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6-16-05        Cemetery and Genealogy Research Opportunities Abound

Thompson-Ames Historical Society’s archives include cemetery and genealogical records which help paint the picture of Gilford’s cultural history.
The original cemetery surveys, Barbara and Howard Eaton’s research of 1950 and Rhetta and Russell Folsom‘s efforts in 1978, have become the underpinnings in the most recent project, David Perry’s Gilford Cemetery Reference 2005, which was shared at the Monday, June 6th meeting of Thompson-Ames Historical Society (T-AHS).
To develop this project, which was undertaken to fulfill Eagle Scout require- ments, David was guided by Thompson-Ames Historical Society’s collection manager Diane Mitton.
The preface to David‘s work states, in part, “The purpose of this project is to pro- vide an up to date and easily accessible reference for all people interested in the cemetery sites within Gilford, New Hampshire. The information within has been compiled from on site data and two previous surveys….”
An Eagle Scout project necessitates involving the efforts of other people in ad- dition to those of the Eagle Scout himself.
Involved in this project have been several people and teams of people who, like David, visited Gilford cemeteries to develop for each cemetery a site plan which includes rows and numbers. Then each burial location was photographed, with a site identifica- tion card included in each photograph. Notes were also taken to reflect any and all infor- mation found on each stone.
This field information was then used to complete charts that are components of this project. Information was cross-referenced with the Eaton and Folsom findings, with it often being evident that the ravages of time have made some stone markings (legible during past surveys) illegible today.
In turn, the digital photographs have been recorded on CDs for public reference and research. The goal is to eventually have the project accessible on Thompson-Ames Historical Society’s website www.gilfordhistoricalsociety.org.
This well planned project provides the opportunity and necessity for the involve- ment of many more people. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn how to do such first-hand research and, at the same time, to contribute important information to local histori-cal archives.
Thompson-Ames Historical Society invites the involvement of all persons who are interested in participating in this research project. The amount of time involved de-pends upon each person’s time available.
If you are interested, please telephone Thompson-Ames Historical Society at 527-9009, and leave your name, telephone number and a brief message. Diane Mitton, coor-dinator of this on-going project, will contact you, discuss your interests and time avail-able, and give guidance and training as well as keep in contact with you and/or the group that you become a part of, as you participate.
Membership in Thompson-Ames Historical Society is not a requirement, but an invitation to join T-AHS is always extended to persons who wish to help preserve and celebrate Gilford’s cultural history.
Also, for those who wish to do genealogical research, you are invited to telephone T-AHS at 527-9009 and leave your name, telephone number and a brief message. Diane Mitton will return your call and discuss the many opportunities to do genealogical re- search, especially in respect to early settlers in Gunstock Parish and Gilford. Further- more, T-AHS welcomes copies of genealogies of Gilford settlers to enhance our col- lections.
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