Thursday, 10 May 2018

#52Ancestors, Week 17, Cemetery

I’m not sure why, but I like wandering through cemeteries. The first one I remember going to was Hamilton East, with my Dad one evening. That memory stuck with me and I was able to relocate the resting place of my great-grandparents with not too much difficulty some 45 years later.

Wandering around churchyards and cemeteries is common place for many genealogists, so there are a number of special places I have come across.

One which I especially enjoy wandering through is Bolton Street in Wellington. On the side of a hill rising above The Terrace, it is one of the oldest cemeteries in Wellington and consequently is the resting place of many early settlers.

In the 1960s part of it was dug up and the graves re-interred to make way for the motorway which now runs relentingly through the middle. A pedestrian bridge crosses above the motorway so that you can walk down from the Seddon Memorial near Anderson Park and the Botanic Gardens, or up the hill from the Bolton Street entrance where the chapel and sexton’s cottage stand.

My great great great grandparents are buried there, or at least memorialised on the headstone for one of their sons. Others too, sisters of my great great grandmother. Most are in the new memorial lawn where a lot of the re-interred souls were buried. A bench sits near this site, behind the chapel commemorating the arrival of the Barratt family (my great great great grandparents) in Wellington in 1842.

The cemetery at Kilmaillie near Fort William, Invernesshire was one we explored while in the UK in 2014. We went early one morning and wandered in the dewy grass looking for a headstone with McIntyre on it. There were quite a number of them, and Cameron too since we were at the heart of clan Cameron country.

Finally, there it was. Almost obscured by trees which have been growing for almost 200 years. Lauren’s great great great great great grandparents. Reverend Duncan McIntyre of Lochaber, Camusnaherie (Rev of Kilmaillie) 1757-1830 and his wife Jean, the daughter of James MacIntyre of Glen Noe – the 3rd of that family 1777-1855.

very hard to read in the shade - will have to go back again I guess, one day.

A bit of Scots royalty there – Jean’s great grandfather was Ewen “Dubh” Cameron, Locheil 1629-1719.

Also spotted there, this one !

In Memory of John Telford, first engineer on the western end of the Caledonian Canal. That amazing engineering feat which includes Neptune’s Staircase and was designed by James Telford. John and James are thought not to be related. The work was difficult and detrimental to his health and he died in 1807, fifteen years before the canal opened. There is more about the construction and some photos of this grave (referred to as dilapidated but not looking as overgrown as my photo) here.

Next on my list – Melbourne General Cemetery, to see if I can locate the resting place of my great great grandmother.

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