Linda's Orchard

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Month: February, 2012

Don’t Believe Everything You Find

     It’s a funny thing about searching for ancestors, there are errors everywhere. Birth years in particular are very unpredictable. The census records are not always accurate. Death certificates are only as good as the person reporting the information. Marriage records often have fabricated ages. Emerson Corville not only created an alias for himself, he fibbed about his age so often that none of the descendants really knew how old he was. Recently I found his baptism record from Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk, England. Despite the tombstone indicating his birth year as 1833, we now know he was actually born in 1835.

Mt. Adnah Cemetery, Fulton, New York

Amos Calkins was born 16 September, 1797 in Tinmouth, Vermont. He came to New York with his family while still a young boy. They built the first Presbyterian church in the area. He fought in the War of 1812 and married Thankful Savage a few years later, on 11 September 1816. Amos was a descendant of Edward and Samuel Fuller, Mayflower passengers.  He died on 31 December, 1880. Amos and Thankful are buried in the Mt. Adnah Cemetery in Fulton New York.  

Finding my family from the past…one cemetery at a time.

Last Spring I had the pleasure of meeting Janice, a professional genealogist from New York. She and I hiked up the hill to an abandoned cemetery. We maneuvered our way around brambles and  thickets, eventually coming to the crest of a hill where we looked over the Hudson River. Janice had previously found the graves of my ancestors and was delighted to show me. It was touching to see the tombstone of John and Mary Orchard, my 4th great grandparents. The following day I was compelled to return. This time I brought Ted. I showed him the grave of Francis Celia, a granddaughter of John and Mary who died as an infant. As we examined the stone more closely, we realized there were more words engraved, just below the dirt. Since I flew to New York from California, I didn’t have my usual “cemetery bag”, a canvas duffel with brushes for gentle cleaning and a spade or two for scraping the dirt. Instead, I used twigs and my hands to scrape away the 160+ years of debris. Imagine my surprise when I read the lovely epitaph:

“Farewell thee lovely daughter,

For thee I’ll weep no more,  

But trust that we’ll meet again,

On Canaan’s happy shore”

Abandoned Cemetery