I have BIG plans for 2014, including new blogs about the importance of citations of resources; the resolution of one of the “roadblocks” I encountered in 2013 and announcing the new members of the family line. I will continue to post photographs, family recipes and little Vignettes of Life.
May you all have a Happy Healthy New Year. Keep warm and safe.
What does Bread, an accident and a Soviet hammer and sickle have to do with R.I.P.?
They are all buried in New Hampshire Cemeteries. How did I find them? I found them in a place where you wouldn’t expect to find your ancestor. They are listed in books about the curiosities, weird things or local legends you find around New England.
Some may say that is not genealogy research. Others tell you to think out of the box when doing your research. I thought out of the box and found one of the surnames of my ancestor; Chase. It turned out not to be my direct family line. It did, however, capture my interest. If this was my ancestor I would want to have the story as part of my research. The three stories I will tell you about are just a needle in the haystack of the curiosities, oddities and local legends that I found. So, go cruise you local library or local bookstore; you never know who you will find might find in those stacks.
1 a. From page 212 “Weird New England:…” Among the overgrown area of the Faxen Hill Road Cemetery in Washington, New Hampshire, well hidden from sight you will find the grave of Fred and Elba Chase, my “found cousins,.” Fred Chase descended from Acquila Chase, who arrived in America on the eight ship after the Mayflower, according to his grand daughter, Norah Chase. The stone reads: “In memory of a comrade, A courageous and devoted fighter in the class struggle.” The front of the grave marker bears the Soviet hammer and sickle above the name Chase. How many people do you know that had the courage to display such a symbol in 1933, the year Fred Chase died and the same year that diplomatic relations began with the United States.
1 b. From page 212 “Weird New England…” In the same cemetery as Fred and Elba Chase lies Captain Samuel Jones LEG. Yes, it reads leg. When on 7 July 1804, Samuel had an accident that called for his leg to be amputated he decided to have it properly buried. The belief of the time was that if you properly buried your dismembered appendage, you would experience less phantom pain. Several years later, when his remaining parts died, he was buried in Boston. Thus, Rest in Peace became Rest in Pieces for this gentleman with two burial sites and death dates.
2. From page 189 “New Hampshire Curiosities…” brings us to the last story for this post, Emil A Hanslin, baking Bread or is he? Emil was not a baker. You will find Emil encased in a casket-enclosing crypt with air vents in the back. Many of the locals living in New London, New Hampshire think he had a sense of humor, because he is laid to rest in a “loaf of bread.” He was an awarding winning real estate developer who knew how to make bread of the “green” kind. I think maybe his wife, Suzanne Sission Hanslin, a sculpture may have had a hand in its creation. Does it matter? It might to you as an ancestor, I leave the search for your capable hands.
I could go on with so many others, but I want to leave some of the fun up to you. I leave you with a tease about other oddities I found. So are your ancestors alien seekers, coffin thief’s, or maybe just the creator of a house made totally out of newspapers? Have fun finding the Oddity in your family tree. I found mine; Now you find yours.
I have embedded some links in my story for you to find out more on these interesting people.
The ashes of Suzanne Sisson Hanslin are to be laid next to her husband where the bronze door is.
I was surprised that when I “Google” Andrew Jackson’s visit to New Hampshire, I received mainly links to the historical marker about his visit. There was a link to a well written article about his visit to Lowell, Massachusetts. I finally found a small tidbit on the visit in a book from the Federal Writer’s Project called “New Hampshire: A guide to the Granite State,” on page 463 regarding the chapter titled Tour 15 from Concord to Fitzburgh. It seems that Hillsbourgh Historical Band was invited to play for President Jackson in Concord, New Hampshire. They enthusiastically traveled by wagons to Concord.
The book reads: “They traveled by wagons to Concord, gay in their uniforms of gray coats with bell buttons, black leather caps with plumes, and white pants. Reaching Concord at night, they struck up a lively tune and awoke General Pierce, who stormed and raved because they had disturbed his guest. President Jackson then laughed and invited them to a feast.”
I post this in honor of the 180th anniversary of President Andrew Jackson’s visit to New Hampshire on this coming Saturday 29 June 2013.
Here lies buried the first and only settlers of Dixville until 1865. John
Whittemore and his wife Betsey. Dixville had been granted to Colonel Timothy Dix
in 1805 on the condition that thirty settlers be established here within five years.
Colonel Dix died in the War of 1812. the town was taken over by Daniel Webster,
a sponsor of Colonel Dix.
After the Whittemore’s arrived in 1812 they endured extreme privations for
three years. A road through the notch was opened, but not during the winter,
causing them to be isolated. In December 1815 Betsey died. Her husband was
obliged to keep her body frozen all winter before he could bury it. Following
her death John moved to Colebrook where he lived until his death in 1846.
He was laid to rest here by his wife’s side.
New Hampshire State Parks
Landmarks can be found anywhere, including the middle of a hiking trail in the Great North Woods of New Hampshire. When I look at this photo now, I think of what it can offer me from a genealogical point of view. When taken I just thought how interesting that someone actually lived in this remote area. They survived the winter’s blistering winds, blinding snowstorms, bone freezing ice and nature’s creatures that prowl those woods day and night. They enjoyed the summer time refreshing breeze, breathtaking panoramic views and the comforting birdsong filled days.
Please take a moment to read the local landmark you walk or drive by daily. It will offer you an insight into the life of your community in year past; maybe even a glimpse into your family ancestors. If nothing else it will provide you with a tidbit of history.