in the Niagara Peninsula
(By Janet Carnochan)
The Presbyterian Church of Stamford
was organized over a century ago, but unfortunately the early
records are riot complete. The church was built in 1787, ranking
next to the Mohawk church near Brantford; the first church built
in Ontario, but was replaced by the present one.
John Rowe must apparently have soon
taken another helpmate, who also died young:
Capt. John Rowe, 2nd Lincoln Militia, was killed at Chippawa, 5th July, 1814, and was formerly a sergeant in Butler's Rangers.
The following shows not only the early settlement of Stamford township, but the strength of the bond between master and servant in those early days, as shown by fifty years of service.
"In memory of Samuel Montgomery,
who departed this life 28th October, 1838, in the 87th year of
his age. He was a native of County Down, Ireland, and emigrated
to America in the year 1768, and settled in Stamford, district
of Niagara, in 1788, in the family of the late Archibald Thompson,
where he resided till death."
"In memory of Susanna McMicking, who departed this life Sept. 11th, 1821, aged 30 years.
"In, memory of Thomas McMicking, who was born April 11th, 1750, died Feb. 19th, 1830, in the 80th year of his age.
Here is another mosaic of history:
"Sacred to the memory of Daniel Keith, who died 28th Aug., 1824, by a fall from General Sir Isaac Brock's monument, aged 25."
The tragedy recorded above must have occurred during the erection of the first monument.
"In memory of Captain Giles Hale, who departed this life
Dec. 2nd, 1816, aged 67."
"In memory of Dorothy, wife of Abraham Vrooman, Senior, who was born in the State of New Jersey, April 16th, 1768, and died Oct. 12th, 1820, aged 52."
To Andrew Murray, who died on the Atlantic
The faithful pastor for almost thirty years is thus commemorated:
"In memory of the Rev. John Russell, D D., pastor of the Associate Presbyterian congregation of Stamford, who died Mar. 3rd, 1854, in the 58th year of his age, and 28th of his ministry. 'After he had served this generation by the will of God he fell on sleep;' 'Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.
Requiescat in Pace."
This congregation is believed to be the only one in Canada of the kind and is in connection with churches of the U. S. In the Session book it is called the Associate Presbyterian Society.
A teacher and preacher is buried here, though no stone marks the grave Rev. John Burns, the first teacher of the Grammar School in Niagara, founded 1808. He was a Presbyterian minister and officiated in St. Andrew's church, Niagara and in Stamford between 1805 and 1817. Indeed, a sermon of his has been printed, preached to encourage his people to defend their country in the war of 1812.
Of the Thomas McMicking referred to it is said in his Obituary, "he came from Galloway, Scotland, to New York, fought in the Revolutionary war, received a grant of land in 1783, and was an elder in the Presbyterian church for 30 years.
The monument of one who occupied many
important positions as a leading merchant, a member of Parliament,
Warden of the County for many years, has this very modest inscription:
In an enclosure there are eight Thomsons, all born at the
Whirlpool and most of them died there, the first born in 1819.
"John Chisholm, emigrated to Canada 1779, born 1746, died 1830." This must have been one of the earliest of the United Empire Loyalists to come to this country.
A good soldier of the late Queen, as well as of his Heavenly Master, here found burial:
"Jas. Munro, Corporal of 93rd Highlanders, from Tam, Scotland, died 1845, aged 31. He was a good soldier of Jesus Christ, expert in using the sword of the Spirit in defence of the truth of the Gospel, which he adorned by a be coming conversation."
"Peter McMicking, a native of Colmonell Scotland, died 1823, aged 83." This was a United Empire Loyalist, as were Dorothy Bowman, born 1758, died 1861, aged 83, and Abraham Adam, born 1768, the one from the Mohawk river. and the other from New Jersey. Other names which are found here are Niven, Parker, Carnochan, and Wallace.
This church was built in Stamford in 1825, when Sir Peregrine Maitland had his residence in this beautiful spot an ideal English village, its village green, still sacred to football and other games, it is said was laid out by the Governor. The records of the church as kept by Rev. W. Leeming from 1818 to 1837 are complete. None of the inscriptions are so old as those of the church nearly opposite, as 1833 was the oldest date found here.
Here is another bit of history of a later date, that of the Fenian Raid of 1866:
"Pro Patria ac Regina
"John Herriman Mewburn, Toronto University Rifles, 2nd Battalion, Queen's Own, only son of Harrison Chilton Mewburn, killed at Limeridge, June 2nd, 1866, fighting in defence of his native land against Fenian invaders, aged 21 years." This was the son of Mr. Mewburn, who, with other students, went from examination halls. The University Company lost most heavily, three of the number, giving up their young lives, Mewburn, McKenzie, Tempest.
"In memory of the Hon. Jacob AEmilius Irving of Ironshore, Jamaica, a member of the Legislative Council of the Province of Canada, and formerly of the 13th Light Dragoons; was wounded at Waterloo; born 1797, died at Drummondville, 1856." His widow died in her 91st year. We are told in a late paper of his fine literary taste, histrionic skill, and fine baritone voice. Drove four-in-hand from Bonshaw on Yonge St. He was the son of Paulus AEmilius Irving, who was at the capture of Quebec.
Another military man is buried here:
"Sacred to the memory of Andrew Rorback, born in New Jersey, Lieut.-Col. 6f 2nd Lincoln Regt., died at Stamford, 1843."
"In memory of Richard, son of late Rev. Beaumont Dixie, Rector of St. Peter's, Derby, brother of the late Baronet of that name, born 1782, died 1834."
"In memory of Robert H. Dee, who died in 1833."
There are in the church five memorial windows, principally to the families of Dee and Mewburn.
