Aylmer's Bellevue Cemetery Celebrates its 200th Anniversary
A Gathering of the Descendants of Gideon Olmstead
ON JULY 9, 2022, forty members of the Olmstead family gathered at the Bellevue Cemetery in Aylmer to celebrate its 200th anniversary and to pay respect to their ancestor who founded it, GIDEON OLMSTEAD. The gathering would also feature the unveiling of the refurbished crypt and beautified landscaping around the plot of Gideon and his wife Esther Andrus (although her name is spelt Andrews on the crypt, the family had, for generations, spelt the name as Andrus).
In early June, Elizabeth (Betty) Olmstead Rose from Tucson AZ called me to inform me of the upcoming reunion and to ask if I could come to speak about the history of the Olmstead family in the Township of Hull. Betty is a subscriber to this blog but Betty did not know when she called that I was also a descendant of Gideon and Esther Olmstead; a fourth great-grandson. Of course, I quickly volunteered.
As the date approached and I prepared my notes on the history of the cemetery, the date of its founding suddenly leapt off the page at me: 1822! Our gathering at the cemetery would mark its 200th anniversary.
With only three weeks to go, I thought the celebration should warrant a little more hoopla, so I invited the Mayor, the Aylmer Councillors, and the local paper to the event, knowing there may be too little notice for them to participate. I was right about that, but we went ahead nonetheless and gathered on the beautiful sunny day that was July 9.
THE FOLLOWING PDF FILE contains my Welcome Speech, the newly updated History of the Olmstead-Bellevue Cemetery (with sources), and some of the genealogy of the Olmstead family, featuring Gideon's daughter Sally Olmstead's link to the Philemon Wright family - she married Philemon Jr. - up through to Gideon's first known ancestor in America, Moses Olmstead.
Also featured in the genealogy, is the family link to Mark Twain aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens, from Gideon's mother Miriam Husse. (Photos by Adam Prince, videos by Carolyn Rose.
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