Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mystery of Cap't George Denison's Gravestone

George Dension by midgefrazel
George Dension, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

Mystery of the Gravestone of Cap't George Denison 
Fellow Genea-blogger, Barbara Poole, [Life from the Roots] alerted me to this book about Hartford's Ancient Burying Ground shown here in this collage.This is her excellent photograph of the gravestone in her blog post.

I decided that this was a book I wanted to read and much to my delight, my library system has a copy for loan. I can't wait to read it.

Cap't George Dension was a colorful figure and his influence on his community is quite well recorded. I am descended from both his wives. Born in England about 1620, George came as a young teen to America settling in Roxbury, MA. He died 23 Oct 1694 in Hartford, CT.

When I visited the Denison Homestead , I took this photo of a well worn sandstone gravestone. I was told by my cousin, Fred Burdick, who is the historian for Stonington, CT. that when the cemetery wanted to replace this gravestone, they asked the Denison Society if they wanted it for display in the Homestead.

I love it because it is the perfect example of how TALL one of these gravestones really is. Most of it is below ground. You can see the dark area where it was above ground.

When I took this photo, another cousin told me that she owned a postcard from her mother's collection that showed the gravestone. To my surprise, it is NOT the gravestone postcard that the Society sells. That postcard is of the new stone. However, the "new stone" looks old.

I was wondering how I could ever explain this to people just learning about gravestones?

Robin, another cousin, and I have worked together on a mutual line and she admired the original gravestone of Cap't George's second wife, Ann Borodell. Her gravestone is presently located in the Elm Grove Cemetery in Mystic near a memorial gravestone for Cap't George and Lady Ann. So, we made an agreement that she could have a copy of my photo and I could have her copy of Capt. George's.

I didn't know when the gravestone was reproduced and exchanged until Barbara Poole found a reference to this in this book shown here in the collage.

By the way, Lady Ann's gravestone has been copper casted and was moved to Elm Grove from the Denison cemetery on the Cove probably by my ancestor, Levina Fish Denison, wife of Isaac Denison, Jr.

I keep thinking about how Cap't George and Lady Ann are NOT buried together. She outlived him. He is buried in Hartford because that is where he died while on official Connecticut business.

His first wife is probably buried in the Roxbury, MA burying Ground [Eliot Burying Ground] but there is no stone there that I know of. The cemetery there is locked and only available by appointment.

Who says gravestones are easy to photograph because they don't move?

6 comments: said...

George Denison's headstone was apparently carved by a very famous stone cutter named James Stanclift. James Stanclift I ( ?-1712) came to Connecticut from England via the island of Nervis in the West Indies, where he was indentured for four years. He arrived in Lyme, Connecticut about 1684 and moved to what is now Portland, Ct. In 1689 where he worked as a mason and stone cutter until his death. The Stanclift family owned and operated the brownstone quarry in Portland for many years

chris wimsatt said...

Thank you for sharing this! I am a descendant of Capt. George's with Anne Borodell at least a couple of times. Capt. George is one of my favorite ancestors!!

chris wimsatt said...

Thanks for sharing this! I am a Capt. George/ "Lady" Anne descendant through two of their sons. Capt. George is one of my favorite ancestors! said...

Hi, I just found your blog after recently tracing my ancestry back to George Denison & Lady Anne (10th Great Grands), as well as Walter Palmer (via daughter Ann Denison marrying Gershom Palmer). My line travels through various surnames from Palmer & Denison, to Tyler, to Lamb, and then to Howard (My paternal Great Grandmother's maiden name), to Curran (My maiden name). I live probably as far as you could get from CT and MA, without leaving the country, in Portland OR. So your blog and photos are so great! Thank you so much for sharing! I'll be a new follower.
Most Sincerely, Angela Hastin

Midge Frazel said...

In case you would like to see the photos I have taken at past Denison reunions, this is the link:

I'm glad you are enjoying my blog.

Roger Hunt said...

Great Post! I just saw you link posted on the Rhode Island Historical Cemetery Facebook page. I too am a dependent of Capt. George and Lady Anne through my Great Grandmother, Martha Ann Dennison. This is wonderful information. Thank You!