John Mewburn, M.R.C.S., died at Danby House, Stamford; Thos. Wilson, Commander R. N.
What memories cluster round this spot!
The scene of a battle the most stubbornly contested in the war
of 1812, a burial ground before that date, and now here stands
a stately monument, an obelisk erected at a cost of $5,000 by
the Dominion Government; from the persistent efforts of the Lundy's
Lane historical Society, headed by the Rev. Canon Bull as President,
and James Wilson, Secretary The inscription reads:
Close by is a beautiful church, built by the munificent gift of the late Wm. Lowell, the roar of Niagara's torrent lending its voice as an everlasting requiem to those who lie here on Drummond's Hill. Why has the name of the village been changed from Drummondville to Niagara Falls, South, making the confusion of names only more confounded? To this neglected graveyard, that of the village and not of the church, at one time weed grown, with thorns and briars contesting for supremacy, perhaps is due much of the historical work done in the last two decades of years. Rev. Canon Bull and Mr. Fenwick, High School teacher, formed an Historical Society and commenced with work nearest at hand, putting in order the grounds. Meetings were held, the public interested, historical pamphlets written, Parliament petitioned, till at last the monument was erected, and in the vault lie the remains of several officers and men which have been reinterred with fitting honors. How different now the Scene from that night when men came from the harvest field to help, on that field of blood where the next day a funeral pile of the dead was consumed in smoke and flame. And here Oh this battle field let military heroes have precedence.
"Sacred to the memory of Lieut. Col. the Hon. Cecil Bisshopp, 1st Foot Guards, and inspecting officer in U. C., eldest and only surviving son of Sir Cecil Bisshopp, Bart., Baron de la Zouche in England. After having served with distinction in the British army in Holland, Spain and Portugal, be died on the 16th July, 1813, in consequence of wounds received in action with the enemy at Black Rock, the 13th of the same month, to the great grief of his family and friends, and is buried here. This tomb, erected at the time by his brother officers, becoming very much dilapidated, is now, 1816, renewed by his affectionate sisters, the Baroness de la Zouche and the Hon. Mrs. Pechell in memorial of an excellent man and beloved brother."
In the parish church of his far off English home in Parham, Sussex, is a tablet recalling the circumstances of his death and burial:
And this recalls other lines on the same hero;
"Thomas Teskey, 1822-1893. "They shall awake in everlasting life."
"Druzella Lymburner. Weep not, she is not dead but sleepeth."
"Peter Cunningham. "Thou shall call: I will answer thee." -Job 14: 15."
"To the memory of Lieut. Col. Gordon and Capt. Torrens
of the Royals, killed at Fort Erie during the campaign of 1814.
Erected by Major Barry Fox, late of said Regt., their friend
and companion, June 20th, 1851."
"Sacred to the memory of Robert Dossie Patteson, Captain of the 6th Regt. of Infantry, Royal 1st Warwickshire, who, after serving under Sir John Moore and the Duke of Wellington, throughout the Peninsular War, fell before Fort Erie at the age of 26, Sept. 17th, 1814."
"Sacred to the memory of Lieut.
Wm. Hemphill, of the Royals, who fell at the battle of Lundy's
Lane on the 25th July, 1814. This stone was placed by his son,
So far as known there is only one
American buried here, but in their nameless graves lie here peacefully
those who fought as foes that hot July day, alternately holding
the hill till midnight, when our men were left in possession.
"The remains of nine soldiers of the 9th Regiment of United States Infantry. Killed at Lundy's Lane, July 25th, 1814, Re-interred Oct. 19th, 1901." In American histories the battle of Lundy's Lane is called Bridgewater.
"In memory of Philip Chesneau Delatre, late Lieut.-Col. in the British army, born 1777, died 1848."
"In memory of Major Richard Leonard, formerly of H. M. 104th Lt. Infantry, who died Oct., 1833."
"In memory of Alex. Ross, No.2 Co., 93rd Highlanders, who died 11th Oct., 1846, aged 24 years. This monument is erected by his comrades as a token of their respect."
"Sacred to the memory of Duncan Elphinstone Todd, Esq., late a Captain in Her Majesty's 37th Regt. of foot, who died Oct., 1837, aged 30 years."
Another page of history is unrolled by the two following inscriptions
referring to two on opposite sides, each ill-treated in the troublous
times of misrule leading to or during the Rebellion.
In Lindsey's life of W. Lyon McKenzie in an impassioned speech occurs the name of Randall as a victim.
"Here rests in the hope of a joyful resurrection the mortal remains of Edgeworth Ussher, Esq., whose devotion to his sovereign and exertions in the cause of his country at a critical period in the history of Canada marked him out as an object of the vengeance of the enemies of peace and good order, by whom he was cruelly assassinated on the night of the 16th Nov., 1838, in his own house near Chippawa, at the early age of 34 years, leaving a wife and four children to mourn their irreparable loss."
But are there no inscriptions to the mothers of our land? First let us give that on an unpretentious stone, but which none the less records the name of a heroine indeed: Laura Secord, who, when Niagara was in the hands of the Americans and a force was sent to Beaverdams to cut off our small force, there, walked nineteen miles through mud and mire, in danger from marauders, red or white, wild beasts as well, to give warning, and thus helped to bring about the surrender of the attacking force. These simple words, no more, were all that marked, till lately, the heroine's grave:
"Here rests Laura Secord, beloved wife 9f James Secord, died Oct. 17th, 1868, aged 93 years."
