Monday, 30 April 2012


 Mr John McCollom was born in New York in Ostego County and married Sarah Sternberg in Cherry Valley in 1795. By 1807, when their eldest of five children was born, they had moved to Ontario. That son, John Sternberg McCollom, died at age 49 of injuries sustained in the Desjardin Canal Catastrophe in 1857 (after 3 weeks).
John Sr seems to be alone at the Waterdown Union Cemetery as his wife Sarah, who died in 1858 at age 88, is buried about 85 miles away at the Elgin Cemetery in Aylmer along with son John and his wife and son.

for a Taphophile Tragics

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Friday, 27 April 2012

Monday, 23 April 2012


I took this photo for the name. Ryckman is a well known name in these parts and there seems to be many of them, but I was also interested in Virtue. Virtue Lavodi Hamill was born in Dundas in 1894 and died in the same town in 1982. She and her husband C. Alfred (the C may have stood for Charles) were married in 1911 and had 19 children. As this stone states, five babies were buried with them and the other 14 survived to adulthood. Twelve children are listed in and searching the links to their names, I am sure family Christmases were busy with at least 51 grandchildren! Alfred and Virtue "would think nothing of walking from their home in Copetown to Stanley Rd Baptist Church every Sunday" which according to google maps is today a 3 hour walk of 10 miles. Alfred also had a Harley which he rode long into his elderly years. This was not a quiet family.
for a Taphophile Tragics in Waterdown Union Cemetery

Thursday, 19 April 2012


in the up position
the lift bridge has a broken cable, ships can pass under, but autos cannot pass over

Monday, 16 April 2012


Allan McNab Stewart, a Lieutenant in No 5 Company 13th Battalion V.M.I was interred with military honours and this monument erected by his 'brother officers'. He enlisted around 1864 and though made it through the Fenian Raids of 1866, he was the first officer who died in connection with this Battalion in 1872, though I could not find out how or where this happened. The son of Alexander and Anna Maria, he came from a line of Stewarts that could trace their line back to James Stewart and Robert the Bruce. However, neither he nor his two brothers ever married or had children so the line ended with his generation. His mother was the younger sister of Allan Napier MacNab who was to become the Prime Minister of the Province of Canada (and who built Dundurn Castle which has been featured in this blog several times).

for a Taphophile Tragics in Hamilton Cemetery

Monday, 9 April 2012

Jolley Cut


Hamilton is a city that hugs Lake Ontario on one side and the Niagara Escarpment on the other. The part that is above the escarpment is called The Mountain; the part below the escarpment is called The Lower City. Getting from one to the other during the 1800s was a tricky business.

James Jolley was a saddler, harness maker and politician who financed the building of the access road that became known as the Jolley Cut. in 1860 James Jolley moved his family to the Mountain (highest elevation 1,063') and needed a footpath to get to his business in the lower city. At a time when most roads were privately owned and tolls were collected for maintenance, Mr Jolley managed to get this access road built in 1873 as a toll free road with the city covering the costs for maintenance. It is a steep switchback access and this site gives you a bit of the story, with excellent pictures, of the Jolley Cut.

James Jolley emigrated to Canada about 1823 from Argyllshire, Scotland and was married to Sophia who outlived him by 27 years. The other sides of this monument are difficult to decipher, but it seems they had a son Archie who also died in 1892 and another son James E who died in 1874. The third side includes another Sophia, the wife of Charles (who took over the business after his father's death) and also a Jane who died possibly in 1862 at 7 months (which would have made Sophia 37 when she gave birth). The fourth side is the least clearly marked but has the name Emma who died in Columbus Ohio in 1893(?) Clearly the year of 1892-93 was not a good year for Sophia and her family.

for a Taphophile Tragics from the Hamilton Cemetery

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Monday, 2 April 2012

Captain Stares

ever remembered by his band

Harry Stares was the Bandmaster of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada, Church organist and musician. He formed the band of the 91st Regiment, Canadian Highlanders (in 1920 they changed their name to the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders. He was the eldest of six children of Albert and Hannah Stares (of England), born in Hamilton Ontario. He joined the overseas battalion CEF in 1916 and during the celebrations of the end of WWI "Bandmaster Harry Stares’ Band played the National Anthem, 'O God Our Help In Ages Past' and 'Rule Britannia.' Everyone joined in."

The Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders
(Princess Louise's) Regimental Band

for a Taphophile Tragics from the Hamilton Cemetery