Who is the mourning woman

Who is the mourning woman seen in Clark’s Cemetery?  She seems to be mostly interested in the Grant tomb, but was seen in various parts of the cemetery at dusk last night.  Two sisters shared some incredible sorrow.  Could it be one of them?  Margaret Grant Brown Simpson was the daughter of Alexander and Catherine Grant. She was born in 1844 in New Brunswick and married John Brown on June 6, 1861.  After his death she married Edward Simpson on October 12, 1893.  She died in Gloucester on March 13, 1921.  Her poor child was Nellie Brown. She was born in 1861 and died in Gloucester on October 27, 1862.  The death record is difficult to read, but it appears that she died from burns and hemorrhage and that she suffered for three weeks.  Nellie was a nickname.  Her real name was Mary L. Brown.

Margaret’s sister Mary also lost her husband and child. Mary A. Grant Low was born in 1834 in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia and married Benjamin Low on April 2, 1860.  She died in Rockport on December 29, 1907 and left her estate to her sister, Margaret Simpson. Her husband Benjamin Low was lost at sea and her little boy, Thomas Sweet Low, died of brain disease when he was six years old.

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Willing to Try

Killing Japanese Knotweed with Coffee and Vinegar. Details Here

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Plot 102 Aiken Children

How we found them

This is how we found them July 2016. One was completely taken apart. Both were very dirty. They were put back together without setting compound. One base was way out of plum. A few weeks ago the Cemetery Restoration Partnership leveled. July 19th I was able to get back to them and do a permeant installation of all the pieces. One base is not plumb, but it is solidly in the ground.

Plot 102 owner name is Margaret Fleming.  She purchased the plot in 1862, the year her husband died.  There are several tombstones in this plot, including one that is illegible.

  1. James Thomas Fleming was the son of Edward Fleming and Rebecca Golden.  He was born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia in 1822.  He died in Gloucester on September 28, 1862.
  2. Margaret Anne King Aiken Fleming was the wife of James.  She was born to Isaac and Martha King in Duxbury, Massachusetts on June 6, 1819. She first married Captain John David Aiken on January 3, 1839 in Shelburne. He was lost at sea in the Bay of Fundy in 1842.  (Her son by Captain Aiken was John who was also lost at sea when the schooner “Grace L. Fears” went down in 1897.). Margaret married James Fleming after the death of her first husband.  She died in Gloucester on June 29, 1890.
  3. Willard Aiken was the son of John Pierce Aiken and Margaret Crosby Perry (1844-1916, buried on Oak Grove).  He was the grandson of Margaret.  He was born in Gloucester in 1862 and died there on September 19, 1866.  Other than a death date in the death index, I couldn’t find any records of his short life.   We only know of him because of his little tombstone.
  4. Lendall Aiken was the son John and Margaret Aiken.  Margaret Fleming was his grandmother.  He was born in Gloucester on November 30, 1868 and died of lung fever on December 29, 1870.
  5. Lillian M. Aiken was the daughter of John and Margaret and the granddaughter of Margaret Fleming. She was born in December of 1872 and died in Gloucester on August 19, 1873.  I couldn’t find any records of her little life.  Her little tombstone is just like her brothers.
  6. John Francis Aiken was the son of John and Margaret and the grandson of Margaret Fleming.  He was born in Gloucester on June 24, 1874 and died of cholera infantum on August 5, 1874.
John P. Aiken was the father of all four children.
After being set correctly. Next will be a good cleaning.
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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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