But in the summer of 1901 was unveiled
a bronze bust on a stone pedestal with an inscription that tells
The honor of first starting the scheme is due to Rev. Canon Bull of the Lundy's Lane Historical Society. It languished for some time, but finally taken up by the Ontario Historical Society, and the chief honor is due Mrs. E. J. Thompson, the convener of the committee, by whose energy and zeal it has been carried out so successfully in the midst of many difficulties, carrying out the dying wishes of the late lamented Mrs. Curzon, whose writings first drew attention to the deeds of Laura Secord. Hundreds of children contributed their mites, the idea being to have it a free will offering and not to ask for a government grant.
"In memory of Mary Earle, granddaughter of Sir William Johnson, Bart., who died 24th of April, 1820, aged 20 years, 6 months."
This last is on the Street lot.
"Erected by the Presbyterians
of Drummondville to, the memory of Marion Watson, the beloved
wife of Rev. Wm. Dickson, who died 24th of April, 1859, aged
32 years. A woman who feareth the Lord she shall be praised.
Prov. 31, 30."
The name of Thankful, Nehemiah and Abigail Street are found, also Thomas Clark Street, M. P., who died at Clark Hill. The husband of Laura Se cord, who was wounded at Queenston Heights, is thus recorded:
"In memory of James Secord, Collector of Customs, who departed this life 22nd February, 1841, aged 68."
Close to the church in an enclosure
covered closely with vines are two handsome headstones commemorating
the first minister, whose register of births, deaths, and marriages
from 1820 to 1837 has lately, been found.
In a large square enclosure of stone and iron are two of the old altar tombstones.
"Sacred to the memory of Thomas Clark, a native of Dumfries, Scotland, who died in 1837, aged 67 and for more than twenty years was an independent member of the Legislative Council of this province, having lived in this province from its earliest settlement, and by persevering industry and strict integrity procured for him general respect, while his kind disposition and becoming deportment endeared him to numerous friends, by whom his death will be long and deeply lamented. His sisters, in grateful recollection of their affectionate brother, have erected this tablet to his memory."
That to his wife is in similar form with a short and simple inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of Mary Margaret Clark, wife of the Honorable Thomas Clark, and daughter of Robert Kerr, Esq., late Surgeon of the militia department in this province, who died in 1837, aged 45."
In another enclosure:
"In memory of Thomas Macklem, fifth son of James and Lydia Macklem, born at Chippawa, 1817, died at Magnolia, East Florida, 1859."
On the other side, "James Cummings, eldest child of Thomas C. and Caroline Macklem. Drowned in the Niagara river at Clark Hill, and whose body unhappily was not recovered. His mother, thus denied the consolation of laying it near his father, has caused this inscription to be placed here to commemorate his birth, 1852, and his melancholy death, May 6th. 1860."
In another enclosure are inscriptions:
"In memory of James Cummings, born 1789, died 1875, and Sophia, his wife, born 1800, died 1878, also Ann Macklem, his sister, born 1800. died 1886."
James Cummings was the son of Thomas Cummings, the first settler at Chippawa, coming in 1784, being town clerk, Justice of the Peace, performing marriages in that capacity. The books kept from 17% by him and his son James are models of neatness and methodical habits.
Another large enclosure of stone and iron with many tombstones:
"In memoriam Oliver T. Macklem, fourth son of James and Lydia Macklem." On a square pedestal is a marble female figure, life size, "to' the eldest daughter of James and Adelaide Macklem, died at Toronto, 1889, aged 25."
One soldier's grave was found:
On old stones are inscriptions of I. Kirkpatrick, 1831, and Jane Cockroft, his wife, and a late one to Mary Howat Hurrell, daughter of John Kirkpatrick, also Mary Other McMicking, beloved wife of George McMicking.
As showing distant place of birth:
Here the names are almost all either
of Scottish or German origin, the former predominating, as Menzies,
Meikle-John, McKenzie, Dobbie, Fleming, Gowanlock, Aberdeen,
and Flett, Kister, Lehrback, Oeppling, Lutes, Snider, Herber,
and the places of birth, Dumbarton, Stirling, Banff, Renfrew,
South Carolina, and Alsace, etc.
Near this was the spot, sought by Laura Secord in her memorable walk, 23rd June, 1813. On a hillside is an old graveyard, some of the dates going back to the time of the war.
"In memory of George Couke, who
departed this life Dec. 4th, 1812, aged 55.
Andrew Hansel, born 1747, died 16th May, 1818, aged 70; and John Hansel, May 29th, 1813.
George Hoover died 15th February, 1827, aged 90.
In an iron fence enclosure with a large Aberdeen granite monument:
"In memory of Jonathan Hagar, died October 10th, 1813, his wife Azubah, died 1847, aged 78." Also Mahitable, daughter of Jonathan and Azubah Hagar.
Mary Seburn and Stephen Seburn died in 1828 and 1830 respectively.
The name Swayze, occurring in the first Parliament, also the
name given to a delicious apple in this peninsula, is here found:
Is this an ancestor of one of our missionaries in China?
It is remarkable how few here give the place of birth, but that below shows pride of country though destitute, or almost so, of capital letters:
"Sacred to the memory of Wallace Bell, who departed this life August 31st, 1828, aged 35, he was a native of colcleugh, northumberland, old england.
The rest is indecipherable.
On one stone is the name of Jacob Hansel, and on that beside it Israel Hansel, near them Oran Theal, Zalma Theal, and the names, Tuer, Marlatt, Lutz, Metler, Griffiths, Hopkins are found, and among Christian names Ephraim, Andrew, Jacob, many reaching extreme old age as 88, 93, etc. Many old stones are chipped so as to be unreadable.
