The Kirkyard of Fordyce

ANESFHS & Portsoy Salmon Bothy

 

A treat of strawberries and Portsoy ice-cream was the form of celebration chosen by elated volunteers when the final gravestone in historic Fordyce kirkyard had been checked. Work there was carried out over some five years by a team from Portsoy Salmon Bothy, with additional input from local ANESFHS stalwarts, all conscious of the thousands of researchers worldwide whose roots go back to Fordyce. MI volunteers at work

The prominence of Fordyce as a parish had already inspired local historian William Cramond to record all the visible gravestones as long ago as 1880, but the venerable Cramond didn't draw up a plan of the stones at the time of his survey. An appreciable number of the inscriptions he transcribed are no longer visible and some stones are no longer standing, so a great deal of thought went into the publication of the latest survey, in order to include every known inscription, even if the location of the stone cannot be determined with certainty.

As always, there were a few surprises along the way. A chance beam of sunshine on an early visit led to the unexpected discovery of a 20th century stone lurking among the dense foliage of a yew tree, which seemed to have grown up around it. Then the long dry summer of 2018 revealed suspicious rectangular patches of dead grass, hinting at the existence of buried stones. Inevitably this added to the complexity of the task. So, all those folk with Fordyce ancestors, you have good cause for celebration, even if Portsoy ice-cream isn't available where you are!

- Alison Smith

   

 

AA076

 

 

 

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