and preserve black
cemeteries. Researchers continue
to unearth information on African-Canadian cemeteries in the
An incomplete list follows that may be updated as further information
is available. For more information on African Canadian cemeteries
in the region please visit the website (ken turner’s
site) or the Archives of Ontario Ontario Genealogical Society
Transcriptions - Essex County on the web at http://www.archives.gov.on.ca/english/interloan/cem_essex.htm
Smith Black Cemetery - Banwell Rd
A small black cemetery can be found on Banwell Road in the area described as “Negro
Lot 143”. It is on the west side of Banwell Rd about 0.25km from the Railroad
tracks heading away from the E.C. Row Expressway. The oldest stone is that of
James F Ross born 1866 died 1908. The most recent is that of Amanda J. Wray (smith)
Colchester South Baptist
A small cemetery was maintained by the Baptist Church in Colchester South.
Matthew Elliot a former Indian Agent for the British Government brought a group
of blacks to help clear Bob-Lo Island in the 1790’s. The cemetery is
believed to be located near a mainland dock south of the town centre in Amherstburg.
A British Methodist Episcopal Church was established at the settlement of Gilgal
in 1852. In 1871 the settlement consisted of 181 residents with a school
Harrow former British Methodist Episcopal Church
The former BME Church in Harrow is believed to have been destroyed by fire
over fifty years ago. Tombstones remained but were in a state of great disrepair.
Ken Turner repaired many of the tombstones. The Municipality of Essex now
maintains the site.
Malden former Mount Pleasant Church
The Mount Pleasant Church operated from the 1840’s through the turn of
the Century. It is estimated that perhaps 100 burials are on the site which
is currently farmland.
New Canaan in Gesto
Fugitive slaves named their settlement New Canaan after the biblical promised
land. “the happy land of Canaan” as they referred to the settlement
was developed on land granted as part of the Clergy Reserves in the northern
concession of what is now Gesto. The several hundred residents built a road
and cleared the land but it was isolated
and difficult to farm. Most settlers returned to the states leaving behind
their farms and a cemetery. Burials at the site include the grave of Canada’s
first black lawyer Delos Davis.
Walls Family Cemetery Puce
The Walls Family cemetery consists of approximately forty burials including
non-family members. John Freeman Walls passed away at the age of 96 and was
interned at this site in 1909. His wife passed away in 1910 at the age of
88 and is also buried in the family cemetery.