As the holidays came to an end - I found myself reading the half-page 17th century biography of E. Herring. I had received this page from the local museum who wished to know more about this man. Upon reading the biography I noticed that while it was only a half-page it was more about the man who mentored Mr. Herring, rather than about him.
I set out and began my research with the few details I was given. Knowing the approximate date and location of his death I was able to locate his will in the probate records rather quickly. My colleague, Mark, quickly read through the will looking for any clues as to who this gentleman was and any family he had.
Mr. Herring had been married and fathered four children during his marriage. Using these details I began to build the frame work of his family tree. This hardworking family man, who died in 1694, would be a part of religious history that unfortunately would be forgotten by most.
While I'd love to tell you more about this man - I look forward to the release of his new biography from the museum later this year.
With so little information available I shouldn't have been so surprised to find that his burial had been forgotten. I had checked witht he local archives, historical society, family history society, baptist church and walked the burial ground myself. In August 2015, I noted more than 20 graves had completely defaced stones. I found that at least five other people had walked this same path trying to identify the burials asociated to the church. Two attempts had left a trace of information in the records which I found.
In 1988 a gravestone was recorded to show:
- - - - - - wife - - - - - - - / - - - - -Their son - - - - - / - - - - - lower - - - - dau- - - - / - - - - - - 176- [age]d -- - - - / - - - - - of the - - - -
About 20 years later the same gravestone simply read:
- - - - wife - - - - - - - /- - - - - - - - - /- - - - - - - - - - - /- - - - - - - - - - - 176[?] - - - -/- - - - - - - - - -
However, as I learned more about Mr. Herring I found something that simply
took me by surprise. Someone had recorded his burial and that information had been printed in an 1811 book.
There he was buried in plot 40 of the churchyard. He was right under our noses the whole time - one of our unknown burials. I'm very excited to be able to identify the final resting place for a great man and his family after more than 200 years!