Monday, December 14, 2009

Cemetery Pt., Shoal Lake, Manitoba - A Festival of Postcards

Cemetery Pt. Shoal Lake - postcard front

The theme for the upcoming Edition of A Festival of Postcards is: WHITE.

Evelyn Yvonne Theriault, the Festival's Editor, who blogs at
A Canadian Family suggested that I submit a cemetery card here at the Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada. She's accepting anything related to white on postcards, including cards like this that are black and white.

The message on this postcard reads: Dear Joe I am sending you a picture of Shoal Lake which you have probably seen before. It is very pretty there is it not. I spent a day there this summer and enjoyed myself very much. Am writing to you. M.?. D. [bit hard to read the middle initial - could be S or G]

The card is addressed on the back to: Miss Josephine Lauder, c/o Mrs Laidlaw, 274 Furby St. Winnipeg.

Private Post Card
; the postcard is a bit obscured but is marked - Birtle, OC, 04.

This card qualifies for the Festival as it's black and white, but also qualifies as its back is mostly white; it's an undivided back card. Postcard backs were originally officially for the address only - that's why the message is on the front - and possibly why the photograph is smaller than we often see, so as to leave room for a handwritten note.

Canada allowed divided back cards from 1903 on. See Postcards from Hamilton's Past for examples from the history of various Canadian commercial cards. I did notice that another Festival of Postcards contributor, Alan Burnett, at News From Nowhere, chose a similar card.

Cemetery Pt. Shoal Lake - postcard back

I had another card in mind originally, but I just found this one at the Vancouver Postcard Club meeting and I wanted to post it to see if anyone has any more information about this cemetery site in Manitoba. I believe it's from the Shoal Lake my mother, born in Manitoba, used to visit. That Shoal Lake is in Shoal Lake Rural Municipality (RM) in southwest Manitoba.

There are 3 Shoal Lakes in Manitoba though, one on the eastern border, shared with Ontario, and one (now three smaller lakes) in the southern Interlake region between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba. The Canada GenWeb Cemetery Project lists 2 cemeteries for the Shoal Lake First Nations in eastern Manitoba, and 11 cemeteries in the Shoal Lake Rural Municipality.

None is identified as at 'Cemetery Point, Shoal Lake', nor does Cemetery Point seem to be an official place name anywhere in Manitoba. However, Shoal Lake Point Burial Site in Shoal Lake RM is listed. I wonder if this is the area shown in this photograph?

If so, the cemetery has been transcribed by George E. Fedyck, but his website is no longer available. If anyone has any information about Cemetery Point at Shoal Lake or about Shoal Lake Point Burial Site, or has contact information for George E. Fedyck, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

This card was sent to Josephine Lauder, who, I think, lived in Winnipeg with her cousins, the Laidlaws, at the time this card was mailed in 1904, and perhaps to at least 1906 when she and a sister, Jessie, are listed in the Canadian census1 at this same address, living with their cousins, the Laidlaw family, in Winnipeg, Manitoba. There was a LAUDER family living in Marquette District, in Manitoba, which would be near the southwestern Shoal Lake, but I haven't confirmed where Josephine and Jessie had lived earlier.

According to Geographical Names of Canada, from Natural Resources Canada, by the way, there are 15 official places in Canada using the name 'cemetery' -

Cemetery Hill in Alberta (Location 23-2-W5)
Cemetery Creek in British Columbia ( Yale Division, Yale Land District) Cemetery Hill in BC (once called a mountain - New Westminster Land District)
Cemetery Creek in BC (Kootenay Land District)
Cemetery Lake in Manitoba (Location 55-26-W)
Cemetery Hill in Newfoundland/Labrador (Ferryland)
Cemetery Lake in Nova Scotia (Richmond)
Cemetery Point in Nova Scotia (Cape Pictou)
Cemetery Pool in Nova Scotia (Feature - Annapolis)
Cemetery Pool in Nova Scotia (Feature - Inverness)
Cemetery Creek in Ontario (Huron)
Cemetery Creek in Ontario (Rainy River)
Cemetery Lake in Ontario (Lake Sudbury)
Cemetery Lake in Ontario (Lake Kenora)
Cemetery Point in Ontario (Cape Cochrane)


1Josephine LAUDER, aged 27, Jessie LAUDER, aged 25, both born Manitoba. 1906 Canada Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations Inc, 2006. Original data: Library and Archives Canada. Census of the Northwest Provinces, 1906. Ottawa, Canada: Library and Archives Canada. RG31, T-18353 to T-18363. LAIDLAW/LAUDER - Manitoba. Winnipeg, Sub-District Ward Three, Sub-District 3D, page 15, family #103, lines 5-10.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Story's Buried at the Graveyard Rabbits Carnival.

The theme for this month's Graveyard Rabbit Carnival is "In the News". Write a blog post about something you read or heard in the news (recent or past) that pertains to a cemetery.

This month in the Vancouver area where I live there was a sad cemetery story - but not about a 'human' cemetery - it's about a pet cemetery in Surrey, B.C., the only one in the area here. Before the 1990s, some 600 pets were buried in this privately owned cemetery at an estimated cost of about $600 each for graves and headstones.

The cemetery land was later sold and the cemetery has since been neglected. Soon the land may be available for housing development.

There is still a restrictive covenant, but that expires in January of 2010. It's said that the developer offered to sell the land so that the cemetery could remain, but the price was too high.

This story has attracted a lot of comment locally and now it appears that there are at least 2 human gravestones here too - there might even be human remains. One stone, for example, identifies Murial L. Clerke as a corporal in the W.A.A.F. (British Women’s Auxiliary Air Force) who died in 1981, on the 16 August, aged 57.

Kevin Woronchak, owner of North Vancouver’s Until We Meet Again Pet Cremation Inc., is campaigning to save the cemetery. One solution would be to persuade the City of Surrey to make the area a public park. Kevin Woronchak can be reached at 604 - 924-1160.

"Push on to turn pet cemetery into park" CBC News, Wednesday, November 18, 2009.
Surrey pet cemetery nears end by Dan Ferguson, Surrey North Delta Leader, article with video, November 19, 2009.
"So long, Snowball: Surrey pet cemetery to be redeveloped" by Pete McMartin, Vancouver Sun, November 19, 2009.
"Veteran's memorial stone found in abandoned Surrey pet cemetery.
Save Our Pet Cemetery campaign launched"
by Stuart Hunter, The Province, November 18, 2009.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mountain View Cemetery Tour - November 22 - Vancouver BC

Ellen Jewel TWISS, Section Officer, Royal Canadian Air Force, Women's Division. Born 1914, died in 1947 at age 32. Commonwealth War Graves Commission stone, Mountain View Cemetery, Masonic section, Plot 105, Lot 1, family plot. Parents: William James Twiss and Sadie Jewel Twiss. Photographed October 2009, M. Diane Rogers.

Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC.

In Honour of Remembrance Day Tour - with Lorraine Irving.

In this cemetery, you will find three areas dedicated to veterans.

On this tour, we will feature Commonwealth War Grave monuments starting at the Celebration Hall and ending at the Cross of Sacrifice. Along the way, you will hear stories of veterans, including a nursing sister.

