Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sentimental Sunday: Howard and Eliza Broadfoot

Photo by Rachel White, 2015. Used with permission

Howard C. Broadfoot and Eliza Bell Button
Taken by my distant cousin from North Stonington, CT is another Broadfoot gravestone for my collection. This is not in my family plot in Westerly but in Pachaug Cemetery in Connecticut.

Having this gravestone takes me back to the hours my paternal family spent with me working out their family into a family tree. We had no idea about dates, but the names on this stone match the earliest notes that I have on this family.

The Google News Archive found Howard's obituary from the New London newspaper, The Day. It gives me much more information than I had before. My father told me that Howard went to college and was the first one of our family to do so. It is always great to have oral history confirmed with evidence.

The Day, 13 May 1971
Howard was the youngest son of Great Uncle Tom and his wife Annie Ferguson and brother to the WWI hero Josiah Broadfoot who died in battle.  Howard was my 1st cousin, 2x removed. He was born in Westerly to this large family that did well coming from Dalbeattie. In 1910, the census tells me they could afford a servant to help take care of the younger children. 

When Howard's father died in 1911, his widowed mother was left to cope alone until 1945 when she died. The 1940 census, lists Howard living in Jewett City with his mother, with she as head of household. She must have been a strong woman.

The obituary tells me that Howard graduated from high school and attended, a least for a year, the University of Rhode Island. He did not marry until September of 1948. Howard and Eliza did not have children. I can't think of any way I would have found this out without these two pieces of evidence. Howard was a "colorist" in the textile industry having worked at Bradford Dye and Aspinook Corp.

By 1971, only two brothers remained alive. John Fergus Broadfoot (1896-1975) and Walter McGeorge Broadfoot (1894-1980). As John Fergus Broadfoot moved to California, I do not have his gravestone. I keep searching but it had not turned up yet.

Thank you Rachel White for noticing this gravestone while she was taking photos in that cemetery. Sometimes, it pays to have an unusual maiden name.

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