Genealogical Serendipity

In the fall of 2020, my wife and I moved to a small house near the ocean in Rockland, ME. I’ve been researching my family history since I was 16 (I’m now 62) and although my ancestors have lived in many other parts of Maine, since before it was Maine, as far as I knew there were no family connections in the Rockland area.

Turns out I was wrong.

My 5th great grandfather, William Hix, was born ca. 1724 in England, & by 1757 was living at Cape Elizabeth, Maine.1 His daughter, my 4th great grandmother Lydia (Hix) Hunt, lived at some point on Deer Island, New Brunswick2 near Eastport, ME, & is likely to have lived on Campobello Island, New Brunswick for a time.

One morning I was on a genealogical tangent (my wife is smiling & nodding as she reads this) searching google to see what I could find on William Hix and his family. A surprising result brought me a page from the History of Thomaston, Rockland, and South Thomaston, Maine from 1865:

“HIX , or Hicks , William , c . from England , while young ; m . Lydia Woodbury ; settled , r . & d . in Cape Elizabeth . Their son , Thomas , b . Oct. 27 , 1756 ; m . Mary Jameson of Warren ; settled in S. Th . , & d . May 16, 1808.”3

Say what?

William Hix’s son Thomas, my ancestor Lydia’s brother, lived in the next town over! As anyone who’s done research on their family tree will tell you, that’s the kind of thing that causes a genealogist to jump out of their skin.

When I dug deeper into the connection, I found at Find a Grave that Thomas was buried in Owl’s Head, which also borders Rockland. I of course ran over there as soon as I could to take a look, and what you see here are the stones of Thomas and his wife Mary, in clear view from a road we’d been traveling back & forth on for three years…

Hix & Jameson graves, Hall Cemetery, Owl’s Head, ME (Photo Jeff Bowden)

After a little more digging, I also found that their daughter Rachel (Hix) Hunt was buried at the Achorn Cemetery in Rockland itself. This week I was lucky enough to take a tour of the Achorn Cemetery hosted by the Rockland Public Library, and found her under a huge tree in the older part of the cemetery with her daughter & husband…

Graves of Anna Augusta Hunt, Rachel (Hix) Hunt & John W. Hunt, Achorn Cemetery, Rockland, ME (Photo Jeff Bowden)

It’s always such an interesting feeling to stand at the burial place of a person who was connected to your family, but to find all these folks within 3 miles of my house was striking. You just truly never know who you’ll find, or where, when you’re digging under the family tree. 🌳

Graves of Anna Augusta Hunt, Rachel (Hix) Hunt & John W. Hunt front right, Achorn Cemetery, Rockland, ME (Photo Jeff Bowden)
  1. Leonard F. Tibbetts and Darryl B. Lamson, Early Pleasant River Families of Washington County, Maine (Rockport, ME: Picton Press, 1997), 256. ↩︎
  2. Ibid. ↩︎
  3. Cyrus Eaton, History of Thomaston, Rockland and South Thomaston, Maine, From Their First Exporation, A. D 1605; With Family Genealogies, (Hallowell, ME: Masters, Smith & Co., 1865), v. 2, 269. ↩︎

Digging under family trees since 1978. 🌳

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