||4. Figures||5. Stone Map|
The following is a transcription of the grave stones in the Bocabec Baptist Cemetery in Bocabec, Saint Patrick Parish, Charlotte County, New Brunswick, Canada. The transcription was originally made in 1993 by Craig Walsh and was verified in July and August 2000.
The cemetery, which does not have any signs or markings at this time, is easily accessible on Highway 127 at the south-west corner of the main bridge crossing the Bocabec River. It is bounded on the north by the highway and on the east by the river, as shown in the Bocabec Churches Map . The deed (1) for the land is dated 12 March 1834 and the church was presumably built around that time. The church was torn down in 1931.(2) The Baptist burial ground is the smallest of the three Bocabec cemeteries. The other two are the large modern Community Cemetery located on the north side of the highway by the United Church, and the Presbyterian Cemetery - clearly marked with a sign - located up the hill about one half kilometre along the highway towards St. Andrews.
Description and Condition
The main features of the cemetery are shown in the Stone Map. There is a large open space with rough stones in a vaguely rectangular shape, as shown in Figure 1, and these are probably remnants of the church's foundation. A rusted wire fence encloses the cemetery, but much of it has been encroached upon by trees and bushes. The cemetery is still cared for (3), but the terrain is rough and it is unevenly mowed.
The cemetery presently contains 18 separate headstones listing 43 deceased people, of which 3 headstones listing 6 people were originally from Holts Point Road and were moved to the cemetery for safe keeping. There are also 4 initialed footstones. In addition, the names of 7 people are listed on stones as spouses or parents of the deceased. Annie M. Holt also made a transcription of the cemetery in 1936, and she lists 2 stones that were missing in August 2000. One listed the names of 2 deceased children and their parents, and the other listed 1 deceased person.
Besides the stones, there are also three good-quality iron fences as well as a simpler fence consisting of four stone pillars with iron rods laid on them. Two of the fences enclose stones, and two are empty but presumably enclosed stones in the past. One of these fences is shown in Figure 2.
The information is presented in two forms. First, there is an exact, literal transcription of the stones. With the exception of some short verses and Bible passages that have been omitted entirely, the transcription preserves all aspects of the original text including the order, line breaks, and general arrangement of the text; spelling; capitalization; and abbreviations. I have also tried to preserve the original punctuation, but I cannot guarantee this. It is difficult to pick out small punctuation amidst the lichens and eroded pits on the stones, and it is difficult to distinguish periods from commas under such circumstances. Second, for ease of reading there is an alphabetical index of all names with standard date formats, capitalization, etc.
I have given each physically separate headstone a number. If there is writing on more than one side of the stone, then the sides are distinguished with letters N, S, E, W, to indicate the north side, south side, etc. Footstones are numbered xFS where x is the number of the corresponding headstone. Fences have their own numbers, prefixed with "F".
The D. G. Hanson Scrapbook (2) contains a typed page entitled:
Bocabec Baptist Cemetery
Inscriptions taken from Markers in 1936 by Miss Annie Holt
It is not clear whether the sheet itself was typed by Miss Holt, or whether D. G. Hanson typed it from her handwritten notes. In any event, it lists 34 people with their dates of death, etc. The first 31 people are aggregated into eight numbered groups, which correspond roughly, but not exactly, to individual stones or groups of stones. At the end of these 31 names is a note: "all that have markers in 1936". Following this are the names of the McGregor's, excluding Christene, with a note: "Headstone erected later".
On the other side of Annie Holt's transcription is more typescript listing what I have called stones 13, 14 and 15, that is, John Hanson and Abigal Libby, John Hanson and Elizabeth Clark, and Daniel Hanson and Mary Haley. There is then a note stating that John and Elizabeth Hanson are actually buried on Lot 3 on Holts Point Road, but that "The above markers were placed in the Baptist Bocabec Cemetery for safe keeping." A picture of the moved stones is show in Figure 3.
I have compared the Annie Holt List directly with the headstones and found that, for the most part, it is accurate, although it is a list of information rather than a literal transcription. There are, however, a few minor mistakes as well as some discrepancies:
|Annie Holt List||Correction|
|John H. Foster died aged 3 years||died aged 3 months|
|Julia E. Foster died November 18||died November 19|
|Ella C. Foster died 1881||died 1880|
|"Ephriam Hanson"||"Ephraim Hanson"|
|James D. McGregor, died 1934, aged 92||no middle initial or age; died 20 Dec 1903|
|John Hanson died in June||died in July|
|Mary Ann Hanson died November 10||died November 16|
I have made a point of checking these very carefully with the original stones. In all cases the stone was quite clear and there was no erosion or moss that could distort the inscriptions and lead to confusion. These mistakes all appear to be slips of the pen, or typing errors.
There are names on the Annie Holt List that are not in the cemetery today, and vice versa.
Names in Annie Holt List, but missing in August 2000:
Most of the stones are quite legible and compatible with the Annie Holt List. However, a few do deserve further comment:
The names require some effort to read but are fairly clear in the end, and my initial "translation" agreed with Annie Holt's. However, the dates and ages are very difficult to read. Annie Holt's look plausible, so I have recorded them on the assumption that the stone was in better condition in 1936, but they should be used with caution.
This stone is quite weathered and hard to read; to complicate things, Annie Holt did not include it in her transcription. The first child, Arthur W., is quite clear and confirmed by a clear "A. W. T." on the footstone. However, the second child is illegible. My initial best guess was that it ended with something like "HANNAH". Fortunately the parents' names - Samuel and Matilda Turner - are clear and this allowed the child's baptism record to be found. The baptism register of the St. Andrews Methodist Circuit (4) contains an entry (#162) for "Christianna, daughter of Samuel & Matilda Turner of Bocabeck", born 11 Feb 1845 and baptized 11 May 1845 (6) by Rev. R. Douglas. There is no doubt that these are the same child: in both cases a child of Samuel and Matilda Turner of Bocabec has a long name ending in ANNA (the final H may be a middle initial, and the initial H could easily be a misunderstood TI, given the poor state of the stone). Also, my initial transcription gave a date of death of 5 Jan 1850 at age 5 years, which matches the birth date of 1845. It may seem odd at first that a child baptized by a Methodist minister would be buried in a Baptist cemetery, but a moment's thought suggests several possible reasons.
5. The Ancestors and Some of the Descendants of John Hanson of Bocabec, pages 11,12. This is a nineteen-page genealogy included in the Hanson binder at the Charlotte County Archives, St. Andrews, N. B.
||4. Figures||5. Stone Map|