Back in the 1910s and 1920s, when David Fletcher Hoy was working on family history, he made a concerted effort to identify all burials in Bovina, including private cemeteries. He found on what was then the Wallace Smith place one small lone grave that he thought read "Dau Infant of Robert and Hannah Scott." In the 1970s, Ed Davidson, David Hoy's great-nephew, located the stone again. On their annual visit to Bovina this year, Ed and his brother Dick continued their work to document all burials, including noting the GPS coordinates! So Ed wanted to get back to this grave to record the latitude and longitude. On Monday, September 24, we made a trek on what is now property owned by Peter Schjeldahl and Brooke Alderson to locate this stone. Brooke gave me directions, but Ed recalled it being closer to the river. After no success by the river, we decided to follow Brooke's directions up the bank a bit. We got to a point where she said that if we got there, we would be going too far. Dick and I turned back but Ed felt we hadn't quite reached where we would have overshot the grave and sure enough, he found it.
|Dick and Ed did an impromptu rubbing, using paper and a fern leaf.|
|We found that simply rubbing the stone a bit with our hands, it bought out the words. I hope to come back with a cleaner approved by the Association for Gravestone Studies (AGS) to make it clearer.|
What do we know about this infant? Very very little. The property where this grave is located was leased from Janet Livingston Montgomery in 1815. Robert Scott was born in Peebleshire, Scotland in 1780. His wife, Hannah Turnbull, was born in Scotland in 1779. They had eight children, including this infant. I suspect that this child may have been stillborn. The fact that the stone doesn't say son or daughter could mean the child was too early term for the sex to be determined. Of course, it could also be that 'infant' was easier to carve than 'daughter.' We'll never really know. Another bit of information we do not know is when the child died and was buried here. David Hoy suggested the child died around 1800, but given that Robert Scott was not leasing this farm until 1815, it seems more likely that it happened after that date. The last child of Robert and Hannah, their daughter Elizabeth, was born they year they took the lease on the farm. I think it's possible that the child was born after 1816. Hannah died in 1839. The Scott family had the farm until after Robert's death in 1852. Robert and Hannah are buried in the old Associate Presbyterian Church cemetery.
Many thanks to the current property owners, Brooke and Peter, for allowing us to visit this grave. And thanks to them also for ensuring that the grave is protected with a small stone wall. And yet another thank you to Ed and Dick Davidson for all of their hard work documenting Bovina burials. Their latest efforts have included putting gravestone photos and information on 'Find-A-Grave.' The link is at: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=csr&CScn=Bovina&CScntry=4&CSst=36&CScnty=0