Sunday, November 22, 2009 at 10 a.m. - Meet at the Mountain View Cemetery Celebration Hall & Courtyard (enter cemetery from 39th Avenue at Fraser Street). $10 each person. (Cash only please.)

No reservations needed.

Hot chocolate will be served after the tour - between 11:30 am & Noon.

Mountain View Cemetery, 5455 Fraser Street, Vancouver, BC V5W 2Z3
Phone: 604 - 325 - 2646

More information, including details on tours in 2010, is at the Mountain View Cemetery website.

Related Links:

Canadian Forces after 1918 (including Second World War), Canadian Genealogy Centre, Library and Archives Canada - research sources for Canadian military, including information on obtaining files for those serving in the forces during World War II and database for files of Canadian military killed in WW II, including Ellen Jewel TWISS.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

The Maple Leaf Legacy Project

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Artists and the Green Funeral Movement - Dec 9 2009

Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC - Special Event

Artists and the Green Funeral Movement
Wednesday, December 9, 2009 from 7 - 9 pm
Mountain View's Celebration Hall and Courtyard.

Presented by Mountain View Cemetery and the Britannia Art Gallery.

Two artists, Paula Jardine, Mountain View Cemetery's Artist in Residence, and Joseph Montague, ceramicist and printmaker, will join Glen Hodges, Mountain View Cemetery's Manager, in a panel discussion.

This should be a very interesting evening.

Mountain View Cemetery
5445 Fraser St., Vancouver.
Telephone 604 - 325 - 2646
Mountain View Cemetery website.

In British Columbia since the 1950s, there has been a strong interest in alternative funeral and burial practices, for example, in cremation. It's estimated that 80% of British Columbia's dead are now cremated. While cremation is still often seen as a modern alternative, many now question its effect on our environment and are looking at 'green' burials. A recent article by Darcy Wintonyk for CTV British Columbia, "The Green Hereafter: Eco-burials gain popularity" summarizes some of the debate around this issue. (Published Monday, 7 September 2009 at article link )

The Memorial Society of British Columbia, incorporated in 1956, is BC's only volunteer based memorial society - members have often been in the forefront of change in the province. One of the goals of the Memorial Society of BC now is "to promote environmentally sound arrangements for disposal of remains" and the Society was honoured with the Vancouver Island Human Rights Coalition 2008 Award for its work towards the development of the first green burial site in British Columbia - at Royal Oak Burial Park in Victoria on Vancouver Island. There is more information about green burials on the Society's website.

Royal Oak Burial Park, open since 1923, since 2008 has offered "natural or green burials" in its 1/3 acre Woodland where there are only communal memorial stones. Ashes (cremains/cremated remains) may be scattered in the Woodlands area or Royal Oak offers "'hybrid’ natural burials" in regular burial lots where individualized markers may be placed. For more information about this, see the Royal Oak Burial Park website.

Only one other cemetery in Canada currently offers green burials, and a number of cemeteries in British Columbia require concrete vaults so that even 'hybrid' natural burials wouldn't be possible. Mountain View in Vancouver, however, does allow burials without concrete liners or vaults and as well allows for "multigenerational" use of a family grave or plots.

In addition, the new Celebration Hall and the newer outdoor features lend themselves to more personal commemorations at death as well as to the annual public memorial events created by Paula Jardine, Mountain View's Artist in Residence.

The cemetery's new buildings' display spaces are available to feature artists' funerary works. Joseph Montague has been involved in creating a number of funerary pieces, one of which was chosen for the 'Ashes to Art' exhibition in 2008.

See a catalogue of Joseph Montague's work on his website and see the Public Dreamer website for a look at some of Paula Jardine's work.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Epitaph - Graveyard Rabbits Carnival - November 2009

In former times, it was the custom to write for fanciful conceits on the tombs of the dead. Acrostics, anagrams, rebuses and puzzles were frequently met with, and no doubt the mourning relative thought that they thus paid a high mark of respect to the memory of the deceased; but to what good end? Surely here in God's Acre, if anywhere on earth, true reverence and simplicity should be found. No skilful conceit of man can ever take the place of the Word of God, even though it be as pointed and direct as that quaint epitaph written in the form of an acknowledgement from the Great Mother
who will one day clasp us all to her bosom:

"Received of Philip Harding his borrowed earth, July 4, 1673.

from "English Epitaphs", by W. Everard Edmonds.1 Victoria Daily Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Sunday, 2 June 1907, page 24. (Read the full article at the British Colonist website.)

The challenge for the November 2009 Edition of the Graveyard Rabbits' Carnival was to write my own epitaph.

'Plan Your Epitaph Day', an international observance for November 2nd each year, coincides with All Saint’s Day, often known as the Day of the Dead, and was created by Lance Hardie, "committed epitaph crusader and consultant".

This challenge wasn't hard as when I first published this blog, I included as a side piece a depiction of the epitaph that I hope is appropriate for myself - Most Days She Did Her Best.

Now it's true that, on the back, I'd like to see my dates and place of birth written and, if I could, a family tree showing at least my parents, grands and greats too.

But I'm set now on being buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC, where my parents, my uncle, and my paternal grandparents and my paternal grandmother's parents are buried, as well as a good assortment of other family. I doubt there will be room for a big stone just for me!

1. The Harding epitaph, I believe, was from Crudwell, Wiltshire, England. See Antiente epitaphes (from A.D. 1250 to A.D. 1800) collected [and] sett forth in chronologicall order by Thomas FitzArthur Ravenshaw (London: Joseph Masters & Co.. 1878), page 127. Read this at the Internet Archive.

Reverend W. Everard Edmonds, born in Ontario, Canada, wrote several books and articles about Canadian history. After World War I, Edmonds, a high school teacher and an Anglican minister, was Editor of the Alberta Historical Review, the journal of the Historical Society of Alberta. "The Historical Society - early years 1907-1952" by Hugh A. Dempsey (Alberta History, Autumn 2007 - read on-line.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Night for All Souls - Mountain View Cemetery - Vancouver BC Oct 30-Nov 2 2009

A Night for All Souls was created by Paula Jardine, Mountain View's Artist in Residence, in 2005. Here is an article from the Vancouver Sun, 27 October 2008, about last year's event.

In 2009, there will be new participants and new activities at the Night for All Souls event, from October 30 to November 2, 2009.

It begins on Friday, October 30th with prayers at sundown. As in previous years, there will be materials on hand to create your own personal memorials or you can join one of the workshops this week. World Tea Party artist Bryan Mulvihill and Ian Willie/Raven Thunderbird will hold a tea ceremony to honour First Nations people buried at Mountain View and, for the first time, local poets, led by Vancouver's Poet Laureate, Brad Cran, will be present reading at various locations in the cemetery. The evening closes at 10 pm.

On Saturday, October 31st, from 8 to 11 pm,Vancouver’s Helping Mex y Can Society will be co-hosting an evening of Mexican traditions to honour the dead with mariachi music, ancient dances of the Aztecs, and traditional Mexican refreshments. There's a Facebook page for this event here.