A short distance from this is the Decew. Church, with a graveyard of later date with the names of Detler, Warner, Ash and Fawell, Merethew, Vanderburgh. An inscription in German with the English translation below:
"Anna Marie Egister, Ehefrau von Joseph Ziegl gest 17 Mai 1874 alter 29 Jahre."
The verse following the next inscription rises above the ordinary range.
"In memory of Rebecca, wife of Hugh James, Sr., born in Locherea, Ireland, born 1775, died 1869, aged 73.
In the register kept by Rev. Wm. Leeming,
6f Stamford and Chippawa, is often mentioned as the place of
marriage, burial, or baptism, the "German Church,"
and here near Thorold is the graveyard, although the church no
longer exists, as it was taken down to make way for the new canal.
The church was built chiefly by the
exertions of George Keefer, whose history is the history of the
early days of Thorold, he having been the earliest settler. His
body was removed with the old stone which bears the simple inscription:
"In memory of Peter Lampman, who died in 1834, aged 86. He came from New York to this province in 1783 with his family and has resided fifty years in the township of Niagara. He was always a pious, faithful and respectable member of the German Lutheran Church."
In the marriage record of the Stamford Associate Church nearly all the licenses were granted by Robert Grant, Esq., and here is his grave:
"Sacred to the memory of Robert Grant, Esq., born at Inverness, Scotland, 16th Nov., 1776, died at Queenston, U. C., 16th May, 1838. This monument is erected by his daughter Christina, wife of Jacob Keefer, Esq., of Thorold."
Here occur the wellknown names of Ball, Clement Hoover, Seburn,
The land for this graveyard was given
to the village by Mr. John Vanderburgh, who came in 1781, and
obtained 700 acres. The oldest grave is,
The names of Crysler, Vanalstine, Upper, Swayzie, Bump, Moshier, Walkinshaw, Ranne, are found here.
Near Welland, close to the canal,
is an old private burying plot belonging to the Burger family,
in which is found great uniformity, as at least a dozen white
marble slabs can be seen with a weeping willow carved at the
top. The oldest interment is thus recorded:
Joseph Priestman, aged 79, and Peter Burger and many others of the same name lie here on this corner, as it were, between the river and canal. Also near Welland is the Farr burying place, where a Methodist church formerly stood.
Here are buried Farrs and Browns, where now cattle roam at will.
Across the river is the home of Miss Brown, who has an interesting old account book dating back to 1793, showing accounts of a distillery in Chippawa as it is spelled.
The great grandfather, Lieut. Jno. Brown, was one of the first settlers on the Welland river, fought at the side of Wolfe at Quebec and assisted to carry him from the field when wounded, as narrated by his granddaughter, and found stated in "Wolfeland," that he was supported by Lieut. Brown of the Grenadiers; a young Irishman, born about 1739, and thus about twenty. He returned to Ireland, married, came to New Jersey and to Canada in 1789. On the Brown farm, originally 300 acres, is the burial place of the old soldier, a creek meanders its way, solemn pines wave their branches, and an oak tree stands between the graves of husband and wife. A pathetic interest attaches to the spot, for here an old negro and his wife, who had faithfully nursed Capt. John Brown when ill with smallpox, are buried. The son, Alexander Brown, who was in the Incorporated Militia in 1812, is buried on the Farr farm, and his son, Capt. John Brown, who was out in the Rebellion, is interred at Fonthill.
There are here two old Quaker graveyards, the two meeting houses still stand, the one of brick, the other a small frame building.
These early settlers, Mennonites and Quakers, seemed to have carried out their ideas of plainness and simplicity in their last resting place. Rows and rows of low stones not more than a foot high above the ground, but in some cases a foot square, sloping back, the inscription merely name and age, not even the birthplace is recorded, no titles, no praise, no high sounding epitaph. There are a few attempts to ape modern ideas higher stones and in one case a low granite monument dares to raise its head, showing that modern ideas begin to prevail. In the oldest graveyard rows and rows of graves with nothing to mark their identity, merely a rough common stone from the field without even initials. A few low stones similar to those in the last graveyard are seen. Frequently the Expression "9th month" "3rd month" occurs, instead of our names of Latin origin. None of the stones with names are very old, showing that in early days even this slight mark of remembrance was condemned and looked on as unnecessary. The oldest is to Eliza Carl, died 1826. Many reached old age, as Thomas Spencer, aged 88; Peter Singer, died 1869, aged 81; Jacob Gainer, born 1815, died 1900, aged 85; Jane Laird, relict of late Samuel Taylor, aged 81. A few have a line of quotation as,
"Orin Bemis, born 1809, died 1886: Gathered into the garner."
"James Spencer, died 12th day of 3rd month, 1870."
"Jonathan Page, aged 79, died in the 8th day of 10th month.
We will meet on the other shore."
A young wife has a modern stanza:
The names of Chester, Carl, Taylor, Betts, Hill, McAlpine occur frequently.
"In memory of Geo. Misener, died August 17th, 1802, aged
18 months 1 day. The first grave in this yard."
We learn from residents that this is misleading, as the statement of the first grave refers to the latter inscription, as the body of the child, who died in 1802, was brought here afterwards, no doubt from a family burial plot.
In old Niagara papers the name of D'Everardo, suggesting a
French origin, occurs frequently in the official advertisements.
Here lies a patriarch indeed, who reached far past the Psalmist's
three score years and ten:
"In memory of Jean, beloved wife of John Watson, formerly of H. B. M. Royal Artillery, died Jan. 19th, 1865, aged 50 years. Also Elizabeth, their daughter, who was drowned in the Welland river; April 29th, 1865, aged 15 years.
"In memory of John Frazer, M. D., born in Ayrshire, Scotland,
March 14th, 1806, died Oct. 7th; 1882."
