McNab Pioneer Cemetery

McNab Pioneer Cemetery

NE Lot 11, Concession 11, Esquesing Township.
At rear of 10118 Old Pine Crest Road, Georgetown (Norval).
Access from south side of 10126 Old Pine Crest Road, Georgetown (Norval).
GPS 43.649°N, –79.856°W

Dedication of McNab Pioneer Cemetery, 23 Sep 2007: Words of Rev. Paul Ivany, Norval United Church Minister: “We gather today in this place and our thoughts automatically go to the past. The first settlers of this area came here almost 200 years ago but the First Nations people were here for perhaps thousands of years before that. This spot was always known as the McNab cemetery and was created by the McNab family, the first pioneers of Norval. While some of the grave markers have been moved in previous years to the Hillcrest cemetery, and while others may have been vandalized and disappeared over the years, we know, from the historical record that Alexander McNab, his wife, Jane Campbell McNab, and some of their children are buried here. The Toronto Evening Telegram in July 1926 reports, “There is a marble headstone for an infant son of Alexander and Jane McNab who died July 28, 1823, which shows how early they settled”. Oral history suggests that during the cholera epidemic of 1854 children were buried along the south fence line,The Indians were buried close to the road, and most of the other graves are towards the back. This land, then, was sacred ground to both the First Nations people and to the early pioneers of this area and this village.

“As we see urban sprawl gobbling up prime farmland, as we see thousands upon thousands of people moving into the area who know nothing of the history of the land upon which they are making new lives, as time marches on and those voices that rang out in this village in the 1920s and 1930s are silenced one by one, we realize that it is an important thing we do this day. It was almost 200 years ago that those pioneers stood on this very spot for the burial of a loved one. They prayed to God for comfort. They mourned their loss. They wept their tears. We come to unveil a plaque so that those who follow might catch a glimpse of the history we share, but we also pause, in this sacred place, to remember, and to honour those men and women and children who created a life and built a community here. We thank God for their lives and their work. May we, who continue to live or work or play in this village never forget them and commit ourselves to making our community a better place for the generations that follow.”

Unveiling of plaque – by Norma Tripp (Norval Women’s Institute President), Joyce Hutton (Norval Community Association President), Brian Lewis (Councillor representing the Mayor), Paul Ivany (Norval United Church Minister).
Prayer of Dedication – O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, our shelter from the stormy blast, and our eternal home, we turn to you in prayer as we dedicate this plaque marking the McNab Pioneer Cemetery. We think of those who are buried here, most of whom are nameless to us but not to you. We think of those who came to this place to bury loved ones. We think of the grief they felt and the comfort they sought here on this spot. Bless this place, O God, that it might continue to be a source of comfort, peace and inspiration to all who visit it. And bless us each, O God, as we seek to honour our ancestors, remain faithful to you, and serve others. Hear our prayers, offered up this day we pray, Amen.

There are no gravestones in this cemetery. Some of the gravestones were moved to St. Paul’s Anglican Cemetery (adjacent to Hillcrest Cemetery) in the 1930s. If you know of a further source of burial information for this cemetery we would be very pleased if you would contact us.

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