St-Paul's Presbyterian (United) Church.
Old Burying Ground
St-Paul's United Church in 2001
St-Paul's Presbyterian Church was established originally in 1831 on glebe land given by the owner of the Seigniory of Beauharnois in what later became the Village of Ormstown. Ormstown is located in the Chateauguay Valley about 30mi (48km) southwest of Montreal. The original church, completed in the 1830s, was a log building on the same location as the present church (built in 1861). In 1925, the St-Paul's Presbyterian and St-John's Methodist churches in Ormstown merged to form St-Paul's United Church, part of the United Church of Canada. The minority of Presbyterians who voted against the merger, built a new church down the street, the present Ormstown Presbyterian Church.
The first cemetery associated with the St-Paul's Presbyterian Church was located on the west side of the church in the area now occupied by McDougall Hall and the lawn area between the church and the hall. It dates from 1831 although there were very few burials reported in the first few years. In 1890, the present Ormstown Union Cemetery was established outside of Ormstown on the road now called Rte 138. Both cemeteries are shown on a local Ormstown map. It was intended to serve both the Presbyterian and Methodist Congregations, both of whom had existing old cemeteries. It is now a non-denominational public cemetery. It is believed that many but not all remains were disinterred from the old Presbyterian burying ground and moved to the new cemetery. In spite of the new cemetery being opened in 1890, there is record of a few burials in the old burying ground in the early 1900s, possibly as late as 1929.
In 1981, the monuments that were remaining on and around the old burying ground were gathered together and moved to the northwest corner of the church property and most of them were erected on a couple of new cement bases. A few (6 or so) that were already in that general area were not moved. Since many of them had been broken, the inscriptions on some of them are obscured by the cement base. It is not known if these remaining stones represent burials that were not moved to the new cemetery because the family had disappeared or had chose not to move their ancestor's remains. Alternatively they may be monuments that were replaced during the move, in which case the names might also be found on monuments in the present Ormstown Union Cemetery.
I chose to record the inscriptions on the remaining monuments to insure that they would be available in the future for family historians. Many of the inscriptions are very difficult to read and could only be deciphered after rubbing the area with chalk. Some areas of inscription remain unreadable and are indicated by ____. Many monuments have been broken and only parts remain. The inscription has been recorded as it appears on the stone including any errors that the engraver may have made. The epitaphs were not generally recorded. The inscription information has been divided into two parts, an alphabetic index of the burial names with hyperlinks from the Monument Number to a listing of the inscriptions ordered by monument number. A map shows the position of the cemetery in relation to the church and street. An expanded map shows the position of each monument on the present corner of the grounds.
Some of the inscriptions show death dates before 1831, which must have been memorials to persons buried elsewhere. The same might apply to the years 1832, 33 and 38 when church info indicates no burials recorded although it is possible that some burials in the grounds were not recorded.
The inscriptions have been published as a hardcopy document for archival purposes and for researchers who are not on the Internet. In addition to recording the inscriptions, a complete set of digital photographs were taken of all the remaining stones. These have been stored on CDRom for archival purposes. If you have interest in a particular monument, contact me and I will provide a JPEG image of the stone by e-mail attachment.
1/ St-Paul's Presbyterian (United) Church (Ormstown, QC) Old Burying Ground Monument Inscription and Burial List, Second Edition, Burton Lang, 2002 ISBN 978-0-9689093-7-9 (0-9689093-7-X)
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