Thursday, August 13, 2009

mystery among the gravestones

I love cemetaries. I have enjoyed visiting them since I was little. The other day Mum took us up to a cemetary in Sangerville that holds some of our departed. It's a secluded spot on a hill with lots of old stones. The earliest stone is from 1838, though there are probably older graves whose wooden markers have long since rotted.

We visted our family stones and then meandered about a bit. I took photos of stones with cool names. And then I discovered Fernando Fernandez. He was born in 1830 in Asturias, Spain! It looks like he married a Gilman, of which there are many in that area of Maine. But how in heavens did he get there? When I exclaimed over this, my kids were like, What's the big deal? There are people from all over the world here, right? Um, no. Not in Sangerville, Maine. In central Maine there are people of British, French, and Native American descent. There are a few Finnish folks up in Monson. Anything else is relatively unheard of. I want to know what Fernando Fernandez was doing in Sangerville.


Meg said...

Your curiosity sounds like the stuff good stories are made from. Use your writer's imagination and tell us yourself how he got there.

True love?

And btw...I love cemeteries too. There is one headstone in Sleepy Hollow that water has worn away. I have searched the bits and pieces of it, that I can decifer, on the web but have come up empty handed so far. :/

Mama Ava said...

The fact that there is an actual place called Sleepy Hollow...and that there are mysterious faded headstones...that's just way too cool.

I love cemeteries, too. Growing up there was a big one that had a separate section for children. I used to be saddened, bothered, and completely fascinated by it.

Ave said...

ooooo, Sleepy Hallow reminds me of just one thing, Johnny Depp playing Icabod.

Anonymous said...

Mum says there was a fairly good-sized colony of Lithuanians in Piscatiquis Co. Which, I guess, isn't hard to believe since Grampy Alexa came over from Lithuania and actually married a Lithuanian. If there wasn't a very big collection of them that would be very coincidental. Plus, there are other Lithuanians in the Dover ward alone.

Along with the Lithuanians, I understand there was a good number of Poles, but I don't know if they were in the same area or not.

Spaniards though, that is different!

Gaby said...

Oops, sorry, ML! I didn't mean to forget the Lithuanians. But it would be equally strange to see the stone of a Lithuanian dating from that long ago.

Update: I found that a descendant of this man was asking for info on possible Asturian relatives online. She said that the story is that he was on a ship bound for Cuba but he jumped ship off the coast of Maine! Doesn't seem likely, but if the ship docked in Maine? Maybe. Evidently he owned a small farm in Sangerville.

Lucy said...

Darn it, that wasn't Gaby, it was me, Lucy! I'll be glad when she gets her own computer.

Anonymous said...

There are a lot of Russians in Norway, Maine. I think it must have been something to go to Maine in the 19th century.

I came buy 6 stones all alone in the middle of the woods once. It was a family all died of an illness one winter. A mother and children out there in nowhere.

I've been to that grave yard many times and never noticed the guy.

The Noxolo Project said...

Hi Andalucy,

I can tell you what Fernando Fernandez was doing in Sangerville, Maine - because he is my great-great-great grandfather! I was surprised to find photos of his gravestone on the internet - I was searching his name randomly today to see if there were any old records posted, and up came your photos and blog. Anyway, let me know if you want to hear my family's story.