Thursday, September 5, 2013

Family History Sneaks Into Our Vacation Trip

My wife knows that somehow, in some way, I will find a family history angle to pursue whenever and wherever we go away on a trip.

For the second year in a row, Ellen and I have traveled by car to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. These 'vacation' trips have been for the primary purpose of attending the annual open house at the Hope for Wildlife animal rescue and rehabilitation centre. We became aware of Hope for Wildlife through a television series about the efforts of it's founder Hope Swinimer and the many volunteers working to rescue, rehabilitate and release Nova Scotia wildlife. We certainly appreciate the great efforts made by these folks to return injured and orphaned animals back to the wild.

This year, we changed our travel plans by choosing a route for the journey that took us through the United States. In past, we have traveled to the Canadian maritime provinces using an all-Canada route.  This year's route allowed us to change the scenery and allowed me the opportunity to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, achieving a tick mark on my 'bucket' list.

Typically, we have driven for two long days to arrive at our maritime destination but now, since both Ellen and I are retired and can take the time, we slowed down and allowed ourselves four or five shorter days of travel by car. This year, the route we selected took us from our starting point in Ontario through New York state, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, back into Canada through New Brunswick and finally Nova Scotia.

On the second night of our trip, we stayed in Lexington, Massachusetts. I noticed on our drive there that many of the names of the towns we passed were connected in some way to Ellen's ancestors, her roots running deep in the New England states. At our hotel that night I used our iPad with the RootsMagic database app along with the Google maps application to locate the cemetery in North Andover, Massachusetts where Ellen's 7X great grandfather, Edmond Faulkner, is buried.

Using the location information, I programmed my GPS unit to direct us the next morning to about where the cemetery ought to be. So there we were, at the start of our third day on the road, standing in the Old North Parish Burying Ground.



There was only one way to find the grave of Edmond Faulkner - walk the cemetery, checking the headstone inscriptions as we went. Fortunately, this cemetery is not too large and within about ten or fifteen minutes, I found the gravestone for Edmond. 

Edmond Faulkner died in 1687. The headstone that now marks his grave was erected in 1905, I'm assuming as a replacement for a thinner, likely weather faded stone that was originally in place. The current gravestone is thick and heavy, bearing a bronze plaque that reads (my transcription):

To The Memory Of
EDMOND FAULKNER
Who was born in Kingsclear, England.
He came to America and settled 
in Andover.
He was one of the founders of the
first church in Andover in 1645.
Died January 18, 1687.
Erected by descendants of the
seventh generation.
In 1905 (this latter date is chiseled into the stone below the bronze plaque).

I still don't know the names of my 7X great grandparents but Ellen is more fortunate. Here she is at the grave of her 7X great grandfather Edmond Faulkner.

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