Monday, June 30, 2014

A Lonely Grave: Susannah Kinzie (1851-1853)

Pioneer Cemetery, North Dumfries, Waterloo, Ontario
On the western edge of North Dumfries township west of Cambridge, Ontario is a sign proclaiming a small lot to be a pioneer cemetery. Also known as the Alexander Family Plot, the cemetery contains no gravestones in situ. Fragments of four gravestones, however, can be found learning against a tree in the centre of the lot.

According to the Waterloo Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, this cemetery represents the remains of an early pioneer cemetery used by local families including the Alexanders. In 1877, most of the graves were moved to the nearby Ayr Cemetery. When the adjoining road was widened in the 1970s, a gravestone for a young girl was found, as well as the fragments of other stones.

Susannah Kinzie (1851-1853) was the youngest daughter of Jacob Kinzie (1804-1862) and Susannah Stauffer (1809-1868). Susannah's grandfather, Dilmon Kinzie (1774-1854), had emigrated to Canada from Pennsylvania about 1799. The Kinzies were part of a mass exodus of German Mennonites from the United States after the Revolutionary War, attracted by inexpensive land, and the prospect of once again living under British rule.

Sometime before 1860, Susannah's parents emigrated to Michigan and settled in Kent County south of Grand Rapids. They are buried in Blain Cemetery in Gaines Township.

Two other fragments bear inscriptions. The first reads: "In memory of Louisa wife of Robert...." The second fragment contains a date (Dec. 17) and an age (27). The final fragment bears only the name of the engraver. Unfortunately, without a surname, it is difficult to determine who the fragments of these gravestones commemorate.