Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday: By Way of my Blog

Getting to Know Me
"by way of my blog"

Photo of me with hubs, taken 19 August, 2014 in my native hometown of Cranston, RI

Photo by Diane MacLean Boumenot of One Rhode Island Family

New Englanders are often said to be reserved and wary of strangers. As Dr. John Philip Coletta once said when he spoke at a NERGC conference, people in the East make conversation by saying, "So, who are your people?" 

The audience went ballistic because he said something we could really relate to no matter where our people live or where they came from, we as genealogists and family historians are always wondering about the people we meet and who were their ancestors? We care.

After all, what we are most thankful for is having family and good health today, in the past and in the future.

Recently, I went to a casual event of people who blog about their genealogy. Heather Rojo's blog post shows the group photo taken and lists of our blogs. I don't think we look wary or reserved, do you?

We had several discussions and one was about which blog posts are important to us and which blog posts are important to others. I contributed the fact that if you read my blog in a blog reader like Feedly, you may never see the tabs at the top with links to important information, so I think I will put them in the spotlight this pre-holiday season.

Let's begin with "About my Blog"

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Looking Forward by Looking Back

Why Photograph a Entire Cemetery?

Photographing a whole cemetery gives us a "picture" of a neighborhood or area just as census records do. In this case, all of the people buried here have a relationship as descendants of John Gallup I, (1593-1650).

It takes a lot of time to research every gravestone in a burying ground like this, so don't expect that every blog post will have all the information all at once. I may have to go back and add information as I learn more. 

I have picked this fall and winter to blog about this cemetery because of the location and because even the maiden names of the women demonstrate the closeness of this part of Connecticut. Women with surnames such a Stanton and Denison are buried here too. I have found three local history books to help out with this project.

Make no mistake, this is a lot of work. That's why I decided that this should be a collaborative effort and picked a few people to be in a closed Facebook group to help me out.

This is not the first family graveyard that I have completely researched and guess what? More people have died since 2006  and been buried there since I recorded that cemetery. One of my ancestors buried here in the Gallup Burying Ground married a man and they are buried there. That's how I went looking for this. Working backwards through the generations.

While you are waiting to see the gravestones in the cemetery, here's some past photos and blog posts about this location:

View of the long entry to the Gallup Hill Graveyard (author's collection)

Gallup Burying Ground, September, 2007 post

Clearly Defined Rows, July 2010 post

Fresh Flags, September 2007 post

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Identifying Heirloom Jewelry

Silver Ancestral Jewelry
 inherited from my maternal grandmother, 1992, photo 12 Oct 2014

Source Citation: Year: 1950; Arrival: New York, New York;
Microfilm Serial: 
T715, 1897-1957;
Microfilm Roll: 
Roll 7816; Line: 18; Page Number: 100. ( 12 Oct 2014
As I have inherited all of my mother's and grandmother's jewelry, it is hard for me to clearly mark when and who the pieces belonged to. My mother only lived 10 years after her mother. 

My grandmother's jewelry was in the same house as my mother and my mother merged the collections together. However, these two pieces my mother told me were my grandmother's "from a trip". Further evidence is her wearing them in a few photos.

As I have begun to work with the passenger lists of my grandparent's trips provided by, I discovered that these two silver pieces are clearly from Guatemala since the one on the left is stamped with Guatemala on the back and the one on the right says, "libertad 15 de septiembre de 1821". That emblem and date are the liberation of Guatemala from Spain in 1821.

The passenger list for the ship, Jamaica shows my Stewart grandparents and their traveling friends, the Youngs, leaving Puerto Barrios, Guatemala on 6 Apr 1950 and arriving in New York on 10 Apr 1950. I am feeling more sentimental about them now that I know they were bought in my lifetime.

I wish I could figure out which of the many Kodachrome slides matches this trip. Slides of Mexico, Guatemala and Bermuda all look the same to me.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Working with the Hale Cemetery Records

Hale Cemetery Records for Ledyard, at

The Hale Cemetery collection is a great set of transcriptions to have in your toolkit for working with Connecticut cemeteries. As it is someone else's interpretation of what information is on the stones, it is not to be taken literally. Check each transcription against 

But it will help me decipher what is on the most worn or damaged of the gravestones. The list, as you can see here for the town of Ledyard, CTis typewritten and is dated 1932. 

