feeling warm and comforted

3.28.20 ~ Moore Woodlands, Groton, Connecticut

Perhaps kind thoughts reach people somehow, even through windows and doors and walls. Perhaps you feel a little warm and comforted, and don’t know why, when I am standing here in the cold and hoping you will get well and happy again.
~ Frances Hodgson Burnett
(A Little Princess)

Last week was a little tricky. My gut pain flared up after a relatively good spell and I was pretty down in the dumps about it. I’m trying to learn to live with the fluctuations between good days and bad days and how unpredictable it all is.

anyone know what this is?

By Thursday I was well enough to attempt a walk at the beach, thinking a familiar place would be better than a new adventure. But it was disappointing to see too many people there, many of them not respecting the social distancing obligation. Friday we tried again and I was so disheartened to find cigarette butts on the rocks and a big pile of dog crap on the lawn. No smoking is allowed on the beach property! And dogs are supposed to be on-leash and their poop scooped. I suspect some people are coming to the beach to visit with their friends because their usual hang-out places are closed. I was also depressed not seeing any gulls, although the brant geese seem to be making the beach their new home.

Saturday we sadly decided to take a walk somewhere else and found Moore Woodlands, on the other side of town. We encountered a friendly family of five on their bikes near the entrance and we all respected the 6-foot social distancing protocol, much to my relief.

As we were leaving we came across a couple looking for a nearby cemetery and had a nice conversation with them across the stone wall from a safe distance. Another family came by and also gave everyone a very wide berth. It made me feel so much better about people after the distress I felt at the beach.

It was a lovely cloudy day and the mood in the woods was tranquil, with many birds singing. It was good to get a walk in before the rain came later in the day. It was as if nature was kindly whispering the comfort I needed so badly.

3.28.20 ~ collected some additions for my wooden pine cone bowl

boulder deposits

3.21.20 ~ Glacial Park, Ledyard, Connecticut

Saturday we took a walk at Ledyard Glacial Park. Life has seemed so surreal lately and even the woods seemed too quiet. But soon we heard the voices of youngsters having fun and then appeared a mother walking down the trail with her four children. We moved about 6 feet off the path, to comply with social distancing. The family respectfully continued past us but greeted us with multiple rounds of “hello,” “bye,” and “enjoy your walk!” We responded in kind. So that’s how it is supposed to work and it felt good to know we were on the same page and in the same world as strangers, our neighbors.

Ledyard is among the areas of the United States that was covered by a continental ice sheet during the last Ice Age. Therefore, Ledyard has its share of interesting glacial geology. The glaciers that covered Ledyard carried the many large boulders that litter the town. The town has set aside land designated as a “Glacial Park” which consists of a section of end moraine and outwash deposits (containing kettles). This area encompasses a segment of the “Ledyard Moraine” — a clast-supported boulder deposit that is anomalous in nature.
~ Wikipedia

Please enjoy the photos. I took way too many!

3.21.20 ~ quartz
3.21.20 ~ spotted wintergreen
3.21.20 ~ We took the left fork and then turned right on the by-pass. Half way up the by-pass we turned around and went back the way we came.

On Sunday we learned of the first case of coronavirus in our town. A 52-year-old woman. So it’s here…

tip of the iceberg

“A Late Riser’s Miserable Breakfast” by Carl Larsson

This is one of my favorite Carl Larsson paintings. I think it’s a combination of the appealing colors and the gentle reminder that some days just seem to start off on the wrong foot. For kids and adults!

There are 68 detected cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut now, all of them west of the Connecticut River in the western four counties, bordering New York. So far the eastern four counties, including our New London County, have no detected cases. But our state epidemiologist estimates there are 100 undetected cases for every detected case, so we are seeing just the tip of the iceberg. The suspense is getting to me. How bad will it get?

It was different in the last pandemic. The Spanish flu of 1918 entered Connecticut through New London.

