Thursday, May 17, 2012


Edwin CRARY by midgefrazel
Edwin CRARY, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.
photo by Brian Zoldak, used with permission
What year did Edwin die?

The Hale Collection transcription of the cemeteries in Connecticut (taken in the 1930s) states that this gravestone says: "Crary, Edwin, son of Nathaniel & Rebecca, died June 18, 1830, age 17 yrs. 6 mos. 11 days" Since, this year doesn't seem right for 17 years old, I turned to the date calculator to find the combination of dates for the years 1830, 1850 and 1860 would make his birth year.

Feeling that it was not enough evidence (and not finding a birth in the Barbour Index for CT), I cropped the date and crowd-sourced the image to my Facebook page. 

 With this script it is hard to be sure but it still looks like a 5 to me. Brian Zoldak saw the transcription in the index and he did the date calculator and was also still unsure. So, he reminded me about the US Federal Mortality Schedule, while I was looking for the actual date of the 1850 census. The 1850 census was taken in August of 1850 and Edwin was not listed. This cut out 1860 as a choice.

Nathaniel and Rebecca were married in 1824 and clearly this grave states that he is their child and not one from Nathaniel's first marriage, so the Mortality Schedule was my only hope.


Source Information:
Jackson, Ron V., Accelerated Indexing Systems, comp.. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules Index [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 1999. Original data: Compiled and digitized by Mr. Jackson and AIS from microfilmed schedules of the U.S. Federal Decennial Census, territorial/state censuses, and/or census substitutes.
So, here he is as died in June, 1850 of consumption with an occupation of farmer. At 17 he was already an adult.

It pays to keep looking for evidence, even if several records taken from the same index look wrong.

Yes, sometimes it is hard to read gravestones. Rest in peace, young Edwin. 

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