On Sunday, November 1st, in the afternoon, from 2 to 4 pm, Poet Laureate Brad Cran and poet Stephen Hollis will host a tribute to the late poets Robin Blaser, Kuldip Gill, David Dawson and Billy Little.

Monday, November 2nd, from 5-6 pm, there is a last opportunity for memorials.

And on Tuesday, November 3rd, the closing ceremony will be held at noon.

For more information, see Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver - on Facebook - on Twitter

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Roadside and other Public but Personal Memorials - Future Genealogy Source

Further to my last post, Looking for Death Information - Thinking about Genealogy Sources , I'm currently reading Private Grief, Public Mourning: The Rise of the Roadside Shrine in British Columbia by John Belshaw and Diane Purvey. (Vancouver, BC: Anvil Press, 2009). I picked up a copy of this new book at Word on the Street in Vancouver last month.

Many of these memorials are, by their nature and construction, ephemeral, but these may also be sources of death information. These often very personal memorials which may be constructed and contributed to almost anonymously are not necessarily all roadside memorials, although those may seem to have the most attention. Memorials in parks or at residences are perhaps less likely to stay up for long.

And, in some jurisdictions in Canada, governments, with the assistance of MADD Canada, are placing permanent memorial markers at traffic accident sites.

Some, including the media in crime cases, are photographing these kinds of memorials, as these authors have done, so collections of today's personal memorial images and records may be available to future researchers.

Here are just a few links to collections and articles on-line

Roadside Memorials, Don Baccus.

"Crosses, Flowers, and Asphalt: Roadside Memorials in the U.S. South" by
Tom Zarrilli. Southern Spaces, published 19 August, 2009.

A Photo Journey of Mexican Roadside Memorials from the Surf-Mexico Guide to Surfing and Adventure Travel in Mexico website.

Folklore of Roadside Memorials, by psolis, Pablo Solis, at Squidoo.

Looking for Death Information - Thinking about Genealogy Sources

David Rogers' grave, 1927, Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC, Canada.

The other day, for fun(!) and for a genealogy class I'm teaching at the Burnaby Community Centred College for the Retired, I sat down with a cup of tea, paper and pen, and made a list of all the sources for death information I could think of at the time. Some will have dates of death, others will have cemetery information or the cause of death, but all are potential sources for genealogical death information. Now I've put an asterisk beside those I've used or found family information in during my own research.

I know there must be more sources, perhaps some very obvious ones - please do comment!


*Insurance records
*Land records (deeds, assessments, petitions, etc.)
*Cemetery records (including burial records, photographs)
*Funeral home records or crematorium records
Coffin plates
Memorial jewellery or other momentos
Post-mortem photographs
*Newspaper obituary or article or notice
*Government or other records (other than strictly death related) e.g. disaster reports, commissions, year-end reports of epidemics or mortality, or attorney-general or police or court records (including coroner’s reports), etc. Lists, notices, correspondence regarding government aid to orphans, widows, or burial assistance. Also voters lists and the like.
*Tombstone inscription
*Funeral programme
*Government notices of deaths (e.g. in a newspaper for particular months)
*Death certificate/death registration of individual (or a family member)
*Family letters
*Marriage applications, registrations, invitations, etc. of related person
Pension applications
*City/community directories
*Proved will of individual; wills of family members or others
*Church records, burials, burial charges/services (e.g. burial in wool – England 1666-(1770) 1814), memorial gifts or bequests, sessional records, etc.
*Organization or association records or publications, e.g. Royal Canadian Legion – ‘Last Post’; lists or notices of graves visited on 'Decoration Days'. [Also burial assistance records or cemetery records, if the organization has a cemetery or owns cemetery plots for members' use.]
*Community history book
Ship’s passenger lists
*Family photograph of grave/funeral/monumental inscription
Monument makers record
*Genealogical publications or databases, e.g. D.A.R. applications, also family genealogies
*Guardianship applications
*Medical records –physicians or hospital, also autopsy reports
*Memorial or funeral cards
*Probate or estate files, wills, applications, inventories, etc. of individual or another person
*Census – mortality schedules
*Genealogical/historical society recordings of monumental inscriptions
School records and publications
*Military file of individual or related person
*Urn or container of cremains with official or other label
*Legal ads – newspapers, government gazettes. Also auction or other sale notices
Pension records for individual or related person (company, private, government)
*Family bible or other record, family journals, diaries [My grandmother's address book was very helpful - she even added dates.]
*‘In Memory’ website or Facebook page.
Employment records or publications
*In Memoriam notices – newspapers, other publications. Also Cards of Thanks. [Found a newspaper notice from my great uncle remembering his step-sister - 10 years after her death. That's how I found her date of death.]
*Oral or other family tradition, e.g. ‘died at sea’. [My grandmother remembered lilies of the valley on her brother's grave.]
*Funeral, monument or other cemetery related receipts
*Memorial monuments or rolls (other than cemetery related), e.g. cenotaphs, community memorial plaques
*Union records and publications
Certificate of burial/cremation or transfer/transport of body/ashes

(I'm not thinking about indexes here as those should lead us to the actual documents and artifacts. )

And I could have added:

*Obituary collections - printed, on-line, or in card files, etc. from individuals or genealogical/historical societies/museums, etc. [Hope I am not taking these for granted!]

*Birth records of related individuals may have information on deceased parents, etc.

Receipt for purchase of one share BC Electric Power and Gas Company Ltd., from estate of David J. Rogers, 1927. To be paid to G.W. Hamilton, Esq., Undertaker, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sombre or Somber Sunday - 6 September 1919 - Vancouver BC Canada

The Vancouver Daily Sun, 6 September 1919 had these notes on deaths:

Deaths and Funerals, page 10

DARWELL—September 4, 1919, at the Vancouver General Hospital, Edythe Leslie Darwell, in her 23rd year, late of 1746 William Street. Funeral service from Center & Hanna’s chapel this afternoon at 1 o’clock. Interment in Mountain View Cemetery.

PHELPS—September 4, 1919, at the family residence, 2034 Thirty-sixth avenue west, Robert Louis Phelps, in his 43rd year. Funeral service from Center & Hanna’s chapel this afternoon at 2:30. Rev. Mr. Wilson officiating. Interment in Ocean View Burial Park.
[The BC Archives Vital Events Index shows his name as Lewis, not Louis, and the place of death as Point Grey which was not part of Vancouver at this time.]

BAILEY—Inquest, page 7

An inquest will be held on the body of J. W. Bailey, a returned soldier, who fell dead in the Maryland cafe. The inquest will probably be held on Monday, according to Dr. T.W. Jeffs, coroner. No relatives of the deceased have been located yet.
[Identified as John Wright BAILEY, aged 52, in the BC Vital Events Index. Death date: 5 September, 1919.]

And from France, page 2

From Paris – a brief report on a two train collision near Toulouse. 13 killed, 40 injured that morning.

About Sombre Sunday

I post deaths from British Columbia, Canada from
the date of the first Sunday of each month as published in a selected newspaper or other source.

