This blog will serve as a shared resource for those who are interested in gravestone photography, genealogy and family history. Most of the photographs will be of my ancestors or of cemeteries I am photographing, transcribing and researching.
[Charter member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits.]
"Summer of the Sea Captains" first wife of Capt. Gurdon GATES "Devoted wife & mother. We loved her"
Esther D. MINER, first wife of Capt. Gurdon Gates was the daughter of Isaac Denison MINER and his wife Esther DENISON, who are buried at Elm Grove Cemetery in nearby Mystic, CT. Her mother was the daughter of Isaac Denison, Sr. and his wife Eunice Williams, who were my fourth great grandparents.
Esther was born 22 Feb 1821 and was married to Capt. Gurdon Gates when she was eighteen years old by Rev. Erastus Denison. on 13 June 1839 (Barbour Index for Stonington, 5:76). The 1850 census for Gurdon and Esther is the only one in which she is named. In addition to her husband, Gurdon, listed as a "sailor", her unmarried sister Eunice (transcribed as "Bunion Miner") and a 14 year old male child named Gurdon Niles lived in the household. There is a woman who is 21 who might be a housekeeper or nanny for Gurdon and Esther, only child, Henry who is ten years old. His full name is William Henry Gates.
This is significant because Esther dies at the age of 31 years leaving behind her son who was only 12 years old.
Capt. Gates marries his second wife Martha PHELPS in 1853, so she, as a second "sea captain's wife", becomes William Henry Gates' step-mother. Of course, Martha and Gurdon begin to have more children and the story continues....