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Monday, June 13, 2005

Mystery (Almost) Solved

From the Waterbury (Ct.) Republican-American:

Markers Mystify Historians

Monday, June 13, 2005

By Alexander MacInnes

Copyright © 2005 Republican-American

NAUGATUCK -- The mystery of the missing headstones has begun to unfold.

Flossie M. Matteson, a 16-month-old, died Feb. 18, 1882, leaving her parents M.D. and F.E. Matteson. That is the only information etched into the stone. What it was doing with another headstone believed to be from that era in the back yard of a housing complex on Highland Circle in Naugatuck is just one of the questions gnawing at area historians and the woman who found the burial marker.

Alison Sgrillo went looking for the legs of a patio table that disappeared last week. She began searching a pile of discarded household appliances behind the apartment complex.

Staring up at her from the weeds -- and from the past -- were two big, heavy stones, one with the name of Flossie M. Matteson. The second, she said, was that of a boy or man, dated 1892.

[snip]

Enter Alese Kummer, the curator of the Seymour Historical Society. Given the pertinent information, Kummer dug through the society's archives and old, cemetery records Saturday. She found some information, though not all she had hoped.

Flossie Matteson was the daughter of M. Delos and Francis E. Matteson. She found no birth records for the daughter, nor marriage records for the parents. There were also no records with the name Matteson from any of the town's cemeteries, Kummer said.

"My feeling is they didn't live here in town," Kummer said.

[snip]

Wherever the headstones are from, Sgrillo hopes they find the appropriate final resting place.

"It's the history and legacy of family," Sgrillo said. "Family is very important to me."
Widow Frances Matteson was living in Sunderland, Bennington, Vermont, with sons George and Perley, daughter Christie, and an unnamed daughter (Flossie) born in May 1880 [see the abstracted census record here]. Frances and husband M. D. were living in Sunderland in 1860 (her name given as "Emma F.) and 1870 (his name given as "Daniel"). Frances had four children, three of whom were living as late as 1910.

The next step for anyone interested? Check the 1880 Mortality Schedule for Sunderland for the death of Flossie's father, and search for the family in Sunderland cemeteries.

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