In Connecticut, the state’s busy ports, and particularly New London’s Navy base, provided an easy point of entry for the disease. The state’s first recorded case of influenza appeared among Navy personnel in New London on September 11, 1918. By October 25, the State Public Health Service reported 180,000 cases. It appears the outbreak, after originating in New London County, moved to Windham and Tolland Counties and then continued on south and west to New Haven, Hartford, Fairfield, and Litchfield Counties. Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, and Waterbury recorded the most flu fatalities in the state, but smaller towns like Derby and Windham were also hard hit by the disease, with even higher death rates per thousand than in the larger cities. The war ended in November 1918, but the flu epidemic raged on.

By February 1919, the flu had finally subsided, leaving 8,500 dead in Connecticut.

~ Tasha Caswell
(Eighty-Five Hundred Souls: the 1918-1919 Flu Epidemic in Connecticut ~ ConnecticutHistory.org)

Reading used to be my favorite occupation but in recent years I haven’t been able to do much of it because it would put me to sleep, even in the daytime. It’s been very puzzling to me why this would be so. But I think I might have finally figured it out. I keep losing my place when I finish one line of text and try to move down to the next. It was exhausting trying to focus and find the next line. Yesterday I tried holding a bookmark under the line I was reading and then moving it down to the next one. It worked! I read a whole chapter with ease! Looks like I can add reading back to my list of self-quarantine activities.

So now I am reading These Fevered Days: Ten Pivotal Moments in the Making of Emily Dickinson by Martha Ackmann. It’s nice to escape from today’s reality, even if for a few hours at a time.

self-quarantine

3.11.20 ~ wind-ruffled feathers

There are 12 detected cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut now, and no doubt there are plenty more undetected cases. Our self-quarantine continues. A few days ago we drove down to the beach and encountered this solitary gull withstanding the wind. It was good to get some fresh air.

The days are passing slowly, hours filled with jigsaw puzzles, yoga, chores, cooking, watching movies, video-chatting with family. Anxiety comes and goes. Hoping we are doing our share of “flattening the curve.”

Flattening A Pandemic’s Curve: Why Staying Home Now Can Save Lives

sitting ducks

“Sick Maria” by Joaquín Sorolla

Prepare, don’t panic. Difficult to do when one feels there is no available protection against the spreading new coronavirus. But we are obediently following the directions given by authorities. Doing something feels better than doing nothing. Two weeks of food and supplies — check. Now what?

So far there are no detected cases of COVID-19 in Connecticut, although surrounding Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York have some. Apparently there is no evidence of widespread transmission — yet. It’s a creepy feeling, waiting and wondering…

An email came from my insurance company yesterday, outlining preventative measures and assuring me that should I get sick I would be covered — shouldn’t that go without saying? — and that the test would be covered, too.

I am, reasonably, I think, concerned because we seem to be in the population group most at risk for dying of this, over 60 and with underlying health conditions. On the other hand, our grandchildren will likely be fine even if they do come down with it. Uncertainty reigns, as always.

So I wonder this, as life billows smoke inside my head
This little game where nothing is sure
Why would you play by the rules?
Who did? You did. You…

~ Dave Matthews
♫ (Dodo) ♫

Capt. John Denison & Phebe Lay

2.23.20 ~ Denison Burial Ground, Mystic, Connecticut
Capt.
John Denison
Died 1698 Age 52
His Wife
Phebe Lay
Died 1699 Age 49

Capt. John Denison, my 8th-great-grandfather, son of George and Ann (Borodell) Denison, was born 14 June 1646 in Roxbury-Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, and died 26 April 1698 in Stonington (New London) Connecticut. He married 26 November 1667 in Saybrook (Middlesex) Connecticut, Phebe Lay, who was born 5 January 1651 at Saybrook Point-Old Saybrook (Middlesex) Connecticut, and died in 1699 in Stonington, daughter of Robert and Sarah (Fenner) Lay.

The following is from Ancestors & Descendants of Calvert Crary & His Wife Eliza Hill, Liberty, N.Y. collected by Jerry Crary, (New York, Privately Printed, 1917) 61

The marriage contract or deed of settlement, arranged between their parents, is recorded in Saybrook. By this deed of settlement, executed before the marriage, the respective parents conveyed to John Denison and Phebe Lay, the farm granted to Capt. George Denison near the mouth of Mystic River in Stonington, and the house and land in Saybrook, which Mr. Lay had formerly bought of John Post. … They settled in Stonington, on “the farm near the mouth of Mystic River.” He was known as “Capt. John Denison,” held a prominent position in Stonington, and in many ways was a man of mark.

