Wednesday, January 21, 2009

River Bend Cemetery Book

Of the utmost importance to my ancestral and gravestone research is a spiral bound, self-published book by Mr. Dwight C. Brown, Jr. and his wife Anna Riley Brown of Westerly, RI. These researchers are still living in Westerly, RI.

River Bend is a large, garden style cemetery in what is known as South County RI, which is not a county at all, but a part of Washington County in southern RI near the CT border. This area was originally called Kings County. Both my immigrant Scottish ancestors and many of my Rhode Island ancestors (including my parents) are buried here.

As chance would have it, a visit to the cemetery office by a man (who is no relation but was performing a RAOGK for me) who walks this peaceful resting place, emailed me that the office told him that he should get the "Brown book" to help him locate any burials.

Hence the dilemma, is the book "brown in color" or was the "person who wrote it named Brown"? Hmmm, food for thought. I picked up the telephone and called a relative who lives in this town. She knew right away what it meant and actually knew the man!

She called him on the phone and he told her he only had one copy of Vol. 1 left to sell. With my OK, she drove over and paid him for it. I immediately sent off a check plus some "lunch money" for her trouble. She said it was very interesting to her so I let her keep it a few weeks to do family lookups and then she mailed it to me.

This is a cropped photo of one page. This is a copyrighted book, written in 1993 and I respect Mr. Brown's right to it. I am showing you this sample section to show you how valuable it can be to researchers. Notice the headings at the top of the page which helps define the names, birth and death dates, section where buried and a relationship if known.

Inside the cover is a history of the cemetery. It's a real genealogical treasure and I don't know what I would do without it!

For the next few blog posts, you will travel with me to Section 9 where some of the Broadfoot family is resting. With the aid of this book, the gravestone photos, census and city directories and of course passenger lists, together we will find out about this immigrant family from Scotland.

Thank you, Mr. Brown!

No comments: