Rockdale County Genealogical Society Publication

                                                  November,  2011



  Pilgrim's Burial Site on Cape Cod

Eastham Cove Cove Burying Ground. Eastham (originally known as Nauset)
was settled in 1644 by seven families from Plymouth (Bangs, Cook,
Doane, Higgins, Prince, Smalley and Snow). The first meetinghouse
about twenty feet square was built at or near this site in 1646. It
was expanded in 1676 and served until 1720. Rev. Samuel Treat who
was minister in Eastham from 1672 to his death in 1717 is buried here.
 The second meetinghouse built about 1718 was located in the South
Precinct of Eastham (now Orleans). The third meetinghouse built about
1720 was located at Bridge Road Cemetery.

 In 1976 the Eastham Historical Society published complete surveys
of Eastham Cove Burying Ground and Bridge Road Cemetery done by Mr.
Ken Collins. The surveys including maps of both cemeteries are in
one book available for sale at Eastham Town Hall, Eastham Historical
Society Museums and the Cape Cod National Seashore Eastham Visitor

If you have comments or questions about these cemeteries, please contact
Eastham Cemetery Commission, Eastham Town Hall, 2500 State Highway,
Eastham, MA. 02642. The web site includes
photos, complete inscriptions and some genealogical information for
all gravestones in Cove Burying Ground and Bridge Road Cemetery. Information
about some of the gravestone carvers is included. The web site also
has Eastham Vital Records of deaths up to 1750 and a listing of about
80 possible unmarked graves of adults in Cove up to 1720.
Cove Burying Ground and Bridge Road Cemetery are in the National Register
of Historic Places.

 Please also visit historic Eastham Bridge Road Cemetery which succeeded
Cove with gravestones starting in 1754. Some Cove Gravestone Highlights:
There are monuments to three Mayflower passengers who lived and died
in Eastham -Constance Hopkins Snow (1677), Joseph Rogers (1678) and
Giles Hopkins (1690). Also there are monuments to early Eastham settlers
Richard Sparrow (1660), John Doane (1685) and Ralph Smith (1685).

The original slate gravestones in Cove display winged skulls and winged
heads. Some of these stones also display death symbols such as crossed
bones or hourglass. Many of the graves have both headstone and footstone.
There are seven original gravestones older than any other gravestones
on the Lower Cape from Chatham to Provincetown - Thomas Mulford (1706),
Jonathan Sparrow (1706/7), Samuel Hedge (1709), Marcy Freeman (1711),
Daniel Doane (1712), Samuel Freeman (1712) and Thankful Higins (1712).

Rev. Samuel Treat (1716/17) was minister in Eastham for 45 years from
1672 until his death. He is remembered as preaching hell fire and
damnation. “His voice was so loud that when speaking it could be heard
at a great distance from the meetinghouse, even in the midst of the
winds that howled over the plains of Nauset” Rev.Treat learned the
language of the Indians and preached to them with missionary zeal
over a wide area of Cape Cod. The large original slate headstone of
Rev. Treat was stolen in the 1800’s. It was replaced in the late 1800’s
with a marble headstone which was in style at the time. This marble
stone is paired with the original slate footstone of Rev. Treat A
cedar tree grows over his grave. The original headstone later was
found in a barn in Orleans. It was placed in Snow Library in Orleans
for safe keeping where it was destroyed by fire in 1952.

 Rev. Benjamin Webb followed Rev. Treat and served as minister at
the Bridge Road meetinghouse from 1720 to his death in 1746. The broken
slate stone near the front gate at the center of Cove marks his grave.
This is the widest slate stone in Cove. It must have been a tall headstone.
For information about the excavation and identification of this stone,

Cove has the oldest original gravestone displaying a winged head on
Cape Cod - Marcy Freeman (1711). She is located in the back left corner
of the burying ground with her husband Major John Freeman (1719) who
died in his 98th year and their son Lieut Edmund Freeman (1718/19).
Note the heart shaped inscription area, ornate border and hourglass
above the winged head. Note that her footstone displays a winged skull
with two sets of crossed bones.

 The gravestone of Thomas Lewes (1718) displays an early winged head
while the footstone has a prominent winged skulL The footstone also
has two crosses which are rare on colonial gravestones. He is located
to the right of center about half way back.

 Cove has the two oldest known original inscribed fieldstone gravestone
on Cape Cod -Benjamin Paine (1713) and Bennet Paine (1716). These
and two other inscribed fieldstone gravestones for Barnabas Freeman
(1736) and Marcy Freeman (1736) are located in the back right corner.
The inscriptions are very difficult to read but they will show up
in a good photo. Also they can be seen on
There are a few scattered fieldstones which have been excavated which
probably are grave markers. Some of these stones have faint markings
which some believe are initials.

Eastham Vital Records (which are incomplete)
record about 160 deaths in Eastham before 1750. Most likely there are
more than 100 unmarked graves in Cove. Eastham Cemetery Commission
 Your editor was fortunate to visit this site while on tour.

                       The Leap of Sam Patch
Ex-sailor, ex-factory worker, professional high diver, and, in character,
a swaggering braggart, Sam possessed no qualifications that foreshadowed
national fame. One day in 1829, accompanied by his trained bear, he
wandered into the village to drink and lounge about the taverns. He
announced that he would jump from the brink of the Upper Falls of
the Genesee, a feat never before attempted. With laughing scepticism
several thousand people gathered to see him make good his boast. He,
and to everyone’s surprise and the enlargement of his conceit, lived
to tell of it. News of his exploit excited the town. Followed by a
crowd of admirers, he made the rounds of the taverns, drinking and

"I'll show you how it’s done,” he bragged. “Some things can be done
as well as others.” That meaningless statement became a catch-phrase
of the times. For years it was a slang expression, not only locally
but nationally.

In defiance of fate he chose Friday the 13th as the day for his second
leap. To make the stunt more spectacular, he was to leap from a scaffold
25 feet above the 100-foot falls. The newspapers gave wide publicity.
Special schooners ran excursions from Canadian towns. Hundreds traveled
the roads leading to the Falls. More than 8,000 people crowded along
the river bank to see Sam leap. Excited speculation was rampant. Could
he do it? Would he drown?

Sam Patch staggered forward and managed to climb the scaffolding.
 From his lofty platform he shouted:  Napoleon was a great general
but he couldn't jump the Genesee Falls. Wellington was a. great soldier,
but he couldn't jump the  Falls. I can do it and I will.”

The crowd sensed disaster, "he's drunk. He’ll kill himself.”

He jumped—fell, a heart-sickening pause held the crowd. They waited
for his head to bob in the current below, but the Genesee held him
fast in its depths.  Sam Patch had made his last leap.
The crowd fled from the scene. Perhaps in compunction for encouraging
him to take the risk.  From coast to coast the newspapers shouted
the news of Sam Patch’s fatal leap.

On St. Patrick’s day his broken body was found in a cake of ice near
the mouth of the river. He rests in a. grave at Charlotte, indicated
only by a metal marker on a tree at its head.

We'll leave you to wonder whose great grandmother was married to this
dare-devil. As for me, I wonder what happened to the pet bear.

          How to Record Records?

How do other researchers handle data that comes form others? If some
one sends me a transcription of a newspaper article or an entry in
a book, I don’t believe it is a primary records, but seems that it
should be consider a high quality record.
k-nuttle <>

It’s always secondary source. I continue, almost on a daily basis,
to supply corrections to transcription errors to which
shows that “transcribed” is nowhere as good as a primary source.
I tend to flag it: Nuttle, Keith: citing (wherever you say you got

Now, if you’ve transcribed the article from today’s paper, that’s
one issue. But if you’re transcribing someone else’s transcription
of a 19th century newspaper, that’s a different kettle of worms.
First, back in the 19th century, most home-town papers made no serious
attempt to fact-check; they received a letter saying Jos. Schmoo died
last week, they printed it. Now if it was really Jas. Schmoo who died,
it’s factually wrong regardless of how well you transcribed it.
Then, we get to, was Jos. expanded to Joseph or left as Jos.; did
the transcriber make a typo and get it as Jas.? Which may be technically
correct, but not what’s in the paper.

