Those of my friends and neighbors who know me know that I am a family genealogist. I had picked up the hobby shortly after the passing of my mother in 1988, but it wasn’t until we moved to Nelson that the hobby became an obsession.
You see, I’ve always loved to walk in cemeteries. Cemeteries are a wonderful place of quiet calm and the surroundings are perfect for meditation and contemplation. On a warm spring day I was walking among the souls in the Munsonville Cemetery and came across the final resting place of one of my great aunts. Imagine my surprise. I had no idea that she and the family she married into had lived here in Nelson.
That was the spark that rekindled my genealogical efforts. I wanted to find out more about the family there in the cemetery. I was able to follow this direct line way back to just before the Revolution. In doing so, I also found that my late husband and therefore our children had a direct tie to one of Nelson’s founding fathers, John LeBourveau.
John came over from Finistere, France to escape religious persecution in his home country. After his marriage in Massachusetts he came to Nelson – then Monadnock #6 – and was among those who were tasked with the clearing and the settling of the fledgling town. He later left Nelson to reside in Keene and was among those who answered the Lexington Call in 1775.
It must have been the “pull” from this family tie that led us to make our home here in Nelson.
Every year at Christmastime I am reminded of the very first Christmas we had here in Nelson. I don’t remember the exact date, but on one particular day in mid-ish December near suppertime there came a knock at the front door.
In 1977, Sam and I saw an ad in the Harvard Crimson (thank you Karen Tolman) for a camp for rent in Nelson, near a place called Tolman Pond. We had some friends in Peterborough and Hancock, so we decided to rent the cabin to get out of Cambridge in the summer.
Cemeteries are a wonderful place of quiet calm and the surroundings are perfect for meditation and contemplation. On a warm spring day I was walking among the souls in the Munsonville Cemetery and came across the final resting place of one of my great aunts.