As I told you about in my last post, The Hubs and I recently visited Lynn, MA, where so many of my family members came from. And, I mean many…
We visited quite a few of them at the Pine Grove Cemetery in Lynn. We spent a lot of time lost, trying to find the Keene plot. And, along the way, on headstones and memorials on nearly every lane, were names from my family tree: Breed, Keene, Ingalls, Hood, Bassett, and Thompson….
It really was rather strange. This place is FULL of “my people,” as my Nanna would have said. It was a visual representation of just how deep my New England roots are.
Our first stop that morning in Lynn, after McDonald’s for breakfast, was at the city works department, where the cemetery records are kept. The clerk helpfully printed out several pages, each with a family name, grave numbers, plot sites, and dates of internment.
We decided to focus on the Keene plot as our first priority. I was so glad we did, as it took most of the morning to find it!
Below is the list of graves we were given for the Keene plot:
At the bottom of the list, you can see the diagram we made while there, based on the remaining headstones. As you can see, there are quite a few more graves than there are headstones.
We also learned that the first Lydia A. Keene (1809-1895), wife of Washington Keene (1810-1844), was the first owner/buyer of the plot. The dates of burials range from 1866-1961, nearly 100 years.
What is especially touching are the number of children here:
- George Arthur Thompson, 10 months, 18 days
- Minot Tirrill Keene, 1 year, 5 months, 22 days
- Edith B. Keene, 2 years, 4 months
- Carrie Browne, 2 months, 19 days
- Arthur S. Keene, 5 months
- W. Frank, days
- Child Keene, days
- George A. Keene, 11 months
Eight babies. Fully a third of the family members here.
When we got home to California, as I was searching for another file, I came across this:
WOW! I wished I had realized I had this before we went to Massachusetts!
(PSA: Stay ahead of your files, paper or digital! Things easily and quickly begin to pile up as your own research yields results and family members generously give you their records, too. You’re welcome.)
In the diagram above, see the *D? That’s Thelma, my grandfather’s first wife.
See #13? That’s Ellen, my great-grandfather’s first wife.
Numbers 15 and 17? Those are my great-grandparents, George A. and Lydia Keene, his second wife.
Lydia was buried here in 1944, although she passed away in 1938 in California. According to my Uncle George, the family didn’t have the money to ship her to Massachusetts in 1938, so they waited six years.
I am so glad that we stopped here; the backstory of my life is in this plot.