Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday - Grandpa Bustin

Have you ever plucked a random picture out of an assortment of relics, just to simply see how far you can go with it?  That's what I did the other day, with wonderfully unexpected results.

The following is the front and back of my picture, 2 x 3 in size (fitting in the palm of my hand).

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Of course, my first question was "Whose Grandpa?" I remember my great-grandfather, Frederick Parker Bustin (1886-1965), buried in Evergreen Cemetery in Portland, Maine. Was this his father or his grandfather?

My second question was "Where is Church Hill?" It was not a placename I was familiar with, although I had to assume it was in New Brunswick, where my great-grandfather grew up. Was this a church graveyard, or was this the name of a NB village, like Mechanic Settlement, where "Pap" was born.  

Google Maps led me to a Church Hill Rd near Mechanic Settlement, as well as Elgin, a town I had also heard mention of:

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After quite a bit of creative googling, going back and forth between Church Hill, Church Hill Cemetery, Church Hill United Church, I finally arrived at a list of Albert Co., New Brunswick, cemeteries, and lo and behold, there was my cemetery - Church Hill United Cemetery Est. 1865, in ELGIN! And it was annotated as being fully transcribed in 2010!  You can only imagine how excited I was!

But here is the best part -- M. Helena Lewis, just this Augusttranscribed and photographed (!) every single grave, including those of my great-great Bustin grandparents.  Here they are, with full credit to Ms. Lewis for doing all the work:

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Samuel J Bustin

died Oct 29, 1897 aged 79 yrs 4 ms

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Mary E Bustin

died July 10, 1904 aged 55 yrs 10 ms

As I finish this post, I realize suddenly that Great Great Grandmother Bustin died when she was the age I am now - 55.  I can only speculate on her life, which undoubtedly was a hard one, and what caused her death.  But I am thrilled with this "best yet" genealogy discovery, and hope to make it down east someday to pay my respects.


  1. Pam this is awesome! What a really neat discovery. I love these wonderful surprises we get when we go digging around after getting a small clue. I have had one of these this past week that has had me up until 3 a.m. two nights because of the heat of the chase, LOL! I have not done THAT in years!

  2. Great story! And an interesting idea to take photos and see how far you get. I hsve a few of those I should do myself. It sure paid off for you! :)