Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tombestone Tuesday - May 18, 2010

Smith Cemetery is located in Benton County Indiana a few miles south of Boswell Indiana off of Route 41. It is located on a narrow gravel county road called W 850 S. These Smith brother migrated here from Darke County, Ohio. James Smith was the first to die at the age of 60 in 1836. Sarah his wife, died in 1840 four years later. They were buried here in this rural cemetery located along the Mud Creek. There are many other early Smith settlers buried in the cemetery.

James Smith             
Born : 1776
Died: 1836

Sarah Smith
Born:  1782
Died : 1840

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Been too long...

It has been too long since I wrote a genealogical blog.  Things have really gotten away from me but I am glad to be back and want to try writing regularly again. I have been exploring the Smith's from Darke County who emigrated to the Benton County, Indiana area.  I am trying to determine how they are related to us.  It seems that they are first cousins to our James Smith who settled in the Fort Wayne area.  I am working on trying to confirm that.  There appeared  to be as many as four Smith brothers in Darke County.  They included James Smith, William Smith, John Smith and Thomas Smith.  Once again we have very common given name which go along with the Smith surname which means the "Needles in the Haystack" saga continues. 

Last Saturday, my husband and I spent several hours taking photo's of gravestone in two Benton County cemeteries.  The first cemetery was located just east of Boswell, Indiana and is called Boswell Cemetery.  I have not counted the number of photo's I took but there was 97 Smith tombstones on this cemetery.  It was windy and bitter cold.  As you can see from the photo we were out in the open and the wind whipped across the open fields which the local farmers are getting ready for this year's crops. We kept retreating to the car to add another layer of clothing in an effort to keep warm. We have had such a nice sunny and warm spring and the first cemetery photo trip and it turn really cold and windy. Wouldn't you just know it!

   I love to visit this county in Indiana. A few years ago, before I knew there was a possible family connection to this county, my husband and I would ocassionally go to Kentland Indiana to buy a powerball ticket when visiting his folks in nearby, Watseka, Illinois. We discovered the Benton County Wind Farm and have been watching it grow ever since. This county has really jumped on the Green Energy bandwagon and have installed several large wind farms. I just love to see the windmills in action. They just fascinate me! You can see them on the horizon if you look closely to the cemetery photo. I can't help but wonder what these family members who settled here 150 years ago would think about this new industry which is popping up the the rural farms of Indiana. The land is still farmed and the farmers lease the land to the wind farm.

Ok, so I got a bit side tracked with my other passion...I'll blog tomorrow about the second Cemetery visit which proved to be very different from the Boswell Cemetery visit......

Happy Haystack Hunting!

Jan Smith

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - May 4, 2010

Our next stop in the freedom trail was the King's Chapel, located on the corner of Tremont and School streets. When the Puritans settled Boston in 1630, they fled England's Anglican Church. Fifty years later, King James II ordered that an Anglican parish be established in Boston. Angry Puritans would not sell any of their land for this purpose so the Royal Governor seized a section of the town's burying ground and a small wood chapel was built there to house the first Anglican congregation in North America. Membership in the church grew, and the building was enlarged in 1710. By 1741, plans were being made to replace the wood chapel with one built of stone. Once the funds had been raised, construction began on the granite version of King's Chapel in 1749 and it was completed in 1754.

In 1785, the remaining congregation adopted a new theology and became the first Unitarian Church in America. On October 27, 1789, President George Washington attended a concert here and sat in the Governor's Pew, pictured below. In 1790, a front portico with columns was added, and the building soon resembled the King's Chapel that Bostonians recognize today. In 1816 a bell for the church, weighing more than one ton, was cast at the Revere Foundry. Paul Revere called it "the sweetest bell we ever made." Today, the bell is rung by hand for all church services and special occasions. The interior of the church is elegant and one of the most beautiful in New England. The pulpit and its sounding board date from 1717 and were once used in the original wood chapel.
Located on Tremont Street next to King's Chapel, this is Boston's oldest burying place. It occupies land that was once the vegetable garden of Isaac Johnson who was the first person buried here in 1630. Johnson's marker has been lost to time but many old stones survive, including one from 1658. Many of Boston's early English settlers were buried on this small piece of land. The exact number of those who rest here is not known, but it is estimated that there were 10-20 burials for each stone you see today. The stones themselves have been moved several times so even they are not accurate markers for the people they honor.
In King's Chapel Burying Ground you will spot some famous names and some of the most intricately carved markers. Just inside the gate is a beautiful stone carved in painstaking detail by an early Charlestown stonecutter whose name was Joseph Tapping who died in 1678. In the middle of the burying ground, to your left, is the table tomb of John Winthrop, the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In the exact center is the marker for Mary Chilton, who arrived on the Mayflower. Behind the Chilton marker is the tomb of William Dawes, the Son of Liberty and messenger rider who (along with Paul Revere) delivered the news of the Regulars' march to Lexington and Concord on the evening of April 18-19, 1775.  Ironically we are walking this trial on the evening of April 19, 2010, 235 years after that famous night. The street was quiet and we were enjoying our freedom to walk the "Freedom Trail"!