Desecrated Graves

There is something that I have come across in my recent genealogical research that is really bugging me. You see, there sits an early graveyard on private property in which the current land owner’s parent was said to have smashed the graves in the earlier end of the 1900’s and left the bits of rubble laying around in the area. The adjacent property was for sale and thus I was finally able to get a look at the place and take some photos legally.

Not that I ever doubted, but indeed, what my grandmother told me is true.  There are most certainly graves there. I don’t know how many graves that are there but I am almost certain that Simeon Spooner (1802-1877) and his wife Jane Patton (1819-1894) are buried there along with several other decedents.  Some of the old timers have told me that there were many more stones, and bits of stone, once there and that two large head stones were also present.   Today there are just bits of gravestones and bases. I have exhausted what I can think to do.  I have followed the protocol suggested by the cemetery act, by calling the police, who called the coroner, then the cemetery regulation unit was called.  I even spoke with the manager for Cemetery Regulation Unit for Ontario: Michael D’Mello.  As well as this, I have called the County and the university to see if there is anything that can be done.  No one wants to do a damn thing. I traced the family line for the people who I know to be there and thought if I share the family names of those buried, just two generations down from Simeon and Jane that this might get others interested in pressing for South Frontenac to take care of this.  The families who are connected to this grave are those with the family names:

Spooner, Patton, Smith, McBride, Knight, McGrath, Hitchcock, MacCormick, Swan, Swain, Orr, Gibson, Toland, Elliot, Campbell, Sands, Moreland, Clark, Draper, Dixon, Jackson, Percy, Wagonner, Whitehorn, Wagner, Curran, Brown, Marshall and Gordon.

If you have one of these last names and have roots in the Kingston Area, these graves may well belong to your family. Imagine how you would feel if this were your child, or your mother.  I think that those who placed those graves deserve some respect in their final resting place. ImagineIMG_1669 IMG_1670 IMG_1671 IMG_1695 IMG_1696 IMG_1697

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Categories: Tiny House Ontario | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Desecrated Graves

  1. John Redmond

    I have a Campbell or two in the Frontenac Co. family tree…via our great grandma nee McFarlane…whose mother was Margaret Ann Campbell, daughter of John Campbell and Rachael Diane Lyon.

    Our great great grandpa John Redmond named the Holleford area…

    Where are the lost graves?

    john redmond

    • Hello (possible cousin) John,
      I have taken the liberty of writing to you privately. You should have a couple of emails from me in your mail box this morning.
      Thank you for taking an interest in this issue,

      Laura Moreland

  2. Sandra Napier

    Laura, A group named Find a Grave is in the process of trying to document grave sites all over the world. I know they would be interested in your photos/information. Please contact them. It is a horrible thing to do, but just one on a list too long to see – Man’s inhumanity to man.
    Best of everything to you. I do so enjoy your blog.

    • Thank you Sandra,
      Problem is that I don’t know exactly who is there. I do however have some ideas.

  3. There has been many times in the Cataraqui Cemetery where Vandels come in the night and destroyed many grave stones> Kingston Monuments kindly helped to put them together again! Sometimes kids especially on Halloween do this?

  4. Heather

    I was thrilled to hear the story of my friend’s house in a new development in a St. Louis, MO, suburb. She said the area was a family farm with a family cemetery. The development plan has a path along the line of one property, and a circle of gravestones on the neighbouring lot. Whoever bought those two lots took responsibility for maintenance of the path and of the cemetery. When either is sold, this is stated in the purchase/sale agreement. So, only good people will ever buy those two homes; people who “get” it.

  5. In the 1980’s I worked for a heritage organization (Local Architectural Conservation Advisory Committee, aka LACAC) and I do remember getting a phone call from Margaret Stewart (spelling?) at the Ontario Genealogical Society, asking me for information on farm burials in our area. There are thousands of farm burials in rural Ontario. It sickens me to see people show such disregard for those pioneer ancestors who cleared trees, built houses and barns and farmed the land. I can imagine how I would feel if it was my family whose final resting places were being desecrated. Thanks for posting this blog, very relevant. There should be criminal charges against anyone who does this.

  6. interesting observation by Rocky – there may have been bad blood between the ‘smasher’ and the family buried there – perhaps the smasher felt ‘taken’ – buying a property with graves, that would hold no monetary value, only troubles?
    No condoning it, but it has happened much more than this – many members of my family are laying in a lost family farm graveyard somewhere. Unknown, unregistered private cemeteries would have dotted the country, and would have been considered a nuisance by a new owner with no personal connection to the deceased. It was easier to get rid of above-ground evidence than to have to deal with authorities in the preservation of the cemetery. I have heard of instances when gravestones have been taken and used as flooring or stepping stones.
    There should be SOMEONE with the authority to step up and take responsibility for seeing that this cemetery is protected. Local historical society in the area might know more of who rests there, and would probably be more likely to be interested in preserving the history, at least.

  7. Anonymous

    Laura it is municipal election time…how fortuitous…why not see what council and mayor candidates say…

  8. And the current owners were uncooperative…or, unfriendly, or, just didn’t give a hoot….?? Did anyone say WHY somebody did this…? This was an act of extreme anger, in my mind…hate, even. I bet if you do some detective work…research the history of that family…you will find some interesting stuff. What was in the local newspaper then…any outstanding crimes in the area for that time period.. Local historians are wonderful resources… You are right. This is a crime…in more than only the obvious. Stolen and destroyed identity. I can understand why it would touch your heart.

    • According to what I understand to be the story, the current owner of the property is descended from the man who is rumoured to have destroyed the graves. For this reason, I have not approached.

      • Unless he has a bad reputation, why not consider approaching that person..? You seem affable and friendly… You never know until you ask, and you might find find an ally…!!

  9. Peter

    I dont understand why any one would do that ….have you any idea ????

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