Thursday, October 14, 2010
High on the list of things to do once we reached Richmond was a visit to Hill Cemetery to lay flowers on the graves of our father's ancestors. But it proved more difficult to find the cemetery than we thought. We drove around peering into hedges, tree rows and overgrown fields. We asked at the town hall then drove around some more. We finally found Cemetery Road and the house on whose land the cemetery lay, but still could not figure out where it was.
On the off chance that he might be able to give us some direction, I sent an email to a Find-a-Grave friend, Linus Leavens. He was the fine fellow who fulfilled a photo request months before. He agreed to meet us and walk us in across the field and up the hill.
Early the next morning, we hopped out of the car and looked up at a forested slope like all of them around us. Linus pointed up the hill through the trees and assured us that indeed at the top was a cemetery. Circumventing the dew-drenched field, he made a bee-line for a barely discernible path. The golden leaves littered the forest floor providing a damp but firm footing for the steep climb. Linus strode ahead, like many a Green Mountain man before him; while Sissy and I followed gasping for breath. Pulling ourselves up through the last trees, we got our first glimpse of the headstones in the clearing.
The farmer who owned the land at some point, finding it difficult to mow around them, had removed the stones and stacked them. Generations later, the stones were reset, but not knowing where the graves lay, the stones were put in two long rows alphabetically. An odd arrangement to be sure, but these old stones are still readable when many other younger ones I have seen are not. We followed Linus straight to the "A's".
Our G5 Grandfather, Isaac Benoni Andrews was born 23 August 1765 to Isaac Benoni Sr and Mabel Messenger. He married Sara Morris when he was 24. She was 18. They had 6 children: Horace, John G. Sally, Thomas, Lucy and Lois. Only Horace, John G and Lucy lived to adulthood.
Sarah died in 1804 and Isaac married Clarissa Fay in 1805. Clarissa Fay was the daughter of Salmon and Azubah Packard Fay. Clarissa was 20 years his junior. They had 9 more children, bringing Isaac's total to 15. Isaac's oldest child, Horace was only 4 years younger than his step-mother. Not a surprise then when he married one of Clarissa's younger sisters, my G4 grandmother Azubah Fay. So I am not only descended from the Andrews line but also the Fays.
I cannot thank Linus enough for taking the time from his busy day to escort 2 strangers to an abandoned hilltop cemetery.