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Grandpa Appleton lies next to his first wife, Sarah Chappell. 1

“In Memory of
Mrs. Sarah Stillman
Consort of
Mr. Appleton Stillman
who died
Dec. 21, 1800
in the 40th Year
of her Age”
Appleton and Sarah married in 1788. In twelve years of married life, they had five children; then Sarah died. The next year, he married our 3G Grandma Amanda Hurd, 22 years his junior, and they had seven more, beginning with Great-Great-Grandpa Jason Stillman.

I haven’t discovered Amanda’s resting place. Maybe she’s here, in the Beech Hill Cemetery in Colebrook, Connecticut, without a surviving marker. Or maybe with her parents at the Beech Plain Cemetery, a few miles north, over the state line in Sandisfield, although there’s no marker for her there, either.2
As we pulled out of the Chankly driveway in late May, 2009, I remarked to Valerie that this whole summer’s travel would be worth it, if only we could find Grandpa Appleton’s will. It was largely Amanda’s “missing grandma” status that moved me to feel that way: I knew he’d died fairly young (59), leaving her even younger, with the prospect of a 14-year widowhood. I hoped the will would help me understand how well he provided for her and perhaps whether she remarried. If she took another name, that would help the search for her grave.

1The Chappell (or Chappel or Chapel) family, said to be of Nova Scotia, married into ours at several points. Grandma Amanda had, for example, an Uncle Richard “Chapel” because Richard married her mother Rebecca’s sister Sarah. Uncle (4G) Robert Stillman, moreover, Grandpa Appleton’s brother, married Zipporah Chappell; both are buried here.
2Had I not confused the two cemeteries in preparing my first visit in 2005, I might have had some of this earlier. It makes me feel a little less dumb that most genealogical sources refer to them as the “Beach Hill” and “Beach Plain” burying grounds, respectively. This area boasts many beautiful beech trees; I have observed no beaches.

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