Category Archives: 4th Line Methodist Cemetery

Benjamin Ward’s Estate, Middlesex Co., Ontario 1873…

When I was in Salt Lake City at the British Institute, last October 2014, I found a Surrogate Court Estate file for Benjamin Ward and was surprised to find it for I was having trouble locating documents and sources on Benjamin and his wife Sarah.  I am trying to prove they are my 2nd great grandparents and the parents of Emma Ward Brown, my great-grandmother.

Included in the Estate was Benjamin’s Last Will and Testament.

Copy of the last Will and Testament of Benjamin Ward late of the Township of Adelaide in the  County of Middlesex yeoman deceased.

Source:  The Estate of Benjamin Ward pg. 365 #1155 – Probate Records 1846-1900 Ontario, Middlesex Co., Surrogate Court. (FHL#0428259)

This my last Will and Testament. I Benjamin Ward of the Township of Adelaide living of sound mind but feeble in Body do Will and Bequest to my children the following property. First – I give to my son George Ward all my Real Estate – Secondly I give to my daughters Emily and Elizabeth and Sarah Ward one hundred dollars eat subject to the following conditions. First the said George Ward shall pay all my just debts and therein my daughters Emily, Elizabeth and Sarah [Elas] shall receive Fifty dollars each for two years [maten] in full three hundred dollars. The date of my daughters payments to commence from one thousand Eight hundred and seventy nine. It is also my will that my daughters Emily and Elizabeth and Sarah Elas shall have one Cow each and I constitute Samuel Mitchell and John Paine my Executors of this my last Will and Testament.  Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of on the Thirty first day of October in the year of our Lord 1874 one thousand eight hundred seventy four.  Benjamin Ward his Mark X

Witnesses James Thompson (signed) and David Thomas X his mark

The original Will of Benjamin Ward?

The original Will of Benjamin Ward?

According to my research in the census, Benjamin and Sarah had about 11 children maybe 12 but in this Will above he mentions only four children, so what happened to the rest of them?

It is believed the Sarah, the mother’s maiden name was Paine/Payne.

Those children were found and listed in the 1851 and 1861 Census.

1. Joseph born about 1836

2.  Vere Ward born about 1836.  I found Vere in the 1861 census working as a domestic for George B. Knoyle a Merchant. She is listed as Wesleyan Methodist.

3.  William Ward born about 1839

4.  Charles Ward Born about 1839 to 1857 and he is buried in the Fourth Line Cemetery.

5.  Esther Ward 1841

6.  Daniel Ward 1843

7. Sabena/Rebina 1845

8.  George Ward 1849 to 1838 and he married Harriet Jones 1845 to 1928 and they are both buried in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery.

9.  Emma/Emily Ward – my great-grandmother born 1851 and died 1905. Emma/Emily has been featured in many posts on this blog with her husband Richard Brown. Her birthdate is the same in the St. Anne baptismal record I found as on her tombstone so it is probably her.

10. Sarah Ward 1852 to 1857 buried in the Fourth Line Cemetery and she appears in the baptismal records.

11.  Elizabeth Ward 1854 who married John Brodie and moved to Petrolia. She was in the St. Anne Baptismal record.

12. Sarah 1857 – I am not sure about her and wonder if she is mixed up with the Sarah I have as #10.  Or she is the Sarah in the will who looks like she married someone named [Elas].

Here is a summary of the contents of the Estate file of Benjamin Ward. FHL#0428278.

 1. Notice of Application of the goods of Probate of the will bearing the date of 31 October 1874, in receipt of.

 2. Petition of Samuel Mitchell and John Paine of the Township of Adelaide in the County of __________

Humbly showeth that Benjamin Ward Township Adelaide County of Middlesex, Farmer, deceased died on or about the first day of November in 1874 in the Township of Adelaide county of Middlesex and the said deceased at the time of his death his fixed abode was in the Township of Adelaide, County of Middlesex and the said deceased in his life time duly made his last Will and Testament on the thirty first day of October 1874. That your petitioners are the Executors named in the said will.  That the value of personal estate and effects if $500.00. That the probate be granted to them this fourteeth day of December 1874, Signed Samuel Mitchell and John Paine. 

