|448 County Road 23|
Leeds and Grenville United Counties
|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The following description is found only the Memorials of the McGuigan Cemetery/Merrickville/Wolford, Ont
It was named after Miles McGuigan an Irishman who served in the Peninsular War under Wellington in the 81st Regiment and was later wounded at Waterloo. As an army pensioner, after the War of 1812, he married widow Leahy, who owned the land. A Crown Grant on which the cemetery is located. Legend has it that he is buried here, but his grave has never been found. The oldest known grave is that of Samuel McRae and one of the pioneer settlers of the Lower Rideau Settlement.
This cemetery is one of the oldest buying grounds, not only along the Rideau River, but in Eastern Ontario. It was used for approximately One Hundred years between 1800 and 1900. Unfortunately there are few written records anywhere, either as to its existence or as to who was buried within its confines.
The tombstones discovered during its restoration in 1979 and 1980 by the Merrickville Historical Society tell only a small part of the role it played in the history of the area.
From the early 1800s until its closure in the 1890s, the cemetery exhibits several distinct patterns of burial. The first to find rest here were the United Empire Loyalists who arrived as pioneers in the closing years of the 1700s. These earliest settlers received loyalist land grants along the lower Rideau and many are buried here.
The Memorial Marker Reads
This memorial Marks the Area where an Unknown Number of Persons were buried in the Cemetery between the years 1800 and 1900. Despite the Scarcity of Records, it is believed that many died of Pestilence, Principally Malaria, During the Construction of the Rideau Canal from 1826-1832. They were mostly Irish Labourers and their children of Pioneer Settlers. Their Graves were marked only by Simple Fieldstones. Some of which are still Remain Visible.
May they Rest in Peace