connecticut to look for some ancestor's graves to photograph. It was a picture perfect day and almost all the photos I took are spectacular. The reunion was at noon so we had plenty of time for my favorite activity!

While searching for the grave section of Ann Borodell Denison, wife of Nathan Stanton Gates, who was the woman who founded the Denison Society, we noticed this family coming toward us, ambling along looking at gravestones, admiring the view and chatting with each other that the day will be turning out to be a hot one. I remember thinking that this nice looking family must be somehow related to me and how interesting it is that they were doing exactly what a garden cemetery is designed for wandering around enjoying the landscaping and the groups of families buried there.

Remembering that I am professional genealogist interrupted my "musings", and instead of just saying "Good Morrow" to them, I introduced myself and asked if we could help them find anybody in particular. Now, I want you to remember that this is a massive cemetery of 13, 000 interments. I have been photographing graves here for about 4 years and still have not visited all of the sections.

I must have smiled broadly when they said they had visited the Denison Homestead the day before and during the tour were told that Lady Ann Borodell Denison was buried here. Interestingly, this family's surname is Wheeler. After a quick stop at their car for their genealogy list, we showed them the grave they were looking for and I took this photo. We exchanged business cards so I could email it to them (which I have) We also looked at their list and gave them directions to other graveyards of interest nearby.

This is the work of the professional genealogist.

Photo # DSC03197 [collection of the author] taken 15 Aug 9009 [used with permission by the persons in this photo] Elm Grove Cemetery, Mystic, New London, CT.


September McCarthy said...

Nice work! This is a big part of the reason why so many people enjoy researching their genealogy - because of these types of chance encounters that renew our faith in the kindness of strangers, despite many things happening in the world that are discouraging.

Thomas MacEntee said...

Great job Midge! I too have had encounters with others in cemeteries and it is nice to be able to lend a hand.

Family Curator said...

Serendipity is at work! The photo is great; and so is the fact that you took the time to "ask before posting."