"In memory of Jacob Brackbill, born Feb. 1st, 1777, died 26th August, 1847. Sarah, beloved wife of Jacob Brackhill, born 4th Jan., 1779, died 21st April, 1846."
The following is one of the first interments
"In memory of Robert Hobson, Sheriff of Welland for 25 years. Died August 16th, 1881, aged 76 years."
A teacher and apparently a stranger, has his name preserved by those among whom he labored.
"Fides ad astra.
"Erected by a few friends in memory of Freeman Eldridge, for a number of years a school teacher in Pelham, a native of Maine, U. S., who died Sept. 26th, 1845, aged 40 years. Requiescat in Pace."
Whether. these were twin brothers
who died at the same age is not quite clear:
In memory of Elizabeth Randall. wife of John Brown, born in Nova Scotia, 1833, died 1896."
A double stone with the words "Mother, Father," commemorates natives of Gloucestershire, England, "Mary Chaplin and Robert Chaplin, who died in 1877 and 1873 respectively, aged, the one 81, and the other .77 years." The names of many found on United Empire Loyalist lists abound, as Secord, Hare, Overholt, McClellan, Bowman, Swayzie, Vanalstine, Vanderburg, Bouk.
"George Sidey, horn in Perthshire, Scotland, 1815, died 1897."
"Danson Kinsman, postmaster of Fonthill for 27 years, born 1818, died 1889."
Since this is an old settlement and here so much fighting occurred in the war of 1812, it might be expected that there would be found the graves of many military heroes, and indeed military and naval heroes abound, but there are few dates farther hack than 1820 in any of the numerous grave yards here. At that dreadful holocaust, when the explosion occurred at the attack on Fort Erie no doubt the most were buried where they fell. It has been already seen that one naval hero was buried at Niagara and another at Lundy's Lane. Many retired officers must have settled here, as witness:
"This monument as a tribute of love and affection is erected by their thirteen surviving children to William Stanton, Staffordshire, England, Dep. Ass. Com. General, died 12th June, 1833, aged 77."
Here lie three members of one family, a father and two Sons,
In Niagara we have already seen the record of Col. Kingsmill and two sons also officers
"Sacred to the memory of Col. John Warren, J. P. and
M. P. P. for the county of Haldimand, who departed this life
5th Sept., 1832.
An East Indian veteran has on his tombstone within a medallion surmounted by a crown, an elephant, in the circle around the words, "Hindoostan Peninsula LXXVI. Major Rooth, 1849, aged 65."
In the United Service Journal it is told of Benjamin Rooth that he had fought at Copenhagen and was one of those who laid the gallant Sir John Moore in his grave in the ramparts of Corunna, "the sod with their bayonets turning." Five days after his death his Peninsular medal arrived with clasps for Nive, Nivelle, and Corunna.
"Sacred to the memory of Col. the Hon. Jas Kerby, 2nd Lincoln Militia, died June 20th, 1854, aged 69. He was a faithful subject of the Crown and for his gallantry during the war of 1812 received the thanks of his country and was presented with a valuable sword by the Leg. Assembly of U.C. In private life he was esteemed for his amiable qualities, his generous and benevolent disposition and for his exemplary character as a parent, a friend and a Christian."
A tablet and a monument commemorate the first rector of the
An old frame building, no longer used, is called the Mc Afee Church, and opposite it is the enclosure with graves. Of Mr. McAfee it is said that he was a sympathizer with Wm. Lyon McKenzie, who came here after the skirmish at Montgomery's tavern and crossed the river from this place. The name occurs thus:
"In memory of Veronica, wife 6f Daniel McAfee, died 1850, aged 50."
Here lies an old Butler's Ranger:
A small stone has an inscription in German:
The Graham enclosure, with beautiful forest trees near, seems to have been used by several families, who buried their dead in long rows. Here is a wellknown name:
"In memory of James Wintermute, born March 17th, 1782, died June 25th, 1858."
"In memory of Richard Graham, born 1759, died Dec. 15th, 1812, aged 53."
Not far from this is the Hershey plot, this being the English spelling of the name Hersche, and here occurs in this neighborhood almost the only reference to the place of birth:
"In memory of Benjamin Hershey, born Lancaster Co., Pa., 1776. Came to Canada 1795, died 1831, aged 55." This is doubtless a son of the Benjamin mentioned before.
Here are found the names of Abraham, Randolph, and Christian Hershey, all attaining great ages.
This is about two miles from the village. The name is spelled Platow in the original map, the family came from the Mohawk valley and the name is found in Butler's Rangers. Here may he seen the names Benner, Beam; Jansen, Sabine, Spear, and among the Christian names are Cornelius, Christian, Christianna, Jacob, etc. In a graveyard near St. John's Church is the name of another Ranger:
"In memory of John G. Anger, died 1813, year. Abigail, his wife, died in her 81st year:" in his 77th
Many German names are found, as Rohr, Huffman, Jansen; the names Scarlett and House occur frequently and again extreme age is recorded.
In this graveyard are found several inscriptions, which, if not of historic or poetic value, are amusing or otherwise interesting.
A tombstone with the accustomed yew tree has the words:
We learn his first name from the next stone:
Whether Isaac Brock, who died 1864, aged 41, selected the following lines, showing very primitive taste, or whether selected by his friends, we know not:
Not satisfied with this, four lines of the same order follow. Although heard of before, only now did I actually see this old rhyme:
"For Thomas Spedding, who died in 1876," a more
dignified verse is selected:
A Loyalist and his wife attained great age:
The lines following are certainly original and unique, if
As a contrast to this we find a few lines from Longfellow's beautiful poem, Resignation, on a more modern stone:"In memory of Lawrence Zimmerman, died 1889, aged 25.
