The Really Lost and Gone - R.I.P

The really lost and gone refers to those pioneer or settler burial grounds that now exist on paper only.  Their locations still documented but their physical existence erased by development of subdivisions, road expansions or simple neglect to the point that nothing discernible is left.  Some burials from these areas were preserved and removed to other established cemeteries. Others have simply vanished.

St. John's Anglican Church Cemetery, (Edmonton) Brampton

This cemetery was located in the village of Edmonton, aka Snelgrove, now Brampton. It was established in 1845 and the last transcript completed in the 1980's indicated that it was now no longer accessible and the number of burials was unknown, there were only two head stones found at this time .  The area is surrounded on the south and east sides by the rear lots of private houses, on the west side a garage and filling station and on the north side a shopping plaza.  Although, modern day maps show a cemetery in this location, its appearance is that of a wood lot.  There is no cairn or any other identifying mark to indicate a cemetery.  

Ebenezer Methodist Cemetery, Vaughan

This area is now occupied by the Trans-Canada Pipe Line.  The cemetery was est circa 1830's in the hamlet of Teston,  there is nothing left in the area to indicate that a cemetery once existed.  Most of the graves were relocated to either Maple Public Cemetery or King City Cemetery in the late 1950's or early 1960's.


Old Methodist Cemetery, Nobleton


This cemetery, is shown on the map as being located on the north side of King Rd just east of 10th Concession Rd. in Nobleton.  There is no longer any evidence at this location of a cemetery and I have been unable to locate any transcripts on burials. There is no official name either, but it is designated on road maps at the location described above.  Its demise, like other small settler cemeteries of the late 1800's was probably due to the public or community cemeteries that were being established around that time.

Hopkinson's Corners Pioneer Cemetery, Campbellville

In 1864 Thomas Hopkinson a native of Derbyshire, England sold 1/4 acre at the N/W corner of 1st Line and  3rd Sideroad to James Hirst and other trustees for the Methodist Church.  Due to vandalism, no gravestones remain. A fence and plaque marked "Pioneer Cemetery" once marked the spot, but these have also been removed.  Today there is no trace of the little cemetery nor any records of who was buried there.

McNabb Pioneer Cemetery, Norval (Georgetown)

This spot was created by the McNabb family, the first pioneers of Norval in the early 1800's. Lieutenant James McNabb was born of Scottish parents in Barnet Vermont. He served at the Battle of Queenston Heights in the War of 1812 and in the Rebellion of 1837.  The land for the cemetery was severed from the home farm circa 1820. The first burial was in 1823 for the infant son of Alexander and Jane McNabb, brother and sister-in-law of James.  The last burial was believed to be in 1870.

While some of the markers were moved to the Hillcrest Cemetery in the 1930's.  It was reported in The Toronto Evening Telegram in July 1926 that Alexander McNabb his wife Jane Campbell and some of their children were buried here. The Perkins-Bull transcripts indicate that there were five people from the McNabb  family and two other markers. The remains of the McNabb family were relocated to Hillcrest Cemetery. Today there are no grave stones or burials for the McNabb's at this location, a plaque was erected in 2007 to mark the spot.

Tanlsey Pioneer Cemetery,  Burlington

Tansley cemetery was one of the oldest cemeteries in Nelson Twp, dating from about 1815. The land for a school house, church and burying ground was donated by Henry Magee.  The land reserved for the burying ground was described in Henry Magee's will dated November 12, 1815.  Henry Magee died November 14, 1815.  There is no record of his burial, it is assumed that he was buried in Tansely Cemetery.

In 1975 John A Roberts made an investigation and prepared an inventory of the cemetery. He reported that the cemetery was completely filled with graves, as you could see the sunken areas which are grave sites. He estimated that there were approx 30 to 40 graves.  There were only six head stones at this time dating from 1805 to 1877.  According to the local residents the last burial took place in 1905.  He also indicated in his report that there were several invasions of the cemetery by Bell Telephone and a Natural Gas Company, as well as a the loss of 64 feet of the cemetery for the widening of Hwy  5.  In 1978 the City of Burlington became the legal owner of the cemetery along with Halliday Homes Limited. That same year approval was given to remove a portion of the burials due to road widening to Greenwood Cemetery.  A total of 29 burials were reburied there in October 1978.  The quantity of human remains is not recorded nor are the names of the persons reburied and there is no proof that all of the buried remains in Tansley were removed to Greenwood. In  1982 the City of Burlington requested the Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Relations to erect a plaque on the site of the former cemetery.  The Ministry responded that they did not have the budget for this request.

The cemetery has all but been forgotten. What remains is now a grass covered lawn at the front of a brick-making company.  No burial records have been found.   

