The Living and the Dead

St. Luke's Anglican Church, built in 1834; Burlington (Ont). Photo by @erskinec
St. Luke’s Anglican Church, built in 1834; Burlington (Ont). Photo by @erskinec

As Catherine Paterson noted in her 2013 Ph.D., thesis entitled The Heritage of Life and death in Historical Family Cemeteries of Niagara, Ontario; graves “create ties to place, people and a sense of a family’s identity over time.”

With the rise of urban churches, the relationship between the living and the dead shifted from the farm to the Church.

People would walk or ride to their local church, sometimes for quite a distance. For example, there are accounts of Lady MacNab attending service in Dundas and organizing wagon rides for local Catholics in the 1840s; they would meet at King and Hess for the 15 km journey to St. Augustine.