To Mary Alice Forson Nassief and any other interested Forsons
Dryburgh Abbey was established in 1150 and over the next few centuries was sacked at least four times and finally abandoned in 1544. Fairly extensive ruins still remain. It is near the Scottish/English border about 10 miles north of Jedburgh, just the other side of the river Tweed to St Boswells.
There is a small graveyard in the Abbey grounds which has a number of Forson gravestones and memorial stones. The earliest record that I have of the existence of the stones was written in 1882 by Robert Forson (1851-1901). My grandfather (John Mathieson Forson (1865-1950) and father George Alan Granger Forson (1903-1988) visited the Abbey in June 1931 and wrote down some of the inscriptions. They also took a photograph showing the layout of the stones. I have made three visits, in 1959, 1978 and October 2001. On this latest visit I photographed and recorded all the stones. Additions are still being made but I do not yet know by whom.
There are three large memorial stones and four small gravestones. The stones are in line running south to north, facing east. There is an eighth stone at the north end that is difficult to read - I personally think it is not a Forson stone, but I would be pleasantly surprised to be corrected.
In follow-up items on this topic I will list the inscriptions on the stones, calling the southernmost stone the first stone and numbering from south to north.
I have photographs of each stone, and a general view of the stones in 1931 and 2001. I would be happy to e-mail these - they are easily readable as .jpg files of 100Kb or less.
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