So, any gravestone placed hereafter that date will not appear in the list. I have a few gravestones photographed that are very small and are very worn out. I am comparing the list of names on these pages with what I can see on my own photographs. Many of those are infants.

I can tell you that the list is not in the same order and is not alphabetical either. The list starts on page 35 and ends on page 39.

I am going along with my printout and placing a small colored dot next to the name on the printout indicating that I have a photograph that matches it. (dots). I can only sit for about a half hour doing this before I get bored. 

The Hale pages also tell me who is a veteran and gives a map of the graveyards. I will report on the veterans on November 11. 

I won't post these gravestones in any order. It won't matter to readers. This way I can do more research on some than others and keep track of what I have done.

I hope you enjoy these posts!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: About Gallup Hill Cemetery

Side Gate of Gallup Burying Ground, Ledyard, CT
Photo by Midge Frazel, 15 August, 2009

About the Gallup Hill Burying Ground
Gallup Hill Burying Ground (often called Gallup Hill Cemetery) is also accessible from this side gate. According to the Hale Cemetery Transcription of the 1930s, this cemetery is #10. Each cemetery in Connecticut was assigned a number by town. (So #10 is specific to Ledyard/Groton.) The warranty deed was recorded 29 Oct 1902 and 22 Nov 1902 as reported in the 2009 edition of the Gallup Genealogy on page xi of Volume 1.

Paraphrasing from all the Gallup genealogies, this land was once part of Groton, CT and was the farmland of Benadam Gallup (1693-1755) which was inherited from his father, the first Benadam Gallup (1655-1727) which was inherited from his father, John Gallup in an original land grant from the State of Connecticut. John Gallup died in the Great Swamp fight and is buried in a mass grave in Rhode Island.

The front entrance of the cemetery used to have a gate on it that was removed and now is at the John Mason cemetery The family association now holds this Leyard land privately and maintains the gravestones, the stone wall and the entrances. This photo shows the "right of way" through the woods to the adjoining property. It is 565 feet from the road to the gravestones which I will show in a later blog post.

Photographing and researching each stone in a cemetery is very time consuming. I think the process is as important as the actual photographing so I will be reporting on that as I go along with each stone. It may take a long time for each one to be a Tombstone Tuesday.

My notes say that I visited this private cemetery three times: 23 May 2004, 6 Aug 2007, and 15 Aug 2009. Depending on the photograph I will chose the best one from my collection. Note: Brian Zoldak is contributing his gravestone photos which are way better.

The Gallup Family Association is "dedicated to the purpose of maintaining the care and sanctity of the Gallup Burying Ground on Gallup Hill Road in Ledyard..."  2009, page vii

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Street Signs

Hilltop Drive Street Sign, 2014, collection of the author

Street Signs are located on telephone poles in many neighborhoods. This street sign outside my parent's home looks newer than I remember and it is not on the pole that is directly at the base of our driveway. I imagine it was moved to be on the next pole a long time ago where it should be at the intersection of Ledgewood Drive and Hilltop Drive in "the Plat" in Cranston, Rhode Island.

Living now in a neighborhood where there are NO telephone poles inside our complex, the builder had to put up poles for the signs. One sign has already been lost as it fell off some months ago. I am amused at how hard that street is to find for delivery people looking for it.

It is quite a surprise that I should feel sentimental about the street sign here. When I was a little girl, people were not sure how to write our street name. That's the danger of all uppercase letters. Is it Hill Top Drive or Hilltop Drive? I observed it spelled both ways on mail that came to our house.

While researching "The Plat" last winter and using city directories and plot cards to look at the neighborhood in a different way, I was thinking how important the name of the street is to genealogy research. If you weren't alive, it may be hard to find out where your ancestors lived. Census records, phone books and city directories can help.

I take today's post as a sign that I am moving in the right direction.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: The Scottish Great Aunts Part 1

Photo by Glenn Russell, 2014, Find a Grave Volunteer
The Scottish Great Aunts
Part 1
When my husband's family celebrated holidays, his mother's sisters and brother often invited the Great Aunts to come for the celebration. My mother-in-law inherited the big manila folder from her sister (marked: DO NOT THROW away) with the papers from the great aunts shown here on this gravestone. The other side, according to the paper work says CRAIG, with ivy carving. I have the funeral expenses, the location of the gravestone and the dimensions of the stone. 

