Rather cool find in an old graveyard
Just spent a couple of days finishing off an excavation in the old burgh graveyard in Dunfermline, searching for buried gravestones. We found this one, lying flat, rather feeble inscription facing upward. Earlier stones often just carry initials, so here we probably have a husband: W.B., his wife: I.B. And their offspring R.B. Scottish married women were always recorded with their maiden name on anything official, so the second B needn’t represent the same surname as the husband’s. The first line of the inscription has clearly been executed by a competent stone mason, while the second line almost looks like a graffito.
The stone is light enough to flip, so we did, just in case there was more information on the reverse face. There wasn’t, but the top of the stone included the date 1670 and has been surprisingly well finished, presumably by the same mason who engraved the first line of initials. This is one of the oldest stones to be recovered.
A quick look at the parish records show that 1670 falls within a long gap in burial records, though it may be possible to find the family using birth records.