Archive for February 3rd, 2011

When I walk through an old cemetery, the thing that strikes me first about life before the mid-20th century is the child mortality rate – there are far more graves of infants and children than we are used to seeing today. But the thing that I find harder to remember is that life expectancies were overall shorter and that passing safely through childhood was still not a guarantee of surviving to a ripe old age. These three stones at Historic Hopewell Cemetery struck me as I was paging through my Flickr collections.

The first is for an infant son of Samuel and Margaret Buck.


Not too far away are this baby’s sisters, Sarah and Mary Jane. Sarah died just a month before her brother, at the age of eighteen.


Mary Jane died two years later in 1849 at the age of 22.

Mary Jane Buck

Did the Bucks have any more children, or did their family line die out in 1849? I don’t know. I didn’t find markers for any more Bucks in the cemetery, so I don’t know if they all rest there in additional unmarked graves, or if they moved away, leaving three children buried in a rural Ohio cemetery.

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