Monthly Archives: December 2014

A tale of two gravestones

Zachary Garceau gravestone 1This Thanksgiving, I spent the holiday at the home of my girlfriend’s family in Little Compton, Rhode Island. It’s a beautiful home that dates back to the eighteenth century.  Among the many historical elements of the place that fascinated me, there was one which left me curious. In the backyard, leaning up against a stone wall, is a well preserved gravestone which reads:

In/Memory/of/SALLY/Wife of/Jeremiah Briggs, Esq./Who died/Feb.y 27th 1809,/In the 23d year of/Her age.[1] Continue reading A tale of two gravestones

Getting the picture, or, reflections on research

Cornelia Wheaton Ayer
My nephew’s great-great-great-grandmother, Cornelia Wheaton Ayer (1835-1878).

As part of his schoolwork, my nephew is working on a family tree showing his forebears. The assignment seems fairly flexible: Show as many ancestors as you can, or, if you don’t have much information, focus in greater depth on the more recent ones you do know.

My brother-in-law is just getting started on his genealogy, so I suggested beginning with what he knew: the identities of his parents and grandparents. I pointed Christopher toward the California Birth Index, 1905-1995, as he should be listed there, and toward Lindsay Fulton’s Vita Brevis post on Social Security Administration applications, since information on his twentieth-century ancestors will be found in those files. Continue reading Getting the picture, or, reflections on research