All Things Maine
All Things Maine

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

'Joanna G.' Identified

A broken gravestone was found in the foundation of Robert and Helen Bittar's Emporium restaurant in Readfield in 1982, but only part of the name could be read. A story about the stone in last Sunday's Kennebec Journal piqued the interest of Augusta genealogist Rick Eastman, who set out to solve the puzzle.
"I don't do crosswords, I do this instead," he said. The stone read "Joanna G. Dau. of Elijah and Elizabeth G," with the parents' last name broken off. But that G looked more like a C to Eastman.

And after looking at old census data, Eastman found an Elijah Clough who lived in Readfield.

"In a later census, I found Elizabeth and found her (maiden) name was Gilman," Eastman said.

The G after Joanna's name probably stands for the first letter of her middle name -- her mother's maiden name -- a practice Eastman said he has noticed on the gravestones of children. [Link]

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