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Stomping here, stomping there

15 Aug 2016

I spent the past week on the Massachusetts North Shore, for reasons. On Wednesday I had some time, not really enough time to drive down to Plymouth and back, but I did anyway. I’d been there once as a small child, and near there a couple times in the early 1990s, but not since learning about my Plymouth roots.

I ended up with only an hour and a half or so in Plymouth, of which 52 minutes was spent sitting in a parking lot on the phone with my lawyer. Not much time to look around! That parking lot, though, was this one:IMG_0747Maybe you recognize it from the Google Maps link in this post. This is Plymouth Plaza, a strip mall built on or quite close to the location of the “Reed Pond” referred to in the old Plymouth records. These include the first mention of John Holmes in Plymouth, in 1632, when he bought a house and six acres of land adjoining Reed Pond. In Stratton’s article on John Holmes he also writes: “On 7 August 1638 Mr. John Holmes asked to be granted 10 or 12 acres adjoining his lot, and also a small parcel of meadow at Reed Pond.” In 1667 John Holmes, presumably the son of the immigrant, was granted “A privilidge of grasse or sedge… att the Reed pond in case hee can make meddow of the whole pond or any pte therof it is to be his owne”.

A short walk away is Nelson Memorial Park, on the water, from which you can get a glimpse of the Mayflower II.IMG_0751Further south on Court Street is the building addition on the location where John’s son Nathaniel built a house which may have been standing as recently as the 1990s.
IMG_0752 North of that building is an old brick wall. I suspect it was once part of Nathaniel’s house, though not an original part.IMG_0753 And north of Plymouth Plaza, here’s Holmes Terrace, named for, well, someone named Holmes.IMG_0754

So much for Plymouth; I had to get back to Gloucester.

This morning I left for home, but with a diversion to the south:IMG_1455_crop That’s the Post Office in Montville, CT, if you can’t read it.

I don’t know where Samuel Holmes lived. About all I know is that he had property on the “Sawmill Brook”. From what I’ve read this seems likely to be what’s now called the Oxoboxo River or Oxoboxo Brook. It flows very near that post office, though “flows” isn’t really the word, at least in this dry summer: it looked more like a wet piece of ground than a stream: IMG_1441 So Samuel might have lived close to that point, or not…

It was a somewhat longer drive than I’d expected to get to the neighboring town of Salem where, in the Wesley Brown Cemetery, Samuel’s wife Lucretia is buried. Daughter in law Lucy and (I think) grandson William share the gravestone with her:IMG_1460

So I’ve now been to the birthplaces of eleven consecutive generations of Holmeses: Newport News, VA (my son); Boston, MA (me); Schodack Center, NY (my father); Hamilton, NY (Clarence and Jerome); Montville, CT (Hiram and Nathan); and Plymouth, MA (Samuel, Elisha, Elisha, and Nathaniel). The ATM is planning on a trip to England in 2018, so maybe I can add Colchester (John, Thomas, and Thomas) and Ramsden Bellhouse (Thomas and perhaps John) to the list then.


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