Here are found the names of Duncklee, Buck, Wilds, Adair, Shotwell, Strowe, Spedding, Stevenson, Hibbard, Krafft, Knoll, Miller.
A drive along the beautiful Ridgeway road past the scene of the battle of Ridgeway brought us to Zion Methodist church and the first tombstone commemorates one of a wellknown family:
"Sacred to the memory of Rev. S. E. Ryerson, Methodist Episcopal minister, who died April, 1863, aged 51.
This populous graveyard has many foreign names, several of them Loyalist families, and many have attained great age, as:
"Joseph Danner, aged 96, died 1870. Rebecca, his wife, aged 82."
"Josiah Bearss, died 1879, aged 87."
The names Zavitz, Plato, Burger, Leiffer, Krafft, Jansen. Anger, Teal, Paulus, Athoe, Fliege, Haworth, Rice. Ellsworth, are found.
A pastor's wife is thus spoken of:
"In memory of Maggie, beloved wife of Rev. J. W. Butler, died 1872.
"She was beautiful, affable and Christian."
This somewhat free translation of the words of Moses in the 90th Psalm is not in orthography 6r syntax above criticism, but the words are appropriate for one who had passed the three score and ten limit.
The oldest inscription was 1836. The Hershey, Gorham, Disher, Sloss, Troup, Dickout, Hannsen, show foreign origin.
A striking line seen here lingers in the memory
In this small enclosure are ten graves, of which eight are Benners, all recording great ages, as 81, 84, 88, and one even reaching 99. Jacob Benner, one of Butler's Rangers, died in 1817, and his wife, Susanna, in 1822, aged 99. One wife is recorded as having been 27 years older than her husband.
"In memory of John Claus, who was born April l0th, 1730, and departed this life June 18th, 1824, aged 94 years."
"Daniel Hock, Gebohren Den 11 ten April, 1773, ist Gestorben Den 20 ten November, 1812, Hat Gelebt 39 Jahr 7 months und 9 tags."
In memory of Peter Hare, Senior, who was born May 11th, 1748, and departed this life April 6th, 1834, aged 85 years 11 months."
Peter Hare was a captain in Butler's Rangers and was latterly known as Col. Hare, probably from rank in the Lin coin Militia. His widow, as we have seen, is buried at Homer near St. Catharines.
A tragedy is recorded in the inscription on two monuments in this old graveyard near Dunnville.
" The officers, noncommissioned officers and privates of the Reserve Battalion 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers have erected this stone to mark the spot where lie the remains of Asst. Surgeon Grantham and twenty-four men, women and children, of that Regiment, who perished near the shore by the sinking of the steamer Commerce on the night of the 6th May, 1850, whilst on their route from Montreal to London, C. W."
At the late Historical Loan Exhibit in Toronto a candlestick, found in the bottom of the lake belonging to the Regiment, was shown. A letter from a lady near Dunnville dated May 9th, 1850, says: "The Despatch Str. ran into the Commerce, which sank in fifteen minutes, and forty men, women and children were drowned, seventy escaped. The other three officers were saved, among them the Ensign, Sir Henry Chamberlain. The regimental plate, wine and stores are lost, and much money. The people of Dunnville supplied the survivors with all the bedding, blankets, etc., they could."
The bodies were laid in a long trench, which may be plainly seen.
"Sacred to the memory of Dr. Grantham, Asst. Surgeon 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers S. aged 35 years, son of S. Grantham, Esq., Lewes, Sussex. Eng., who was drowned in Lake Erie on the night of the 6th May, 1850. A young widow and infant daughter are left to lament his sudden and melancholy fate."
" To the memory of John Johnson, late Lieutenant Colonel of the Bombay Engineers and Companion of the Bath. who departed this life on the 11th of February, 1846, aged 77 years.
"In memory of Dederika, widow of the late Lieut. Col. John Johnson, C. B., who departed this life on the 15th day of April, A. D. 1850, aged 74 years."
Capt. Cotton of the 69th Regiment is also buried here.
Two miles from Hamilton this may be seen; the oldest inscriptions go back to 1820, and here are found the familiar texts and doggerel verse common to that period. The first two are evidently father and daughter, only separated for a few months:
"In memory of Barbara, daughter of John and Magdalene Neff, died November 13th, 1820, aged 18 years. The Lord is nigh to them that call upon Him."
"John Neff, died January 30th, 1821, aged 50 years."
"Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. They rest from their labours and their works do follow them."
"In memory of Christian Burkholder, born Dec. 14th, 1772, died Sept. 17th, 1843, aged 71."
"In memory of Peter Burkholder, who died 21st Dec., 1867, aged 73.
His wife, Susannah Burkholder, died 1875, aged 78.
"In memory of Obadiah Taylor, a native of Long Island, State of New York, who died March 2nd, 1856, aged 86 years.
A slab to Eleana Goldsmith, who died in the last decade, praises her in both prose and verse, thus:
"Her whole life was a fulfillment of John, 15th chapter, 2nd verse. Every branch in me that beareth fruit He purgeth that it may bring forth more fruit."
"Her real merit was known by those who knew her best.
The city cemeteries offer little in the way of early settlers or curious inscriptions, as in general the old graveyards, gradually surrounded, are destroyed and built over in the inevitable march of improvement, but here is the name of one of the family which gave the name to Hamilton.
The inscription on a large granite monument reads;
"Sacred to the memory of Robert Jarvis Hamilton, born May 29th, 1812, died 1892. Catharine, his wife, born 1818, died 1847. Mary Jane, his wife, born 1829, died 1899."