  1. Affidavit of the Witness David Thomas in witnessing the will of Benjamin Ward. 14 December 1874.
  1. Handwritten copy of the will of Benjamin Ward
  1. General Description of Property – Household $40, Farming implements $40, Horses $150, Horned cattle $140, Sheep and swine $100, Farm produce $30, total $500. Signed by Samuel Mitchell in Strathroy Dec 6, 1874.
  1. Handwritten affidavit of John Paine – Promises to pay debts and follow the will’s requirements as Executor – signed by him 14 Day of December 1874.
  1. Handwritten affidavit of Samuel Mitchell – As Executor will follow the Wills requirements. Signed 14 Day of December 1874.
  1. David Thomas – Affidavit of knowing Benjamin Ward and witnesses his Will and Testament and James Thompson did mark and subscribe their names 14 Day December 1874.
  1. Affidavit of Samuel Mitchell saying he will follow the will. 14 Day of December 1874.
  1. Granting of the Petition to probate the Will, 29 day of December 1874.

The only thing missing is the description of the land that he gave to his son George Ward.

UPDATE 6/17/2017:  Just recently I received a descendancy chart for Sarah Paine/Payne and it turns out that she was married twice, 1st to Charles Ward and then to Benjamin Ward. The relationship of these two is unknown at this time.  So what you see above in the 1851 and 1861 census is a meshing of two families.  If you would like a copy of the descendancy from Sarah (Paine) Ward leave a comment and I will get you in touch with the researcher on the Ward/Paine family.

Charles Ward and Sarah Paine had: Vera 1837-1889, Joseph 1837-1914, Charles 1839-1857, William 1840-1904, Esther 1842-1925, Daniel (maybe Samuel) 1844 to 1933 and last Robenah 1846 to 1919.

Benjamin and Sarah had Emily/Emma 1851-1905, Sarah 1852-1857, Elizabeth 1854-1884 and Sarah 1857?.

Emily is my great grandmother on my mother’s mother’s side. She married Richard Brown in 1874 in Port Huron and they had 4 children. Their daughter Ethel is my grandmother.


Benjamin and Sarah Ward, Seeking their Burial…

Much to my frustration, I was unable to locate a grave or burial records for Benjamin and Sarah Ward.  If you know me, you know how much I love cemeteries and that means visiting them, recording tombstones and learning who is buried there.

The Strathroy-Caradoc Historical Society in Strathroy was very helpful.  The director kindly sent me copies of the cemetery publication for the 4th Line Methodist Cemetery outside of Strathroy.  It is also called Zion.

This cemetery is on Find A Grave under Mount Zion Fourth Line:

There are only 29 burials listed but there are many more graves in this cemetery. There has been a lot of neglect and the stones are laid on the ground around a mound in the middle.  At least they are not stacked like so you can’t read them.  I have added about 10 tombstone pictures to Find A Grave from my short visit to this cemetery which is west of Strathroy on Hwy 39 on the southeast corner of Eastman.  Someone had already done several of my Wards and those pictures are in better than mine, but the stones are very worn and difficult to read.  You can see evidence of repair work on several of the stones.

Unfortunately, there is no tombstone for Benjamin nor one for Sarah Ward.  There are several references to them as parents on two of the tombstones Zion Fourth Line: Sarah and Charles Ward. Here are my photos of these tombstones. The Find A Grave might be easier to read?

Sarah Ward dau of Benj & Sarah.

Sarah Ward dau of Benj & Sarah.

Charles Ward son of Benj & Sarah.

Charles Ward son of Benj & Sarah.

Ann Ward wife of Samuel Ward is buried in this Zion Fourth Line Cemetery and I suspect that Samuel is a brother to Benjamin Ward. It means there might be twins in this family for they are the same age according to the 1851 Canadian census, see my last post of my census study for Benjamin and Sarah Ward.

Here is a stone about a Charles Ward who died in 1846, who is this Thomas and what is his relationship to Benjamin and even Samuel?

Charles Ward died 1846 no age - Native of Oxfordshire.

Charles Ward died 1846 no age – Native of Oxfordshire.

There are also Paines buried in this cemetery and I believe that Sarah’s maiden name was Payne/Paine.

SOURCE:  4th Line Cemetery, (Mt. Zion, Old Methodist), Adelaide Twp., Original recording by Mrs. Cliff Wardell for the Adelaide Twp. Women’s Institute, Second Recording: Bill Robb. FHL#Microfiche 6050592.  Another publication is at the Strathroy Public Library in Strathroy with their cemetery collection.

