Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cemetery Crawling 3

Huttonville Cemetery, Chinguacousy, Peel, Ontario
Huttonville Cemetery

Winter is not the usual time for photographing gravestones, but this was an unusual winter in Southern Ontario with very little snow. As a result, I finished photographing gravestones in a number of cemeteries that I had started last year. One of these is the Huttonville Cemetery, located on the west side of Brampton, Ontario.

Huttonville was a hamlet that grew up around a grist mill on the Credit River two kilometres south-east of the cemetery. The hamlet was named after James P. Hutton who bought the grist mill in 1855, and later added a woollen mill.

Joseph McKay Leflar
Huttonville Cemetery was formerly known as Springbrook Methodist Episcopal Cemetery. The graveyard is located on land granted to John Frank in 1819, but acquired in 1831 by Joseph Leflar. Shortly after purchasing the land, Leflar deeded one acre to the Methodist Episcopal Church for the use of a cemetery. A church stood on the site until at least 1877, and possibly as late as 1886 when the Springbrook congregation merged with the Page congregation and moved to a new building in Huttonville.

A square monument near the front of the cemetery commemorates Joseph Leflar and two of his daughters. Joseph Mckay Leflar was born in Upper Canada on 29 Mar 1806, a son of John Leflar (1776-1856) and Elizabeth Mckay (1777-1854). Joseph married Eliza Ann Biggar (1809-1897) in 1835. Their children were Adaline (1838-1848), Eliza Ann (1840-1842) and Elizabeth Ann (1843- ?). Although Joseph Leflar died on November 16, 1858, his widow continued living on the property until 1875. Also living in the area was Joseph's brother Hiram (1809-1884). Three of Hiram's children are buried at Huttonville, as is a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter.

Leflar Plank House in 2004
Joseph Leflar's original house was located north of the cemetery, and was constructed using a unique method known as "plank on plank" construction. Rough cut planks were stacked horizontally to form the outside walls and were then covered with roughcast plaster. The Leflar Plank House had a fieldstone foundation, and a centre door flanked by two windows, typical of the early 19th century Georgian Revival style. Unfortunately, the house was inadvertently demolished in 2011.

Originally the gravestones at Huttonville were in regular rows, but when the cemetery was turned over to the City of Brampton in 1983, many of the gravestones were placed in a cairn.  The earliest gravestone in the cairn is dated 1842 and commemorates four children of Abraham and Susannah Scott. When Mississauga Road was widened several years ago, an 1844 gravestone for William Whetham was discovered and placed at the head of the cairn. The gravestone also records the death of his son Benjamin in 1838. The last burial at Huttonville occurred in 1929.

A transcription of the cemetery was made in the 1930s by local historian John Perkins Bull. He describes the graveyard as, "badly grown up with small trees and brush, some of which is ten to twelve feet in height. In the summer most of the monuments would be entirely obscured by foliage and at present the snow has drifted deep." The Ontario Genealogical Society's transcription is dated 1981 and remains accurate even though it was completed before the cairn was built. As expected, the Perkins Bull transcription lists a number of gravestones that were not found in 1981, while the OGS transcription records gravestones not found by Perkins Bull.

Page Cemetery, Chinguacousy, Peel, Ontario
Page Cemetery

Page Cemetery is located about two kilometres south of Huttonville Cemetery. It was established in 1845 when Aaron Page sold part of his land to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The graveyard is also known as Ostrander's Cemetery, since there are over 20 burials for the Ostrander family at this site.

The earliest gravestone is that of George Warner who died in 1849 at the age of 18 months. Also buried here is the thirteen-year-old Henrietta Page, daughter of Aaron, one of only two Page burials in the cemetery. The other is Henrietta's five-month-old cousin Thomas Edward Page. Both died in 1852.

A church was built at the northeast corner of the site. In 1886, the congregation of this church and the church at Springbrook merged and moved to a new location in Huttonville. The new church was called Huttonville Methodist Church until 1925 when it became Huttonville United Church.

The City of Brampton took control of the cemetery in 1983. Some of the older stones were placed into a cairn, and in front of the cairn was placed a 1961 plaque dedicated to the memory of the pioneers of Huttonville.  The cemetery is still active with buriald occurring as recently as 2003.

Jane Ostrander 1761-1865
Perhaps the most interesting gravestone is that for Jane, the widow of Andrew Ostrander. Jane died in 1865 at the remarkable age of 104. Jane was the daughter of Thadeus Davis (1738-1824) and Deborah Hall (? -1818). Thadeus was a United Empire Loyalist who had spent several years in captivity during the American Revolution before coming to Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1796.

Jane was born in Milford, Fairfield, Connecticut in 1761. She married Andrew Ostrander (1758-1831) in 1785. Andrew Ostrander was born near Albany, New York. Andrew and Jane moved to Canada after the birth of their first child, Deborah, in 1785, and settled in Niagara Township near the hamlet of St David's. In 1795 Andrew successfully petitioned the government of Upper Canada for a grant of 200 acres in addition to the 100 acres he already owned.

In 1797, and again in 1810, Lucy petitioned for a grant of 200 acres as the daughter of an United Empire Loyalist. In her 1797 petition she gave evidence that Andrew Ostrander had served in Brant's Volunteers during the American Revolution, and had twice been taken prisoner. While this petition was rejected, her later petition was accepted.

Thirty years later, Lucy petitioned the United States government for a Revolutionary War Pension, claiming her late husband had been a soldier in the Revolutionary Army. This petition was rejected as there was no record of Andrew's service.

Lucy and Andrew's sons, Loyal Ostrander (1801-1889) and James Ostrander (1792-1880) settled in Chinguacousy Township. Loyal Ostrander is buried at Page as are a number of his descendants.

St John's Anglican Cemetery

St John's Anglican Cemetery, Esquesing, Halton, Ontario
St John's Anglican Cemetery is located at the top of a hill in the hamlet of Stewarttown southwest of Georgetown, Ontario. The cemetery is not easy to find as it is invisible from the road and can only be accessed via a steep stairway. The land may have been used as a cemetery as early as 1819, the year the Township of Esquesing was opened for settlement.

St John's Anglican Church traces its history back to 1834. Plans originally were to build a church beside the cemetery but members of the congregation objected to the relative inaccessibility. It appears that a log church may have later been built on other site. In 1883 the Anglicans purchased the Wesleyan Methodist church building that was located a few hundred metres south-east of the cemetery.

Ann Thompson
While St John's Anglican Church is still in use today, the last burial at the cemetery was in 1934. Many of the oldest gravestones have been gathered into a cairn. Most of these stones date from the mid-1800s.

Many of the early gravestones belong to members of the Thompson family. The oldest is for Ann, the wife of William Thompson, who died in 1838. Hannah "Ann" Cooke was born in County Leitrim, Ireland in 1791. She married William Thompson (1789-1854) in 1814. Their three oldest children were born in Ireland.

Upon his arrival in Canada, William purchased the west half of Lot 15 Concession 7 Esquesing. He later purchased the west half of Lot 16 Concession 7. William also requested a grant of land from the government. In his Upper Canada Land Petition, dated 2 Mar 1824, William states that he:
"is a Native of the County of Longford, Ireland, from whence he emigrated to Quebec in July 1822 — has a wife a 3 children, has taken the Oath of Allegiance ... that he served 14 Years in the Irish Yeomanry..."
With the petition were two letters of recommendation attesting to William's good character. The one letter describes him as "a good farmer" while the other shows that William emigrated at the same time as his brother George Thompson (1799-1881). George married Mary Cooke (1801-1883), sister of Ann Cooke. George and Mary are also buried at St John's Anglican.

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