‘Lost’ Millicent grave uncovered

Apoignant link to the earliest days of Millicent has recently been uncovered by South East Family History Group president Noel Boyle.

He discovered the long-neglected grave in the town’s cemetery of a child who died over 140 years ago.

“While working on several children’s’ graves, I noticed a stone that appeared to have writing on it,” Mr Boyle said.

“We did not notice it a week earlier but the recent rain had cleared away some dirt from the stone.

“I brushed some more off and I was sure I could read a name.

“I came home and cleaned it and sure enough a name appeared.

“It appeared to be John Mott.

“Checking the death records at the South East Family History Group I was able to check that a John Mott had died in Millicent and was buried in the Millicent cemetery.

“He was John William Francis Mott who was born on December 29, 1877 in the Hundred of Mayurra.”

Mr Boyle said records of deaths held by the SEFHG show he died of tuberculosis at Millicent on February 16, 1881 at the age of three.

“John William Francis Mott was one of six children born to John Mott and Mary Anne (nee Francis),” he said.

According to Mr Boyle, burial records of the Millicent cemetery did not commence until October 8, 1894, meaning there are no records of any burials before this date.

“By finding the stone with John Mott’s name on it we are now able to place a plaque on the grave and register the plot number and name on the SEFHG records plus the Wattle Range Council records,” Mr Boyle said.

“Although I have known there are people buried at the Millicent cemetery before records were kept, this is the first time I have found a discovery like this.

“The stone will be returned to his grave.

“The SEFHG will place stone ashlars, donated by Bruhn” to mark the final resting place of John Mott and a plaque will be placed on the grave with his birth and death dates plus his parents’ names.”

Subsequent research by Mr Boyle has unearthed further details of the lives of the parents of John Mott.

His mother died at Tailem Bend at the age of 76 in 1930, while his father survived for a further nine years as he died at the age of 88 in the Adelaide inner suburb of Norwood.

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