Barnes Humberstone Pioneer Cemetery

West ½ Lot 18, Concession 8, Esquesing Township

East of Trafalgar Road

History:

Christian Barnes, a Loyalist descendant, came to Esquesing Township from Grantham Township in 1819, where he had been granted land. He was located on Lot 18 West, Concession 8 on 10 March 1819 and granted the 200 acres of Lot 18 on 19 July 1844 by the Crown. According to Lucy E. Emslie, in her book, A History of St. John’s Anglican Church, Stewarttown, Ontario, “When settlers arrived part of Christian’s property of 200 acres is believed to have been inhabited by Native People. There is an Indian Cemetery here and from time to time Indian artifacts have been found near this cemetery.”  In 1987, in a letter to J. Mark Rowe of the Esquesing Historical Society, Emslie claimed that the cemetery “was on a knoll” and that there had been at least three headstones there, one of which commemorated children of Christian Barnes who had died of black diphtheria.  An archaeological report in 1998 by Archaeological Services Inc.  identified 19 grave shafts with in situ human remains, but there was no evidence of native burials in the area and any burials found appeared to follow a Christian tradition No stones have survived.

ASI recommended that the cemetery be registered with the Registrar of Cemeteries. As for Christian Barnes, he and his wife, Margaret, are buried in St. John’s Anglican Church cemetery.

Mark Rowe reports that the cemetery site had the frame of a church built there abut 1850 but that it was never completed.  Heritage Halton Hills has sent a request to the municipality to have the area signed.