Somber Sunday, or, as we spell it here in Canada, Sombre Sunday, is a day to post obituaries or sad stories - the idea of Brenda Kay Wolfgram Moore who writes at Day-ly Genealogy Blogposts .

Useful links:

BC Archives Vital Events Index & Information

Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver

Ocean View Burial Park is in Burnaby, a neighbour city to Vancouver. The BC Genealogical Society has information on burials there and a CD for sale.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday, James Chapman, Whonnock BC Canada

James Chapman, died in British Columbia, Canada.
According to his WW I Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Force attestation papers, he was born in Parry Sound, Ontario 18 January, 1872. He was living in Whonnock, BC in 1911 with his mother, Ann, his brothers, George and Abel, and his sister, Fannie. He died 27 February, 1940. (Library & Archives Canada CEF file: RG 150, Accession 1992-93/166, Box 1627 - 6. 1911 Canadian Census database on-line, Whonnock, Dewdney Riding, Maple Ridge Municipality, New Westminster, British Columbia, Enumeration District #40, Page 4, Family No 30. 1911 Census of Canada. BC Archives Death Registration: 1940-09-568688. )

Fred Braches has researched and transcribed the Whonnock Cemetery, Whonnock, British Columbia and information on the burials there is on-line - Whonnock Notes #2 Spring 1997 (see link there to a .pdf file).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Cemetery Tours - Vancouver and Burnaby - August-September 2009

Woodward Mausoleum, Masonic Cemetery, Burnaby, British Columbia. Photograph, M. Diane Rogers.

Front column detail, Woodward Mausoleum, Masonic Cemetery, Burnaby, British Columbia. Photograph, M. Diane Rogers.

Cemetery tours are coming up soon in the Lower Mainland - at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver this Sunday, August 23rd, and on September 13th at the Masonic and Beth Israel cemeteries in Burnaby.

The Vancouver tours will be led by Lorraine Irving of the BC Genealogical Society and John Atkin. John is a local historian and Lorraine has been researching in Mountain View Cemetery for many years and is a very active member of the BCGS. Their tours are on Sunday, August 23rd at 10 am. Meet at 33rd and Fraser Streets on the south west corner - look for the red flag. $10. each. Pre-registration is not necessary.

These are the first in a new series of regular walking tours of Mountain View Cemetery.

The Burnaby cemetery tours are led by Maurice Guibord of the Burnaby Village Museum. Tours start at 10 am. $10.50 each. Please pre-register. You'll be given details then. Register on-line through the website or by phone. Burnaby Village Museum: 604-293-6500.

Maurice is a local historian, the Programme Co-ordinator at the Burnaby Village Museum, and also a BC Genealogical Society member. The Masonic and Beth Israel cemeteries are side-by-side in the Brentwood area. At the Masonic Cemetery, for instance, you'll learn about the architecture and the history of the Woodward Mausoleum shown in these photographs, while at the Beth Israel Cemetery, Jewish burial traditions and graves will be shown and discussed.

Watch for more information about future cemetery tours in the Lower Mainland.

Maurice Guibord discussing the Woodward Mausoleum in the Masonic Cemetery in Burnaby. Photograph, M. Diane Rogers

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What would be an appropriate epitaph for Julia Child?

I've just finished reading Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously, about the year the author, Julie Powell, cooked every recipe in Julia Child's cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking and blogged about it all. I did find the book funny, although even Julia Child in person couldn't get me cooking some of these things (and perhaps Julia Child wasn't impressed with Julie's project anyway).

After Child's death, Julie Powell at first envisioned Julia with her husband Paul again toasting "whatever comes next" but at the end of Julie and Julia, she
says she thinks Julia's in a grave with a "cool headstone" and she gives her readers a guess what the epitaph is. Well, I immediately thought 'The End' since Julia Child was an author. No, that's not right.

According to Find A Grave, Julia Child's body wasn't buried. Her ashes were scattered instead, perhaps in Santa Barbara and Maine, USA. I see there are over 700 messages there on the Find A Grave memorial pages for Julia Child. That's quite a memorial in itself.

Now what would be a good epitaph though?
Maybe this - often attributed to Julia Child - "Life itself is the proper binge."

Julie & Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell (New York: Back Bay Books, 2005).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Somber Sunday - 2 August 1888 - British Columbia Canada

Somber Sunday - 2 August 1888

For Sombre Sunday, I post deaths from British Columbia, Canada from the date of the first Sunday of each month as published in a selected newspaper or other source.

Today these are from the Victoria Daily Colonist, published in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, Thursday, 2 August, 1888. See below for the link to the British Colonist Online website to read the entire articles.

Deaths Mentioned from British Columbia –

A report from the Donald Truth newspaper about the inquest into the death of William ARCHER, shot near Golden, B.C., and the arrest of Michael KENNEDY for the murder. Both were married men and ranch owners. Kennedy had apparently been a witness in a case against Archer which had involved a Mrs. WILLIAMS. Page 1

Johnny KLA-QUOT-SI “discharged from custody” in the DRING and MILLER case. [James MILLER and W.H. DRING were murdered near Chemainus in February, 1886.] The judge ruled the witness was not credible and also ruled Kla-quot-si’s confession inadmissable. QUAMLET, "the principal murderer,...[had] died in prison.” Page 1

Mr. T. ARGYLE returned from searching the Race Rocks area for the bodies of his son Tom and others recently drowned. Page 4

[Thomas Argyle, H.E. Leavitt SMITH, Arthur WILLIAMS and Abraham VANDERSLUSE were reported drowned while rowing to the lighthouse at Race Rocks where Thomas’s father was lighthouse keeper. See Victoria Daily Colonist, 31 July, 1888, page 4, for the initial report.]

“The funeral of the unfortunate Cyprian took place yesterday afternoon and was attended by a long line of carriages containing the ‘demi monde’ element, and some of their male friends.” Page 4

[This, I believe, was the funeral of Mabel Vaughan, who died 30 July, 1888. The newspaper reported her death on 31 July 1888, p. 4, saying she “for some years has been an inmate of a house of ill-fame on Broad Street...]

Impressive Funeral Ceremonies – a very full description of the funeral of the Very Rev. John J. JONCKAU, 1 August, 1888 at St. Andrew’s Cathedral, including pall bearers’ names, etc. The funeral procession included the St. Joseph’s Society, Young Men’s Institute, Acolytes, Cross Bearer, The Clergy, Bishop-Elect LEMMENS, Rt. Reverend Bishop LOUTTENS, Pall Bearers, The Sisters of St Ann and The Orphans, then the General Public (shown in a diagram in this order). At the end of the service the casket was laid in the vault beneath the church – alongside the casket of the late Bishop Demers.