I searched as many of the Middlesex cemetery publications that I found in the London-Middlesex Genealogical Society and Strathroy Library as possible on my trip and was unable to find Benjamin and Sarah Ward listed but I did find many Ward names especially in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery which is south of the town on Metcalfe St.

I have added those Ward surname tombstones to the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery that I was able to take photos of on my visit there in September 2014 to Find A Grave. How they are related to me I do not know except for possibility one stone that of George Ward.

I am thinking that George Ward born 1849 and died 1938 is a son of Benjamin and Sarah (Payne) Ward?

George & Harriet Ward, Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

George & Harriet Ward, Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

NOTE:  Canadian is slowly contributing to Find A Grave.  I use it a lot for the United States.  To find more stones and cemeteries in Canada go to the Canadian GraveMarker Gallery, the OFCA, the Canadian Headstone Project and the Canadian Cemetery Project. There are also individual cemetery projects for various areas so run a search such as Hastings County.  See the right side panel of this blog for links to a variety of sources for cemetery searching online.  Always remember to try for a publication of the cemetery at either the local genealogical society or public library, the older date of publication the better.  The reason is you might not be able to read the stone in the cemetery and you need to know who else is in the cemetery that might be related.

Benjamin and Sarah Ward, 2nd Greats

Nominal Index of Anglican Records for Adelaide

Nominal Index of Anglican Records for Adelaide

On my trip to Ontario in September, I traveled to London and Strathroy, Middlesex County, Ontario in search of confirmation that Benjamin and Sarah Ward were my great grandparents.  My great-grandmother Emma Ward Brown’s marriage record to Richard Brown stated she was born in Strathroy.

In my post on this blog dated August 7, 2010 I wrote about Richard and Emma marriage:  “Richard and Emma Marry!”

In another post dated July 27, 2010 “Richard Brown Finds Emma Ward,” I wrote about Richard Brown and an Emily Ward being listed in the 1871 Petrolia, Lambton Co., Ontario Canadian Census. I thought this is how they met.  This might not be a correct theory? Wards had settled in both Lambton and Middlesex Counties.

I have driven from Strathroy to Petrolia and it is about 45 minutes by car.  Could Emily have been enumerated twice? Her sister Elizabeth married in 1878 in Petrolia, her father Benjamin died 6 Nov. 1874 in Adelaide.  She marries Richard in January 1874 in Port Huron in Michigan which is next door to Sarnia.  The railroad went from Sarna to London, Ontario and went through Strathroy, not Adelaide.

There are actually several Emily’s, two in Petrolia (Lambton Co.) and one in Adelaide in the 1871 Census.  So which one is she?

1.  Emily Ward Boyce F age 6 under William Boyce in Petrolia.  With him is Percy, Clarice, Ellen, Elizabeth, Maria and little Emily Ward. He is a hotel keeper.

2.  Emily Ward F, age 21 two lines down in Petrolia.  This means she was born in 1850 in Ontario which does not agree with the birth date we have of 1851.  Richard is on page 36 and this older Emily is page 32 in Petrolia. She is listed as a servant.

The problem is we find an Emily at home with her father in 1871.

3.  Benjamin Ward Family in 1871 Canadian Census, Adelaide Twp., Middlesex Co., Ontario.

Line 1, 92, 96 Ward, Benjamin, W, 65 — born in England, C of E. England, Farmer, Widowed,
Ward, George, M, 21, born Ontario, C of E., England, Farmer, S (looks crossed off)
Ward, Emily, F, 19, born Ontario, C of E.
Ward, Betsie, F, 15, born Ontario, C of E. going to school
Ward, Sarah, F, 15, Born Ontario, C of E, going to school.

Source:  Benjamin Ward Family, 1871 Canadian Census, 8 North Middlesex, Adelaide Division No.2, page 23.  This Emily is a little closer to our date.

Going back in time, I looked at the 1851 Canadian Census for Wards who may be living in the area and the mostly like candidates were Benjamin and Sarah Ward.

Line 16 Benjamin Ward, Farmer, Born England, Episcopalian, X out of the limits, age 40, Male.

Sarah Ward, born England, Episcopalian, age 33, female.
Joseph Ward, Labourer, born Canada, age 15, male.
Vere Ward, born Canada, age 15, female.
Charles Ward, labourer,born Canada, age 13, male.
William Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 12, male.
Esther Ward, born Canada, age 10, female.
Daniel Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 8, male.
Sabena Ward, born Canada, age 6, female.
George Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 3, male.
Emily Ward, born Canada, age 1, female. All Episcopalian.