Stephan's Family Farm Cemetery (Disciples of Christ), Norval


Stephan's Family Farm Cemetery was a private cemetery. est 1843,  located on land owned by James and Thomas Stephens in the village of Norval.  Members of this family were co- founders of the Disciples of Christ which made there congregational home in Norval in the mid 1800's.  The meeting house was located across the road from Hillcrest Cemetery on the farm of John Menzies who established the church in 1843.  The congregation had dwindled out by 1873 and the meeting house was moved. A member of the Menzies family in Toronto is believed to have possession of the church records.  The records apparently do not recognize a cemetery for the Disciples of Christ on the land owned by the Stephens Family.  John Menzies and his family were buried at Hillcrest Cemetery.

In 1960 burials and  monuments from the Stephens Cemetery were moved to Hillcrest Cemetery.  There is no longer any access or trace to the old Stephens Family Cemetery Plot.

Marlatt Family Farm Cemetery, Halton Hills


The Marlett Family Farm Cemetery was located on land owned by Joseph Marlatt who purchased the land from the crown on July 6, 1806.  The cemetery was est in 1813 when Joseph died and was buried on his land, he was followed by George Marlett in 1814 who was also buried there. (Relationship to Joseph not given).

In 1973 the land became the site of the Ukrainian Home for the aged. Although a number of digs have occurred no remains or headstones have been found.

Ferguson Family Farm Cemetery, Brampton


The Ferguson Family Farm Cemetery was established in  1855 on land that was occupied by Major Hugh  Ferguson who fought in the War of 1812 and settled in Brampton in 1830.  It was believed that nine family members were buried here.  In 1975 the graves were removed to the Brampton Cemetery to the Samuel Ferguson Plot.  The area is now a sub-division and there is no evidence left of the cemetery.

Laskey Primitive Methodist Church Cemetery, Laskey


Only one marker was left on this property at the time of the last transcription in 1989. The church building is now a private home.  The cemetery and church were established in 1852 on land donated by Joseph Baldwin. He died in 1882 and was buried in the cemetery, his remains and monument where later removed to Aurora Cemetery, no date given.  Other burials were also removed to Aurora Cemetery or King City Cemetery some time in the late 1800's or early 1900's.  The last marker was for the two daughters of W & L Warren, Margaret 16 years old d. 1877 and Alberta  1 year old d. 1880.

Woodill Family Cemetery, Brampton


This closed cemetery was located on the S/E corner of Airport Road and Castlemore Road in Brampton, until about 2006. It was established in the mid 1800's and was restored in 1967 as a family centennial project.  A cairn was placed on the property by the City of Brampton in memory of the "Woodhill Pioneers" in the 1990's. A common mistake was to confuse Woodill with Woodhill. According to the Woodill family their name has never been spelled Woodhill and they have no relationship to each other.  The cemetery was moved to make way for a new plaza and filling station, when the sub-division to the south and west of the property was developed.

Shiloh Primitive Methodist Cemetery, Tormore


This cemetery was established in 1851 in an area originally called Hartsville or Harts Corners after Robert Hart a settler from Yorkshire England. The 1/2 acre of property which was the cemetery was sold to the P.M Church Trustees by George Hall and his wife Sarah Ann Hall for 1/2 a penny on December 12, 1850.  In 1851 a frame church and two drive sheds were built on the property.  The buildings were torn down and removed in 1902 and the last burial was that of Lester Shuttleworth in 1905.

The location of the cemetery was 1 mile north of Colraine Dr on the N/W side of Hwy 50. This now the border of the City of Brampton and the City of Vaughan.  The Hwy has been widened a few times and it is probably due to this that the cemetery was eventurally removed.   

Reaman Family Burying Ground, Vaughan


The Reaman Family Burying Ground was located on lot 15 concession 2 Vaughan, south side of Rutherford Road, east of Dufferin Street.  The land was originally the family farm settled in 1833, it was held by the family until the early part of the 20th century.  In 1973 Amos Baker a descendant had two head stones removed from the land and placed in the Cober-Baker Cemetery, (See Cober-Baker Cemetery in this Blog). Decedents of the family still live in the area.  In 1989 the area were the cemetery was located was sold for development.

Lee Grave. Markham


The Lee grave was originally located on the Lee farm at lot 35 concession 6 in the Town of Markham, now the Town of Whitechurch-Stouffville.  Years later the land was sold to George Foote, who some time prior to the 1930's moved the marker to the Cashel Cemetery located at Kennedy Road and Elgin Mills Road E. formally 18th. Ave.   In 1931 the marker was recorded it simply stated, Jane Lee 1840 - 1843.  In a second transcript in 1958 the marker could not be located and again in the transcript of 1992 it could still not be found.  The OGS are interested in any information in regards to Jane Lee and her missing grave marker.

