I’ve spent most of my day sorting through the boxes of genealogy info I have in my closets. Yes, it’s time to finally organize. And no, I’m not terrible excited about it. But you should be because I’m looking for all sorts of new items to post here.
Here’s an interesting item I discovered today. It’s a survey I did of the Wells Lot (Hopkinton Historical Cemetery #25) home of Randall Wells and his wife Lois Maxson, my 4th great grandparents back on my 2012 Genealogy Road Trip.
That archaeology class I took in college finally paid off. I remember one of the projects I had to do for that class was an archaeological survey of my dorm room. Had to grid it out and draw the entire contents of my room (much to the dismay of my roommate, Laura.) Much like I did back then, I walked back and forth, starting at what is on the above map, the bottom right and worked left. When I got to the rock wall (the edge of the cem) I walked back to the far right and started again. This is how the numbers work. Right to left, starting at the bottom.
First of all, you have to know you couldn’t do this sort of survey as the cemetery stands today. Back in 2012, there was moderate growth, but now the area is totally overgrown, like you can barely see any stones. Here’s what I’m talking about:
Here’s me standing in the middle of the lot in 2012. Note how you can see the ground.
Here is a shot I took this past fall (Oct 2017). The area is totally overgrown with some sort of pricker covered vines that have choked out most everything but the trees and stand waist-high. In the above photo you can kind of see the rock wall that runs on the left of my hand drawn map.
DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the Wells Lot is on PRIVATE PROPERTY. Although I tell you where it is located, I am not giving you permission to go on private property. Also be aware that the hunters in the area are usually drunk and shoot anything that moves. OK, now I feel better.
One of the reasons I went to visit Randall and Lois’ graves last October was to collect the GPS coordinates for it. Here’s the coordinates as collected by my phone:
When you enter these coordinates on Google Maps, this is what you see. What was a farmer’s field was a construction site when I was there last fall. Looked like they were building something down on Gray Lane.
So back to how I’m a bit of a geek for the survey I did. A circle with a T in it is a tree. A circle with a number in it is a headstone. A field stone really as there are no inscribed headstones standing at this time. I also noted the distance between stones. Since I forgot my tape measure, I paced it out so a foot is the actual length of my foot. I found 33 stones that I suspected might be field stones marking a burial, but I might be wrong on a couple of them. On my survey, you can see how many of them are in neat rows like any headstone in a cemetery would be. Here’s what the large boulder at the bottom left of the map by the rock wall looked like in 2012:
Here’s what it looked like in 2017:
Not geeky enough for you? Well, I also photographed each stone with its number on the map. Here’s a few samples. Can you find them on my map?
So who’s buried here? We only know the names of three for sure and they are:
- Randall Wells: 1747 – 1821
- Lois (Maxson) Wells: 1748 – 1819
- Elizabeth Pendleton: 1747 – 1819
They rest are a bit of a mystery. Personally, I think they are Randall’s family. The land would have been in the Wells family for a few generations prior to Randall. It’s entirely possible that his parents and grand parents are there with him. Sadly, the only thing we know for sure is that we’ll never know.