Lexington Alarm

On a recent sunny May afternoon, I went on a little road trip with my mother to our ancestor’s graves at the Aspinwall Cemetery in Putnam, Connecticut.  The cemetery itself was established in 1720.  Nearly 200 years later, the Elizabeth Porter Putnam Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution dedicated the cemetery and uncovered the long neglected headstones that had been under grass and brush.  More recently in 2005, Boy Scout Troop #25 made improvements to the cemetery with veteran medallions and better access.  It is an unadorned cemetery, free of flowers, planters and the like which creates a quiet sense of place.

History of Aspinwall Cemetery

My maternal grandfather’s family settled in the northwest corner of Connecticut sometime shortly after they arrived at Plymouth Colony from Scotland in the mid 1600’s.  Walking through the cemetery I felt the distinct sense of connectedness not only to my family’s past lives, but surprisingly also to the colonial days in the US just through reading the simple text on their headstones.

They made their living mostly as farmers, had their families, built homes and just as if I were reading an historical novel, dropped their plows and served their country by answering the call for the relief of Boston in the Lexington Alarm of April 19, 1775 at the start of the American Revolution. It’s hard for me to even fathom such a bold move of courage and patriotism.

Their headstones mark their military service as Revolutionary War veterans and are near to those of my grandfather,  great grandparents, great aunts and uncles.  The lichen covered headstones remind me of how much time had passed in just our family tree and so many stories that had not been told.  Uncovering the stories is now on my to do list as a great summer project to explore my own family history.

Aspinwall Cemetery gate, Putnam, Connecticut

Aspinwall Cemetery, Putnam, Connecticut

Moffitt Family plot marker

Ishmael Moffitt

John Moffitt

Eleazer Moffitt