Wintery New England Days…

It’s been a long and cold winter, and good ol’ Punxsutawney Phil, “King of the Groundhogs, Father of all Marmota, Seer of Seers, Prognosticator of Prognosticators” (I kid you not, check out the website !) has foreseen an even longer winter. Got almost three feet of snow in the “Blizzard of 2005” awhile ago, and with continual cold winds and temperatures, cemetery exploring is just not at it’s peak. Photos are hard to take with the glare of the sun against the snow, and frankly it’s much nicer to stay inside and gather cemetery and genealogical info with paperwork and the internet – beside a nice fire with some hot cocoa!

With the start of the New Year, it’s time to begin planning what the year has in store. When it gets warmer, I will trek out to the almost-forgotten Munroe Cemetery and the definitely-forgotten Stetson Cemetery, both in Hanson. Munroe Cemetery is still marked on maps, but the Stetson Cemetery no longer exists on any modern maps, and I hear has sadly fallen into great disrepair. Both are hosts to some of the oldest stones in the town (1750s-70s), along with 1800s stones from relatives and neighbors.

A quest for photographs will bring me to Colebrook Cemetery and Mt. Zion Cemetery in Whitman, where many former citizens of South Abington are buried, boasting a rich array of colonial names.. Gurneys, Reeds, Ramsdells.. the list goes on and on.

Much of the Providence cemeteries are left to be explored, and some, especially St. John’s, require photo re-shoots – my harddrive crashed right around Christmas and I lost many good photos. While going digital was a huge blessing in many ways, I should have had the forethought to burn them all to CDs or print them for good measure! Hard lessons indeed.

Since I’m buried in snow, much of my work recently has been on the wonderful USGenWeb where I serve as the Town Coordinator for Hanson, MA – check out the website. I have been collecting many books, papers, and maps and trying to compile genealogical, historical, and cemetery information about the town as I can, and it is a pleasure to contribute and work on.

Here’s to spring!

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