Prior to attending the Ellingwood Reunion in Norway, Me. today, Cheryl
and I took a swing through Upton Maine on business pertaining to the
West side of the family. As we drove along Route 26 Cheryl pointed out a small
cemetery we passed in or near Newry, Maine, but we didn't have time to stop
at the moment and I didn't think there were any relatives buried there anyway,
Our business required us to keep going west on 26 through the Grafton Notch
State Park which has several natural attractions such as Screwauger, Moose Caves
and Mother Walker Falls but again, we didn't have time for sightseeing. We ended
up going straight through the park to Upton, then over the state line into Errol, N.H
before we started back Route 26 towards Norway.
O.K. Cue the Twilight Zone music now.
Cheryl was having trouble getting the GPS to program the route to the reunion
and looked for a spot to pull over to fiddle with it. It just so happened that we
stopped on the side of the road next to that cemetery we saw earlier and Cheryl
suggested I get some pictures of it while she worked on the GPS. So I got out and
the first thing I saw was the grave of Drusilla Walker, the "Mother Walker" the
falls are named after. There were other gravesstones, mostly from the Wight,
Russell and Bennett families.
But then I saw these two headstones:
Yep. They're from my family.
Caleb Barker was my 3x great granduncle, a son of 4x great grandparents Jonathan
Barker and Nancy Swan, and brother to my 3xgreat grandfather Nathaniel
Barker! His wife's full name was Alice Rowe. Of course at the time I took the
photos I just knew he was most likely related to me. After we got home I looked him
up on my database, Then I went looking for the name of the cemetery and found out
on a website for Newry written by my cousin Mitch Barker that it was named the
I also found out that not only had Caleb Barker owned and then donated the land for
the cemetery, he was its first sexton!
So: what are the odds that of all the places we stop and I get out to take a photo
it's at that small cemetery that just happens to have more relatives butied there?
I'm gobsmacked yet again!
((You can see more pictures of the Wight Cemetery over on my other blog, The Old
Colony Graveyard Rabbit))
((Originally published 14Aug 2011 at West in New England))