Category Archives: Strathroy Municipal Cemetery – Strathroy

A Search for Wards, in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery…

In September of 2014, I visited the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery, south of Strathroy, Ontario and tried to find as many Ward surnames as possible.

At this point, I do not know how my Wards fit in with the other Wards in Middlesex County, Ontario.

As a member of Find A Grave I have been adding cemetery memorials with tombstone pictures to existing cemeteries.  The Strathroy Municipal Cemetery is featured on Find A Grave:

Here is a list of those Ward surnames that I have added to this cemetery listing at Find A Grave. I have included tombstone pictures but warn that if they were on the ground and covered with debris it was hard to get a good photo.

1.  Catherine Sarah Ward, 1846 to 1915 wife of Daniel

2. Clifford Stewart Ward, 1923 to 2001

3. Daniel Ward 1844 to 1933 – He might be another son of Benjamin & Sarah Ward.

Catherine & Daniel Ward in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

Catherine & Daniel Ward in the Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

4.  Earl M. Ward 1920 to 1921, son of George & M. Esther.

5. Eliza P. Ward 1877 to 1881

6.  Eliza P. Luckins Ward 1883 to 1944 wife of John F.J. Ward

7. Emily J. Ward 1880 to 1881

8. Florence E. Ward 1870 to 1954

9. George J.S. Ward 1886 to 1955. His wife is M. Esther McDonald

10.  George Ward 1849 to 1936 may be a son of Benjamin and Sarah Ward.

George & Harriet Ward in Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

George & Harriet Ward in Strathroy Municipal Cemetery

11. Harriet Jones Ward 1846 to 1928. This is George Ward’s wife. In addition there is a Joanna Furey Gill on the same tombstone.

12. Hopper Ward 1854 to 1930 his wife is Sarah M. Fitzgerald

13. John F.J. Ward 1883 to 1964 his wife is Eliza P. Luckins

14. John H. Ward 1865 to 1936

15. M. Esther McDonald Ward 1886-1947

16. Mary Isabel Ward 1931 to unknown

17. Olive Louise Ward, ? to 1905 is daughter of Hopper and Sarah.

18. Rachel Brown Ward 1856 to 1936 wife of Richard Ward

19. Sarah Ann Ward 1874 to 1890

20. Sarah M. Fitzgerald Ward 1858 to 1949

There may be more that I have added with different surnames but this is the Ward section.

The cemetery is very large but the Strathroy Public Library has a cemetery transcription book with maps to assist you if you need to find someone.  I do not know how all these Wards fit together so if you know who they are please leave a comment at the end of this post.  The other option is for you to go to Find A Grave and target the stone you are interested in and find my name at the bottom in the Created by link and leave me a message.


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.

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.