Many of the family are buried in the Hamilton family burying ground at Queenston.
A large altar tomb has the following inscription:
"Sacred to the memory of Lieut.-Col. Gourlay, who died at his residence, Barton Lodge, 1867. He was for 25 years an officer of the 23rd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, serving with the Regiment in France Spam and various British stations and in the Canadian Rebellion 1837-8. He was a sincere Christian and in all the relations of life, public and private, an honourable and upright man
"Sacred to the memory of Right Rev. Thos. Brock Fuller, D. D., first bishop of the Diocese of Niagara, born at Kingston, 1810, died 1884, also his wife, Cynthia Street, born 1816. died 1892."
Col. Robt. Land was the first settler at the head of the lake, of whom a very romantic story is told, the husband and wife, each thinking the other dead, meeting here after many years.
In Beamsville, on rising ground next to the Baptist church, is a stone to one of the early settlers, who gave the name to the village.
"In memory of Jacob Beam, Sr., born Nov. 29th, 1728, died May 10th, 1812, aged 83, also his wife, aged 83."
A more pretentious granite monument to Jacob Beam, Jr., aged 85.
There are many old grey stones with the peculiar round or angled tops. It is remarkable that such old stones are so legible, but it is said that Mrs. Bougner, a daughter of Elder Hill, paid to have these cleared from moss and mould.
A long line of Adairs, a dozen at least, shows that they were among the earliest settlers.
"In memory of David Adair, aged 77, died in 1811. Jesus wept. His wife Abigail, aged 77."
One peculiarity of this graveyard is the number of Bible texts and also of verse, we will not say poetry. There is also an entire absence of military dignities, at least if such, it is not recorded.
"My body lies beneath the dust, my soul has gone on high to dwell with Jesus and the just in peace and love and joy."
"Sacred to the memory of Mercy Hixon. died 1828, aged 24
"In memory of Henry Rolt, born in Pennsylvania, 1778, died 1874, aged 95," and "John Beam, born in New Jersey, emigrated to Canada in 1788. died here, aged 82."
"In memory of Charity Adair, wife of Joseph Adair, died 1837. Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord."
The same text is on the tombstone of Elizabeth House, daughter of Conrad Weir, born 1800, died 1825.
"In memory of Daniel Skelley, who departed this life Dec. 15th, 1823, aged 23.
"Reader, although my body lies Beneath the silent clod, Yet every turf above me cries Prepare to meet thy God."
Of Joseph Merrill it is said, "He lived, he died, he lives to die no more."
"Samuel Corwin and his wife, born in New Jersey, 1767."
A large upright stone in memory of:
"Elder Thomas Hill of Dunstable, England, born 1780, died 1839."
Two verses below are in honour of himself and wife.
A long row of Bougners, born in New Jersey, who came like others in 1788, all remarkable for great age, as Martin Bougner, aged 84; his wife came in 1793, and died aged 81.
A modern granite monument has replaced an older one and records the virtues of a pastor:
"Sacred to the memory of Rev. Thomas Morgan. He was born in Cardiffshlre, North Wales; he emigrated to the United States in 1817 and was ordained a minister of the Baptist Denomination of Utica, N. Y. He came to this province in 1824, and became pastor of the Baptist Church in Clinton, where he laboured for three years with acceptance. As a preacher he was warm and energetic, commending himself to every man's conscience; he was unwearied in his exertions to promote the Redeemer's kingdom, traveling from house to house, warning every man as in the sight of God. As a Christian in his daily walk he commended the Gospel which he preached. As a husband and father he was tender and affectionate. He died in the triumphs of faith and the hope of a glorious immortality on the 9th Feb., 1837, in the 40th year of his age."
"In memory of Charlotte, wife of Jas. Freed, daughter of Thos. and Martha Hill, departed this life in the assurance of a glorious immortality, 1841. aged 37.
A more modern monument shows that a stranger dying in a distant land is gratefully remembered:
"Rev. John Callander, M.D., from Falkirk, Scotland, died
Toronto, 1853, aged 34."
"With uncouth lines and shapeless sculpture decked."
Mary wife of Daniel Danghethy. blessed are they that die in the Lord."
The names of House, Couse, McIntyre, Hilburn, are also seen
Near the battlefield of Stoney Creek, on a slight rising ground. on land given by the Gage family, is the graveyard. Till quite lately here stood a frame building, a Methodist Church, in the walls of which might be seen the bullets fired on that day of June, 1813, but it has been pulled down by modern iconoclasts. The oldest stone found was chipped so as to be almost illegible, a reddish stone from the neighborhood, something in color like the Credit valley stone.
"Sacred to the memory of Mrs. Phebe Bates, wife of W. Bates, born in Stamford, Connecticut, died in this province, Dec. 16th, 1807, agd 46.
On an old grey stone"Erected to the memory of Wm. Gage,
from Ireland, Co.Derry, died Sept. 11th, 1820, aged 76."
The Gage homestead has been lately fitted up as a museum by
the Women's Wentworth Historical Society, and from it may be
seen the scene of the conflict. A massive monument of granite
commemorates another member of the Gage family."Catharine
Gage, wife of Wm. Jones."
"This stone is erected to the memory of Thos. Fanning, died1827, aged 22.
And this the tribute of a friend "In memory of Jas. Lee, aged 57.
"The family of the late Richard London," while other stones commemorate Richard London himself and his wife.
There is little of a military nature, but one stone tells of a young soldier:
"In memory of Lieut. G. G. Brabazon, late of Her Majesty's Royal Fusiliers, died 1851, aged 29."
The dreadful railway accident near Hamilton here found a victim:
"In memory of Robert Crawford, who came to his death by a Disaster on the Great Western Railroad, at the bridge across the Desjardins Canal, March 12th, 1857."