“Up to the time that the casket was closed, the features retained the calm, placid appearance of one in a gentle sleep, and showed not the slightest sign of decay....Mr. Chas. HAYWOOD had charge of the funeral arrangements throughout.” Page 4

Also rumour of a murder at Hequiot. Page 4

Deaths from Elsewhere –

Clarke River. Ontario – A report from Kingston that two men, Joseph and Louis ROSEL, had killed another man. “Drink was the cause.” Page 1

China – A report from Montreal – Dr William YOUNG of Montreal died in China. Dr YOUNG had left Montreal to practice in Hong Kong in 1878. He later accepted a position as “chair of chemistry” in Montreal for “one season”, but returned to Hong Kong. Page 1

“Frank HALL, the celebrated painter, is dead.” Page 1

Dublin, Ireland – "Aug 1 - Patrick BERRY, only recently returned from America, and now residing near Listowel, has been arrested on suspicion of murdering Farmer FORARN on Saturday." Page 1

Kentucky, USA – Dr. Robert MORRIS, the “poet-laureate of Masonry and the most distinguished Mason in the world”, died “on Tuesday morning.....Dr. MORRIS will be well remembered for his visit to Victoria about a year ago...” Page 2

Brooklyn, New York, USA – Dr Winslow I PRICE, “died on Sunday, aged 60 years.” Page 4

Bloomington, New York, USA - Bartley CAMPBELL, “the well known playwright, died at the Bloomington N.Y., assylum [sic] for the Insane.....” Page 4

Estate Notices

Re estate of W.E. BLACKETT, Nanaimo, Contractor – J.C. BLACKETT, Administrator. Page 3

Re estate of William Francis MORRISON, New Westminster, Hotel Keeper – W.H. FALDING, Administrator. Page 3

Related Advertiesements

Chas. HAYWARD – Funeral Director and Embalmer – Langley Street Victoria. Page 3

Ladies who wear Black by choice will always find the most varied selection at the City House. Page 4

This issue of the newspaper can be read at The British Colonist Online 1858-1910:

Somber Sunday, or, as we spell it here in Canada, Sombre Sunday, is a day to post obituaries or sad stories - the idea of Brenda Kay Wolfgram Moore who writes at Day-ly Genealogy Blogposts .

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mountain View Cemetery Open House - July 2009 - Vancouver BC Canada

Harpist in Mountain View Cemetery's Celebration Hall courtyard, 11 July, 2009, Vancouver BC

Today, along with other volunteers from the British Columbia Genealogical Society, I attended Mountain View Cemetery's Open House. Mountain View Cemetery is owned and operated by the City of Vancouver and opened in 1887, but many areas in the cemetery have recently been renovated or rebuilt. There is new landscaping, new columbaria and new offices and a Celebration Hall. This event offered Vancouverites and others an opportunity to see those improvements.

The weather was glorious and everyone I talked to was enjoying the music, the tours, the new cemetery facilities and the chance to meet others interested in the cemetery and its history.

Some visitors were from old Vancouver families with many relatives resting at Mountain View. Others were new to the city and wanting to get to know it better. Quite a few were Mountain View neighbours and are accustomed to walking through the cemetery regularly - as one fellow said: 'this is our marble park'. And a few were genuine taphophiles - people with a passion for enjoying and learning about cemeteries.

British Columbia Genealogical Society and Veterans Affairs Canada tables, in the Celebration Hall, Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver BC. 11 July, 2009

Inscription sandblasting exhibit, Celebration Hall, Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver BC, 11 July 2009

BCGS volunteers, Brenda Smith and Cynthia Hamilton, Celebration Hall, Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC. 11 July 2009

Today the BC Genealogical Society had a table, as did Veterans Affairs Canada which has participated in several of the renewal projects for veterans' memorials at Mountain View.

We brought books and articles about BC cemeteries, including our own index of Mountain View gravestones, and we answered lots of questions about these and about family history research in general.

Our main aim today though was to interest Mountain View Cemetery visitors in joining a new 'Friends of Mountain View Cemetery' group. Many signed our contact list. We hope to encourage and support cultural programmes at the cemetery, including regular tours and the annual Night for All Souls event, for example, as well as heritage preservation and education at and about Mountain View.

I noticed that many were also interested in Veterans Affairs projects, especially the 'Valentines for Vets' project. What a great idea!

Mountain View Cemetery had a display showing how inscriptions are sandblasted and cemetery staff were on hand all day looking up burial information and grave locations - often there was a linelup for this service. I have a couple of Mountain View burial 'puzzles' myself, but I saved those for another visit.

Outside in the cemetery, Lorraine Irving, a BCGS member and long time Mountain View Cemetery researcher, and John Atkin, a Vancouver heritage guide and writer, gave group tours. These were well attended, and afterwards many came into the hall in search of further information about the 'Friends'. The City of Vancouver has a video on-line about the history of Mountain View Cemetery featuring Lorraine Irving and Glen Hodges, Mountain View's manager. As Lorraine says, a cemetery is "a museum without walls" and Mountain View certainly reflects the history of Vancouver.

Lorraine Irving is the real inspiration behind the 'Friends of Mountain View Cemetery' idea and she has plans for many different tour themes which we hope will become regular events. Right now, John Atkin has written two self guided tours - one on Vancouver's Mayors and one on the Princess Sophia sinking in 1918.

By far my own favourite among the recently renovated areas at the cemetery is the Infants section, formerly a communal grave area, which now commemorates about 10,000 stillborn or very young infants buried in the cemetery between 1914 and 1971 - most in common graves. In 2005-2006, this was landscaped with a dry stream bed - "One Stone for Every Infant..." where stones engraved with an infant's name can be placed.

This is now a very pleasing area and many today listened to music under the trees and then wandered through the paths here. Others, as you can see, took the time to place flowers on their family graves or simply sat and reflected.

Above photographs, Infants Area, Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC. 11 July 2009

All in all, a very good day. I do hope that Mountain View Cemetery's Open House will become an annual summer event in Vancouver.

If you'd like to know more about the 'Friends of Mountain View Cemetery' group, please contact me at canadagenealogy at

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Open House - July 11, 2009 - Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver BC Canada

In Loving Memory of Sarah Ann Saggers Born June 10, 1849, Kelshall, Herts, Eng Died Oct. 13, 1909. Thy Will Be Done.
Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver, BC, Canada
(Horne 1-5-04-010-0009) Family collection; photograph date unknown.

Coming up this Saturday is an Open House event at Mountain View Cemetery in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

There will be live music, various demonstrations of Chinese traditions and guided tours of the cemetery by John Atkin and by Lorraine Irving. Lorraine is a very active member of the British Columbia Genealogical Society and a long time Mountain View Cemetery researcher. Don't miss her tour.

If you haven't been by the cemetery recently, you may want to have a good look at the changes and improvements made at Mountain View in recent years - for instance, the new columbaria, the Celebration Hall and the nearby gardens with water features.

Cemetery staff are suggesting that on Saturday you 'picnic by the fountain' and help start a new summer tradition at Mountain View Cemetery. I'm all for this, although I know some are not so enthusiastic.

You may see me over in Horne 1 -5 -04 -010 -0009. Nowadays there are few monuments at all in that area of the cemetery but Great grandma Sarah Ann is buried there (and, I believe, Great grandpa too, although Mountain View has no record of him).

Mountain View Cemetery's website has a new look, but still features all the same useful information - including maps and listings of the burials,
along with a good bit of history.

