Saturday, September 08, 2012


North Stonington, CT Historical Marker by midgefrazel
North Stonington, CT Historical Marker, a photo by midgefrazel on Flickr.

Visiting North Stonington, CT
When you are going to a specific cemetery where you have ancestors or relatives buried, it is wise to look around the area and locate the nearest town hall or historical society where you can call, write or email for more information that may not be online.

My first adventure with North Stonington, New London, CT was 31 May 2003 when I contacted the historical society to help me locate the Stewart Hill cemetery. 

I know now, and appreciate even more, how lucky I was that only a few minutes after I clicked "SEND" to have a almost immediate response.

I returned to the cemetery once again on 25 May 2004 to go back over what I photographed and to look around in the town where my great grandfather and 2nd great grandfather lived and worked.

I learned that the this place was once part of the larger Stonington and that it was once called Milltown. In 1807, they were incorporated as North Stonington. Luckily for me, the town clerk, named Stephen Avery, (blog post about his gravestone) was content to stay in North Stonington and continue on as town clerk as he was an older man and was probably happy to have a job close to home. 

The records of this town are in large ledgers in the old town hall. They are not accessible to the general public but my friend Gladys Chase braved the unheated building to get copies of early records for me.

This photograph of the plaque with the history of the town tells me about my ancestors who lived there and the names of the "sections" of the town. Yes, they are written with those names on old maps and in the census. 

An earlier post of mine:

My maternal grandfather (and his ancestors) were born and lived in North Stonington, CT. I had never been there until I began researching my maternal ancestors.

If you go to an ancestral location, you should hope they have great signs like this one explaining the time periods, the industries and the names of the sections of town.

I almost missed it and my husband turned the car around so that I could take this photo.

Today, I did something I have not done before. I read every page of the 1850 census for North Stonington. With the idea of a reasonably exhaustive search, I thought that it was in order.

It was not boring. It was 48 page images. The census records of Connecticut told me that 1, 936 persons lived here in the first "all name" census. The enumerator named Wheeler, had a good handwriting and numbered 365 households. I was surprised at the variety of occupations and at the number of whole households of black persons. Many bore some of the surnames of people from the families I have researched.

I think I found all of my grandfather's family of the surname Stewart living in 1850 and several of other surnames.

That's the reason I wanted to do this. I am making sure I know everything about the people who are buried in the Stewart Hill Cemetery. With the gravestone restoration, I can finally read names AND dates. Now, I can research them to the best of my ability.

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