St. Luke’s Anglican Church & Cemetery

S Lot 21, Concession 3 SDS (South of Dundas Street), Nelson Township.
1382 Ontario Street, Burlington.
GPS 43.3235°N, –79.80205°W

History: Perhaps the most well known church in the Burlington area. In 1798 the Crown granted Joseph Brant, the Mohawk chief Thayendanegea, 3450 acres of land in recognition of his loyalty through the French wars and the American Revolution. Joseph Brant built a house on this land in Wellington Square (now Burlington) where the Joseph Brant Hospital now stands and lived there with his third wife until his death in 1807. He had become a Christian and wanted to give part of his land to the church but his death prevented this. His youngest daughter, Elizabeth, married William J. Kerr and in 1834 they donated 3 acres of this land for a church and cemetery.

St. Luke’s church was completed in the fall of 1834. It was consecrated on 4 October 1838 by the Right Reverend G.J. Mountain, then Bishop of Quebec. The Reverend Doctor Thomas Greene became the first rector of St. Luke’s in 1838. Reverend Greene, who had been sent to Canada in 1832, remained at St. Luke’s for 40 years and became a respected and active member of Wellington Square’s pioneer community. In over 165 years, St. Luke’s has only had ten rectors, and many of these are buried in the adjoining cemetery.

St. Luke’s Anglican Cemetery is situated beside the church. Joseph Brant’s body was interred in St. Luke’s churchyard until 1850 when it was removed to the Mohawk village on the Grand River. Of special significance are a few graves of the early settlers; on the east side, a few feet from where they once sat in church lay the remains of Mr. and Mrs. Augustus Bates. Augustus Bates was the first white child to be born in Nelson Township, and his father was the first white settler. There is also the Ferguson family plot, enclosed with iron railings, where the Honorable A. F. Ferguson Blair is interred. He was the first Privy Council President of the Dominion of Canada.

Records: St. Luke’s Church office has Anglican burial lists from 1838. However, the early lists up to 28 November 1868, do not state the place of interment. Lists on hand there have been photocopied from the originals which are at McMaster University in Hamilton. The addition at the end of our transcription is therefore from 1868 on. The place of death is often stated as Wellington Square which was the original name of Burlington. [by Jane Watt and Janet McKay]

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