In the mid-1830s Roman Catholics emigrating from Ireland settled in the area of Acton, Ontario, Canada where the spiritual needs of the people were looked after by the Jesuit Fathers from Guelph.
From 1852 to 1857 infrequent Masses were held in the home of Matthew and Honora McCann until one day the floor gave way, resulting in some parishioners falling into the cellar. To prevent a recurrence, McCann and his neighbour John Mulholland decided to donate two acres of land to build a proper church (St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church) and cemetery. McCann and Mulholland are both buried here.
This small cemetery located in the countryside on Dublin Line contains many stones that are broken or illegible.
A map at the entrance to the cemetery identifies plots and the names of the deceased buried there.
Sleep on my dear in calm repose Though parted now awhile In yonder realm we’ll join to praise And greet your happy smile. 1872
Location: St. Peter’s Mission, Roman Catholic Church, Trafalgar Township, 9th line, Milton, Ontario, Canada
In 1823 a log church was built on this site to serve the Catholic Irish Immigrants who worked on the original Welland Canal. Some of these families are buried in the cemetery.
There is beyond the sky / a Heaven of joy and love / Holy children when they die / Go to that world above.
The first interment was a 12 year old girl who died from pneumonia in the depth of winter in the year 1825. Her father, wanting her to be buried in consecrated ground, placed her body on a horse drawn sled and traveled south to Milton from Orangeville (approximately 50 miles).
In death’s cold lies sleeping here / A tender parent, a companion dear /In love she lived, in peace she died / Her life was asked but was denied.
The Triller family was originally from Warren County, New Jersey, USA, and the family name was Driller. William Driller and his wife Mary (Maria) had 10 children. Sarah who was the 7th child and 5th daughter was born on 5 Dec 1790 in Knowlton Township, Warren Co. Her gravestone is located in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Note that in the early 19th century, the years, months and days were recorded on gravestones. Her burial there in 1856 may be explained by the adventures of her elder brother, Philip, who is listed in the “Annals of the Forty”, No. 9 (1958), pp. 24-25.
Philip Triller was born about 1754 and was the son of William and Maria Triller. He married Mary Catherine Young and they lived in Knowlton township, Warren County, New Jersey, where their children were born and baptized in the first German and English congregation in that township.
In 1805 Philip and his wife and children left New Jersey and journeyed to Canada, where his wife’s sisters and her brother had previously settled. They travelled with three wagons, two four-horse teams and one two-horse team. The roads were so rough that it sometimes took six horses to draw one wagon over the mountainous country. They stopped at The Forty (Grimsby) and stayed near Green’s mills for a year before moving to Trafalgar Township, Halton County.
In that time Philip, with his sons and son-in-law, sawed a great quantity of lumber for building purposes, and this was floated by raft along the shore of Lake Ontario to the Twelve Mile Creek in Halton near Bronte.
Philip owned 1000 acres of land between Burlington and Bronte, and it is said built the first mills on The Sixteen. He and his wife, Catherine, lie buried in an old Burying Ground on the shore of Lake Ontario near Bronte.
Wooden markers – we can’t really call them gravestones or headstones when they are made of wood – were initially used due to availability and low expense. However, the wood which deteriorated rather quickly due to weather conditions was also subject to forest fires.
Friedrich Glauser Schrefleller was a Swiss native and a celebrated writer in the German language. For most of his brief time on earth (1896-1938) he was addicted to opium, and on the evening prior to his wedding he suffered a stroke and died two days later.
Charles Morgan Blessing, a miner, was shot in the head and robbed by Hames Barry who was hanged as a result of this crime. The murder took place in Cariboo, British Columbia, Canada. In memory of C. M. Blessing, a native of Ohio, aged 30 years was murdered near this spot May 31 1866.
This wooden grave marker circa 1850 is located on a steep hillside near Virginia City, Nevada. The graves located there are host to people from varied social and economic status and as a result, the grave markers within the Silver Terrace Cemeteries are made from a variety of wood, metal and stone.
A tired and worn marker situated in the old Malay Cemetery in Singapore.
During WWI, A.I.F. Private Frank Gallagher, age 23, was killed on 23 August 1918. A wooden battalion cross was erected at the site of his death; Bray-sur-Somme. A photograph of the wooden cross has been modified by Frank’s mother by pasting a photo of Frank in uniform.
