When it is too cold to work IN the cemetery, I work ON the cemetery. I sit with my I pad on my lap and scan Gloucester vital records, page by page, looking for burials that are not recorded in Find a Grave. I have not finished, but have some observations to report.
Clark’s Yard was the place to bury babies. Parents must have been able to purchase a readily available burial plot at an affordable price. Sometimes I find the parents in Clark, but frequently I don’t. I wonder if there are certain sections that were set aside and if so, where? I also wonder why these little angels were not already in Find a Grave. If the entries were based on DPS records, then babies must not be in there. If entries were based on photos, then we would have very few people.
I enjoy the challenge of figuring out a bit of each person’s history. Sometimes I have to do some serious research just to figure out some impossible-to-read names. Checking siblings’ records often gives me help in decoding some difficult cursive. I then search to get the parents’ names (including the mother’s maiden name) and the date of birth of the deceased.
Right now there are 555 folks, although there are a few duplicates. 600 doesn’t seem to be an unreasonable estimate. We definitely need some ground penetrating radar.
Since Kathy started researching the Massachusetts Town and Vital Records online for Gloucester she has added sixty-three internments to Find A Grave. The majority have been for Clark’s Cemetery. She has found new relatives of mine. Also that Pvt. Richard J. Powers was killed in action during the battle of Petersburg City, VA. on August 21, 1864 at Weldon Railroad. He served with Company D, 32nd Regt. Massachusetts. His plot is Lot 97, Block 6, Grave 2.
2018 is starting to look like a banner year for Clark’s Cemetery. Awesome Gloucester provided a $1000 micro grant to but a tripod for lifting heavy monuments. The Gloucester Cemetery Advisory Committee was awarded $9600 for restoration projects in First Parish Burial Ground and Clark’s Cemetery. The National Park has expressed an interest in returning to both cemeteries to continue with education and restoration events in both cemeteries.
After the post about the Wreaths program I received many messages, emails and a couple of phone calls. Mr. Joseph Orlando reached out by phone, and explained a lot about the program. His call pointed me in the direction of his sister with whom I will work this year on the Wreaths Across America program.
I found out that there will be no wreaths placed in Clark’s Cemetery from the Wreaths Across America program.
Wreaths Across America Facebook Page Wreaths Across America Website
I visited Second Parish (The Ancient Cemetery) today. Started out warm and sunny, then the heavens opened and we had a steady rain. It was a fun walk in the woods and interesting to walk an old cart path.
One of the well preserved grave markers is that of Hannah Haskell who died October 26, 1814 at the age of 93. Her father was the Reverend John White. Her husband was Nathaniel, son of William Haskell IV (not the original settler). He was born in Gloucester on January 16, 1719 and died on July 31, 1808. He married Hannah on November 11, 1740 and had eleven children. He was deacon of Second Parish for fifty years.
I did not find the grave marker of my ninth great grandfather, Deacon Joseph Haskell. He was the second son of the immigrant, William Haskell, and is my farthest back ancestor with a known grave. It was photographed in 2013, so I am hoping I just missed it, and it has not been taken. He was born on June 2, 1646 and died November 12, 1727. He was a deacon of First Parish, and when Second Parish was formed, he was chosen as its deacon. He was also a selectman for several years. He married Mary Graves of Andover on December 2, 1674 and had ten children. His daughter Hannah was my eighth great grandmother.
Today I got after the Japanese Knotweed between Clark’s property line (rock wall) and the railroad track fence to increase the visibility to the prime party spot at Grant’s Tomb. If you would like an easy way to help with this issue. You can go to https://mbta.com/customer-support and select “Request” and paste the following into the “Lets us know how we can help” box.
There is a group of people who party in Clark’s Cemetery, and in the fall and winter have fires. A volunteer has cleared the Japanese Knotweed between your fence and the cemetery. Please have your engineers call the Gloucester Police non emergency number (978) 283-1212 to report any suspicious activity they notice in the cemetery.
Today I met with Bill Manuell of Wetlands & Land Management (978) 777-0004 to determine the extent of the wetlands buffer zone in the cemetery. The buffer zone just barely crosses over the property line. I’m very appreciative of him volunteering his time and knowledge in determining this important part of the effort to eradicate the Japanese Knotweed that has taken over Clark’s Cemetery.
The morning after the Awesome Gloucester micro-grant presentation one of the presenters found this document in her mail box.
Click on the images to view them full size.
Last night the Gloucester Cemetery Advisory Committee tried for the third time to get an Awesome Gloucester Micro-Grant. Sadly, Clark’s Cemetery did not receive the grant. This just means the presentation needs to be modified to better entice the foundation’s support. The $1000.00 would have gone towards a tripod strong enough to lift the 13 grave monuments that need to be put back into a position of respect, and Jahn to secure them in place. Maybe it is time to explorer other funding options.
Today, (9/5/2017) we investigated some of the broken grave markers to see if they were fixable. We cleaned up around the stones and tried to piece them together. Unfortunately at this time, there are too many missing pieces. I say, “at this time” because there are chunks of marble laying around all over the cemetery. Every now and then we spy a piece that fits somewhere.
Nathaniel and Judith Sargent have a legible stone, but are missing bottom pieces.
Henry Plummer is barely legible and the three big pieces have weathered so much that they won’t go together any more.
Alexander McKenzie, a recent find, is in many pieces.
We will leave them on the black fabric for now, hoping to find pieces, but the long term solution needs to be investigated. Do they weather better laying flat or propped up vertically? Some people recommend burying the pieces, but that seems kind of rude. We just freed them from all that brush.