Friday, May 09, 2014


Now that mud season is over and the weather is turning warmer, I'm trying to get out
more. One of my problems is that I am not really comfortable driving long distances
on the highways. I've had no reason to for the last twenty five years or so since I could drive the secondary roads back and forth to work. I'm trying to reacclimate myself so
I can visit some places further away like the cemeteries where my Middlesex, Worcester, and Essex counties ancestors are buried. I've loaded the street addresses into my GPS, and on a whim today I set out for North Andover and Methuen, Ma.

After about an hour or so of whiteknuckle driving I reached the Old North Burial Ground in North Andover. My Dad's maternal line, the Barkers, came from the area and I was hoping to find some of them buried there, but the first headstone I saw belonged to an ancestor from a different family line, 9x great grandfather John Stevens. He was born in England in 1605 and died on 11Apr 1662. I didn't see a stone for his wife Elizabeth (Parker)Stevens but she outlived him by thirty years so she probably remarried. Also, the stone is in excellent condition so I'm wondering if it is a replacement for an earlier one.

I did find plenty of Barkers, mostly collateral line cousins, but I also found two direct Barker ancestors: my 7x great grandparents Benjamin Barker and Hannah (Marston) Barker.

Nearby I found the headstones of two of their children, my6x great grandaunt Alice Barker
and 6x great granduncle Benjamin Barker Jr.

The cemetery was in good shape for the most part, although there was sad evidence of
worse times in the past.

After taking 62 photos I got back into my car and followed the GPS directions to the Meeting House Hill Cemetery in Methuen where 6x great grandfather Jonathan Barker is buried, I should have checked before I left my house because if I had, I would have known the cemetery was closed to the public. I drove around it outside the stone walls and chainlink fence, then got directions home from the GPS and left. Roughly an hour and a half later I was home after dealing with the start of rush hour traffic on the highway.
I'd left my apartment around 11:30am  and was home a little after 3:30pm. 

I'll have to find some more cemetery locations to enter into the GPS!

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