The Mountain View Open House invitation says:

"After 120 years, it’s the beginning of a new relationship between the public and Mountain View, Vancouver’s only cemetery." Especially for those of us with strong family ties to Mountain View, it will be interesting to see what develops in the future.

Since 2005, the cemetery has hosted the Night for All Souls event which is now very well attended. I've written about All Souls before, and hope the summer event will prove as successful.

A number of people are keen to form a 'Friends of Mountain View Cemetery' group or committee. If you're interested, there will be a table for the Friends at the Open House. Be sure to come by and talk with us about this.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Bitterest Tears - Quotation - Harriet Beecher Stowe

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."

from Little Foxes by Harriet Elisabeth Beecher Stowe, published under the pseudonym, Christopher Crowfield, page 128. (Boston, USA: Fields Osgood & Co., 1869)
(Accessed at Google Books. Original from Harvard University, digitized 27 Nov 2007: )

Her grave is in Phillips Academy's Cemetery at Andover in Massachusetts, USA. She was born 14 June 1811; died 1 July 1896.
Her husband and one son were buried in this cemetery before her.

A description of her funeral was published in The New York Times.

MRS. STOWE'S FUNERAL; The Burial at Andover -- Her Old Home in Mourning.
4 July, 1896, Wednesday, page 4.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Somber Sunday - 7 June 1899 - Vancouver BC Canada

For Sombre Sunday, I post deaths from British Columbia, Canada from the first Sunday of each month as published in a selected newspaper or other source.

Today, two sad stories which were published in Victoria, British Columbia's Daily Colonist newspaper, 7 June 1899, although both events occurred in Vancouver, BC.

First, "A Murderer Let Suicide"

Donald Perrier, convicted of stabbing to death his mistress, Jennie Anderson (aka Rogers)1, in New Westminster, 30 November 1898, tried to kill himself on 6th of June with a pen-knife. Perrier had been granted a month's reprieve while doctors decided if he was sane or not. The newspaper reported that the knife he used "which was evidently smuggled in" to his cell was new.

He had claimed the killing was in self defence. According to the paper, Jennie Anderson had refused to continue as his mistress and he had followed her from Vancouver to New Westminster where she was stabbed in her room "in a house of ill fame".2

Perrier did recover, and was executed 30 June 1899 at New Westminster.

Second "A Sad Experience"

Another chapter is chronicled in the checkered life of Peter Deville, the famous French Pete, Klondike King and discoverer of the Treadwell mines. Deville is over 60 years old...." On visiting Paris where he was born he had fallen "in love with the daughter of an old friend of bygone days. The girl was but 20, very beautiful and highly cultured....Deville asked her to share his millions and become his bride."

Married six weeks before, they had just arrived in Vancouver when Deville's bride became ill and died. Deville "says he would give up all his wealth and become a beggar if it would bring back his wife."

Mina Deville died in hospital 6 June 1899 and was buried in Vancouver's Mountain View Cemetery.

This post was written for Somber Sunday, or, as we spell it here in Canada, Sombre Sunday, which is a day to post obituaries or sad stories - the idea of Brenda Kay Wolfgram Moore who writes at Day-ly Genealogy Blogposts .


Note 1 The Canadian Death Penalty Index shows the victim as Annie Anderson but the death registration and all the newspaper articles I have seen call her 'Jennie'.

Note 2
This one quotation is from the Victoria Daily Colonist, 14 April, 1899, p. 8. All others are from the paper, 7 June, 1899. Located at The British Colonist Online Edition, 1858-1910</span>

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Nelson, British Columbia, Canada - CAMPION, JONES

Nelson Memorial Park (Cemetery), Nelson, British Columbia, Canada

In Loving Memory of
William Richard & Sarah Ann Campion
Donated by their Daughter, Wilma Jones

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Comic Cemetery Postcard -Tombstone Tuesday - BOND - Kenton Manitoba Canada

Postcard, private collection. On Front: Photo only copyright 1908 by Bamforth & Co. On back: Holmfirth. Bamforth & Co. Publishers (England) and New York. Series No. 1392. Printed in England.

Postmarked: Carberry, Man. MR 24 09 PM
Addressed to: Mr. Myrle Bond, Kenton, Man

Hello, Myrl
This is Sunday and it is storming I guess I aint going to be able to see Kenton this winter We unloaded our Auto's this week and they are just slick. I found that 35¢ of yours up stairs on dresser. So goodbye Hugh.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Somber Sunday - 3 May 1883, Yale, British Columbia, Canada

For Sombre Sunday, I post deaths from British Columbia, Canada from the first Sunday of each month as published in a selected newspaper or other source.

The items today are from the Inland Sentinel, a newspaper from Yale, BC, issue dated 3 May 1883. At this time, much of the news is about the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the area and the 'opening up' of land thereabouts to settlement.

Advertisement, p. 2

Public Notice
$1,000 REWARD!

Whereas one AENEAS DEWAR 1 was, about the month of July 1882, murdered at or near Cherry Creek, by some person or persons unknown.
Notice is hereby given that a Reward of One Thousand Dollars will be paid by the Government for such information as shall lead to the apprehension and conviction of the offender or offenders.
By Command
John Robson
Provincial Secretary,
Provincial Secretary's Office,
15 March 1883

From p. 3

KILLED-A middle-aged man named John CARR 2 was killed last Sunday morning at Camp 14, by the falling of some rock. He was badly mashed up; the remains were brought to Yale and buried Tuesday. We have not been able to learn particulars as to where deceased came from, or the length of time employed.

Also p. 3

There are at present seven patients in the Accident Hospital 3 here and they are recovering as speedily as could be expected.

1 Aeneas DEWAR, a Scotchman, was a tax collector for the provincial government. Apparently his body was found in a cabin at Cherry Creek. See, for instance, a report in the British Colonist of 22 October, 1882 and a letter to the Editor written by 'Prairie' calling for a reward to be offered, dated 7 January 1883 from the Okanagan, published in the British Colonist, 25 January 1883. This reward ad appeared in several newspapers and many times in 1883.

2 John CARR's death was registered as 29 April, 1883. BC Death Registration #1883-09-236630. His age was given as 27 and his religion as Roman Catholic. The cause of death was given as 'Fracture of skull and various other bones. Immediate." There was an additional note --"This man was killed by a slide of rock above No 14 Quesnel. Particulars to be given by the District Superintendent."

3 The Accident Hospital at Yale was for white, male railway construction workers.

This post was written for Somber Sunday, or, as we spell it here in Canada, Sombre Sunday, which is a day to post obituaries or sad stories - the idea of Brenda Kay Wolfgram Moore who writes at Day-ly Genealogy Blogposts.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Abdie Kirkyard Gravestone Photo - TourScotland

Sandy Stevenson, who has organized and guided small group tours of Scotland for twelve years now, has been posting Scottish photographs on-line, both contemporary and historical ones. He's on Twitter - as tourscotland - and he has several blogs, including the Tour Scotland Photographs blog.

This morning he posted his own great photograph of a gravestone at Abdie Kirkyard in North Fife, Scotland which shows old agricultural tools. He has many other graveyard and kirk photographs.

Have a look at this Abdie Kirkyard gravestone here. If you click on the photo, you will see it full screen.

