I’ve done my fair share of walking around graveyards in the vain hope of discovering an ancestor’s (legible) gravestone. And occasionally I get lucky!

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangalist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

Gravestone of George & Elizabeth Kemp, also Thomas Kemp, St John the Evangalist churchyard, Oulton, West Yorkshire

(See an earlier post about finding George & Elizabeth Kemp in West Yorkshire.)

Sometimes I’ve even checked the burial registers or with cemetery staff beforehand and know for certain that a family member is buried there. And I’ve not been so lucky.

Brockley Cemetery, Lewisham, London - June 2012

Brockley Cemetery, Lewisham, London ~ June 2012

(See an earlier post on Mary Jane’s grave at Brockley Cemetery.)

A few months ago I thought I was onto a winning formula – not only had I found a transcription of an ancestor’s gravestone, but also a map clearly showing where it was in the churchyard of All Saints, Great Driffield, East Yorkshire.

1a Near this place lie interred the remains of /BETHUEL BOYES, Esquire, who
departed this life/ August 27th 1810, aged 78 years/ Also MARY BOYES his
wife, who departed this life/ September 13th 1819 aged 80 years/ Also BRYAN
BOYES / son of the above, who departed this life/October 13th 1843, aged 70
years/ Also of BETHUEL BOYES, Esquire/ (late of Eastburn), son of the
above, who died/14th April 1840, aged 73 years/ Also of LOIS BOYES, his
wife, who died /24th July 1820, aged 47 years/ And in memory of/ JOHN BOYES
Esquire, son of the above (interred in Little Driffield Church) who died/
30th March 1847, aged 71 years.1

Also listed were the relevant entries from the parish registers:

1810 Aug 29 Bethel Boyes, Gentleman 78
1819 Sep 15 Mary Boyes, Widow, Great Driffield 80
1843 Oct 20 Bryan Boyes, Great Driffield 70
1840 Apr 21 Bethel Boyes, Eastburn 73
1820 Jul 26 Lois, wife of Bethuel Boyes, Eastburn 47
*1847 Apr 6 John Boyes, Great Driffield 71 (in Little Driffield Register)2

So, on a recent trip to Yorkshire for an IHGS students get-together, I hired a car for an afternoon and went off in search of Mr Bethuel Boyes and Co.’s final resting place.

All Saint's Church, Great Driffield

All Saint’s Church, Great Driffield

See any gravestones? No.

Where have they gone? Removed. All of them.

See that thin weedy looking plant? Underneath that, or near enough anyway, lie the remains of my 6 x great grandparents, Bethuel and Mary (Etherington), two of their sons, and a daughter-in-law.

R.I.P.

A huge thanks to the East Yorkshire Family History Society who recorded the locations and inscriptions of the gravestones at All Saints churchyard in June 1982!

Tombstone Tuesday is an ongoing series at GeneaBloggers.

  1. East Yorkshire FHS (trans.), Driffield ,Great (All Saints) memorial inscriptions: East Yorkshire monumental inscriptions vol. 5, East Yorkshire FHS (1990).
  2. Ibid.
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