Wakely Family Farm Cemetery, Caledon


The Wakely Family Farm Cemetery was originally located at Concession 6 Lot 8 W1/2 Albion Twp on Bolton Station Road.  The land was originally purchased by Jabez Wakely Jr. from George Goodman on January 29th, 1898.  According to a descendant of Jabez, three still born babies were buried on the land by Jabez behind the red brick house starting in 1902 to 1905.  An extensive search by the Town of Caledon authorities to locate the remains has failed to discover any burials.

The house has been torn down and the land is now being developed for a subdivision.  A memorial to the children can be found on the marker of the grave of Jabez and his wife Catherine who are buried in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Bolton.

Methodist Episcopal Church Cemetery, Aurora


This cemetery was established in 1818 and closed in 1869. The site is now the location of the Aurora United Church at 58 Yonge Street.  The denomination for the burials was Methodist Episcopal and Wesleyan Methodist. The cemetery no longer exists at this location and the number and  names of those buried here is unknown.

Elmbank Cemetery, Malton


Also known as The Gore and 5th Line Cemetery was until 2002 located within the confines of Toronto Person International Airport.  The cemetery was moved to Assumption Cemetery at the S/E corner of Derry Rd and Tomkin Rd to make way for runway expansion at Person Airport.

In 1839 Bernard and John McGuire gave 2 acres of land for the 5th Line Church, presbytery and graveyard. The first registered burial was that of 17 year old Charles Dougherty who died in 1833.

The cemetery was discovered by workers in the early 1960s who were clearing brush which harboured birds, a danger to jets taking off and landing. The area was in deplorable condition, most of the headstones were damaged and the graves unattended.  The cemetery was used up until 1939 and contained more than 300 burials, the church was abandoned in 1915 and was no longer on the property during the transcript completion of 1938.

 Today the area is now part of the runway system and there is no longer any sign of this cemetery.



Hughes Family Burial Ground, Newmarket

The Hughes Family Burial Ground was located on the east side of Yonge Street at lot 91 & 92, concession 1E in the Town of Whitechurch now the Town of Newmarket. 

The remains of three persons, Sarah Webster Hughes and two of her three children, where buried on this lot when her husband Samuel Hughes was denied the right to have her buried in the Friends (Orthodox) Burying Ground.  In 1812 Samuel Hughes had been disciplined and his wife Sarah was then disowned by the society in 1813.  Prior to her death in 1815, she had requested to be buried with her children on the east side of Yonge Street, which was part of the Hughes farm.

The remains were discovered in 1973 when the area was being developed.  Sarah Hughes and two of her three children would eventually be laid to rest in the Friends (Orthodox) Burying Ground one hundred and forty two years later.

Prospect Hill Cemetery/God’s Acre, Newmarket

Prospect Hill Cemetery was originally known as God’s Acre and was located in what was called Garbutt’s Hill.  Today this would be the Alexander Muir Retirement Home at the corner of Timothy and Prospect Streets in the Town of Newmarket.

In 1824 the first meeting house was built and dedicated by Rev. Elder Ryerson. By 1883 the church was demolished to make way for the Alexander Muir Public School.  The residents had been informed of the sale of the land and advised to have the remains recovered to the Newmarket Cemetery.  It was believed for years that this had been done, when in 1940 and again in 1952, human remains were discovered still on the property.

In 1989 during the demolition of the school and the construction of the retirement home, a further discovery of ninety-one unmarked graves was made under what was the school playground and parking lot.  The pre 1992 Cemetery Act, allowed unidentified remains in unmarked graves to be forensically analyzed.  So the remains were painstakingly removed and sent to the University of Guelph. Archeologists regarded this as an excellent opportunity to study 19th century burial customs in Ontario and coffin architecture. 

Upon completion of these studies, the remains were re-interred at the Newmarket Cemetery. 




Wise Family Burying Ground, Richmond Hill.


The Wise Family Burying Ground was located at Lot 17, Conc. 2 in the Town of Richmond Hill, formally the Twp of Markham.  The land was originally owned by John Dubrecy who sold the 200 acres to Peter Wise Sr., in 1811.  


In 1815 Peter Wise Sr. sold 115 acres to Peter Wise Jr. and 85 acres to John Langstaff.  Peter Wise Jr. sold 50 acres to Josiah Wilmott in 1822, by 1839 Peter Jr. had lost title to the remaining 65 acres, but remained a tenant on the land until his death in 1858.  His wife Mary release her dower rights in 1881.


The cemetery was ordered closed by order of the town council in 1988 and all headstones, markers and remains were relocated to the Elgin Mills Cemetery.  Five graves where confirmed, with another two unmarked burials.  The five confirmed burials were of Peter Wise Jr, and four of his infant children. The first burial was that of George Wise the 3 week old son of Peter Jr. and Mary who died in 1832.  


