Re: The Old Burying Ground — Perth
I read with great interest your article on the Ole Burying Ground in
Perth today. It’s a site near and dear to my heart.
I’ve been trying for a couple of years to have the town clean it up as
they own it and it’s a designated Heritage property here. I live a block from it and see the pickets being bent and go missing every week in this cemetery. I started the attached letter last winter and your post has inspired me to finally send it.
Thank you very very very much Linda! I needed the encouragement!
This is the Cemetery where the stone of Robert Lyon is located. For those of you who don’t know, Robert Lyon was a law student that was killed during a duel for the hand of Elizabeth Hughes by John Wilson.
This location is imperative to our local history as the majority of the stones are from the early 1800’s, with a few being buried in the early 1900’s. As far as I can tell there is no one buried in this cemetery after roughly 1910. It is now listed on Ontario Abandoned Places. While this is a private user website, it is heartbreaking that this location of history is even considered abandoned.
While this property is not really abandoned the question of abandonment can be inferred from the acts or recitals of the parties, interpreted in the light of all the surrounding circumstances. Such abandonment is a question of fact or a mixed question of law and fact.
A cemetery is not abandoned as long as it is kept and preserved as a resting place for the dead with anything to indicate the existence of graves, or as long as it is known and recognized by the public as a graveyard. The fact that for some years no new interments have been made and that the graves have been neglected does not operate as an abandonment and authorize the desecration of the graves, where the bodies interred in a cemetery remain therein and the spot awakens sacred memories in living persons.
“I think this illustrates why this cemetery is so important. Vital records of Births, Marriages and Deaths were only required to be kept starting in 1869 and compliance for the first decade or so was rather hit-and-miss. Many early church records are either missing or only available at archives in distant cities so monuments can sometimes be the only evidence for the births and deaths of our ancestors. Occasionally they provide genealogical gems such as the year of emigration or the exact birth locations back in the homeland that can provide that tidbit of information that smash brick walls in our research and allows us to “hop the pond” and trace the ancestral lines further in the old country. Another concern is that the monuments in this cemetery are at risk as many are weathering to the point of illegibility or victims of vandalism”.–Bruce Gordon
So the “Ole Burying ground’ is not abandoned but it is neglected and desperately needs to be rescued. Someone please help and thank you Cheryl for your love and concern!
The “Old burying ground” located in Perth Ontario–Bill Daykin
GPS location: N44 53′ 56.3″ W076 14′ 26.6″
Background and history
This cemetery was used for the first hundred years and more, after the Perth military settlement was established and is the final resting place of Robert Lyon who fell in a duel with John Wilson in 1833.
Without question this site is of local and county significance. Many eminent people are buried here from representatives from Lanark and other counties who sat in the Legislative assembly for upper Canada to the settlers who helped build and shape Perth and the surrounding country. It’s interest lies in other directions too; as the first burial site the grounds were divided for use by three different denominations, and perhaps what brings so many tourists to Perth that the last fatal duel in Upper Canada was fought here, and Robert Lyon is buried in the Cemetery. This gives the cemetery provinvial significance and to some degree will influence the program for conservation and maintenance.
Happy Birthday Perth (Craig St./Pioneer Cemetery)
The beautiful village of Perth situated on the Tay River in Lanark County Ontario is celebrating the 200th anniversary this year of the founding of the Rideau Military Settlement.
My mother-in-law, Annie, grew up in Perth and her parents are both descended from Irish emigrants who were escaping poverty, famine and oppression back in the homeland. A few years ago out of a frustration in the paucity of early records in Ontario I visited St. Bridget’s Catholic Cemetery in the historic North Burgess Township, now part of the present-day Tay Valley Township to find and photograph monuments of these pioneer families. Each visit led to discovering new connections which, in turn, required more visits to photograph other monuments. Eventually I photographed all the monuments. Read the rest here…CLICK
Information where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and Screamin’ Mamas (USA)
Come and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place.
– Hwy #44, Con. 12, Ramsay Twp., near Almonte, Ont-Photo taken by Keith Thompson–see more here…click here
see more here of St. Mary’s OLD Cemetery here..click here
In loving Memory of, Elizabeth Victoria, aged 5 weeks.
