Cataraqui United Church

Tradional Worship Wrapped in Casual Style

Heritage Cemetery at Cataraqui

Formerly Cataraqui United Church Cemetery

      We wish to introduce ourselves to you as you consider purchasing a cremation lot in our non-denominational cemetery. 


      Both Cataraqui United Church and the Cemetery were recognized by the City of Kingston as sites of Heritage  Value and Interest early in 2018.  A group of United Empire Loyalists led by Captain Michael Grass settled in the area known as Cataraqui in the spring of 1784.  Within a few years a Methodist church and a cemetery were established. As more people arrived the area became known as Kingston.  

      Families have laid to rest their loved ones here for a very long time. 

      Cataraqui has not been able to offer new lots for full casket burials for a number of years due to a lack of space. There were, however, smaller areas that could potentially be developed to accommodate the interment of cremated human remains. In 2019 the Cemetery Board received permission to  pursue this project. 

      We can now offer 3'x3' lots which have space for two sets of cremated remains each. A lot is sold as a package which includes the Interment Rights for the lot and a memorial marker.The current price  for this package, along with other costs associated with burials are available upon request. A representative would be pleased to meet with you to provide additional details. 

Please phone:

 613 - 777- 5260 and leave a message 

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Cemetery History

The cemetery has passed through several phases since its conception; the coming of the Loyalists, times of plague (such as the typhus plague of the 1850's), the population shift after the war of 1812 etc. Thus it represents an important cross-section of our history. The oldest

stone in the cemetery belongs to Nicholas Herchmer, dated 1809, but through the years foot stones have been buried and headstones broken or rendered unreadable by the weather, so there are likely many older burials on the grounds. In fact, when the widening of Sydenham road was under discussion, it was decided that it was not feasible in front of the church cemetery because there were so many unmarked graves there.
The first graves were largely a result of Loyalist burials, some of them the settlers Captain Michael Grass had brought with him to Canada. Captain Michael Grass himself was also buried in the cemetery in 1813. The land upon which the cemetery is located was owned by Neil Ferris who measured out the area and sold plots (containing approximately fifteen graves each) for the sum of $10.00, and a deed was given to prove ownership. Thirty deeds were registered in Kingston, dating between 1840 and 1899.

In the founding years this cemetery, which now surrounds Cataraqui United Church on three sides, was not Methodist, but was more closely aligned with the Catholic Apostolic Church in which Mr. Ferris was involved. Neil Ferris died in 1893, passing his estate (including unsold plots) to his unmarried niece Sara Jane Dick, who died soon after 1901. The estate was then inherited by her sister Mrs. Emma Susan Chapman, who moved away a few years later. Subsequently this was the end of Ferris ownership of the burial grounds. There is not official document that indicated ownership of the 'Ferris Burying Ground' by the Methodist Church of Cataraqui. However, the Church continued to look after the cemetery and Cataraqui United church is still the manager today. In 1929, a 'Perpetual Care Fund' was established to care for the grounds adjoining the Methodist burial grounds is a family cemetery, "The McGuin Burial Plot". The exact demarcation of this plot is a post in the northwest corner of the lot, and this can be clearly seen today; a surveyor's stone with a scored cross on top.

Genealogical Research

      We are often contacted by people searching for information from our burial records to aid in research into their ancestry. We are happy to help. 

      As well as checking church records, volunteers are keen to show you where family members are buried. A walk around the cemetery can yield even more information if you look beyond that one stone you wished to see. You may also find other family members in adjacent lots. In some cases whole other branches of the family tree have been discovered in this way! If you live at a distance from the cemetery we can take photos to go along with the information we send.

      Since the cemetery was founded in the 1790s you will see some very old stones. Currently, the oldest one still standing is dated in 1809. Sadly, some of the stones have been degraded over many years and some have been laid flat with sod encroaching on them. Volunteers have been working very hard to find, clean off, repair and, where possible, set the stones upright. Work on hundreds of headstones and family plot markers has been done over the last few years. If you would like to take part by cleaning your family stones you are welcome to do so. If you live locally, you may be interested in helping with the other work going on. There is also a lot of loving care invested in the upkeep and beautification of the grounds, trees, shrubs and flowers.

      Members of the United Empire Loyalist organization in Kingston area have noted that there are many soldiers who served in the War of 1812 buried in our cemetery. In cooperation with members at the Cataraqui United Church, they are placing special stone markers on their graves. If you would like to find out more about the local UEL chapter you may connect via this link:

Support the Cemetery

We do not charge for helping you with your research. If you wish to donate toward the care and maintenance you may leave a cheque made out to Cataraqui United Church with the volunteer who is helping you or mail it to: 

Cataraqui United Church

965 Sydenham Road, Kingston On

K7M 3L8

Note: Please identify where you would like your donation to go e.g. "Cemetery Board" 

You may contact Heritage Cemetery at Cataraqui by leaving a phone message 613-777-5260 or by emailing to

Thank-you for your interest and we wish you success in your searches.

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