Several lines down is a Samuel Ward.

Line 27 Samuel Ward, Farmer, England, no religion, age 40, male.
Ann Ward, born England, W. Methodist, age 36, female.
Phoebe Ann Ward, born Canada, age 17, female.
Alfred Ward, labourer, born Canada, 15, male.
Henrietta Ward, born Canada, 13, female.
Albert Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 11, male.
Caleb Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 8, male.
Andrew Thos Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 7, male.
Reima Ward, born Canada, age 5, female.
Abse Elinda Ward, born Canada, age 3, female.
Moses Cole Ward, labourer, born Canada, age 1, male

Source:  Benjamin Ward Family and Samuel Ward Family, 1851 Canadian Census, Adelaide Twp., Middlesex Co., Canadian West Census. DN#23, SubDistrict #216. 

So what is the relationship between Benjamin and Samuel?  Are they brothers? There ages or both 40 years. This might imply twins or maybe the ages are incorrect?

I refer you to the 1871 Census above two of the girls are the same age under Benjamin Ward?  At this time I do not know the relationship between Samuel and Benjamin.

There is a tombstone in the 4th Line Cemetery in Strathroy for Ann as wife of Samuel. This stone is near other Ward stones.  If you look below at the books I have listed at the end of this post, you will see that we have the word BROS after Benjamin’s name in the Adelaide Twp. book under indigent settlers.

The Emily Ward born in Canada, age 1, female and Episocopalian fits the description of Emily/Emma Ward.

On my recent trip in September 2014 to Canada, I stopped at the Diocese of Huron (On the Huron Campus) in London, Ontario and searched the records for a birth/baptism of Emma.

Source: Registry of the Marriages, Baptisms, Burials in the Township of Adelaide 1833, St. Anne Anglican Church, Bay 2, Shelf 40, Box 24705, Diocese of Huron, London, Ontario.  This was from original registers.

Two pages: Emily, Parents Benjamin & Sarah Ward, Farmer, Adelaide, 4th Concession South, Date of Birth: 13 March, 1851, Date of Baptism: 28th Jany, Sponsors Benjamin Ward, Veah Ward, Sarah Ward, by A. Mortensen.  (Probably 1852 for the baptism hard to read)

Sarah, Parents Benj’n and Sarah Ward, Farmer, Adelaide 4th Concession South, born 11 Feby, 1851 (maybe 52, D of Baptism 13th March, Sponsors Parents, by A. Mortensen.

Elizabeth, Parents Benjamin & Sarah Ward, Farmer, Adelaide 4th Concession South, 19 April 1954 1854 baptism 10th June, Sponsors Parents, by A. Mortensen.

Phebe Anne Daughter of Samuel Ward and Anne Holden Adelaide, born September 4, 1835, baptized July 10, 1836 by D.E. Blake.

Esther, Parents Charles and Sarah Ward farmer, born 23 October 1842, baptized 9th July, Sponsors Rebecca Adamson, Sarah Ward and John Elson, D.E. Blake/Black Bay 3, Shelf 71, Box 130. Parish Register 1873 to 1905. Preg 687, 2006-16-04, 21018

The above original register of St. Anne records are the ones I found in my search at the Diocese.

The date of 13 March 1851 is on the tombstone of my Emma Ward Brown in Winnipeg reads:

 EMMA WARD / wife of Richard BROWN / born Mar. 13, 1851 / died Apr. 20, 1905 

Emma Brown

Emma Brown

There is an index that I found at the London Room of the London Public Library on my visit there in September 2014.

Source:  Nominal Index to the Anglican Register of Baptism, Confirmations, Marriages and burials for Adelaide, Upper Canada/Canada West/Ontario 1833 to 1884, Compiled by Charles Addington between 1981-1988.  This is a compiled and typewritten index.

Apparently I missed a lot of Wards.  I was not familiar with this booklet before I visited the Diocese of Huron, I wish I had this with me.


