Update to Lost Cemeteries

Back in 2014, I wrote about the Lost Cemeteries in New Westminister —

Lost Cemeteries

Well after a number of years of fighting, they have finally set a date for the reconstruction of the High School in 2017.

And while they say that the school will not be built on any of the cemeteries, there are still people that are opposed to the new building on the land. The New Westminster Indian Band and Chinese Benevolent Society of Vancouver seem to support the project, there are other groups like the B.C. Union of Indian Chiefs and Reconciliation for Canadians say they’re opposed.

The spokesman for the Reconciliation for Canada has stated “The public needs to understand that what they’re talking about is the desecration of a commissioned cemetery” There are apparently at least 33 families that have a stake in the cemetery and they have not been spoken with.

These were cemeteries for people of colour, that that these were commissioned cemeteries in the late 19th century.

There are no records that these cemeteries were ever decommissioned, but there is an application in 2009 to have the New Westminster School site deemed a Heritage Designation but as of this date, there has been nothing done.

The Government announcement stated:

The existing school was built on land formerly used as a burial ground, public works yard and staging area for the military during the Second World War. The new school building will be located on portions of the site outside the burial areas. All work within the designated heritage areas will be monitored by an archeologist to ensure the heritage requirements are met and any historic artifacts are appropriately recorded.

It will be interesting to watch as going forward this rich history that, for lack of a better word, has been buried since the school was originally built in 1949.

Hopefully soon, all those buried there will finally get to rest in peace.

Susan

Ocean View Burial Park

is one of the many cemeteries in the Lower Mainland that I like to visit, not only for the beauty and peacefulness there, but also because my Grandma, Great-Grandmother and Great Uncle are buried there.

Ocean View was established in 1919 on 89 acres in the Burnaby, BC — across the street from Burnaby Central Park. There are many interesting places within the cemetery, including the Abbey Mausoleum which was the first Mausoleum in British Columbia.

The Mausoleum construction was started in 1928 and was originally going to be much larger, but with the start of the Great Depression, it was stopped in 1931. The Mausoleum has a number of beautiful stained glass windows, as well as a number of Famous people buried within in.

Some photos from the Abbey —

Front Entrance

Front Entrance

Stained Glass Window

Stained Glass Window

Moses

Moses

There is also a small Norman Church that is used for Special Sunday services and is surrounded by many of the cremation gardens.

Chapel from outside courtyard

Chapel from outside courtyard

Side Entrance to courtyard

Side Entrance to courtyard

Inside of Chapel

Inside of Chapel

There are also a number of small cremation locations within the cemetery

Cremation plots

Cremation plots

Sadly, since I took this picture of the entrance fountain, they have painted it blue and the driveway has become unusable because of the tree roots that have broken up threw the driveway.

Entrance off of Willingdon and Imperial

Entrance off of Willingdon and Imperial

Here are links to my family buried there:

Gladys Marion Compton – My Grandma

Susannah Compton Rutledge – My Great Grandma

Percy Compton – My Great Uncle

Susan

Descendant of a Hessian Soldier

Through my Beach Family line which is (click on picture to make it larger):

luke

Johann Friederich Luecke aka John Frederick Luke was my 5th Great Grandfather, born in Germany.

For those that do not know a Hessian Soldier is the term given to the 18th-century German auxiliaries contracted for military service by the British government, who found it easier to borrow money to pay for their service than to recruit its own soldiers.

The soldiers got their name from the German state of Hesse. They were used in several combat roles, including in the Irish Rebellion of 1798, but they are most widely associated with combat operations in the American Revolutionary War (1775-1783).

Photo of a Hessian Soldier: hessiansoldier

This I find interesting because being part Irish (through the Rutledge / Elliot line) probably fought in the Irish Wars and I know that there were Beach family members that fought in the American Revolutionary War for the Americans.

In trying to find out more about him, I used one of the most important tools — google. From this I came across a woman in New Brunswick, who is also related to him as he is her 3rd Great Grandfather. She is related to me as my 3 x cousin 2 times removed. Alice sent me a letter, along with an article she wrote and was published in the “The Hessians: Journal of the Johannes Schwalm Historical Association, Volume 9, 2006”

  • Johann Freidrich Luecke (John Frederick Luke) was born in 1757 in the village of Gross Else in the Duchy of Brunswick
  • He was part of the von Rhetz Regiment that was part of the 2nd Division of the Brunswick Army sent to North America in 1776
  • He and his fellow soldiers camped in Fort St. Anne, Canada where they trained in the winter and spring
  • He was believed to be part of the invasion of New York on June 1, 1777
  • there are Luke family papers that state he was involved in the both the Bennington and Saratoga but was more likely engaged in the fighting in the Battles of Freeman’s Farm and Bemis Heights
  • Brunswick Army Records report that he was a prisoner of war but unknown whereabouts. This usually means that he probably walked off the march and was take in as a servant with an American
  • Soon after he deserted, he is said to have been looking for a wife and found one in Betsey Stone, the daughter of Abel and Lydia Stone. It seems that both he and his future father-in-law may have been present during that fateful day in Saratoga where John was taken prisoner.
  • It is believed that he and Betsey married in 1778 but many researchers and family descendants have seached but a marriage record has never been found..
  • He lived in Windsor County, Vermont, USA from about 1779 to 1799 this being where most of his children were born.
  • Around 1800, John and his family moved to South Gower, Ontario, Canada. It may have been becauseof the Proclamation of the Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario, John Graves Simcoe, concerning the free land in Canada.
  • It is noted that John Luke settled in 1801, on Lot No 4, in the 4th Concession. He was a British solidier.
  • It is in this same area that the Beach Family also settled
  • They travelled between the US and Canada for the remaining days. Both John and Betsey are said to have died in Canada but it is not know where they are buried.
  • It is rumoured that they are buried in the South Gower Cemetery, but there is no listings for them on the burial records. A number of the Beach family line is buried there.
  • They are listed on a family headstone in the Amboy Cemetery, Amboy, Oswego County, New York.
  • John Frederick Luke

  • The monument was erected in about 1883, by Lewis D Luke about 40 years after the death of John Luke. The inscription for John and Betsey is:
  • Luke, John died 15 Dec 1839 AE 96 yrs

    Luke, Betsey his wife died 27 Jan 2854 AE90 yrs

    So, now I am not only English, Irish, Scottish on my Dad’s side, I have a little German as well.

    — Susan

    Oh and if you have read this far, it is interesting to know that the Headless Horseman might have been a Hessian Solider!