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Sue (#46985666)
 member for 7 years, 3 months, 27 days
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Bio Photo Fantastic site. In addition to recording gravestones of my family and friends, I am recording gravestones in Athol, MA. Glad to make corrections and add biographies of your relatives, friends. Please put 'Findagrave' in your e-mail heading.
Been seriously doing my genealogy for the last 11 years although I have been interested in genealogy for the last 35 years. Most of my work is with French-Canadians. Families include Simonds, Simonneau, Simard, Berthiaume (aka Barcomb), Gravelin (aka Gravlin), Bernard, Richard, Valiquette, Pepin. I am also researching the Carlson family of Mellosa, Sodermanland, Sweden who settled in MA. Would be glad to share information with others researching same.
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Messages left for Sue (129)[Leave Message]
Erin Levack Nijmeijer
Delfina Daigle - 26920049?
thanks for the transfer of Della ;-)

Now another question!
You added the memorial and took pictures for James H Hannigan and the others listed on the Hannigan stone.
James was the Step Son of Anthony Degg (84514788) who is buried with my Choquettes.
He was the son of Anthony's 2nd wife Dora Gravel and Thomas Hannigan (who died before 1900, but I cannot find a record or where he is buried).
The others in the plot are Charles and Celina Gravel. These are Dora's parents - James' grandparents.
Here is the mystery - there is a Delfina Daigle (26920049) also on the stone who died in 1947. This is the year that Dora died. I cannot seem to find Dora anywhere except a notation in the 1948 athol directory.
I am thinking that maybe they are the same? Not sure why the name changed (although she is listed with a last name of Daigle in the 1940 census which is my only tie in).

All this to ask, I know you had access to the Calvary burial records. Are they accessible somewhere?
Added by Erin Levack Nijmeijer on Jun 18, 2015 1:23 PM
Erin Levack Nijmeijer
Della Choquette - 127441155
Hi Sue,

Thanks for connecting Della to her parents. I guess I missed her!
A while back you went to Calvary and took some pics of the rest of the family for me - I am guessing that there was no marker for Della (or Agnes for that matter ;-))?
If you are not attached, do you mind transferring management of her to me? I have been working on the family again, and have been updating the rest of the family.

thanks! Erin
Added by Erin Levack Nijmeijer on Jun 17, 2015 3:38 PM
Sheila Foote
RE: Ellor
You're welcome!
Added by Sheila Foote on May 29, 2015 7:14 PM
JBrown, IA, MN, Calif, AustinTX
RE: The Frenches in Harvard Cemetery
That's a good compromise, Sue. Thanks so much!.

With your having both a Timothy and an Orin, two names I search on, I might run across more details for yours, so will be sure to pass them on. Worcester is such a large County compared to the rest, I've put off searching it. A person really needs some maiden names or a "weird" name (Orin!).

NEW QUESTION- Any idea where they were (Timothy especially) before marriage? Were they ever at Athol or Royalston? Why they are by themselves in Petersham, not close to other Frenches?

Examples I've seen elsewhere--
A--Town split in two, dividing them from the rest, making them look artificially alone or like they moved to a new town?
B-- Relatives ran off with the Spiritualists or some other new religious group when they came though looking for new members?.
C- Timothy was the only one to have his land be decent; the others were "farming rocks" or flooded out by a river-gone-crazy, so left?
D- Somebody dug a canal to connect two towns by water, promising all would get rich, but half the wells were poisoned by contaminated water so their owners all had to leave
E-30 years after the original big landowner died, somebody comes though and says that original owner owed money in another state, so the courts say they get to re-possess the land (no such thing as title insurance then)
F-- Or...? (brand new story?)

ORIN. Orin may be the oldest spelling, possibly first showing up in the mid-to-late 1700's, with spelling shifting to Oren and Orrin later. However, you can tell my husband's Frenches HEARD it said, rarely saw it written, as the spelling is "sound it out" (changing it as it is handed down to the first son in the next generation).

