Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Getting Ready for a Genealogical Road Trip...

I'm in the midst of preparing for a research trip down to Boston, Massachusetts to look for the gravestones of my 3rd great grandparents: John Randall and Louisa Bryant Randall. I’m pretty excited about it as for years upon years I had no idea where they were buried. I tried numerous times to locate a death certificate that actually listed the burial place, but none of the death records I found had that precious nugget of information. Finally, I learned that the City of Boston kept death records with burial places versus State records which often omitted that information during that time period. After numerous attempts at obtaining the City record, at long last I received a certificate from the City of Boston complete with a bright red seal of authenticity that revealed John’s final resting place. Yeehaw, paydirt at last!

According to John’s death certificate, he was buried in “Bunker Hill, New br gnd” in Charlestown, Mass. on August 29, 1881, having died on the 27th. So based on that tantalizing piece of information, my first inkling was, well he has to be buried at the Bunker Hill Burial Ground. It made sense to me as the family lived just down the street on Baldwin Street for decades and was living at 375 Bunker Hill Street when John passed away in 1881.

So, in anticipation of my upcoming road trip I called to have the Bunker Hill Burial Ground opened for me and while on the phone I asked the very helpful person if the cemetery was ever called the “New Burial Ground”. She wasn’t sure but suggested I contact the Archdiocese of Boston as they might have more info. So, another phonecall was made and they did a search of the records they had for Saint Francis de Sales Cemetery, which is located at 303 Bunker Hill Street. They didn’t find John or Louisa listed, but did find their infant son John C. Randall who died in 1843. His death record listed him as buried in the “new part”. Hmmm… It certainly seems plausible to me that they might be buried in the same cemetery as their infant son. So, based on that I’m checking out St. Francis de Sales Cemetery first and then perhaps Bunker Hill Burial Ground.

Here's hoping their gravestones are still intact and readable. Wish me luck!

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