It was Buried on the Banks of Mud Run

The first death in the township was that of ——, son of Wilder Lawrence, Feb. 19th, 1817, only 9 days after their arrival. It was buried on the bank of Mud Run, some twenty rods northeast of the present burying ground. Soon after, Chauncey Woodruff buried a son at the same place. These two children were both born in Trumbull County, while the parents were on their way from the State of New York. [1]

How chilling! Not only that these boys died so young-that is heartbreaking enough-but that the writer did not know the names of these children, and even more, the phrase “It was buried on the banks of Mud Run.”

As I wondered about the location of “Village House” in a previous post, I  wonder now about where these children were buried. The passage above provided my first clue: it says that “It” was buried “some twenty rods northeast of the present burying ground.” I jumped on Google Earth and searched the wooded area north of Village House. Lo and behold, here is what I found.


A cemetery! This could be the “present burying ground” described in the passage above. An internet search turned up a 1997 publication of the Huron Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, where I found this: “Boughton Cemetery, also called North Norwich Cemetery, is located on the east side of Section Line Road 30, just north of Boughton Road and about six miles north of US224 in Norwich Twp.” [2]


Boughton Cemetery in summer (from Find a Grave)


Boughton Cemetery in winter (from Find a Grave)

I wondered if perhaps the remains of the Lawrence and Woodruff boys had been moved to the “present burying ground” when it was established. The Huron County Genealogical Society publication has gravestone inscriptions for the cemetery, and no newborns who died in 1817 are listed. So are the infants graves in the woods northeast of the present cemetery? On the last page of the Huron County Genealogical Society publication we find this:

Rev. Norman Bowen searched the area [northeast of Boughton Cemetery] in 1992 and 1993 for this book and believes he found a spot on a bluff well above Mud Run that juts out quite a bit, and is a likely site for this cemetery, although no stone remains were found, if these ever were there.

It is most likely, then, that the remains of those two infants still lie in unmarked graves on the banks of Mud Run.  A rod is five-and-a-half yards, so according to John Niles article in The Firelands Pioneer, those graves would be a little over the length of a football field from Boughton Cemetery. Look at the map of Boughton Cemetery above and imagine where those boys were laid to rest two hundred years ago, and remain, unremarked today.

But if they are at that place, they are not alone. Others were buried beside them at a later date. Who might they be? We’ll learn that in the next post.


[1] John Niles, “Memoirs of Norwich Township,” The Firelands  Pioneer; Volume II, number 2; The Firelands Historical Society; March, 1860, pages 38-39.

[2] Huron County, Ohio Cemetery Inscriptions, by the Huron Chapter of the Ohio Genealogical Society, 1997, page 714

[3] Further narrative about this story is in W.W. Williams’ book History of the Fire-Lands Comprising Huron and Erie Counties, Ohio, with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Some of the Prominent Men and Pioneers, Press of Leader Printing Company, Cleveland Ohio, 1897, pages 417-425.



4 Responses

  1. Fascinating read and following along with your detective work. Looking forward to the next episode.


  2. Thank you for your kind comment.


  3. […] my last post, It was Buried on the Banks of Mud Run, I wrote about two baby boys, who in 1817 were buried in the forest on the banks of Mud Run north […]


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