Sandy's other blogs include Genealogy Tours of Scotland.

In an earlier post, Tombstone Tuesday - Auld Burial Ground, Galashiels, Scotland, 2004... I referred to the 1896 book, In Search Of Gravestones Old And Curious, by W.T. [William Thomas] Vincent which has a few other examples of 'agricultural' gravestones. A copy of this with illustrations is available at Project Gutenberg. See my post above for a direct link.

And see GENUKI for genealogical resources for Abdie in Fife, Scotland.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Somber Sunday - 5 April 1882, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Somber Sunday, or, here in Canada, Sombre Sunday, a day to post obituaries or sad stories, is the idea of Brenda Kay Wolfgram Moore who writes at Day-ly Genealogy Blogposts.

I am posting deaths from British Columbia, Canada the first Sunday of each month – today from The British Colonist, 5 April, 1882

PARALYZED – We regret to hear that Captain JACK, chief wharfinger 1 of the Hudson Bay Company, has been stricken with paralysis and is lying seriously ill at his residence. p.3

WHAT SOME PEOPLE SAY – That John KENNEDY, a Victoria pioneer, is dying at Seattle of pneumonia. p. 3

Also Legal Notices

Re Estate of Thomas LEWIS of Sumas; contact Mrs Thomas LEWIS of Sumas BC p.1
Re Estate of David Latimer BALLANTINE; John James BALLANTINE, Adminstrator p.1
Re Estate of James LOWE, late night watchman at the Albion Foundry; Mr Joseph SPRATT, Administrator p.1
Re Estate of John LEWIS, late of the town of Yale. Also concerning James CAMPBELL, Frank CROTTY, George STUART p.1
Re Estate of Hugh ROSS, late of Barkerville; Alex MUNRO, Executor, Victoria p.1
Re Estate of Peter BROWN; Joseph MASON, Administrator, Barkerville, p.2

And from page 1, an intriguing note:

Mr HAYWARD begs to intimate that he (sic) coffins lately seized by the customs authorities were not imported by him. 2

Further regarding James JACK, from The British Colonist, 6 March, 1882, p.3

In this city, on the 5th inst., James JACK, a native of Paisley, Scotland, aged 51 years.
The funeral will take place on SUNDAY at 2 p.m. from the residence, Superior street, and from the Presbyterian Church, Courtenay street at 2:30 oclk.
Friends are invited to attend.

Capt. James JACK, wharfinger for the Hudson Bay Company, who was stricken with paralysis on Monday evening, died early yesterday morning. On Monday he was in excellent health and spririts and attended to his duties on the wharf as usual. Between 7 and 8 o’clock, while in his own house, he was suddenly paralyzed. Mrs. JACK conducted him to a sofa, but he never spoke intelligibly and scarcely moved after. Capt. JACK was a worthy and greatly respected citizen. Faithful, energetic and assiduous there was no employee of the great corporation in whose service he was for fifteen years, who was more entitled to their esteem and confidence. Capt. JACK leaves a wife and daughter to lament his untimely decease. 3

1 wharfinger – from my big 1958 Oxford International Dictionary – 1552 – old form wharfager – an owner or manager of a wharf
2 I believe this would be Charles HAYWARD, undertaker (and carpenter, contractor). He was later a Mayor of Victoria, as was one son, Reginald. The company is still in business.
3 James JACK’s death registration gives the cause of death as: cerebral apoplexy 3 days. James’ Jack’s wife was Ángela (also indexed as Angalah/Anglah) GURARO (d 1912); the daughter was Helen Louisa (d 1886). Angela was born in Mexico, Helen Louisa in California. Both died in Victoria, BC, Canada. If anyone has a connection, I do have additional information about their life in British Columbia. I am not related and as far as I know there are no descendants for any of the three. They are buried together in Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria.

Newspaper references, all from The British Colonist, Victoria, British Columbia, on-line:

I 'accidentally' posted this article to my other blog, CanadaGenealogy first. (Must make more coffee!) so am posting as a duplicate here. Watch this blog for future Sombre Sundays though.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chinese Funerary Burners, Tombstone Tuesday

Funerary Burners, at the Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point, in Victoria,
British Columbia, Canada. Photographs, M. Diane Rogers, May 2007

Resources on-line

Chinese Funerary Burners: A Census, compiled by Terry Abraham

Chinese Funerary Burners: A Bibliography, compiled by Terry Abraham
Chinese Cemetery at Harling Point, Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Harling Point Chinese Cemetery, Victoria, BC, Canada, Graveyard Rabbit of British Columbia, Canada

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Chinese Cemetery - Nanaimo, BC, Canada - Tombstone Tuesday

Chinese Cemetery, Townsite Road, Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada
Photographs taken by M. Diane Rogers, May 2008

This cemetery first opened in 1924, and was paid for by members of the Chinese Canadian community in the Nanaimo area (from Chemainus to Qualicum Beach). In the background a burner for spiritual offerings can be seen.

In the 1970s, the Cemetery was refurbished by Nanaimo's Chinese Canadian community and donated to the City of Nanaimo which now operates it. This is no longer exclusively a Chinese cemetery, but the name has been kept.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sombre Sunday - 8 March 1888, Victoria, BC, Canada

Somber Sunday, or, ahem, Sombre Sunday, a day to post obituaries or sad stories, is the idea of Brenda Kay Wolfgram Moore who writes at Day-ly Genealogy Blogposts:

I will be posting deaths from British Columbia, Canada.

Those for today were from Vancouver Island and New Westminster, BC as published in The British Colonist newspaper, Victoria, BC, 8 March, 1888.

DEATHS, p. 4
KINGSFORD, At St. Joseph’s Hospital, on the 5th inst., George M. Kingsford, aged 28 years, a native of Halifax, N.S. [mention of funeral]

Members of Victoria-Columbia Lodge, No. 1 of the A.F. & A.M. are hereby notified to attend the funeral of our late Bro. George Moore Kingsford, of St. Andrew Lodge, Halifax, N.S., from the Masonic Temple,
On Thursday, (To-Day) at 3:30 pm
Members of Vancouver-Quadra Lodge, No. 2 and sojouring brethren in good standing, are cordially invited to attend.
By order of W.M.
R.B.Esnouf, Secretary mar 8

Mr. James PRICE, a native of Belfast, Ireland, died last evening at the Royal Hospital, aged 72 years. He was an old pioneer of the province.

John HANNIGAN, a prisoner at the penitentiary, New Westminster, died on Monday morning last.

There were also legal notices about 2 estates.

George MILLS, late of Saanich; executrix Mrs. Margaret Ann Mills
Patrick MURPHY, late of Comox; Very Reverend J.J. Jonckau, executor

Recent deaths from elsewhere in Canada and the United States are reported, for instance the death of “Louise A. Allcott, the well-known authoress” p. 4

From The British Colonist, Online Edition, 1858-1910

You can search the British Columbia, Canada Vital Events genealogy indexes on-line. Deaths - 1872-1988:

The British Columbia Genealogical Society will look up copies of British Columbia birth, marriage and death registrations, obituaries, and much more for a nominal fee. See or e-mail:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Auld Burial Ground, Galashiels, Scotland, 2004 - From My Cemetery Travels

The gate of the Auld Burial Ground at Galashiels, Scotland (also called Old Burial Ground, Old Town, or Gala Aisle Burial Ground or Cemetery), photographs taken June 2004.