John & Phebe were the parents of nine children:

  1. Capt. John Denison, born 1 January 1669 in Stonington, died in 1699 in Old Saybrook. He married about 1690, Ann Mason, who was born about 1669, daughter of John and Abigail (Fitch) Mason. John & Ann were the parents of five children.
  2. George Denison (my 7th-great-grandfather), born 28 March 1671 in Stonington, died 20 January 1720 in New London (New London) Connecticut. He married (as her second husband) about 1694, Mary (Wetherell) Harris, who was born 7 October 1668 in New London, and died there 22 August 1711, daughter of Daniel and Grace (Brewster) Wetherell, and widow of Thomas Harris. George & Mary were the parents of eight children.
  3. Capt. Robert Denison, born 17 September 1673 in Stonington, died there in 1737. He married about 1696, Joanna Stanton, who was born 5 June 1679 in Stonington, and died about 1715, daughter of Robert and Joanna (Gardner) Stanton. Robert & Joanna were the parents of five children.
  4. Capt. William Denison, born 7 April 1677 in Stonington, died there 13 February 1730. He married (as her first husband) in March 1698, Mary Avery, who was born 17 November 1680 in Stonington, and died there 5 February 1762, daughter of John and Abigail (Chesebrough) Avery. William & Mary were the parents of eleven children.
  5. Dea. Daniel Denison, born 28 March 1680 in Stonington, died 13 October 1747. He married (as his first wife) 1 January 1704 in Stonington, Mary Stanton, who was born 3 February 1687 in Stonington, and died there 2 September 1724, daughter of Robert and Joanna (Gardner) Stanton. Daniel & Mary were the parents of three children. Daniel married (as his second wife) 27 October 1726 in Stonington, Jane Cogswell, who died about 1736. Daniel married (as his third wife and as her second husband) 17 November 1737, Abigail (Fish) Eldridge, who was born about 1691 in Groton (New London) Connecticut and died there 17 June 1784, daughter of Samuel and Sarah (Stark) Fish, and widow of Daniel Eldridge.
  6. Samuel Denison, born 23 February 1683 in Stonington, died there 12 May 1683.
  7. Anna Denison, born 3 October 1684 in Stonington. She married (as her first husband) 7 April 1702 in Stonington, Ens. Samuel Minor, who was born 28 August 1680 in Stonington and died there 8 December 1717, son of Ephraim and Hannah (Avery) Minor. Anna & Samuel had no children. Anna married (as her second husband and as his second wife) about 1718, her first cousin, Edward Denison, who was born about 1678 and died 9 December 1726 in Westerly (Washington) Rhode Island, son of George and Mercy (Gorham) Denison. Anna married (as her third husband and as his second wife) 16 July 1734 in Windham (Windham) Connecticut, Lt. Jeremiah Ripley, who was born 4 August 1662 in Hingham (Plymouth) Massachusetts, and died 10 March 1737 in Windham, son of John and Elizabeth (Ripley) Ripley.
  8. Phebe Denison, born 6 April 1690 in Stonington, died there 30 December 1775. She married 2 April 1706 in Stonington, Lt. Ebenezer Billings, who was born 1 January 1684 in Stonington and died there 20 July 1760, son of Ebenezer and Ann (Comstock) Billings. Phebe & Ebenezer were the parents of twelve children.
  9. Sarah Denison, born 29 July 1692 in Stonington, died there in 1733. She married 7 November 1711 in Stonington, Isaac Williams, who was born 10 April 1688 in Newton (Middlesex) Massachusetts, and died 24 March 1733 in Stonington, son of John and Martha (Wheeler) Williams. Sarah & Isaac were the parents of eight children.

