Loyalist Cemetery Plaquing Project

Hamilton Branch

While attending a Grand River Branch meeting, the idea for this project came from a Loyalist plaquing project that Grand River Branch had been doing for a number of years. I (Doug Coppins) went to a Grand River Branch meeting in 2006 and volunteered to help them plaque cemeteries. I did this for 2 years.

I approached the Hamilton branch about having a Plaquing project to search out the Original Loyalist, and plant a plaque in the cemetery where they are buried. A Committee was formed and we starting having regular meetings to find those cemeteries. We also needed a plaque to put in the cemetery.

We looked at the plaque that Grand River Branch had, and we looked at the one that Butler Branch had, and we decided to design our own plaque.

At the Sportsman show in Toronto, we saw a business called Routered signs. We looked up their website and chose a design, and contacted them to start making a sign for us.

We chose a plaque with two layers of polymer resin with white background and blue lettering. The armourial bearings are on the plaque painted with acrylic paint. We have a nice royal blue 2 inch metal post, 8 feet high with a cap on it, to which the plaque is attached.

This project was overwhelmingly received by members of the branch. Some plaques were paid out right by members who descended from these Loyalists, and some were put up with assistance from Dominion.

Every unveiling of the Plaque is special as we have an Unveiling ceremony. We invite members of the family to speak about their Loyalist ancestor. We also invite members of Federal, Provincial and local Municipal Governments. Everyone in our committee has a job to do from reading the Loyalist prayer, introducing the speaker or taking pictures of the event. We always provide refreshments.

We have one known loyalist burial ground to plaque yet, but it is held up due to a dispute with a developer, which has been going on now for 5 years.

We have placed plaques in eleven cemeteries:

  • Union Cemetery
    • Year: 2009
    • Loyalists: William Davis, UE; Thomas Ghent, UE
    • Location: Plains Rd., Burlington, ON
  • Hamilton Cemetery
    • Year: 2010
    • Loyalist: Several, including Robert Land, UE
    • Location: York Blvd., Hamilton, ON
  • Bowman United Church
    • Year: 2010
    • Loyalist: John Smith, UE Peter Bowman, UE
    • Location: Garner Rd. E., Ancaster
  • Smith Cemetery
    • Year: 2010
    • Loyalist: Jacob Smith, UE
    • Location: Kennedy Ave., Hamilton, ON
  • Bethesda United Church
    • Year: 2010
    • Loyalist: John Shaver, UE
    • Location: 584 Garner Rd. E., Ancaster, ON
  • Rock Chapel United Church
    • Year: 2010
    • Loyalist: Edward Ryckman, UE
    • Location: 451 Rock Chapel Rd., Waterdown, ON
  • Millgrove Cemetery
    • Year: 2010
    • Loyalist: Daniel Cummins, UE
    • Location: Millgrove, ON
  • Christ’s Church Cathedral
    • Year: 2011
    • Loyalist: Richard Beasley, UE
    • Location: Hamilton, ON
  • Camp Skinner Cemetery
    • Year: 2012
    • Loyalist: Hartman Freeland, UE
    • Location: Lot 25, Conc. 2W, Orkney, ON
  • First Place Hamilton
    • Year: 2012
    • Loyalist: Richard Springer, UE
    • Location: 350 King ST. E. Unit 300, Hamilton, ON
  • DeForest Cemetery
    • Year: 2012
    • Loyalist: Abraham DeForest, UE
    • Location: Derry Road & Walkers Line, Milton, ON