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Benjie Stouts grave stone in Ousna Kirkyard
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Benjie Stouts grave stone in Ousna Kirkyard

Here as promised is a photo of Benjie Stouts grave stone in Ousna Kirkyard.The stone is not very clear as it was broken and one part lay on the ground for a long time before Alice Johnstone who was Benjie Stouts grand daughter(?), mother of Capt Fred, had it repaired. As can be seen Benjie Stouts wife was Helen Robertson who it appears died before him in June 1904, The lower part of the stone is very dificult to read as can be seen in the photo.
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Picture added on 10 July 2010 at 14:11
Knowing nothing about the Stout family, I'd guess the almost illegible line reads: INFANT DAUGHTER.
Added by Ian Hourston on 11 July 2010
With the greatest respect - the illegible line surely reads INFANT CHILDREN.
Added by Max Fletcher on 14 July 2010
How many infant children do you think the Stouts lost, Max? Wouldn't the headstone give at least a rough estimate?
My guess is they lost a baby girl at or near birth, before she was named.
Added by Ian Hourston on 14 July 2010
Sorry the comment about the stone being dificult to read was made on a earlier photo submitted. On this one I had already used a wire brush to remove the lichen from the lettering. My goodness there is no room for an error on this site is there!!. The problem with these old grave stones is that water penetrates the lettering and then frost blows the layer with the lettering on and it is lost forever, fortunatly this has not happened to this one.
Added by John Budge on 16 July 2010
I have to say I'm with Max on this one, having played about with the image, filtering out the lichen and boosting the contrast. It's not definitive, but it does look a little clearer:

click here
Added by Steven Heddle on 16 July 2010
To me, it's not the lichen that's the problem, it's the layer of cement that goes through the lettering. I don't find your manipulated image helpful, Steven, mainly because it pretty much obliterates everything above the cement line. But haven't you filtered out the logic along with the lichen? Who would commemorate unspecified numbers of anonymous infant children on a headstone, as though every time the unfortunate Stouts produced a baby it expired before they could think of a name for it? What does John Budge think the disputed line says?
Anonymous comment added on 16 July 2010
Steven, having blown up this image and looked at it every which way since posting my last comment, I'm reluctantly going to have to concede that, in the face of all my 'logic', it does say CHILDREN.
So, what does it mean? Did the Stouts lose a succession of infants, or did they have a multiple birth where more than one baby died? It seems a strangely off-hand way to commemorate such sad events.
PS I may have forgotten to 'sign' my previous comment. Sorry.
Added by Ian Hourston on 16 July 2010
According to ancestry.com Benjamin Stout and Harriot Taylor Robertson had 10 children, all registered as born between 1860 and 1879 in Walls, Orkney. The first seven offspring [2 boys and 5 girls] emigrated to Illinois, where they all married and raised families of their own. The ninth child, also female, is recorded as marrying John Norquoy in Orkney. The births, and subsequently the names of the eighth and tenth offspring, both male, are also recorded - but no further information is forthcoming. It is my guess - and it is only a guess - that it these two 'infant children' mentioned on the gravestone.
Added by Max Fletcher on 17 July 2010
Have a look here
Added by Kirkwallian on 17 July 2010
Max, As to the Ninth child you mention here as marrying a John Norquoy I remember hearing of a Jock Norquoy and his wife Betsy who lived at Melsetter where Jock worked as a gardener at the Big House. Also Capt Fred's grandfather was Jock Norquoy- is this where Alice, Margaret, etc tie into the picture? Am I clutching at straws here? Fred will know. It is confusing, maybe someone can lay the family tree out so it is clear to us. These people would never guessed that their lives would become so interesting to our generation as they lived there lives in Brims so long ago.
Added by John Budge on 18 July 2010
It was quite common to have " Infant children" or " Dear Children" recorded on a headstone in the old days, when children were born in their parents bed and didn't live long enough to be given a name. Although Ben Stout and Harriet Robertson were my Great Grandparents, I do not know how many of their infant children died.
Sutherland, Catherine, John, Isabella, Wilhelmina, Georgina and Harriet emigrated to Illinois, James moved to Southampton, Mary ( my grandmother) remained in Brims and died there in 1947, Benjamin, went to Methil and worked in the customs.
Added by Fred Johnston on 18 July 2010
Thank you Fred for putting us wise to the fate of all ten christened children born to Ben and Harriot.
Added by Max Fletcher on 19 July 2010
Belated thanks from me too Fred.
Added by Ian Hourston on 25 July 2010
The John Norquoy who married my grandmother Mary Alice Stout was not the same person as the Jock Norquoy who lived at the gatehouse at Melsetter. My grandfather came from Flotta at the age of eleven to work for the Stouts of Misbister. He later worked at Haybrake as a plowman and was kicked by a horse, which crippled him for life.
He and my grandmother would in all probability have emigrated to the USA, but for this incident, but I think that the money intended for this purpose went on medical bills. No National health service then.
Added by Fred Johnston on 26 July 2010
This thread is a bit old but if anyone is still interested Benjamin Stout and Harriet Robertson had 11 children. Only the last child, Thomas died in infancy, in 1885. He survived only 12 hours and died of unknown cause, poor mite. If there were any other children their existence has gone unrecorded in the statutory register.
Added by Bill Stout on 13 November 2011
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