Gravestone Inventory

Yarmouth County Gravestone Inventory

The Yarmouth County Gravestone Inventory began in 1985, initially as a project of the Genealogy Group, Yarmouth County Historical Society, chaired by Peter Crowell.

Deborah Trask, of the Nova Scotia Museum and author of Life how short Eternity how long: Gravestone Carving and Carvers in Nova Scotia, conducted a workshop on September 7, 1985, on the proper methods for recording inscriptions of gravestones. She designed a form to be used for the recording of these inscriptions. This form was designed to capture a variety of information on the gravestones themselves, and also ensure an orderly and systematic approach. These forms record the following information:

  • Name of the cemetery
  • Date of recording
  • Marker number
  • Name of recorder
  • Marker type (head, foot, etc.)
  • Material (marble, granite, etc.)
  • Number of carved surfaces on the marker
  • Carving motif
  • Condition of the marker
  • Condition of the inscription
  • Dimensions of the marker
  • Number of people commemorated
  • Direction the marker faces
  • Inscription on the marker
  • Epitaph
  • Cataloguer’s remarks

The first recording by members of the Genealogy Group began in September of 1985. The initial work by this group was sporadic and not very successful. However, various individuals from the group were highly diligent and successful in recording the information from a number of cemeteries. Kenneth and Doris Peters, of Pubnico, NS, succeeded in recording all of the gravestones and their inscriptions from every cemetery at the County Line in Lower East Pubnico, NS, to Mount Pleasant Cemetery, at Argyle, NS. This recording took place between the years 1985-1988.

In 1987 the Argyle Township Court House Archives undertook a continuation of the inventory in Argyle Municipality. This was done using summer staff and volunteers, under the supervision of Peter Crowell, Municipal Historian and Archivist. From 1987 to 1991 a number of cemeteries were completed by ATCHA. This included the large Catholic cemeteries at Ste.-Anne-du-Ruisseau, Surette’s Island, Amirault’s Hill, and Wedgeport. A number of smaller cemeteries were also completed.

In 1989 Eric Whitehouse, chairman of the Genealogy Group at the Yarmouth County Museum attempted to resurrect the inventory project in that part of the County. While the group did not accomplish very much, Eric Whitehouse himself competed a number of cemeteries in the Deerfield area. In the last few years Janice Stelma and Lucille White, of the Yarmouth County Museum, have recorded a number of additional cemeteries in the Yarmouth Municipality (Carleton, Forest Glen, Port Maitland, etc.)

In Argyle Municipality Doreen Anderson recorded the Plymouth cemetery. Phyllis Pothier and Gordon Muise recorded the cemeteries at Quinan. Carol Jacquard recorded the cemeteries at Tusket Falls, Canaan, Pleasant Lake & Summerville.

The inventory continues in this manner, one cemetery at a time.

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Archives Civic Address:
8162 Highway 3
Tusket, NS B0W 3M0
Museum Civic Address:
8168 Highway 3
Tusket, NS B0W 3M0
Mailing Address:
PO Box 101
Tusket, NS B0W 3M0
Archives Phone: 1(902)648-2493
Museum Phone: 1(902)648-0211

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Dave Surette, 2013 Design | Nick Bourque, 2016 Admin