This stone cost $250 dollars and was created by the Lawson Granite Company. The dates and names match the document. It was paid for by Margaret but my husband's aunt Janet filled in the final dates and took care of the final arrangements. I seldom see such meticulous paperwork. I admire that.

In the envelope was also naturalization papers. It was a genealogists jackpot!

The Great Aunts: Maggie and Jennie, family photo collection of Stephen H. Frazel, undated

This post covers just this stone but the stories tell so much more. But, for now, it is great to see this stone in Fall River's Oak Grove Cemetery. His family is spread out over this huge city cemetery and my knees and back thank Glenn for not having to struggle and find it.

They lived a long life and worked hard. What more could we ask of our immigrant ancestors? 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: Going to the Library

Pontiac Library, Warwick, RI, photo by Midge Frazel, August 2014

Love Your Library by Going to the Library
I love to read. I have always enjoyed writing and photography. Every job and career that I have had was made better by reading and writing. Sometimes, I am surrounded by "math" people and have had to help them with reading and/or writing. 

In my recent adventure, Hubs and I went into nearby Warwick to take a few photos of what I call Pontiac Village. As a child, this is where the nearest library was located. "The Plat" is physically closer to Warwick and because of the housing developments of the 1950s, businesses and schools were built in places that were once empty space.

Before I was five, I went with my friend to get a library card. Even though I was not a Warwick resident, I was eligible to get a library card.

However, this is NOT the library that was there at that time. The library that was in this village was a tiny building located in what is now the parking lot of this library. We parked our car near the spot where the old library was located. Miss Edith Knight was the librarian in that building It was a small library heated with a pot belly stove. (Wow, am I old!) (History)

Parking Lot for the Present Library built in 1957, photo by Midge Frazel, 2014, 
I was allowed a library card because I could read. My friend picked a book at random from the stacks and handed it to the librarian and she made me read from it. I was sent home with a card for my parent to sign. We walked home, my mother signed, and we walked back to give it to Miss Knight. Then, I could take books out. I picked a book and we walked back home. I remember this better than I do what happened yesterday. Miss Knight was a stern, no nonsense person. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday: Andrews Lot

Thomas Andrews Lot CR#34, Cranston, RI

The Bus Stop
In August, I returned to my childhood neighborhood for a day of pure genealogical joy (instead of heartache) and to "lay to rest" and enhance my memories of the project of last year about "The Plat". At that time, I have no really current photos of places nearby to talk about how our lives change over time. After planting my Heritage Garden in my yard, we decided to return, visit the neighborhood and surrounding attractions all in one day.  

What genealogical adventure doesn't include a cemetery? This is another Rhode Island Cemetery that has been moved. I will blog about it at a later time but I knew you would want to see it now.

This is the Thomas Andrews Lot CR 34. I call it the "bus stop" because this is where our school bus dropped us off. No wonder they made us not wait on this island. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sentimental Sunday: The Homestead

The Old Homestead, August, 2014

Visiting the Plat

We family history folks are sentimental about almost everything aren't we? When we went to Cranston, Rhode Island last month and parked down a nearby street for a couple minutes. I decided to get out of the car and take a photo of my parents house. I don't know the people who live there now and I decided not to go ring the doorbell. I felt comfortable with that. Time can heal. Writing about my childhood was hard but a lot of fun.

My husband said that it felt funny not to pull into the driveway. We spent almost every weekend for a few months trying to help my mother before she got sick and went to the hospital and later to rehab where she did not improve and died of COPD and pneumonia after being sent to the hospital. Her dementia got so much worse. 

Taking this visit was a good idea. I feel so much better now that time has passed. The folks in the neighborhood helped out a lot by watching the house during the week. By the time, it was sold, I was happy to be done with the worry.

The neighbors on the left are now my Facebook friends. I didn't know them as well as the people to the right. One of my childhood playmates is a best friend of the wife on the left. Isn't that amazing. I guess my parents didn't know that.

Sunday is a good time to be sentimental.