Once upon a time, long, long ago, I was known to get pretty good grades in school. I'm not saying I was a good student. I wasn't, really. But I did know how to get good grades.
History was, by far, my worst subject. And why not? It was about wars and old men who'd been dead so long they didn't even stink anymore. I was a teen-aged girl, fer Pete's sake. I was interested in guys who were young, alive, friendly, and smelled like Brut. Nevertheless, using my fine-tuned technique for securing grades that would pass muster at home, I managed to do reasonably well even on history tests.
Miss Ryan wasn't fooled though, and good test scores were not her only priority. She was the only teacher who ever sent a "D" home with me on my report card.
My mother went to ask her why I'd gotten so low a grade when I'd done acceptably well on all the quizzes and tests. Miss Ryan replied that it was because I didn't take notes in class. Mom thought that was ridiculous since my test scores were good, so she told me to appear to be taking notes in class. I did, and my history grade improved.
The truth is, by that time, it was already clear to me that my note-taking left a lot to be desired. I'm bad at it. Always was. Always will be. If I ever take a good note, I assure you it will be a complete anomaly in my note-taking life.
That anomaly did not happen when I took photos of some Sedgwick tombstones many years ago. I can't even tell you how many years ago, as I did not make note of the date. Apparently I did not even record the name of the cemetery. The photos are the old-fashioned kind, from a film camera, and there is absolutely nothing written or imprinted on their backs. I did find a notebook of jottings from that trip, but there is no mention in it pertaining to the Sedgwick gravestone photos.
But fortunately, The Sedgwick Collection at the New Haven Colony Historical Society houses boxes and boxes of notes taken by some excellent Sedgwick note-takers of days gone by. I was able to determine from them that I took these photos at Greenwood Cemetery which, according to the notes, is one-half mile east of Bloomingdale, Illinois.
My fourth great-grandfather is said to be buried with the Sedgwicks whose tombstones I photographed, but I was unable to find a stone with Elijah's name on it. I'm sure he must have had a stone at some point. From the photos, it appears some of the older stones may have been broken and repaired. Possibly Elijah's was broken beyond repair, or maybe it was there and I just didn't look in the right place.
I'd like to wrap this up by telling you my note-taking has improved over the years but, dear reader, I'm all about keepin' it real.
I was browsing through my old Sedgwick binder the other day and found a great number of photocopied items sent to me many years ago by the late Leona Hilton of Seattle. One was a list entitled Bloomingdale Cemetery Record of Burials.* The pages she sent me covered some (not all) years from 1859-1879. Several Sedgwick entries are included, and I'm sure this record is how I knew Elijah Sedgwick was buried here, despite the lack of a gravestone. The Sedgwick entries are:
- 19 May 1859 - Huldah, wife [second] of Doct. S.P. Sedgwick, of Bloomingdale, age 33
- July 1870 - Infant son of Geo. and Ebba [sic] Vastine
- 18 Dec 1861 - Elijah Sedgwick of Bloomingdale, age 98
- 4 Dec 1870 - Dr. Parker Sedgwick, Wheaton, age 74 yrs 3 mo
- 23 Sep 1863 - Emily E., infant daughter of E. and H. Sedgwick
- 12 Dec 1863 - Infant son of C.J. and E. Schultz of Bloomingdale
- July 1870 - Elijah, infant child of E. and H. Sedgwick
- 22 Aug 1870 - Infant son of C.J. and Emma Schultz
- 26 Oct 1874 - Joseph D., infant son of Harriet and Erastus Sedgwick
- 9 Apr 1876 - William, infant son of Harriet and Erastus Sedgwick
- 16 Oct 1878 - Daughter of E.R. and H.M. Sedgwick, 6 days old
Charles J. Schultz was married to Emma Elizabeth Sedgwick, a granddaughter of Elijah Sedgwick. You can see the Schultz Family Group Sheet at Sedgwick.org.
Erastus R. Sedgwick, a grandson of Elijah Sedgwick, was married to Harriet Hatch. There are currently no children listed on Erastus Sedgwick's Family Group Sheet at Sedgwick.org.
*From the photocopy, it's apparent this list of burials was part of a Pamphlet File, the subject of which was "Bloomingdale, History of." The photocopies were sent to Leona by the reference librarian at Bloomingdale Public Library in Bloomingdale, Illinois.