30 September 2013

Cemetery Perambulations

Returning from the British Home Child Day event at Upper Canada Village on Saturday I was asked to stop at Springhill Cemetery, in Osgoode Township just north of Vernon on highway 31. It was a delightful afternoon and the down-slope toward the west of much of the ground we trod enhanced the lighting.
Anne Sterling, BIFHSGO secretary, wanted to look for grave markers for the Acres family; she knew a branch of her tree bearing that name had lived in the area. Under such conditions wandering around the well tended grounds was a delight, with just a few flying insects to mar the enjoyment.
Googling on my iphone returned 49 entries at www.canadianheadstones.com from the more than 5,000 entries for that cemetery.
Even though this isn't a large cemetery by urban standards we only explored part. Another cemetery website, at www.gravemarkers.ca has also photographed the cemetery and includes a map showing seven sections. We were fortunate we only explored section 2 as it contains two-thirds of the Acres monuments.

A marker memorializing A Russell Dow, a causality of the Battle of Vimy Ridge, caught my attention. According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Alexander Russell Dow is commemorated on the Vimy Memorial. He had moved west to pursue farming near Swift Current, Saskatchewan, enlisting with the 128th Battalion in 1916 and was serving with the 28th when killed. With the forthcoming WW1 event at Nepean Centrepointe on Saturday 26th October I'm especially alert for WW1 memorials.

I wondered about cemeteries in England that might be photographed. My impression is that there are few major websites with English gravestone photographs. http://www.gravestonephotos.com/ has over half a million names with best coverage in Suffolk and Yorkshire.  Am I missing an important resource?
To end this perambulation, note deceasedonline.com will be changing the way documents are priced and how you pay for them although prices will not change. That is scheduled to occur on Wednesday 9th October. The company is also promising "tens of thousands of 'lost' burial records in over 200 closed cemeteries and sites across the UK. These records, digitized by us at The National Archives, will be available on the website within the next two weeks."

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