Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday From The Collectors - October 31


I’m on a quest to photograph and research as many gravestones of my ancestors as I can. Most are buried in New England in the states of CT, MA and RI and some date back to the early 1700s. My immigrant ancestors were stone-cutters in their native country of Scotland, hence the name of my blog.

Isaac Denison

The spookiest graveyard I have visited holds many important, ancient gravestones. While exploring the graves my husband and I both have experienced an unsettled feeling in the Whitehall burying ground in Old Mystic, Connecticut that we don’t feel in any of the many other local or distant cemeteries we visit.

Whitehall Entrance
Old Mystic, Connecticut

The gloom and the gleam

It may be because my mean tempered 5th great grandfather Elisha Williams, Sr. who is buried there may be justifiably haunted by the women in his life. Unlucky in love, Elisha married three local women, each of whom, died before him. He finally married a widow who outlived him and is the only one not buried by his side. With only two children surviving to adulthood who had different mothers, Elisha was known by the community to be controlling, self-centered and angry.

Elisha Williams, Sr.

Elisha locked his teenage daughter Eunice in her room to wait for the man he chose for her to marry. Eunice, having her father’s defiant nature, had other ideas as she had her eye on Isaac Denison, who was not her father’s choice. With her father gone to get his chosen son-in-law, Eunice climbed out her second story window, jumped to the ground and ran to her dead mother’s brother’s home for sanctuary. She had to stay there until her father cooled off. Eunice got her way and married Isaac a short time later when she was eighteen. Isaac and Eunice were the parents of a dozen children and lived a privileged life for their time and certainly teenage Eunice’s choice of husband worked out just fine. Did her father hold a grudge?

Eunice Williams Dennison

With some research, I discovered that Elisha named each successive daughter after his previously deceased wives. Is this the reason his wives haunt him to this day? Read more about Elisha and his family in the Granite In My Blood blog.

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Copyright © 2008
Midge Frazel
Granite In My Blood


Blogger Velda said...

What a creepy story! I'm a graveyard hopper (both for genealogy and curiosity) in Canada. Great blog! I really enjoy reading it.

October 31, 2008 at 3:59 AM  
Blogger Midge Frazel said...

Happy Halloween to all who read this family history story. May your ancestors haunt you!

Thanks FootnoteMaven for a memorable event!

October 31, 2008 at 5:18 AM  
Blogger Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

What a story. It reminds me of my of my relatives who married about four times as well. I believe he fathered at least 16 children if not more, however, I don't think he named any of his children after his dead wives. Although, I might have to look at that again. Thanks for sharing.

October 31, 2008 at 5:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very interesting reading Midge! And great to see you "dig" to get the stories behind the stones of your ancestors.


October 31, 2008 at 6:50 AM  
Blogger Terry Thornton said...

MIDGE, What an interesting family story! And the "gloom and gleam" was just the nicest touch --- shades of a graveyard rabbit! I most enjoyed your work.

MAVEN, Thanks for continuing to present such interesting writers! Perfect for the season too.


October 31, 2008 at 10:52 AM  
Blogger Nikki - Notes of Life said...

A very interesting story! Elisha definitely seemed like a controlling man... Maybe his wives did haunt him! :)

November 1, 2008 at 9:28 AM  
Blogger Judith Richards Shubert said...

Loved your creepy story, Midge! The pictures certainly helped. I am in awe of your writing skills.

Judy Shubert

December 4, 2008 at 10:27 AM  

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