New Hampshire Old Graveyard Association
September 13, 2003

The fall meeting of NHOGA was held at the home of Richard and Janet Alperin in Newmarket on September 13, 2003.

President Arthur Jillette presided. Host, Richard Alperin welcomed us.

Secretary - Joan Casarotto read the minutes of the July12, 2003 meeting which were approved as read.

Treasurer - Jean Mertinooke reported income and expenses with an ending balance of $2,952.94.

Corresponding Secretary - Doris Ashton spoke about articles and photos for the Rubbings.

Records - Clark Bagnall has received records for Allenstown including a map. He needs to go up to Millsfield in the northern part of the state to find a cemetery in a back yard. The list of missing towns has whittled down. He discussed manually linking information about alternate cemetery names on the current database which was not possible on the prior database.

Website - Clark Bagnall answered some questions as some people are having problems accessing the website. Trina Purcell is still maintaining the website from Denver, Colorado. She has some new ideas to pursue.

Consultant - Louise Tallman went to see a cemetery site on Cocheco Golf Course in Dover. There are nine markers there and she talked about them.

Handbook Revision Committee - Clark Bagnall reported that it was close to being done. He has Page Maker program to put it on for publication.

New Business - Richard Maloon mentioned that Bonnie Dunton visited a cemetery in Farmington which contains 30 stones mostly Waldrens. Cutting trees was needed. Louise Tallman spoke of the positive and negative effects of trees near a cemetery.

Doris Ashton introduced Judy Dufor of Exeter. Judy talked about the New Hampshire Cemetery Association being made up of 100% cemeterians. They meet two times a year. They deal primarily with rules, regulations and statutes. The fall meeting will deal with cremation. It costs $25 for each meeting including lunch. Yearly dues are $10. To make arrangements to go to the next meeting, contact Jeff Snow, Secretary-Treasurer, 107 Amherst Street, Nashua. The next meeting will be on Wednesday, October 8th at Yokens Restaurant on Route 1. Their website is Clark Bagnall made the motion that NHOGA become a member. The motion was seconded and it was so voted.

Arthur Jillette talked about dealing with trees in a cemetery in Goshen. Older trees in bad shape were removed. New plantings were done with lilacs. The Governor's Commission will give lilacs free but you have to go to Concord to pick them up. There is a large assortment of varieties avaiable. The phone number is 271-1110. The State House operator will answer and you should ask for the Lilac Commission.

The speaker, Richard Alperin, spoke about the history of Wentworth Cheswell, his family, his house, and the familly graveyard. The property went down through several generations and the current house is the third one on the same foundation. Wentworth Cheswell's grandfather, Richard Cheswell, was a negro slave of Benny Wentworth who freed him. Richard Cheswell's son, Hopestill, named his son Wentworth to honor the man who freed his father. On the internet you can search Google for Wentworth Cheswell. Research done by Erik R. Tuveson for a thesis on people of color in the 1700's can be seen. See for photos of the family. On the PBS website, Frontline in 1995 did a show on blurred racial lines. They did a story on him on the web regarding color mix and the many offices Wentworth held in Newmarket. Glen Knoblock has four pages on Wentworth Cheswell in his book, Strong and Brave Fellows, which has just been published.

Wentworth Cheswell's father, Hopestill, was a builder and built such local landmarks as the John Paul Jones house and the Langdon house. Wentworth went to prestigious schools and became a school teacher. He later served Newmarket as a selectman, a moderator, a coroner, on the school board, a justice of the peace, a judge and was involved in starting the local library and getting it incorporated. He also was an archeologist. He understood the importance of the old town records and copied all of the Town Meeting Records from 1727 into a journal which is at the Dimond Library at UNH. His last entry was "The war has begun" which was the Revolutionary War. He became an honored veteran of that war. He also accumulated 125 acres of land over the years, including the family graveyard, which passed down through the family. Wentworth Cheswell, Esq, died March 8, 1817 at the age of 71. Wentworth is buried in the family graveyard close to this homestead. Richard Alperin gave details on the history of the houses on that foundation and the genealogy of the Cheswell family. His main goal is to help raise awareness about the need for repair in the graveyard and the importance of the Cheswell family in Newmarket's history. Richard Alperin is petitioning the State of New Hampshire to have an historical marker put up at the graveyard to honor Wentworth Cheswell.

During lunch a Booklet Revision Committee meeting was held and it was decided to have a committee meeting Saturday, October 11 at Jean Mertinooke's home in Kensington.

After lunch the nearby Cheswell graveyard was visited and people interred there and work to be done were discussed in detail.

Respectfully submitted,

Joan A. Casarotto Secretary