Tuesday, July 31, 2018
Last year, Heritage NL was asked by one of our Registered Heritage Structures, St. James Anglican in Carbonear, to give some advice on their cemetery cleanup project (see past blog entries here). A year into the project, they've made great strides to cut back invasive bushes and trees, trim rose bushes, and expose some hidden stones and markers. A big shout out to Judy Symonds who has taken the lead on this project, and to last year's summer students for their excellent and careful work.
Yesterday, I was back in Carbonear to help give some training on this summer's phase of the project. The cemetery has been partially mapped, with the majority of the pre-1900s graves transcribed. Several plots were left unfinished, and there are quite a few 20th century grave markers that have not been recorded at all. So I worked with their current batch of summer students, and taught them how to use the Marker Record Form designed by the Family History Society. The goal is to finish recording the south half of the cemetery.
One of the intriguing finds made this year was of a First World War Memorial Plaque (sometimes called a Dead Man's Penny) firmly mounted on concrete. The plaques were issued to the next-of-kin of all British and Empire service personnel who were killed as a result of the war, but it is rare to see one used as a cemetery memorial.
The plaque bears the name William Stephenson, who might possibly be this person:
More to come as research and documentation continue!
If you want to learn more about the process of cemetery transcription, we are holding a Cemetery Transcription Bee Thursday, August 9th, 2018 at 9am in partnership with Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum. This combination workshop/documentation project will instruct participants on how to transcribe grave markers. You’ll learn about the DOs and DON’Ts of recording inscriptions, tombstone symbols and stone types, how to fill out cemetery marker forms, and assist the Logy Bay-Middle Cove-Outer Cove Museum in collecting tombstone information at the St. Francis of Assisi RC Cemetery. Pre-registration required (right here!)
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Last week Dale and I went to Carbonear with Edwina Suley of the Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation. We were there to talk with volunteers from the St. James Anglican Church about their cemetery and help them make a plan for the future. While the more recent sections of the cemetery are easily maintained, the older sections which date back to the early 1800s, have become extremely overgrown. The group is looking to clean up the area to make it easier to maintain and to help preserve the history of the area.
Unfortunately in the cemeteries current state many of the headstones are difficult to access, making it hard to view some headstones, particularly those that are broken and continue to deteriorate.
The church group is enthusiastic about beginning the project of clearing up the cemetery, even in knowing that it will not be a quick process. They are also interested in comparing the current cemetery with the church burial records, particularly with graves that do not have headstones. Some plots are marked simply with a fence, and other are unmarked entirely.
The cemetery is partially bordered with a stone wall and features a beautiful gate in one corner, both of which will need repairs in the future. Another interesting feature of the cemetery is a bronze sundial with cast iron pedestal. The sundial is located among the headstones, and marks the centre of where the old church once stood.
We look forward to the work that will be done to clean up this cemetery, and expose the history of the church and community for current residence and future generations.