Serendipity on a Quick Trip

One of my goals is to carve out time each week to pursue my genealogy in one way or another. While I have been a life member of the New Hampshire Society of Genealogists for several years, I had yet to attend a meeting. Their Spring 2019 meeting on May 18 would introduce what is available at the New Hampshire Historical Society and the New Hampshire State Archives. It is also a viable day trip.

After a pair of very informative lectures and lunch, we had an opportunity to do a little research in the library of the New Hampshire Historical Society. While there, I found a booklet published by a founder of the Locke Family Association, Arthur H. Locke, and author of the original genealogy in 1916.

The booklet, entitled “Records of Meetings, Constitution and By-Laws of Locke Family Association, also Alphabetical List of Members was published 1894 in Philadelphia. It contained a list of both current members of the Association and other living Locke descendants of Captain John Locke. There, on page 17, it listed my great-great-grandfather, non-member Fred of Groveton, NH. I asked the librarian to photocopy the booklet for me. Also listed are Fred’s brothers, non-member Frank of Berlin, NH and non-member Partes of Franklyn, NH.

Arthur, in the published genealogy, states that Fred died in Niagara, N.C. This always bothered me as the family seemed to have stayed mostly in New Hampshire and Massachusetts (with admittedly some collateral lines moving west to Ohio), so North Carolina seemed a little out of place. I have always been curious about an actual gravestone.

Why was I finding references to Fred today? A quick search with my phone on was suggesting that Fred was buried in Franklin Cemetery in Franklin, NH. How far is that from the research room in Concord? Google Maps was telling me it was just thirty minutes up the road.

Fred W. Locke headstone

It was a beautiful day outside, so I was off to Franklin. While findagrave had identified a “section T” for the headstone, it took me a while to find the section markers. A bit of persistence and I found it. The headstone reads “Fred W. Locke, died Jan. 3, 1912, ae. 63 ys. 3 ms.” This matches with the information I have from Arthur. Next to it is a small bronze footstone with his wife, my great-great-grandmother, “Lucy E. Locke 1854 1935” I walked around the area for a while not finding any other relatives nearby though the cemetery is quite large.

Adding to my To-Do list is returning to Franklin during the week to see about locating a death record for both Fred and Lucy. Perhaps that will uncover a North Carolina connection….

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