Boston Presbyterian Church & Cemetery

NW Lot 6, Concession 4, Esquesing Township.
9185 Third Line, Halton Hills.
GPS 43.5538°N, –79.9154°W

History: When Esquesing was settled in 1819, the area from the base line to the 15th sideroad and from the 5th line to the 2nd line soon became known as the Scotch Block. Some of these settlers came directly from Scotland, but a great many others came via the USA. The first minister to come to this Presbyterian settlement was the Rev. Wm. Jenkins of Markham, who preached in June 1820 at the farm of Andrew Laidlaw on Lot 6, Con. 4. In 1821, a session was chosen of the following men: John Stirrett, James Laidlaw, Robert Shortreed, George Barbour, Thomas Barbour, George Darling, James Frazer, and John Creighton. A meeting was called on 4 March 1824 to consider the purchase of land for a church and burying ground. The appointed committee purchased one and a half acres from Andrew Laidlaw. At a meeting later that year, Malcolm McNaughton, James McLaren, Duncan Campbell, Andrew Hardy, and Jasper Martin were elected trustees for one year, and it was decided to proceed with the building of a church, a school, and dividing the cemetery into lots. From almost the beginning, the congregation was divided by different views concerning articles of faith and by the early 1830s a large and influential element had resolved to leave and start a new church. This group was to become the United Presbyterian Church just down the road. After years of being served by Missionary preachers, the Rev. Peter Ferguson was inducted as the first pastor on 11 April 1832.
The current church was built by James Smith in 1868, and is named after Thomas Boston.Boston Cemetery Association: On 27 May 1911 a meeting was held for the purpose of considering ways and means of putting the cemetery in order and providing for its care in the future. It was decided that a trust fund be raised by selling shares of stock at $10 a share. The money would be held by a Board of Trustees elected at that meeting. They were: James Murray, Peter Campbell, John McClarty, William Hampshire, and Adam Sproat. [by Elaine Robinson]

Records: The Presbyterian Archives at Knox College has a great deal about this church, including baptisms from 1822, collection records, communion rolls, etc., but unfortunately no death records. There is a map, however, showing plot owners. A hint to a possible year of death may be on the communion rolls — sometimes there is a notation of “dead” or “died” beside a name, which likely indicates that the person died that communal year.

Transcriptions of this cemetery are available on-line by credit card from the O.G.S. web site click here for price/order.

References:
“Records and Memories of Boston Church” by John McColl.
“A History and Atlas of the County of Halton” – Halton District W.I.
Knox College Presbyterian Archives.