New Hampshire archaeologist Gail Golec will give an online talk exploring the history of a community by studying its cemeteries Wednesday from 6-8 p.m. The talk, organized by the Historical Society of Cheshire County, is titled “The Rusts, The Slades and The Burroughs: What a small historic cemetery can teach us about the function and structure of early Anglo-American communities in New Hampshire.”

After the end of the French and Indian War in 1763, Anglo-American towns sprung up all along the Connecticut River Valley. They were generally populated by groups of interrelated extended families from established and overcrowded towns in southern New England. Alstead was one such place. But years before the town was officially established, a group of those Anglo-American settlers, a handful of siblings, in-laws and neighbors, set up an early enclave that functioned as a town in microcosm. It provided its residents with traditional English political and social infrastructure, including a cemetery.

Golec manages the blog The Secret Life of Death.

For information or to register, go to