My blog has been changed to make it more appealing for those who have New England ancestors and want to see the area through photos. Things I’ll include are typical white New England churches, libraries showing their genealogical collection, historical societies, cemeteries, war memorials, in general, anything to do with history.

For four years I’ve blogged mostly about my personal genealogy in New England (Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire), New York, New Jersey, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada. I still will, can’t forget my own roots.

Please check out the labels on the right side for articles. The header tabs at the top are a work in progress.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Amazing Eliza Bishop -- Surname Saturday

 Eliza Bishop was a young single woman who died at the age of 36, and buried in a cemetery plot all alone, all relatives in another state. She made a large contribution to society, so there is a fair amount of information about her. And locating her cemetery and grave were easy, as there are three different books and a town produced sheet that listed her burial site and death information (listed below). You can get very, very lucky sometimes. If you search and search, you can often find many sources with the information you are looking for. Always a good thing, until they conflict.

The small book, Memoir of Miss Eliza Bishop (listed in was published after her death. I grabbed the little leather bound book after my grandfather's death, and was always interested in this young woman. Not until I got into genealogy did I try to place her in the family, visited her grave and donated my book (see photo) to the Westfield Library, in Westfield, Massachusetts. Her parents and other family members are buried in Connecticut, see I Did Everything Right, but Couldn't Take a Photo!

Eliza's name appears in the below books and a pamphlet:

1.  Tombstone Inscriptions of the Older Cemeteries of Westfield, Massachusetts (Mass. DAR, 1946)  (Inscription given.)

2.  A List of Gravestones in the Mechanic Street Cemetery, Westfield, Massachusetts (Westfield Athenaeum, 1939)  (Inscription given.)

3.  Mechanic Street Cemetery, Alphabetical List by Family (Walter Ayers, Dir. of Parks, 1995) A detailed map with block number by all names, made it easy to find the monument.

4.  Bridgman, Thomas, transcribed by, Inscriptions of the Grave Stones in the Grave Yards of Northampton, and of Other Towns in the Valley, (Northampton, Mass., Pub. by Hopkins, Bridgman & Co. : 1850). Pg. 152. (See below.)

Eliza was my first cousin, 4 times removed.  And no, I don't have a photo.  My husband remembers I ran out of film.

 Last chapter


Many books have been published just with cemetery information, not just the names, and Lot number, but dates and inscriptions.  Examples of some books I've used are below.  And some don't even have the word "cemetery" in the title  So if you do a google search, also try a variant of that word, like Burial, Inscriptions and Tombstones.

Whitcomb, Esther K., Inscriptions from Burial Grounds of the Nashaway Towns: Lancaster, Harvard, (+6 more towns), (Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, 1989).

Dunkle, Robert J., and Ann S. Lainhart, Inscriptions and Records of The Old Cemeteries of Boston, (NEHGS, Boston: 2000).

Derby, Perly, Inscriptions from the Charter Street Burial Ground, Salem, MA, (Essex Institute of Historical Collections, Vol. 13, 1877).

District of Columbia Society of Daughters of the American Revolution, Inscriptions from Tombstones in Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, D.C.

N.S.D.A.R., Cemetery Records and Tombstone Inscriptions, Kalamazoo Co., Michigan, (1959).