My Denison Line

Capt. John Denison (1646-1698)
George Denison (1671-1720)
Daniel Denison (1703-1749)
Mary Denison (1728-?)
Elias Thompson (1773-1848)
Lucy Anne Thompson (1808-1852)
William Martin White (1836-1925)
Samuel Minor White (1873-1949)
John Everett White (my grandfather)

2.23.20 ~ Denison Burial Ground, Mystic, Connecticut

Last Revised: 29 February 2020

Jonathan Brewster & Lucretia Oldham

1.27.20 ~ Brewster monument, Brewster’s Neck Cemetery, Preston, Connecticut

In 1646, New London was settled by colonists from Massachusetts. The first English settler within the bounds of modern Preston was Jonathan Brewster who acquired land from Uncas at the mouth of Poquetanuck Cove on the Thames River, later called Brewster’s Neck.
~ Town of Preston website

In Memory of
Mr. Jonathan Brewster
eldest son of
Elder Wm. Brewster:
Born in England.
Came to Plymouth
in 1621 & to New London
in 1648-9.
removed to this.
Brewsters Neck
in 1650.
History speaks of his acts.
Deceased AD.
1661.

Last month when we were out and about we located Brewster’s Neck Cemetery in Preston, two towns north of us. As it turns out we both descend from Jonathan Brewster, making us 10th cousins, once removed. Jonathan & Lucretia lie buried in this plot, although the original gravestones have long since disappeared.

1.27.20 ~ entrance, Brewster’s Neck Cemetery, Preston, Connecticut

Jonathan Brewster, my 9th-great-grandfather and Tim’s 10th-great-grandfather, was born about 1593 in England, and died about 1660 in Preston (New London) Connecticut, son of William and Mary (—) Brewster. He married 10 April 1624, Lucretia Oldham, who was born about 1601 in England, and died 4 March 1671 in Preston.

Jonathan arrived in Plymouth on 9 November 1621, on the Fortune and Lucretia arrived 10 July 1623, on the Anne. When they settled in Brewster’s Neck, near the Thames River, about 1650, it was part of New London. Preston was incorporated as a town in 1687, after their deaths.

Jonathan & Lucretia were the parents of eight children:

  1. William Brewster, born 9 March 1625 in Plymouth (Plymouth) Massachusetts.
  2. Mary Brewster (Tim’s 9th great-grandmother), born 16 April 1627 in Plymouth, died about 1698 in Scituate (Plymouth) Massachusetts. She married 12 November 1645, Eld. John Turner, who was born about 1620, and died 16 June 1697 in Scituate, son of Humphrey and Lydia (—) Turner. Mary & John were the parents of thirteen children.
  3. Jonathan Brewster, born 17 July 1629 in Plymouth.
  4. Ruth Brewster, born 3 October 1631 in Duxbury (Plymouth) Massachusetts, died 30 April 1677 in New London (New London) Connecticut. She married (as her first husband) 14 March 1651, John Pickett, who was born about 1629 and died 16 August 1667 at sea, son of John and Elizabeth (Ives) Pickett. Ruth & John were the parents of six children. Ruth married (as her second husband and as his first wife) 16 July 1668 in New London, Charles Hill, who was born about 1630 in England and died October 1684 in New London. Ruth & Charles were the parents of five children.
  5. Capt. Benjamin Brewster, born 17 November 1633 in Duxbury, died 14 September 1710 in Norwich (New London) Connecticut. He married (as her second husband) 28 February 1659, Ann (Addis) Dart, who was born before 17 March 1628 and died 9 May 1709 in Norwich, daughter of William and Millicent (Wood) Addis, and widow of Ambrose Dart. Benjamin & Ann were the parents of eight children.
  6. Elizabeth Brewster, born 1 May 1637 in Duxbury, died February 1708 in New London. She married 7 September 1653, Peter Bradley, who was born about 1634 and died 3 April 1662 at sea. Elizabeth & Peter were the parents of four children. After becoming a widow Elizabeth gave birth to a son out of wedlock with a married man, Christopher Christophers, who was born about 1631 in England and died 23 July 1687 in New London.
  7. Grace Brewster (my 8th-great-grandmother), born 1 November 1639 in Duxbury, died 22 April 1684 in New London. She married 4 August 1659 in New London, Capt. Daniel Wetherell, who was born 29 November 1630 in England and died 14 April 1719 in New London. Grace & Daniel were the parents of five children.
  8. Hannah Brewster (my 8th-great-grandmother), born 3 November 1641 in Duxbury, died 11 December 1711 in Groton (New London) Connecticut. She married (as her first husband) 23 December 1664 in New London, Samuel Starr, who was born about 1640 and died before 22 February 1688 in New London, son of Thomas and Rachel (—) Starr. Hannah & Samuel were the parents of four sons. Hannah married (as her second husband and as his second wife) before 8 May 1690, Capt. James Morgan, who was born 3 March 1643 in Roxbury-Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts and died 8 December 1711 in Groton, son of James and Margery (Hill) Morgan.