And finally, if the transcription was printed in a book, did the person
copying it for you make any typos? Or did OCR perform its wizardry
and turn ol’ Jos. into Jno which is both wrong and NOT what’s in the
paper. (g)

Anyway, I cite the person who gave it to me, and charge them with
citing their source. It at least gives me a paper trail and someone
to blame. ;)
singhals <>

A transcription is subject to all manner of errors. I don’t rate it
very high. The software I use has a 1-3 (or 0-3 if one chooses) surety
designation with 3 being the highest/best. I would give a transcription
a 1 - which tells me it is a clue and I should look for substantiating
evidence. If it is a newspaper clipping of an obituary, then a 2,
because typically the information is being reported by someone, that
has been told by someone else (only the death information would rate
a 3).... If it is a newspaper clipping of an event, marriage, birth,
or something a relative participated in, then probably a 3. An entry
from a book - depends on the book. A county history, 1, a well-documented
family history, a 2, until I

Keith, as a note of possible interest: my brother provided information
to the undertaker when our Daddy died. My brother was the eldest,
I the youngest of 7 children.

My brother told the undertaker that George was our Daddy’s given name.
Why? I do not know. And, until I learned how to have amended the death
certificates of family members, Daddy was the child of George. To
our knowledge, there is no George in this particular lineage for some

Point being, after I became interested in family history, I cannot
tell you the number of years I searched, hands-on, for record of a
George who had a son with my father’s given name.
Perhaps our case was extreme, but from that day to this, I do not
believe it even when I do see it so I plod along doing my hands-on
research that does have fewer errors than that sent to me and/or provided
by family.

Slow? I will not live long enough to complete the study of our family,
but am deriving pleasure from my own search and find.
Mary Fran
FredandMaryFrances Powell <> locate the evidence
cited, for myself.

             Rockdale 1900 Census Index

We are attempting to place the index of the 1900 Rockdale Census on
the web page at: You will find a portion
of the index on the site; but, it is only the first thirteen pages
of the census listing. The census listing consists of seventy-seven
pages in all. The index consists of fifty-five pages sorted alphabetically.

A hard copy of this index is in the special collections room at the
Nancy Guinn Memorial Library. The index was compiled in July, 2001,
Eventually, hopefully, all fifty-five pages of the index will be available
on the web site.

                              A  Look  Back

  So, a year has passed. Looking back, what comes to mind? Certainly,
one of the most significant accomplishments during the year was the
indexing and shelving of the Hoffer collection. One only has to look
at the amount of the materials contained in this collection to marvel
at the amount of work needed to render the collection into a useful
body of researchable materials. Hopefully, the collection can be used
by researchers well into the future.

The committee chairmen are commended for their efforts during the
year. The Trip Coordinator Chairman was very successful in maintaining
a program of visitations. Our Library Liaison, Martha Brown, kept
us informed about the workings of the Nancy Guinn Library where many
of the materials which we have worked hard to assemble are being kept.
Our President, Vice President, and other officers have worked hard
to keep us focused and working on behalf of the club. Of note is the
charter which our President recently put together. It is a very significant
document which details the organization and purpose of the Rockdale
County Genealogical Society. 

Your editor of this newsletter has successfully met all deadlines.
However, we feel that this is an area which we can improve. The content
of the newsletters could use more on-line information given how this
has been the most significant growth area of genealogical research.
Then again, we all know that you can’t find everything on-line; at
least, not yet.

JEANS & GENES is a publication of the Rockdale County Genealogical
% Nancy Guinn Library
864 Green St. SW
Conyers, Ga.  30012

President:  Chris Zawadski
V. President:  Gayle Vivian
Treasurer: Ellen Trainer
Secretary:  Claudine Jackson
Program Chairman:  Gere Byrd
Membership Chairman:  Vacant
Membership Committee: Vacant
Trip Coordinator: Claudine  Jackson
Board Member:  Vacant
Newsletter: Marion T. Farmer
                   1500 A. Pine Log Rd NE
                   Conyers, GA. 30012