Cyril Astley, aged 8 months.
Gertrude Leonora, aged 7 mos.
Children of Mr. & Mrs. E. W. Smith.
Franktown cemetery 2015– photo by Linda Seccaspina
If you read the story of when I travelled back in time to find who belonged to a headstone left at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum, you know how much I love a mystery. Leona Kidd ( got to meet her yesterday!) wrote the strange story, and it is included in the new Beckwith Then and Now book.
Word was when they realized they needed somewhere to bury local citizens, they had a lot of bush to clear to create a new cemetery in Franktown. Franktown in the early days was noted in the Province of Ontario Gazetter and Directory as a village on Goodwood Creek in the Township of Beckwith, County Lanark 15 miles away from Perth. Lands in the vicinity averaged $12 an acre, and the population was 200. The Brockville and Ottawa Railway also had a station near the village.
If you were part of “the better off” burial within the church itself was preferred, but in the case of Franktown the ground was too hard, so they found a location not far from the church. In those days one’s social status depended on the section of the ground where you were buried– preferable east. In such a location, the dead would be assured the best view of the rising sun on the Day of Judgment.
People of lesser distinction were buried on the south side, while the north corner of the graveyard was considered the Devil’s domain. It was reserved for stillborns, bastards and strangers unfortunate enough to die while passing through town. If you read my series on cemeteries last October, we had many an issue similar at St. James Cemetery in Carleton Place.
Suicides, were usually deposited in the north end, although their corpses were not allowed to pass through the cemetery gates to enter. They had to be passed over the top of the stone wall or fence.
Local Franktown man John Ferguson was in charge of the whole affair, and one day he stood there and admired all his work on the cemetery and wondered who would be the first person buried there. So my question to you is– who ended up being the first to be buried in the Franktown Cemetery?
Well, you will have to buy the Beckwith Then and Now book to find out. I know–that’s not nice but— I am very easy to find if you need to complain that I taunted you..:)
George Allan Chenier Sr. emailed me last week and had an interesting question.
“Just a bit north of where we live back here in the Lanark Highlands, there is a lot of community forest and this is where I found an interesting grave sight. it appears as if maybe the township may have taken care of this over the years. It has a dilapidated rail fence surrounding it and a white metal gate. There is one head stone. I am curious to know. Thank you. George Chenier
So I tried, I really did. But, why I did not click on that first photo I found I have no idea. I am literally slipping this week. So, I took it to the Lanark Genealogical Society Facebook page and Norma Ford got right on it. But, it was Claudia Tait that provided the website. Yes, it was the same website I had passed over. LOL
This is one of Lanark counties best kept secrets and I would like to thank George for bringing this forward. This is definitely a future field trip.
Lot 8, Con. 7 – Darling Twp.
Burials – 1841 to 1925
In Memory Of
James King, (born 1816), died Jan. 22, 1895, aged 79 years.
Also his Children:
John, died Apr. 24, 1850
William, died Apr. 8, 1862
Alexander, died Sept. 21, 1866
Peter, died Sept. 26, 1866
Margaret, died Feb. 26, 1871
This is a Headstone made of Oak Board, nailed to the rail fence. The writing on the board is very hard to read, but I believe it relates to 2 boys, children of Wm. King and A. Boyle, 1866-1872.
This is a small wooden cross made out of two cedar poles wired together.
This is field stone with a point facing up.
This is a smaller field stone, white in color, also facing up.
It is believed that there are approximately 19 to 30 people buried in this cemetery. Some of them may be as follows;
“Granny” Wark, as she lived with her daughter, Mrs. Margaret (Wark) King.
Thomas Duncan King, father of Jack King died Nov. 1925.
James King Sr., born 1786/7, his wife Grace, sons John & James and daughter Eliza.
James King Jr., his wife Margaret ((Wark) died 20 June 1906 aged 80 years) and some of their children (listed above on the headstone)
John Albert King, died 21 Jan 1900, aged 5 years.
William Hanson, died 27 Feb. 1896, aged 84 years.
Ann Barrie (wife of Wm. Hanson) died 24 April 1906, aged 84 years.
These last two are parents of Mrs. Thomas King.
Keith Thompson, Clayton, Ontario – 25 April, 2001