"In memory of Jno. W. Crawford. "Dear as thou wert
and justly dear, we will not weep for thee; One thought shall
check the parting tear,
There are many records of extreme age, as Jas. Lambier, aged 81, Stephen Land, evidently a descendant of the first settler in Hamilton, aged 74, but the oldest recorded is Christina Green, died 1882, aged 102.
A few show the birthplace, as"Sacred to the memory of Stephen Bedell, died 1837, aged 92, a native of Staten Island."
"Mary, wife of John Yeager, daughter of A. Green, born in Sussex, New Jersey, 1791."
Another bears the names of two husbands"In memory of Rachel Soules, wife of Joseph Penfold, and relict of the late Alphaus Gorman, aged 82."
Two large altar tombs are respectively to Clares, wife of John Galbraith, 1835, and to John Fox, 1834.
To one who died in early youth the text below seems appropriate:
"Her sun is gone down while it is yet day."
The same text is on the tomb of Clara Fortman, wife of Edw. Norton.
There is also a large vault for the family of R. Squires.
This graveyard seems to have been used by all denominations at first. The number of large altar tombs and other solid headstones show the early prosperity of the people. Here are found many names well known in Canadian history.
"In memory of Col. Robert Nelles, who
was born 6th of October, 1761; in Palatine, on the Mohawk river,
State of New York, and died 27th July, 1842, at Grimsby, after
a residence of 62 years in Canada."
"Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man t6 conceive the things which God hath prepared for those that love him. -1 Cor. 2, 3."
Among the oldest interments are"In memory of John Moore, died May 16th, 1803, aged 64, and Dinah his wife, died Nov. 9th, 1804, aged 68."
These, however, were removed from an earlier graveyard near the lake.
An old grey stone has the following inscription"Here
lies the body of Isaac Chambers, who was born 1762,
"In memory of Elizabeth Friller, wife of Abraham Pettit, born 1778, died 1875, aged 97 years."
"In memory of John S. Pettit, born 1788, died 1888. Mary Glover, his wife, horn 1791, in New Jersey, died 1856."
"In memory of Emmeline Bergman, wife of Jonathan Wolverton, M.D., born at Germantown, Pa., January 31st, 1816, died at Grimsby, June 29th, 1874."
The first Missionary of Grimsby has left neatly kept records of his five years pastorate, from 1817 to 1822, in which latter year his death occurred by accident.
"In memory of Rev. Wm. Sampson, first Missionary of Grimsby, eldest son of Rev. Dr. Sampson, born at Wadsworth, Surrey, England, 1790, died at Grimsby, U. C., April 18th, 1822."
A later minister also died here:
"This monument was erected by his attached parishioners as a tribute of affection to one they loved.
"Remember those which have the rule over you who have spoken unto you the word of God, whose faith follow.Heb. 13: 7, 8."
The author of the first poem published
in Upper Canada, "A Day at the Falls," published in
York, 1825, was then a teacher in York Grammar School and became
incumbent of Saltfleet and Binbrook.
"When Christ who is our life shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory."
A number of altar tombs commemorate members of the Crooks
family, whose name is so well known.
"Sacred to the memory of Mary Butler, relict of Wm. Crooks, who departed this life at St. Anns, Nelson, 30th Dec., 1851, aged 70. Watch for the morning.-Ps. 130, 6."
The following inscription offers a refreshing contrast to
the general dead level of those commonly found.
"In memory of Jonathan Wolverton, who died 1831, aged 77 years, and his wife Mary, who died 1804, aged 33 years."
Another early settler who died young is thus recorded-"Here lies the body of Rose Beamer, who was born 26th January, 1783, and departed this life May 19th, 1806, aged 23.
"Here lies the boy of Lydia Merrill, who was born 1791, died 1804. aged 13.
My aged friend to me attend And wipe
your weeping eyes, No longer mourn your daughter gone To reign
above on high."
"This testimony of Filial respect erected to her memory by her affectionate children."
"Jonathan Wolverton, M. D., born Feb. 22nd, 1811, died April 12th, 1883."
"In memory of Hannah Simmerman, wife of Jas. N. Simmerman, born 1816, departed this life 1835, aged 19."
"Here lies the body of Sarah Walker, wife of William Walker, who departed this life 6th April, 1806, in the 60th year of her age.
"Remember me as you pass by As you are now so once was I As I am now so you must be, Prepare for death and follow me."
It might be interesting to note where and at what date this last time worn verse is found.
"In memory of William Kitchen, born Jan., 1761, died May 28th, 1813, aged 52 years."
"Stephen Coon, died 1805, aged 41."
"In memory of Dennis Wolverton, born in New Jersey on
New Year's day, 1790, emigrated to Canada in 1798 and settled
at Grimsby. Member of the Legislative Assembly,
There were many deaths in 1813 from an epidemic of typhus fever.
The names Book, Pettit, Nixon, Anderson are found repeatedly.
In this burial place, not so old as that near it, are many from Muir's settlement of great age. The families of Muir and Douglas seem to have intermarried often and to have been a long-lived race.
"Sacred to the memory of Jas. Douglas, born at Whitburn, Scotland, died at Grimsby 1831, aged 89."
"Barbara, daughter of Jas. Muir, of Briech Mills, Scotland, in her 92nd year."
"George Muir, aged 90."
"Douglas Muir, aged 87, of West Calder, Scotland."
"John D. Beamer, died 1872, aged 72."
From these crowded burial grounds many bodies have been removed to the beautiful new cemetery, already with many occupants.
A to C D to H I to O P to Z
Graves and Inscriptions
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