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.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Did Somebody REALLY Cut out the Tombstone?

A recent cemetery trip to Lancaster, Massachusetts to find several direct ancestors proved quite interesting. One of the oldest stones there was for Thomas Wilder, my 9th great grandfather. Upon locating this stone, I noticed a small piece of paper stuck on it, then realized it was either glued or put in the hole. I removed it, and to my amazement, saw that a chiseled out block had been done, so the paper could fit. FindAGrave shows the damage, with the paper removed.

What was on the paper? Four generations of the Wilder family with birth dates.
Burl A. Wilder, 1899-1993 
Alan S. Wilder, 1932
David A. Wilder, 1964
Nicholas F. Wilder, 1997

to the Memory of
from Lancaster in England,
who first settled at Hingham
in 1641, and came to this Town
July 1, 1659, and died Oct 23,
1667, leaving three sons - viz
from whom are derived all
of the name WILDER in
this Town and vicinity  ***
Old Common Burying Ground
Lancaster, Worcester Co., Massachusetts

*** Now, it turns out some of the information on the above stone is incorrect! A person posted updated genealogical information and fortunately, I found the source. New information on the FAG site is: "New information, based on DNA testing, has indicated he was not related to Edward Wilder of Hingham, and is not of the Shiplake, Oxfordhire Wilder family. His origins are therefore unknown at present, including a supposed birth year of 1618. He may have been from the Lancaster area in England, but this has not been established with any degree of certainty. (See "American Ancestors"(NEHGS) Spring 2010 issue.) The reference to him living at Hingham on the latter day stone erected in the cemetery (see photo and inscription) is incorrect.

He was of Charlestown, MA, admitted as freeman in 1641, marrying there, and purchasing land in 1643.

He was living on 1 July 1659 at Lancaster, Worcester County, Massachusetts, when he signed the Town Orders. He left a will on 22 January 1666/67 at Lancaster, and he served on 3 February 1667 as Selectman of Lancaster. Thomas's estate was inventoried on 29 November 1667 at Lancaster, and his estate was probated there on 4 March 1667/68." I'd like to give credit to the person who wrote this, but I don't know who it was.


Michelle Goodrum said...

You run across is the most interesting stories in the most unlikely places.

Susan Clark said...

Seriously? This is bizarre. Is there a way to find out when the stone was erected? It's clearly not of the time.

I have serious reservations about information on several memorial markers I've come across, but it never crossed my find to try editing them.

Carol said...

Ok, that is a first for me, have never seen that before. Gulp.

Heather Rojo said...

Do you think the Nicholas on the paper put it there? He's obviously still around if he was born in 1997.

Cynthia Shenette said...

This brings cut and paste to a whole new level. Totally bizarre.

Becky said...

Thanks for posting this, Barbara... we're cousins - again - Thomas Wilder is my 10th great-grandfather! My line goes from Thomas > Thomas > Joseph > Lucy who married John Joslin in 1733.

If you recall, we're also connected through the Kilborn line...

Barbara Poole said...

Thanks to all my friends for your comments, and to Becky Wiseman for thinking I had a good memory that I could recall something.
Heather, Nicholas would be a teenager, so it's hard to say.

Becky Wiseman said...

Ooops, guess I need to pay more attention to how I'm logged into G-Mail (I have two email accounts).

It's a good thing you figured out who "Becky" was! LOL. I apologize for any confusion that may have caused.

Ray said...

The hole is most certainly a "correction" done by the stone carver at the time. Anyone frequenting old graveyards containing slate stones has probably seen one of these corrected letters - sometimes words or dates - intact if they've paid attention. Why scrap the entire job if you can edit your mistake. Common yankee thrift. The slate containing the 'n' that was morticed into the hole has simply not survived the ravages of time and New England weather.