Historic gravestones tell a story - the history of the communities where they are found can be read in both their form and their content. The common motifs of 19th century tombstones - the upraised hands, the weeping willows, the lambs on children's monuments - all speak to us of life in early York County. The inscriptions often give us many more details of the life being commemorated than current day headstones. Some, like that of Colonel Robert Moody in the Holy Trinity Cemetery in Thornhill, can offer extra details on historic events that affected the entire nation; in this instance, the 1837 Rebellion in both Upper and Lower Canada. A careful observation of death dates could indicate a tragic epidemic that would have devastated a family, or sometimes an entire community.
In recognition of the wealth of information presented in historic monuments and, in part, as a commemoration of the Library's own 150th anniversary in 2002, the Richmond Hill Public Library has gathered photographic images and textual explanation of historic tombstones in southern York Region and created the database you are looking at now. The inscriptions and images gathered through this project will be of interest to geneaologists, historians, students and interested citizens in York Region and beyond. The digital images will also help preserve the form and inscriptions of the historic tombstones for future generations against damaging enviromental conditions such as acid rain.
Cemeteries included in the project so far, which includes burials from the early 1800s to 1930, are:
Long-time member of the Richmond Hill Public Library Board
and tireless researcher of York Region's history and genealogy.