Fun with Old Maps

I follow Historic Map Works on Google Reader and was pleased to see that the site recently added maps of Somerville, Mass., where I used to live. I decided to see if I could find my old address near Inman Square in the new maps available from the 1800s.

The first map (c. 1830) was hardly recognizable to me except for the name Prospect Hill. I lived very near that area.

I needed to see a more recent map to get my bearings. Fortunately, another map, circa 1892, was made available at the same time.

I was still having trouble pinpointing where my house would have been on these maps, which are oriented slightly different from what we see on Google Maps. I lived along one side of a triangle created by Prospect, Webster and Cambridge Streets:

This triangle is visible in both of the 1800s maps, but not in the same orientation. Whereas the triangle above points between 12 and 1 o-clock, on the 1800s maps, it points to 11 o’clock.

If you zoom in on the 1892 map, the triangle is located in the lower right corner, along the Cambridge city line. It’s in the bottom center on the 1830 map.

By the way, Prospect Hill figured prominently in the Revolutionary War. I took this photo several years ago on a walk around town one day:


Friends Album: Photos 11 & 12

I have acquired an old photo album containing many pictures from the late 1800s. I’m going through the album to catalog the photos with as much information as can be gleaned from them. My hope is to return the album and photos to the descendants of those pictured. Read about the first photos in the album here. **Click on the images below for larger versions**

And we’re off to Massachusetts to try and find out more about Photo No. 11 (no written identifying marks on this photo):

Friend No. 11

Here we have O’Flynn’s Studio in Millbury, Massachusetts, which is really close to Worcester. I found a Thomas F. O’Flynn, photographer, in Worcester in many 1880s city directories.

Here are the addresses I found, all smack in the middle of Worcester:
244 Front (1884; 1888-90 [O’Flynn & Shaw; home 8 Barclay])
18 Grosvenor (1885-6; boards)
326 Main Street (1888; boards 18 Grosvenor)

I’m not convinced that this is our photographer, because he’s so thoroughly ensconced in Worcester and I’m not sure why he would then list Millbury in his imprint, but I’m filing this information away, just in case. Interestingly, it appears that this individual went on to become a school teacher, from other records I found.

The next photo is my favorite so far. Look at this face:

Friend No. 12 (Ellis B. Wilson)

The other reason this is my favorite is this lil’ babe has a name!

Reverse side of Friend No. 12's (Ellis B. Wilson's) photo.

Ellis is back in Danbury, Conn., and our old friend Charles Blackman took the photo. I investigated him in my post on Photos 5 & 6.

Ellis Burton Wilson was born 4 March 1893, according to many sources. He eventually moved to Hartford and went into the landscaping business. I located his death record. He lived to the age of 78, passing away 27 Jan 1971. FamilySearch has his WWII draft registration card, which includes a wealth of information, as does his WWI registration card on Ancestry.

I have high hopes for finding his descendants. [Update 3/12/11: I posted an update on my progress here.]

[Photos 13 & 14]


1900 U.S. Census, Fairfield County, Connecticut, population schedule, Danbury Town, page 3, dwelling 43, family 57, Ellis Wilson; ( : accessed 11 March 2011); National Archives and Records Administration Microfilm Roll: T623_132.

The Worcester Directory 1885-86, Thomas F. O’Flynn, page 252. ( : accessed 11 March 2011).

Worcester, Massachusetts 1884, 1886, 1888-90, U.S. City Directories. ( : accessed 11 March 2011).

Worcester, Massachusetts Directories, 1888-90. ( : accessed 11 March 2011).

World War I Draft Registration Cards, 1917-1918, Ellis Burton Wilson; ( : accessed 11 March 2011).

World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942, Ellis Burton Wilson; FamilySearch ( : accessed 11 March 2011).

One Tomb, 83 Years of Archbalds

Back to the Granary Burial Ground in Boston, where this tombstone can be found (click the picture for a larger version):

Here’s the FindaGrave record for (the Rev.) Dr. (Mather) Byles, who starts off the list (be sure to check out the note left by a visitor to this page; also note who created this record). Here’s the record for Azor Archbald, whose tomb is pictured.

Tombstone Tuesday: Nathaniel Shannon

Here is a rather striking tombstone found in the Granary Burial Ground in the heart of downtown Boston:

Here Lyes the Body of


Nathaniel already can be found on Find A Grave.

Tombstone Tuesday: The GULIKER Children

I found this gravestone at Copps Hill Burying Ground in Boston, Mass. When I looked up the surname in the FindaGrave database, I found their father, but in a different cemetery. I think I found a sister who survived into adulthood in another cemetery, but the first initial of the last name is different (which I’m attributing to the ‘G’ possibly looking like a ‘C’). Interesting how the first children who died were both John Jrs.

In Memory of Four Culiker Children

The stone reads:

In Memory of 4 Children of
Capt. John & Mrs. Jane Guliker
who are here Interr’d Viz
John Guliker Junr. who died
23d. Aug. 1770. Aged 13 Days.
John Gulliker Junr. who died
7th Aug. 1781. Aged 14 Months
Thomas Guliker died
29 June 1783. Aged 10 Days
Mary Guliker died
2?d Dec. 1784. Aged 6 Years

Tombstone Tuesday: Ebenezer Wild (No Relation)

Here’s another photo I snapped at Copps Hill Burying Ground in Boston, mostly because of the Wild surname, though I’m relatively certain he’s not an ancestor of mine (my Wilds are German, not English, in origin).

The stone reads:

In Memory of
who departed this Life
Decr. 4th 1794
in the 37th Year
of his Age
He was a kind Husband,
tender Parent & Sincere friend

I added a photo to this individual’s FindaGrave page and requested that the page owner update the birth/death year information.

Tombstone Tuesday: Major Thomas Seward

This stone is another that can be found in Copps Hill Burying Ground in the North End of Boston, Mass. It reads:

Beneath this Stone is deposited
the Remains of
who gallantly fought
in our late revolutionary War
and through
its various scenes behaved
with Patriotic fortitude
& died in the calms
of domestic felicity as becomes
a Universal-Christian
Novr. 27th 1800 AEtat 60
The lovely turf where silence lays her head
The mound where pity sighs for hond. dead*
Such is the grief where sorrow now doth sigh
To learn to live is but to learn to die

Note the use of ‘f’ in place of ‘s’ in words like deposited and domestic. AEtat is of Latin derivation and means aged.

“Universal-Christian” is a term I haven’t seen before. A quick web search seemed to relate it to Methodism, but don’t quote me on that.

*I had to look up the words to complete this verse since I had trouble reading it at this point. I found the words here.