We continued our ride south along the coast, looking for graveyards. We had done our homework in the Westerly, RI library and, even though we knew many of our ancestors had died in Westerly, we didn't find their names in the cemetery books. This must be because the Sailing ship rigging inscriptions had worn away and were not copied down. We did take a look for the old Pendleton burying ground in Westerly, but didn't find it.
So it was on to Connecticut, where we proceeded directly to the famous Mystic Seaport. This is a beautiful collection of nineteenth century sailing ships, together with a completely equipped shipyard to build and maintain such a fleet. We wandered happily through the buildings and ships, some of which are used for training young sailors-to-be! Mystic Seaport also has an extensive research library which can be used to study ships of the area. When we gather a list of ships of interest, we'll be returning to this library.
A visit to the Groton library gave us lots of leads for gravestones. We discovered three cemeteries and one monument to visit James Avery memorial nearby. We found at least one ancestor in each cemetery, and also the monument. So we had identified memorials to two sets of 8G Grandparents and one set of 6G Grandparents, which is not too shabby.
The memorial was lots of fun -- a huge bust of James Avery, a pilgrim forefather sitting on top of an immense column of marble. It was put up about 100 years ago, at the time the old homested (which had been in the family for eight generations) burned down.
Lots of these old cemeteries need care and attention. It would be a good project for local historical and genealogical societies to work on, but it probably lost in the shuffle because it isn't dramatic and is hard work.
In the New London Cemetery, someone has put in brass plaques with the inscriptions (which are chipping off) from the graves of Negroes. Some are called "Servants" but for the time were probably "Slaves." This is a good deed and will aid some black genealogists in their work. Finding an old grave is a satisfying thing.
Also, this cemetery had lots of table-like structures that were used as kind of tombs.
We stopped near Old Lyme, and we'll probably take a sightseeing drive tomorrow before continuing on our quest for ancestors' graves.