Tag Archives: #52 ancestors in 52 weeks

A Confusing Tombstone!

First photo of Olivia Taylor’s tombstone

There is a tombstone I would love to see. It is an old, weathered stone with a barely legible inscription. It is the tombstone of Olivia Taylor (nee Pettit) wife of Jeremiah Taylor that is in the Auld Kirk Cemetery in Binbrook, Ontario, Canada. This small cemetery, with only 90 plots, was built in 1834. I want to see the tombstone so I can verify transcriptions done by other people.

You can read about the history of the cemetery here.

Second photo of Olivia Taylor’s tombstone

Each of the 3 pictures was taken by different people at different times since 2008.The first one I did not source very well but it may be from the Glanbrook Heritage Society, the second is on Find a Grave and the third one is from the Canada GenWeb’s Cemetery Project.

The transcription of the first stone reads “Olivia wife of Jeremiah Taylor died April 28 1868, aged 50 years, 2 M, 21 D.” Some of the words in the picture are easier to read but death year is obscured by a mark on the stone.

I am sure that Olivia died before 1868. She is not with her husband in the 1861 census and it is unlikely they divorced so it she most likely she died before the census. Ontario death registrations didn’t begin until 1869 so the only death record I have for Olivia is the tombstone.

Third photo of Olivia Taylor’s tombstone

On the second stone the transcription states she died on April 28, 1860. That date makes more sense. This stone is still difficult to read in the photo but it does look like her death year is 1860. I thought I should see if there were any other pictures of this gravestone.

The photo of the third stone is the easiest for me to read. The person who took the photo cleaned it off well. On this stone it looks like the death year is 1860.

By looking at 3 different copies of the tombstone, I am able to piece together most the words on it. Actually, the only word that gives me trouble is her name, Olivia. None of the three pictures gives a distinct image of her first name.

Eighteen or more years later it may have deteriorated even more. I would still love to see the original. There is something about being in a cemetery and seeing your ancestors grave that makes a genealogist happy.


Olivia Taylor Tombstone; contributed on 7/2/12 by glanbrookheritage at yahoo dot ca

Olivia Taylor Tombstone; Find a Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 23 May 2020), memorial page for Olivia Taylor (7 Feb 1810–28 Apr 1860), Find a Grave Memorial no. 73267641, citing Auld Kirk Cemetery, Binbrook, Hamilton Municipality, Ontario, Canada ; Maintained by Farison Roots (contributor 47254415) .

Olivia Taylor Tombstone; Canada Genweb Project; Auld Kirk Cemetery, Wentworth County, Ontario; Photos courtesy of Ginnie & George Feeley [2008]; http://geneofun.on.ca/names/photo/283644


I finally decided to challenge myself and start researching my Irish families. AncestryDNA says that I am 20% Irish and Scottish which seems reasonable since I have a few ancestors from Ireland with Scottish sounding surnames; the surnames I’m aware of are McCall, Ross, Macham,and Cranston. I’ll include the Miller, Young, and Smeltzer surnames. Even though my DNA from them is Western Europe, they did live in Ireland for about 125 years.

The first step in researching is to figure out exactly what I know about each of the families. This will help determine what information I”m missing, making it easier to decide what my research goal will be. I decided to start with the McCall, Ross lines. Robert McCall married Ann Ross in Ireland and they had at least 1 child, probably 2, before immigrating to Canada West.

In 1972, one of the McCall families in Michigan hired a researcher in Ireland. I have a copy of the report and will log all the information in it onto a spreadsheet so I don’t duplicate the research.

My ultimate goal is to take a research trip to Ireland next year.