Gala Aisle, the burial vault built in 1636, seen to your right through the gate, was originally beside the parish kirk, which was demolished circa 1813-18. Seen beyond the graveyard is St Paul's Kirk steeple.

Some tombstones. I do have a few more photographs from this cemetery and will put them on soon.

The smaller right hand side tombstone from the previous photograph has a fascinating front, now almost up against a tree. There are no longer any visible names or dates. There is visible a skull, some flowers, suns, asterisks? and what appears to be the number 'four' in bones. One author had this to say about the 'number four' motif in Scotland:

"....The other trade emblems speak for themselves, excepting the reversed figure 4 in the stone of 1710 (No. 3). This sign has been variously interpreted, but the most reliable authorities say that it is a merchant's mark used not only in Stirling but in other parts of Scotland, if not of England. There are in Howff Burial-ground, Dundee, and in many country churchyards round about that town and Stirling, numerous varieties of this figure, some having the "4" in the ordinary unreversed shape, some with and some without the *, some of both shapes resting on the letter "M," and others independent of any support whatever. It has also been supposed to have some connection with the masons' marks frequently to be seen in old churches, and is even regarded as possibly of prehistoric origin."13

Figure 1710

Footnote 13: The vulgar explanation of the sign is "4d. discount on the shilling," and some of the guide-books are not much better informed when they assume that it marks Stirling as the fourth city of Scotland, for in the old roll of Scottish burghs Stirling stands fifth

Quoted from In Search Of Gravestones Old And Curious. Author: W.T. (William Thomas) Vincent. Release Date: July 21, 2004 [EBook #12978: html version: p. 88-


With One Hundred and Two Illustrations

Galashiels Old Burial Ground, Galashiels Town Trail tour:

Here are a few photographs of this cemetery on the Geograph British Isles project which is collecting collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland, :

For transcriptions of monumental inscriptions for this Galashiel cemetery, also for Galashiels deaths 1762-1788, contact Nigel Hardie, Selkirk Genealogy:

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Boal Chapel Memorial Gardens in North Vancouver, BC, Canada - Winter 2009

Boal Chapel Memorial Gardens in North Vancouver, BC, Canada is not a traditional cemetery; it's a 'cremation cemetery', featuring columbariums, a rose garden and a 'forest grove', and the lake area which is shown in these photographs. There are a number of different kinds of arrangements for memorial inscriptions - from small, simple markers placed in landscaped areas to plaque installations, inscriptions on walls or 'shutters' , inscribed benches, etc. In some cases, memorial inscriptions may have been added for family members whose remains are not here. Originally there were only plastic markers in the ground, grey granite walls or 'shutters' with names inscribed, and the Heather Columbarium. Significant additions and changes have been made in recent years. I believe the pillars and other installations around the lake were done in 2000.

Cremation is very popular here - today apparently some 70% of British Columbia's deceased are cremated. Boal Chapel's originator, Doug Foreman, was one of the members of the Memorial Society of BC which formed in 1956 and he opened an alternative funeral services business in the early 1960s.

His memorial inscription at Boal Chapel reads:

"This sycamore tree was planted in memory of J. Douglas Foreman,founder, who died March 4, 1976. His aim was to provide service which
would ease the emotional and financial burdens of final arrangements and
preserve in memory the life rather than the death of the deceased."

Mr. Foreman's funeral business became First Memorial Funeral Services. Since the late 1980's, Boal Chapel Memorial Gardens and First Memorial Funeral Services have been owned and operated by Service Corp. International (SCI).

Several family members and friends of mine are remembered in this cemetery and I was there recently for a memorial service for Bev Sherman, the British Columbia Genealogical Society member who transcribed the memorial inscriptions here for the Society. Boal Chapel, as it's most often known here, is part way up one of our 'North Shore' mountains and there was still quite a bit of snow on the grounds. I noticed how many visitors have left decorations, flowers or plants at or near a loved one's plaque - some were clearly Valentine's Day tokens.

The Boal Chapel Memorial Gardens is open every day. This is a quiet, calm, peaceful place to walk or, in better weather, to sit in the sunshine and reflect on happy memories.

Members of the British Columbia Genealogical Society have published a CD of memorial inscriptions from Boal Chapel Memorial Gardens, North Vancouver. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, or you have a British Columbia genealogical research query, see the BCGS website:

Boal Chapel Memorial Gardens and First Memorial Funeral Services, 1505 Lilloet Road, North Vancouver, BC. is accessible by public transit, although there is a bit of a walk uphill from the bus stop. There is parking if you were to drive there:

This post was written for the very first Graveyard Rabbits Carnival - from the Association of Graveyard Rabbits.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Burnaby South High School World War II Memorial, British Columbia, Canada

This post is a response to the new Weekly Genea-Blogger Prompt. This week's was 'Take a genealogy day trip and blog about it.'
For some time, I've been meaning to travel away across the city I live in to take new photographs of this Burnaby South High School War Memorial on Southoaks Crescent, just off Sperling and Kingsway, in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada.

On Thursday, I had an good opportunity to do this. The last time I was on this street it was really winter. Then I had to brush the snow and ice off with my mittened hands to read the names inscribed. This week, although it was misty and cold, there was little snow left around. As you can see, several apartment towers now dwarf the park, but many people live and walk in this area or come by when visiting the National Nikkei Museum & Heritage Centre which is in the same block.

The photographs above and below show the Burnaby South High School Cenotaph and the three Memorial Tennis Courts honouring 51 of the High School's students who died in service during World War II. Dedicated on November 10, 1948 by South Burnaby Royal Canadian Legion Post 83 and Burnaby South high school students, the memorial was the site of Remembrance Day ceremonies for the school until it closed in 1993.

At that time, the City of Burnaby designated this area Burnaby South Memorial Park. The 1914 building to the east is known today as the Alan Emmott Centre, but was originally Kingsway East (elementary) School. From 1922, this building was Burnaby South High School's manual training building. In 2002, it was re-purposed as a community centre and is the home of Burnaby's Community-Centred College for the Retired.

In 2004, the Burnaby South memorial courts and cenotaph were re-dedicated by Burnaby South Secondary School and the South Burnaby Royal Canadian Legion Post 83.

The surnames on the cenotaph are:


For more information on any of these, see first the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) website for unit information, place of burial, and other details, usually including next of kin:

Library and Archives Canada now has an index on-line to identify the files held for Canadian World War II dead. Copies of these files can be ordered or you must pre-order to see the files yourself in Ottawa at the Archives:

Burnaby Remembers. The City of Burnaby has sponsored several projects to identify and honour the city's war dead, including those who died in World War II:

See also "Burnaby South High School Students, 1930’s and World War II" by Eunice Robinson, The British Columbia Genealogist, December 2005 Volume 34 #4, p. 178