MAIDEN NAMES. I suspect Orin or Oren was some honored and loved female relative's maiden name. The later Frenches in my husban'ds branch often borrowed their beloved women's surnames for middle names and first names, grandmothers especially. When somebody is called Jacob Wales French or John Weld French or Alvord French or Niles French or Benjamin Vinton French, I guess quickly which great-grandmothers they came from.

The early Frenches had way too many Johns and Thomases and Samuels, so probably tired of everyone confusing them. (I can imagine the conversations, "No, my son is not the Thomas French who wooed away your cousin's sweetheart, so please stop 'bad-mouthing' us to your neighbors.").

Thanks again for the leeway on dates!
Added by JBrown, IA, MN, Calif, Au... on May 15, 2015 1:05 PM
JBrown, IA, MN, Calif, AustinTX
RE: The Frenches in Harvard Cemetery
Sue, I'll try to remember that you do not do inferred dates. I'm happy to please those who put so much work into getting these graves online.

Be aware that you may see this from others, as many offical vital records kept by the state do these inferred birth years. People using the state death records then go to Findagrave and use the inferrred date to see if they can get the grave to pop-up.

FAMILY SEARCH--We have a Ransom French, born Ohio pre-War of 1812, parents believed born Mass. He died in Michigan, that we think was born to a Timothy French of the same age as one who died in Petersham Mass. I've finally decided they are not the same Timothy (different wives).

We DO have a whole string of males with Orrin/Orin/Oren as a middle name descended from this Ransom French beginning around 1838. That is why your cemetery's toddler Orrin caught my eye. (Every Orrin French found so far has been related, but the others had died in Michigan or gone out to California.)

ONE EXAMPLE OF AN OFFICIAL STATE RECORD: Most states do these inferred birth years. To them, being off by a year is better than being off by 100 years, which is what happens with computers when the birth year is left blank and a search for a person is done

Testing just one at Harvard Cem.--Almon French's official death record is at

It gives a death date of Sept 5 1883, age of 65 and then shows an est. birth year of 1818. Born in Hardwick, resident of Worcester despite burial at Petersham, his father was Timothy, born Barre Mass.

COMPUTER GLITCH. The problem with leaving birth year blank (instead of subtracting age from death) becomes clear when doing searches at Findagrave. The blank ones make certain searches inaccurate, because graves that are off by a hundred years on the date are brought into a list that asked for a different era.

Example, Imagine you want all Frenches born before 1812. (Lots of migrations happened AFTER that war, so you want to pinpoint where people were BEFORE the War, their birthplaces, to get at the locations of their ancestors). Normally, you'd do a specific county, but let's do the whole nation so you can see what a mess it makes and thus why the state records do these estimates. There are people on the list who died in the 1910s or 1940s who could not possibly have been alive before 1812:

Thanks again for putting your Frenches online,
Added by JBrown, IA, MN, Calif, Au... on May 13, 2015 1:35 AM
Laura Hicks
Ricard Family
Thanks Sue,

I was shocked to find Joseph Ricard while searching the database of cemeteries in Worcester Co. I have been trying to locate the grave of his mother/father for some time and was hoping through him I might find some answers. By any chance are you related to the Ricard family?

Added by Laura Hicks on May 10, 2015 4:23 PM
Sharon Fulton
RE: Rochon
Thank you!
Added by Sharon Fulton on Mar 12, 2015 2:36 PM
James Bianco
Thanks so much Sue for pushing through the edits so quickly, now at least the family is structured correctly. Jim
Added by James Bianco on Jan 13, 2015 1:37 PM
Dan Lanteigne
RE: Gethsemane Cemetery, Athol
Thanks for remembering me and thank you for making the extra effort in locating burials of the long forgotten. Have a great New Year
Added by Dan Lanteigne on Jan 01, 2015 5:50 PM
Dan Lanteigne
RE: Gethsemane Cemetery, Athol
Thank you Sue, completely unaware of these twins. Where did you find this information?
Added by Dan Lanteigne on Jan 01, 2015 5:28 PM
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