Sunday, May 18, 2008

Devine Cemetery

Another old cemetery that has become overgrown and needs some tender loving care is the Devine Cemetery on Wyckoff Road in Scipio.
When I was a child, I remember having some foggy notion that it was so-named due to the connection with Heaven. Not so - there was once a family by the name of Devine that it is named for. I still like my theory better.
The Devine Cemetery is about 1/4 to 1/2 of an acre of land on the east side of Wyckoff Road, about 1 mile from Wyckoff Station. It is a lovely and private spot next to a small stream. Children used to decorate the gravesites with violets and lilac branches, and pass along the stories of its inhabitants, including the "unknown German" written about by Ward O'Hara. Some years, cows passed by or through the cemetery on their way to and from the barn every day.
I have found no record of anyone in the Devine family being in this cemetery. There are, however, at least 3 Revolutionary War soldiers here: Robert Knox, Abijah Rude and Timothy Smith.

1 comment:

Roger A. Post said...

Robert Knox appears as a Revolutionary War veteran in the cemetery list for the Devine Cemetery, but another source can be read to the contrary:

Bernard Corcoran (digital images copyright 2001, 2002), Biographical Review of Leading Citizens of Cayuga County, New York 1894, (Biographical Review Publishing Company, Boston - Cayuga Co. NYGenWeb, p. 488, "His [John Knox] grandfather, John Knox, who was a life-long resident of Ireland. . . . Robert Knox, the father of the subject of this sketch, came to this country when very young, settling in Maryland in 1785."

Robert Knox was born in Ireland on 16 December 1768, based on the older of two possible birthdates calculated from his two possible death dates appearing in the cemetery list. Even using the older (correct) birthdate, Robert would have been only 15 at the end of the Revolution, if in fact he was in the United States at all before settling in MD in 1785.

The biographical sketch quoted above also contains a paragraph describing the prominent Revolutionary War service of another Robert Knox in Maryland, perhaps accounting for the apparent confusion. The sketch does not describe any relationship between the two Robert Knoxes beyond sharing a surname.

Regardless of Scipio's Robert Knox's status as a Revolutionary Vet, he was a state militia captain in Maryland before removing from MD in 1802 with his 1st wife, Jane, and coming to Scipio on horseback where he purchased 100 acres on present-day Wyckoff Road in the northeast corner of the township. This farm, just south of Wyckoff Hill, was later known as the Chamberlain Farm in the first-half of the 20th century.

Robert Knox's 1st wife, Jane, died 16 November 1829 and is buried in the Devine Cemetery. Robert married 2nd Elizabeth (Betsey) Chamberlain, daughter of Ninian Chamberlain and Elizabeth Ewing of Niles, Cayuga Co., NY on 9 November 1830. Betsey bore a son, John Knox, later a prominent Scipio citizen.

Robert Knox died 1 January 1834, and was buried in the Devine Cemetery, but Betsey lived until 16 December 1875. Betsey was not buried with Robert Knox, rather she was buried in the Chamberlain plot at Owasco Rural Cemetery at Owasco, Cayuga Co., NY.

I have no information indicating that Robert and Jane Knox had children in Scipio. John Knox, son of Robert and Betsey Chamberlain Knox, married Elizabeth Bulkley, but they also had no children. It appears that Robert Knox has no descendants in Scipio.