Tuesday, August 23, 2016

All Aflutter

It was on a garden tour that I saw my first butterfly bush. It stood about eight feet tall and five feet wide, and it was totally aflutter with many, many butterflies. Needless to say, I have had one in my own yard ever since. I prune mine back each spring to keep it a manageable size, and the lovely fragrance and blossoms attract both bees and butterflies.

There is a trip to Ireland in my future, so I have been redoubling my genealogy efforts to ascertain from which parts of Ireland my ancestors emigrated.  The parents of my paternal great grandmother hailed from County Tyrone, but I don't know anything specific about the rest of my paternal ancestors other than they all came from Ireland and all before 1860. Yesterday morning, I had a friend accompany me to the gravesites of my paternal great-grandparents. The first stop was Holyhood Cemetry in Brookline. Though I had not been there since I used to drive my aunts there on Memorial Day, I was able to easily find it as I remembered that it was near a chapel and under a beautiful old tree. That tree is off to the left, not in this photo. Even back then, I remember thinking that this is a lovely final resting place for my ancestors. I brought with me the original deed in case I was not able to find the site; more about the deed below.

Then we drove to Cavalry Cemetery in West Roxbury where I had a bit more trouble locating the grave I was looking for. My friend was amazed at just how very large both these old cemeteries were, and I would add, they are both very well maintained. I copied down the names and dates on the stones, but I think there is more to discover. The deed that I spoke of indicates three owners; none of those names appear on the family stone. Perhaps the stone was erected in later years. Something to investigate.

Now regarding that deed . . . the date of purchase was June 1866. What would you think the 1/2 lot cost in those days? I was amazed to see that it cost $75.00 which seemed like quite a sum given the low wages of those days. In the 1860s, ten dollar a week was a good salary. I also found the regulations dated as of 1858 interesting:

"1.  No smoking allowed on the grounds.
 2.   Racing and noisy conduct, to and from the Cemetery, will be punished according to the law.
 3.  Carriages never to go or stop abreast in the avenues, but in single file; and no vehicle is to be   driven in the Cemetery at a rate faster than a walk.
 4.  No horse is to be left unfastened without a keeper.
 5. All persons are forbidden from gathering any flowers, either wild or cultivated, or breaking any tree, shrub, or plant."

Further down it offers a twenty dollar reward to any person "who shall give information to the Proprietor which shall lead to the conviction of the offender for the trespass done by taking or plucking any flowers, shrubs or trees, within the grounds, or of otherwise injuring the grounds or of any other offense against the laws and regulations provided for the protection of the Cemetery, and the monuments and erections therein."  Whew!

In the end, I now I have a few more avenues to explore.

1 comment:

  1. I look forward to learning if you find some of the answers to your questions! I'm impressed with your memory of where the gravesites were!