Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday - Fountain Hill Cemetery, Deep River, CT

I have had the best genealogy week!  I had spent the better part of eight years relentlessly searching for my great great grandfather; George Henry Haskins.  This past fall I believe to have found him buried in Deep River, CT. in the Fountain Hill Cemetery.   Pieces of the puzzle just started coming together - new information, better census data via and the luck of a google search.  It was an exhilarating find. The kind that gets your blood pumping, mind spinning and creates the inability to sleep.  Since my find I have been trying to locate additional information to source my findings and confirm that this was in fact my George Haskins. 

In my quest to accomplish this task I have been trying to get his death certificate.  Keyword, trying!!  I have not found success.  I have however found very wonderful helpful people in Deep River, CT.  Based on George's burial in Deep River and his last census record stating that he was living in Saybrook, which later became Deep River I sent a request for his death certificate to the town offices.  They couldn't find him, but the town clerk was great.  She emailed me a few times, looked in different places with no success then finally gave me the name, address and phone number of the caretaker of the Fountain Hill Cemetery.  She said that he might be able to give me the burial information that could assist me.  I called the phone number got an answering machine so....I decided to write him a letter to request the information.  I included as much information as I had related to George's death and vital statistics.  Through additional research I now believed that George's sister Julia Haskins Frank and her family were buried in this cemetery as well as his sister Alma Haskins Foster with her husband Willis.  I wondered if they were buried together, etc.

I waited.  I didn't hear anything and then on Tuesday of this week the phone rang.  It was the caretaker of the Fountain Hill Cemetery.  Jackpot, he had so much information.  It was a great discovery!  I am so thankful for the time and energy that he put into helping me find additional clues and facts to build my tree.  In speaking with him he discussed how he and his wife have be recreating the records of the cemetery.  Much of the original documentation had been destroyed and lost.  They have been going through each individual buried in this cemetery creating a data base for individuals like me who are looking for family information.  We also realized through our conversation that we are distantly related; our trees connect with my 9th great grandfather John Hoskins born in 1659 in Dorchester, MA.  He went on to become one of the founding families of Windsor, CT.  We live in a very small world.  He and his wife are also planning to send me photos of my family members' headstones. 

This summer I would love to get to Deep River.  There are things that I'd like to follow up on.  I was informed that the local paper at the time of George's death was the New Era.  I'd like to try to access it to look for an obituary.  My trip will also include a visit with my new long lost relative, he said that he would be happy to show me around.  Thanks for all of your help.  The genealogy community is very generous and we couldn't find all of the vast information out there without people like the individual caring for the Fountain Hill Cemetery.  Thanks!!