Coroner: Bones at Refinery Site are Relatives from 1800s

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MONACA, PA (AP) — Bones dug up last month by workers at the proposed site of a Shell Chemical refinery may belong to as many as eight relatives who owned the land in the 1800s, a coroner said on Wednesday.

Descendants of those folks, including Jay Hoskinson, who has kept records of the Stone family, have helped Beaver County Coroner Teri Tatalovich-Rossi since the remains were found Aug. 6.

Two skulls, several long bones, vertebrae and coffin nails were found along with a headstone for an Adam Stone, which described him as dying in his first year of life.

Hoskinson’s fifth great-grandfather had the same name as the dead child, according to a picture Hoskinson has of a deed for the property that is dated 1819. Hoskinson’s forebear was born in Maryland in 1770, after the family left Germany for Baltimore before looking for farmland farther west, he said.

“Shell has been extremely nice and cooperative, and the coroner was very helpful and knowledgeable,” said Hoskinson, who lives in nearby Beaver Falls. Other Stone descendants live in Vanport, another community near the proposed refinery, he said.

The remains will be buried together in one casket. Because only partial remains were found, it could not be determined exactly how many people’s bones were unearthed, the coroner said.

“I’ve been involved here for 28 years and I’ve never come across something like this,” she said.

The Potter Township tract is about 25 miles northwest of Pittsburgh.

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