Jason Hayes who died when he was 74 is buried in Barnet, Georgia.
The Horváth family from the Almad Forest in Transylvania, are identified with a wooden marker in the Kecskemét Reformed Cemetery, Bács-Kiskun County, Hungary. The marker is engraved with the name Karolyne Horváth who died on 4 March 1930 and Dr. Karoly Horváth who was born in 1873 and died in 1943.
The partial image of a wooden marker is worn and broken. In the centre of the marker is a circle containing a form of four Tau crosses. The Tau is one of the oldest forms of a cross, believed to have been held by Moses in the wilderness.
On the right of the photograph is a worn engraving: a circle divided into 8 sections. This could be a symbol for God or Holy Spirit.
In the centre of this picturesque and popular tourist town in Niagara-on-the-lake, Ontario, Canada, is St. Mark Anglican church founded in 1792. During The War of 1812, the church was used as a hospital by the British and as a barracks by the Americans. The Americans occupied the town in 1813, destroying Fort George and digging rifle pits in the cemetery surrounding St. Mark’s. The rifle pits can still be seen today.
The church is surrounded on three sides by a graveyard containing some very old stones. Not much character to the cemetery itself but many stones of interest.
This grave never to be disturbed
The blessed communion fellowship divine We feebly struggle They in glory shine Yet all are in thee For all are thine Alleluia. 1866
In the silent tomb we leave them Till the resurrection morn When our Saviour will receive them And restore their lovely form Requiescant in Pace. 1855
Friends nor physicians could not save This mortal body from the grave Nor can the grave confine him here And Christ shall bid them to appear. 1865
A stranger to hypocrisy And ready to reveal his mind A warmer heart, more open hand Or noble spirit, few will find.
The pains of death are passed Labour and sorrow cease And life’s long warfare closed at last His soul is found in peace. 1885
A frequent feature on gravestones, the skull is a symbol of death, mortality, penitence, and sin. It appears in several formats.
SKULL & CROSSED BONES
Symbolic of crucifixion, death, and mortality.
The fear which this ancient symbol of death inspires led pirates to adopt it as an emblem upon their black flags and chemists to use it to denote poison. The combination when it appears on tombstones means, “He is dead.”
See yonder flower that scents the air How sweet it blooms How swift it fades! Just such is man in youth how fair How chang’d his form when death invades! Yet fades the flower to bloom again And we shall rise with Christ to reign.
As measured notes of set music we pass in fast or slow marches to the grave.
Gently this spot in solemn silence tread Let none disturb the relics of these dead Their souls have waft themselves to God on high But here all round this stone their bodies lie.
In my Father’s house are many mansions.
It is interesting to note that this skull is accompanied with only one bone. Curious and puzzling.
Lo! Lost remembrance drops a pious tear And holy friendship stands a mourner here.
This sculptured panel contains only the crossbones, and they are intersected with workman’s tools; a pick, a shovel, and a spade.
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord They rest from their labours and their works do follow them.
The skull represented here also displays crossed arrows and an hourglass, both of which symbolize mortality.
I am the Resurrection and the Life He that believeth in me though he were dead yet shall he live.
The badly eroded stone displays a dove flying above a skull and represents the resurrection of the soul.
A winged skull symbolizes the ascension into heaven, and the flight of the soul from mortal man.
Sometimes called death’s heads or winged death, it represents the fleeting nature of life and impending death. It was once a common motif on New England tombstones.
80% of the carvings on gravestones in Copps Hill Cemetery, Boston, bear the winged skull symbol.
No flat ring marble rules the traveler here The spot is sacred to affections dear He was in life what artful men pretend Companion, parent, neighbour, Christian, friend. 1802
Hail sweet repose not shall we rest No more with sickness be distressed Here from all sorrows find release Our souls shall dwell in endless peace. 1789
No longer was my life No longer was my breath God called me home in early life Because he thought it best. 1805
Though far from home in distant land My flesh returns to dust In hopes to rise when Jesus calls And dwell among the just. 1808
Life’s painful toils are over Its pilgrimage is ended And to a purer happier shore Her spirit hath ascended. 1808