  • Ward (Payne), Charles 9 Feb 1840 page 33
  • Ward, Daniel [?], 28 Mar 1847, page 74/75
  • Ward, Eleanor Jane, 12 July 1863, page 242/243
  • Ward, Elizabeth, 10 June 1855, page 198/199
  • Ward, Emily, 28 Jan 1852, page 178/179
  • Ward, Esther, 9 July 1843, page 44/45
  • Ward, George, 2 Sept 1849 page 90/91
  • Ward, James McKeachen[?], 3 Sept 1854, page 192/193
  • Ward (Paine), Joseph, 12 Feb 1838, page 29
  • Ward, Joseph John, 12 July 1863, page 242/243
  • Ward (Paine), Leah [?], 12 Feb 1838, pg. 27
  • Ward, Sabina, 28 Mar 1847, page 74/75
  • Ward, Sarah, 13 Mar 1853, page 186/187


  • Ward, Charles & Sarah Paine [?], 20 Feb 1837, page 3
  • Ward, Joseph & Honoria Frost, 20 Oct 1833, page 1

At the Strathroy Public Library I found the following titles about Adelaide Township. I shared a post about my visit there in September 2014 on this blog.

1.  Adelaide Township, A History, compiled by the Adelaide Township Heritage Group, August 2001. On page 442 it has a great article with pictures of the St. Anne Anglican Church in Adelaide. This has a list on page 24: Location of Indigent Settlers in Adelaide Township and it is three columns and a whole page of names. It did not give a date or I missed it.

Last column: Benjamin Ward Bros. 24, 2S

2.  Strathroy Stories, The Early Years, Edited and compiled by Bill Groot, A Strathroy & District Historical Society Publication.  Unfortunately it just mentions the surname Ward in the pages but no details, only that they were in the township about 1832.

3. A History of St. Ann’s Church and Adelaide, by Dora Aitken.  This is a very good and has the history of St. Anne’s Church, Early Settlement, Adelaide Village,  and Other Communities are some of the chapter titles.

After having visited the area, I came to the conclusion that Benjamin and Sarah Ward probably lived closer to Adelaide than Strathroy. I did not go and visit the area of Adelaide, my time was at a premium and I wanted to see the cemeteries in the area before I left.

It looks lovely, St. Anne’s Anglican Church (not the original):

These are all interesting piece of information and it looks like Emily/Emma is probably my great-grandmother and daughter of Benjamin and Sarah Ward. As I have studied Emma/Emily, I have seen the name be changed from Emily to Emma in the other census and I found that confusing.  In genealogy you always have to remain open to the pieces of information that come your way and keep digging till you feel you have a good case.

Ontario Wanderings: Several Strathroy Cemeteries…

It was time to load up the car and the problem was getting my stuff down the many stairs in the Clock Tower Inn.  I decided to do it in stages and put my stuff outside my room door, then take it to the landing area, then move down to the second landing and finally to the front door.  Once at the front door, I had to put it outside in the foyer and down the very steep steps.  I managed to do this and the door didn’t lock on me.

I then retrieved my car from their free parking lot which was behind and to the side of the inn.  I pulled up front and loaded my car making sure I didn’t leave anything behind.

My next stop was the Strathroy Municipal cemetery just south of town on Metcalfe. I  had no problem finding it and was able to determine from my cemetery map where the Ward d tombstones were located.  It was very wet from the rain storm and my shoes and feet got soaked.

This is one of the largest cemeteries in Middlesex County so you need to consult the cemetery book and get a map.  There are single lane roads in this cemetery so you can move your car along with you.  The sectiona start with A and go from east to west.

Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

Now I do not know if any of these people with the Ward surname are my family. I have just started digging in to this surname.  I do know that Benjamin and Sarah Ward are my 2nd greats and so I am just taking advantage of the situation and gathering names.

Overview of the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

Overview of the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

Once I had completed searching for Ward tombstones I then headed to the 4th Line Methodist cemetery which was on Hwy 39 at Eastman on the southeast corner. It is about 7 blocks from Frank Street to the west. There is plenty of area space to park on Eastman.

I did find the Ward names but they were pretty hard to read.  It was not as well cared for this cemetery but it is the mostly likely one for where Benjamin and Sarah are buried even though there is no tombstone.   Some of the tombstones were laid out on this mound/cairn which is much better than piling them on top of each other.  At least this makes it so you can read them although it makes it so you don’t know where they are buried in the cemetery.

4th Line Methodist Cemetery

4th Line Methodist Cemetery


4th Line Methodist Overview

4th Line Methodist Overview

In this post, I am giving an overview of these two cemeteries.  I will get more specific when I return at the end of my trip.