Dick's great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents Jonathan and Sybil(Fox) Bliss lived in Gilsum during the American Revolution. Dick went to Gilsum to search for records and burial sites.Gilsum is west of Concord on Highway 9, north of Keene. It is about halfway between Keene and Marlow. I have bought hardware and software from PC Connection, which is based in Marlow and includes a raccoon in its ads to highlight its rural setting. I dropped by and had a nice conversation with the receptionist. The sales staff is now in Keene. The training building, in Marlow, is a huge Victorian building painted bright colors.
I parked my car and went to the door. This was what was posted:
Gilsum Town Gilsum Public Library Hours Office Hours --------------------------- Selectmen Mon 1:30- 3:30 & 6:00-8:00 pm ------------ Tues 1:30- 3:30 & 6:00-8:00 pm Mon 7:00-9:00 pm Wed 1:30- 3:30 pm Sat 10:00-12:00 noon Town Clerk/Tax Collection ------------------------- Tues 6:00-8:00 pm Wed 10:00-12:00 noon
I went back to town and asked at the post office. The clerk drew me a map and directed me to two old graveyards.
I found one other cemetery, but the oldest area appeared to have only 1 in 10 tombstones standing.
I decided to drive to Keene for more information, since it is the county seat of Cheshire County. I found no records at the courthouse (most are sent to Concord, the state capitol) but I did find help at the Keene Public Library, the Greater Keene Chamber of Commerce, and at The Archive Center of the Historical Society of Cheshire County. I found clippings from the Gilsum Bicentennial in 1963. There was a map that identified the cemeteries I had found. I found that Gilsum's population, at 738, is only a little larger than at the time of the Revolution. No wonder the town hall has such limited hours. Also, The Keene Sentinel Answer Book of March 30, 1995, states "Lucy Mack, mother of Morman prophet Joseph Smith Jr. was born in Gilsum in 1775."
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Last updated 02/25/03.