Our Brewster Lines

Jonathan Brewster (1593-1659)
Mary Brewster (1627-1698)
Ezekiel Turner (1650-1704)
Grace Turner (1692-1784)
Ezekiel Minor (1723-1780)
Martin Minor (1750-1820)
William Minor (1788-1856)
Paulina Elizabeth Minor (1822-1898)
Elona Naomi Case (1853-1929)
Marion Case Raven (1883-1926)
Lenore Naomi Raven (Tim’s grandmother)

Jonathan Brewster (1593-1659)
Grace Brewster (1639-1684)
Mary Wetherell (1668-1711)
Daniel Denison (1703-1749)
Mary Denison (1728-?)
Elias Thompson (1773-1848)
Lucy Anne Thompson (1808-1852)
William Martin White (1836-1925)
Samuel Minor White (1873-1949)
John Everett White (my grandfather)

Jonathan Brewster (1593-1659)
Hannah Brewster (1641-1711)
Thomas Starr (1668-1712)
Rachel Starr (1705-1791) ~ married her 2nd cousin, Daniel Denison
Mary Denison (see above list)

On the edge of the Brewster plot we found three more stones from the Norwich Ovoid Carver, mentioned in several previous posts. These belong to a son, daughter-in-law and grandson of Jonathan & Lucretia, not in our direct lines. These stones are much harder to read than the ones in Groton, but thanks to the work of others at Find-A-Grave I was able to identify them.

HEAR LIS
THE BODY O
F CAPT BENIM
AN BRUSTER
WHO DIED
SEPT THE 14TH 17
10 AGE 77

Capt. Benjamin Brewster (1633-1710), son of Jonathan & Lucretia

HEAR LIS
THE BODY
OF MRS AN B
RUSTER WH
O DIED MAY
The 9 1709

Ann (Addis) (Dart) Brewster (1628-1709), wife of Benjamin

HERE LIES T
HE BODY OF MR
JONATHAN BRU
STER WHO DYED
NOVr THE 20TH
1704 AGED 40

Jonathan Brewster (1664-1704), son of Benjamin & Ann

Last Revised: 29 February 2020

James Morgan & Margery Hill

1.27.20 ~ James Morgan (1607-1685)

A visit to the special history collection at the Bill Memorial Library in Groton turned up another book containing a map of the Avery-Morgan Burial Ground, identifying who is buried where. To the right of the line of four ovoid stones of my ancestors (discussed in previous posts) are two more graves with very small stones. They mark the resting places of the parents of Capt. James Morgan. My 9th-great-grandparents. Back to the cemetery for more pictures!

1.27.20 ~ Margery Hill (1611-1690)

James Morgan, my 9th-great-grandfather, was born about 1607 in Wales, and died 6 August 1685 in Groton (New London) Connecticut. He married 6 August 1640 in Roxbury-Boston (Suffolk) Massachusetts, Margery Hill, who was born about 1611 in England, and died 28 April 1690 in Wallingford (New Haven) Connecticut, presumably while visiting her daughter.

