Both my husband and I are working on our respective genealogies. With a vengeance. He is a Son of the American Revolution and a Mayflower Descendant. I’m a Daughter of the American Revolution wannabe (paperwork done just not submitted it yet). And my family missed the Mayflower by about 5-10 years. Oh well.
What is the lure of genealogy? It certainly has grabbed many people and they haven’t wanted to let go. Perhaps it is the draw for stability in a world in which many people move around. The days of raising your children in the house in which you were raised, and your parents before you and their parents before them are over for many families, at least in the area in which we live.
So we delve into our roots. In a previous blog post, A Non-Morbid Cemetery Tour , I talked about how interesting this search is, and would be, on our vacation this summer.
Well, it was that and more. My husband and I decided to go to New England for our vacation and while doing normal vacation things, to look up the towns where our ancestors lived, as well as where they are buried.
It turns out that I’m a gravestone whisperer.
The first cemetery we went to was to find the graves of Jonathan Dorr Bradley (1803-1862) and his wife Susan Mina Crossman (1811-1892). They are buried in the Prospect Hill Cemetery in Brattleboro, Vermont. If any relative I’ve never heard of is reading this, feel free to contact me.
We go to the cemetery and it starts to rain just as I am getting out of the car. This is just a partial view of the cemetery. I should have tried to take a picture of the whole thing, but would have had to be in the Space Station to get it all in one photo. Okay, okay, I’m exaggerating. But it was BIG. Like maybe 1,500-2,000 graves big.
My husband pulls up in front of this much-bigger-than-this-pic shows cemetery. I told him to just give me a few minutes because you never know. I imagined him sighing. I take off in one direction, getting wet, and he steps out of the car in the other direction.
After 3 minutes tops, I yelled “Found Them.” He couldn’t believe it.
The Gravestone Whisperer.
Jonathan Dorr Bradley graduated from Yale and Yale Law School. He has that lawyer look about him so I wouldn’t have wanted to be the grandchild that got in his way, either. They are my grandparents X 4 generations.
Then we traveled into Belfast, Maine to find relaxation and new experiences on the coast of Maine, as well as the graves of Simon Knowles and Lydia Fuller. Simon Knowles, my husband’s grandfather X some number of generations, was a Revolutionary War soldier. His wife, Lydia Fuller Knowles, was descended from Samuel Fuller, who came here on the Mayflower.
We had the address of the cemetery, put it in our GPS and it took us down a rural road. Then to a dirt road. Then to a broken down bridge past where the GPS said we should be. We looked at each other. Then retraced our steps and sure enough, we had gone to the right street. Lots of beautiful dense trees. Nothing else. More trees.
Found because I’m the Gravestone Whisperer.