Sunday 5/25

Work party 10:00 ~ 12:00 at First Parish and Clark’s

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Sunday 9/23

Tomorrow, 9/23 from 10:00 ~ 12:00 the Cemetery Restoration Partnership and Clark’s Cemetery Restoration crews will be in First Parish repairing a Dolliver headstone and in Clark’s work will be righting Anderson monument.  Please stop by to say Hi, volunteer for any amount of time you have, or to ask questions about what is going on in theses old cemeteries.

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I Found Sydney Woodbury

The grave marker for Sydney Woodbury is not too far from our Clark Family and it is on the main path.  It has been damaged and on the ground for a very long time.  I have tried for several years to find out if he died  at Antietam, since he died on the same day.  He did serve in the navy, but it wouldn’t seem likely that a sailor would die at the Battle of Antietam.  There is no death record for him.  I have researched his entire family, thinking that I might find a family tree in Ancestry with information. No luck.

Sydney’s monument has been reset and is looking good.  I decided to try again.  I thought the newspaper for Gloucester would have a list of war casualties, so I looked in the Gloucester Telegraph for the 17th of September, 1862 and the week after.  I scanned the lists of men serving and didn’t see him.  Then an article caught my eye and as I was reading it, Sydney Woodbury’s name jumped off the page.  The article was damaged in the middle, but the first paragraph was legible as was the part about Sydney.

The Gloucester Telegraph

Serious Railroad Collision

“A collision occurred on the Eastern Railroad at Wenham, a little before eight o’clock on Wednesday evening, between a train on the way to Newburyport, containing one passenger car, and a train of four cars returning from Portsmouth with about 200 persons who had been on an excursion to that city, under the direction of Mr. Perham.”

“The fireman of the excursion train, Sydney Woodbury of Gloucester, who has been employed on the road but a few days, was killed. – His head nearly severed.”

As the D2 cleaner takes effect in the coming weeks, his monument will be a handsome reminder of a young man lost in his prime.  It will give me something to talk to him about as I clean knotweed from the Woodbury Family Plot.

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Sorry About That, John.

I have been cleaning around Gideon and Abigail Lane lately and there is a small tombstone behind them.  It looked like a child’s monument, so I put a little action figure I found next to it.  I decided to look into this little guy’s life and was quite surprised.  This is what I found in Ancestry.

John E. Hoyt was born in Danvers on April 1, 1850 to Oliver Hoyt and Ellen F. Lane, the daughter of Gideon and Abigail. His dad was a peddler.  John listed his occupation as a fisherman in 1870, but in subsequent years he worked as a laborer and a painter.  He never married and lived with his widowed mother in later years.  His brother, William Oliver Hoyt was a hairdresser in Gloucester.

John died on January 21, 1892 – a full-grown man.  The cause of death was pneumonia following la grippe.

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Veteran Roll Call

The Veterans buried in Clark’s have been hidden for many years.  Please take a few minutes to watch the Roll Call video.

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First Day Back

Working in the cemetery is both demanding and rewarding.  Fighting the Japanese Knotweed is tough.  We’re  making progress is this fight with this devil weed.  The images below, while taken from different angles, are of the same location. 

My main focus today was to make sure there are clear paths to all of the veteran headstones.  As I was clearing the areas around the Civil and Spanish American war veterans headstones I was thinking about the outrage over the NFL events.  It got me to wondering why there is no outrage about the lack of care and respect for the graves of veterans buried in Clark’s Cemetery.

CleanPro was in First Parish and were going into Clark’s when they were done.

More 2016 images

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The Winter Project

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.

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Pvt. Richard J. Powers

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.


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New Year

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.

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Sad News

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

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