The following is from History of New London County, Connecticut, with Biographical Sketches of Many of Its Pioneers & Prominent Men compiled under the supervision of D. Hamilton Hurd, (Philadelphia: J. W. Lewis & Co., 1882)

James MORGAN died about 1685. He was about seventy-eight years of age. The earliest notice of him is from the records of Boston, where the birth of his daughter Hannah is registered, eighteenth day, fifth month, 1642. He was afterwards of Gloucester, and came with the Cape Ann company to Pequot, where he acted as one of the townsmen from 1653 to 1656, inclusive. His homestead, “on the path to New Street,” was sold Dec. 25, 1657. He then removed east of the river, where he had large grants of land. The following additional grant alludes to his dwelling: “James MORGAN hath given him about six acres of upland where the wigwams were in the path that goes from his house towards CULVER’s among the rocky hills.” He was often employed by the public in land surveys, stating highways, and determining boundaries, and was nine times deputy to the General Court. His estate was settled in 1685 by division among four children,–James, John, Joseph, and Hannah, wife of Nehemiah ROYCE.

James & Margery were the parents of six children:

  1. Hannah Morgan, born 18 July 1642 in Roxbury, died 12 December 1706 in Wallingford. She married 20 November 1660 in New London (New London) Connecticut, Nehemiah Royce, who was born 30 May 1637 in England, and died 1 November 1706 in Wallingford.
  2. Capt. James Morgan (my 8th-great-grandfather), born 3 March 1643 in Roxbury, died 8 December 1711 in Groton. He married (as his first wife) in November 1666 in New London, Mary Vine, who was born about 1641 and died 8 December 1689 in Groton. James & Mary were the parents of six children. James married (as his second wife and as her second husband) about 1690, Hannah (Brewster) Starr, who was born 3 November 1641 in Duxbury (Plymouth) Massachusetts, and died 11 December 1711 in Groton, daughter of Jonathan and Lucretia (Oldham) Brewster.
  3. John Morgan, born 30 March 1645 in Roxbury, died 12 February 1712 in Preston (New London) Connecticut. He married (as his first wife) 16 November 1665 in New London, Rachel Deming, who was born about 1643 in Wethersfield (Hartford) Connecticut and died 6 August 1689 in Groton, daughter of John and Honor (Treat) Deming. John & Rachel were the parents of seven children. John married (as his second wife) about 1689, Elizabeth Jones, who was born 28 August 1664 in New Haven (New Haven) Connecticut and died 23 August 1711 in Preston, daughter of William and Hannah (Eaton) Jones. John & Elizabeth were the parents of eight children.
  4. Lt. Joseph Morgan, born 29 November 1646 in Roxbury, died 5 April 1704 in New London. He married in April 1670 in New London, Dorothy Park, who was born 6 March 1652 in New London and died 5 April 1704 in New London, daughter of Thomas and Dorothy (Thompson) Park. Joseph & Dorothy were the parents of ten children.
  5. Abraham Morgan, born 3 September 1648 in Roxbury, died there in August 1649.
  6. unnamed daughter, born 17 November 1650, died a week later.
1.27.20 ~ Erected to the Memory of the Founders of the First Avery and First Morgan Families in America Whose Graves Are Near This Site.

The Norwich Ovoid Carver

So we finally made it over to the Groton Public Library and found the above book in the James Streeter History Room. Unfortunately, the identity of the carver of the gravestones in my last three posts is lost to history, but he is referred to as the Norwich Ovoid Carver.

Particularly in the old Norwichtown burying ground, but also in Windham, Groton, Preston, and Coventry, one finds a small number of large rude semicircular stones that are among the earliest carved stones in the area. They are not just the crude initialed carving found in many inland cemeteries. These stones have obviously been shaped and the fronts smoothed. There is no attempt at designs, but the lettering is deeply and boldly cut and has remained legible for over two hundred years, often without appreciable deterioration. The Groton stones are particularly clear, but may well have been recut. There is something appealing in the elemental cleanness and strength of these early stones. They give one the impression of a society determined to remember its founders forever with no nonsense about it.
~ James A. Slater
(The Colonial Burying Grounds of Eastern Connecticut & The Men Who Made Them)

Besides the four gravestones in Groton belonging to my ancestors, there are thirteen more found in Norwich, three in Preston, two in Windham and one in Coventry.