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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Abstract

A single burial dating to the historic period was unexpectedly discovered on a farm in rural Dundas County, Ontario. Based on a preliminary investigation, the remains were believed to be those of Margaret Ellen Bellway, an 8-year-old girl who lived on the property and who died in the year 1881. The objectives of this article are to demonstrate that establishing individual identification of historical remains is possible, to demonstrate the importance of exploring all relevant avenues of research prior to finalizing individual identification, and to demonstrate the means by which this is done. Skeletal analysis of the remains indicated a child of 5 to 6 years of age and coffin hardware analysis indicated a burial date between 1860 and 1871. The latter information was used to restrict the search of land registry, census, vital statistic, and parish records. Information derived from these sources strongly supports the identification fo the remains as those of Daniel Veitch, whose family lived on the property from 1866 to 1874, and who died at the age of 6 in 1870.

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