Sunday, November 29, 2015

Williams - Stump looking monument - update

In 2009, I took a tour of the local cemetery, I saw many interesting stones. One I wrote about was one that looked like a tree stump. I have been the speaker of three talks in November at our local Museum and Archives (Grey Roots). The last one was about cemeteries. At an earlier talk, one of the attendees asked me after the talk was over about the monument at Greenwood Cemetery that looked like a tree stump. Did I know anything about it? I decided to do some more investigation to learn more as I hadn't done that originally as I had planned. 

First, I checked the cemetery databases for Williams, the only word on the monument. There were a number. When I had posted the article originally, I hadn't made a note of its location. I could see in the photo that there was a road behind the stone and trees or brush behind it. 

A blog reader had commented that her grandfather, David Walker Bawden, had been the stone carver and her grandparents were buried near that one. Checking again the database, I found that the stone carver and his wife were buried in the West section. 

So, now I knew the Wiliams of interest were in the West section of the cemetery. 

Next I checked one of the names on Ancestry by searching with the surname and the date of death as found in the database.

The search led me to Robert Williams with a link to Find-a-Grave. The poster had put two photos on the page. One was taken as a side view that showed the row marker. This would be helpful when going to look for the stone again.  That I did a week ago.

I had the list  of who the database indicated were buried in G-W39-12
G for Greenwood W for West Section 39 for Row and 12 for plot. I searched the database to see if there were any others listed in G-W39-12. I found one more. 

So from the information in the database that goes only to 1974, I learned: 

grave 5 - Mary (Mamie) Williams, aged 44, died 21 January 1917.
grave 4 - Robert, aged 88, died 24 January 1920
grave 3 - George John aged 62, died 20 December 1940
grave 2 - Florence (Frances), aged 89, died 26 October 1959. 
grave 12 - Robert Myers, aged 82, died 27 March 1950.

Are there 12 graves or is there an error in the database and it should be grave 1?

Who commissioned the work for the monument? It had to be before 1950 when the stone cutter died.

Time to see if I could learn more about the people listed in the database and in the information on the Find-a-grave page. 

Next to check for obituaries. I have the disks of obituaries that are part of the surname collection of the Bruce-Grey Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society. 

I found an obituary for Robert Williams. He was born in Devonshire, England about 1832. He moved to Canada from England as a child with his parents and then moved from Montreal, then to Toronto, then to what was Cornabuss, now Markdale, before moving to Owen Sound. When 17, he left to work for the Grand Trunk Railway. He moved to the United States and bought property in Illinois. He returned to Canada, first to Toronto then back to Owen Sound. 

He had two brothers, John and Henry both who were living in Sault Ste. Marie. Five children are mentioned in the obituary: Mrs. J. Myers of Toronto, Fannie at home, Henry of Sault Ste. Marie, Fred out West and George J. of Owen Sound. 

I also found his death registration on Ancestry and his marriage to Elizabeth Wigglesworth 8 December 1854. 

A search for an obituary for Robert J. Myers was successful and it indicated that he was a native of Markdale and lived about seven or eight years in Owen Sound. He was living at 406 8th Street East.  He had married Minnie Williams who had been a school teacher. Mr. Myers was a builder and contractor. Mrs. Myers had died in 1942 and survived by one son, William R. Myers of Toronto.

It would be interesting to try to find the other obituaries and also to look at other cemetery records. 

Note: In my presentation, I mentioned two other Williams who are also in the West section but not at the same plot section as Robert Williams and family. I mentioned that I could not find any connection to the two families. In error, I had indicated that George Wright Williams and his wife were in the same area.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Cenotaph - IOOF at Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound

I have written previously about the IOOF cenotaph located north of the Mausoleum in Greenwood Cemetery, Owen Sound.

The plaque reads

In Loving Memory
Thomas Allen
George Arthur Ewens
Douglas Archibald Hay
Roy Brown McKenzie
Wesley Clarence McFaul
Charles Edgar Orford
Robert Pollock
Jonathan Rennie
James Thomson Robb
Gregor McKenzie Young

Members of 
Owen Sound Lodge no. 180
Home Lodge no. 441
Who gave their lives in the cause 
of Freedom in the Great War
Erected IOOF and Rebekahs

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

MacKinnon - MacNicol at Ayton Cemetery - a Magnificent Monument

Click image above to enlarge.

This monument is not only interesting because of its grandeur, but it is also a gem for a family historian because of the information engraved on the stone. The information provides pointers for finding more records and information. Just because the information is engraved in stone, it may not be 100% correct. The monument is found at the Ayton Union Cemetery, Ayton, Grey County, Ontario.

On the front side

In Memory of
beloved wife of
John Ritchie MacNicol
and only daughter of the late
Duncan and Dorthea MacKinnon
who departed this life
September 22nd 1932

"To be with Christ is far better"


John Ritchie MacNicol, LLD
son of the late William and Harriet E. MacNicol
Born at Beaverton, Ontario
August 31st 1878
and passed away at Toronto
June 18th 1950

"Herein did he exercise always to have a conscience void of offence
towards God and towards men"

On one side is a long description of the work of John. 

John R. MacNicol was an [sic] MP for twenty
years. He was recognized as the great
advocate for the preservation of our
natural resources. He knew the worth of
all rivers in Western Canada for
irrigation purposes. Was responsible
for the conception of a great dam on 
the south Saskatchewan River
Through his friendship with Jack Miner
of Kingsville and his bird sanctuary
he piloted the bill through Parliament
by which Canada observes Wild Life Week
by Act of Parliament
 His Sister Maude

On another side Maysie's brother, Duncan, is remembered.

In memory of
Son of the late
Duncan and Dorothea MacKinnon
born September 1, 1876
Entered into rest March 23 1929

"He shall abide before God for ever."

Maysie was born according to her death registration 8 August 1878. She taught school until she married John MacNicol.  According to John's birth registration, he was born in Thorah Township, 31 August 1877. This is one year earlier than the date on the monument. John taught school at SS #9 Normanby.

 They moved to Toronto. John and Maysie were married 6 January 1915 in Toronto. At the time of their marriage, John was listed as a manager. 

When she became ill in February 1932, Maysie left her home in Toronto and returned to the family farm. She died 22 September 1932. She was 54 years old. The funeral was held at the farm and it is reported 500  were in attendance. Her husband used part of her estate to erect a monument that he imported from Portugal and the cost is said to have been $15,000.

John was a member of Parliament for 20 years. He was a great advocate for the preservation of natural resources as mentioned on the monument. 

Maysie MacKinnon Ontario death registration #016452 (26 September 1932), digital image,,  citing MS 935 Reel 441, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.
Maysie MacKinnon -- John R. McNicol Ontario marriage registration #019106 (19 January 1918 - date received by Receiver General); digital image,, citing MS 932 Reel 359, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.
John Richard MacNichol [sic] Ontario death registration #020643 (31 December 1877); digital image,, citing MS 929 Reel 29. 
Normanby Reflections, Vol. 1. MacKinnon and MacNicol sections.