Atkinson Family Burying Ground, Richmond Hill


The Atkinson Family Burying Ground  was located at Lot 27, Conc. 2E in Richmond Hill, formally the Twp of Markham.  


John Atkinson emigrated from Yorkshire England with his family in 1819 and settled on lot 27, Conc. 2E. There were only two burials on this site, George Atkinson, John's son who died in 1832 at 30 years of age and then John in 1835.


In 1965, Fred Atkinson a decedent of John's removed the headstone from the family burial ground and brought it to the Baker-Cober Cemetery in Vaughan.  The area where the Atkinson Family Burying Ground was located is now a developed area.


McCullough's Wesleyan Methodist Cemetery, Georgetown


The place where the original Highway 7 joined Trafalgar Road at the north-west corner of Georgetown was once a cross-road intersection known as McCullough's Corners.  The farm north-east of the intersection had been in the McCullough family for many decades.  At that corner of the farm was a graveyard and there were several rumours about its origins.  

One of the rumours was that a Church of England had once been located there which had been in the charge of an Indian preacher named Kahkewaquonaby.  Another was that it was simply a small family farm cemetery.  In fact it was known in the area as McCullough's Cemetery.  A few stones could still be seen amongst the trees and the brush as late as the 1950s.  

The highway has since been shifted to create a sweeping curve for Highway 7's convergence with Trafalgar Road North, and an Extendicare nursing facility built near the old corner which has been renamed to Lindsay Court, all these likely contributing to the disappearance of McCullough's Cemetery.  

The cemetery and the stories about it have been forgotten by all but a few of the older residents.  This is unfortunate because the stories likely contain more than a grain of truth.  In fact this is likely one of the more important sites in the history of Georgetown.

Charles Kennedy had been granted the land in 1818 with a condition that he build a sawmill within 12 months. Kennedy was affiliated with the Methodist church and was instrumental in bringing Methodism to the Esquesing area.  In 1821 a Methodist meeting house and cemetery had already been established on Kennedy's property and was referred to as Kennedy's Meeting House, the cemetery was the first cemetery to be established in this area.  

In 1852 the meeting house and cemetery were mentioned in Kennedy's will, he and his wife were definitely buried there.  Local folklore states that the cemetery was closed in the 1890's and that most of the burials were relocated to Greenwood Cemetery which was established in 1869. Both Charles Kennedy and his wife now rest in Greenwood Cemetery. However, some were forgotten, it is possible that only those with living relatives still living in the area where removed.  As previously mentioned, some headstones were still visible until the early 1950's.

In 1992 an archaeological dig was conducted in the area which confirmed the location of the meeting house and that not all of the burials had been removed. Seven graves had been identified along the western edge of the property, six where undisturbed and the seventh had been disturbed, probably moved to Greenwood Cemetery.  At this time, the property owner indicated that strict avoidance to any graves would be adhered to in regards to any future development of the area.  Since the dig in 1992 an Extended-care facility has been built where the cemetery was once located.

It has been generally believed that McCullough's Cemetery may have been the main cemetery for the area before the Greenwood Cemetery was established.   But, just how many burials there were, how many were relocated to Greenwood Cemetery and how many were forgotten, still remains a big question.




Tenth Line Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, Bradford West Gwilliambury


The cemetery was located in a corner of a field on the 10th Concession road in the Town of Bradford West Gwilliambury.  It was fenced off and from the rest of the property which gave no clue to its history.  This ¼ to ½ acre was given to the Methodist Episcopal Church in 1827 by John Doan of West Gwilliambury for the consideration of 10 shillings.  Nothing is known of a church on this land, but a cemetery grew over the next century. 

 The land was sold and willed a number of times throughout the 19th century and it is possible that members of the various families who owned this land were buried here.  It is said that some remains were finally moved to other cemeteries in the area.

By the late 1970’s only two stones remained one broken monument with no inscription and the other to Anne and Asa Willar.  Today the location of these stones is unknown and the cemetery is not discernible.

Scott Cemetery, Wallace Wesleyan Methodist Church, Tecumseth

Conc 6, Lot th L1.  6ine & Adjala /Tecumseth Town Line

In May of 1854, Stephen Wallace and others as Trustees for the Wallace Congregation of the Wesleyan Methodist Church purchased ½ acre of land form William Henry Heaton.  A brick church was built and stood for many years with the cemetery beside it.  The building was also used as a school for a short time.  In 1883 when most of the students went to the Catholic School in Colgan, the building was closed.

The church was demolished sometime in the early years of the 20th Century and the few remaining monuments in the cemetery were taken to Alliston Cemetery.  In 1957 the area was redesigned as a sub-division, a house now occupies the site.





R.I.P