Graveside Project Logo Graveside Project - Honouring the Veterans of the War of 1812

War of 1812 - Graveside Project

Honouring the Veterans of the War of 1812

Vétéran de la Guerre de 1812

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Wasaga Under Siege 2015

Wasaga Under Siege 2015

For more information on this event please visit the Friends of Nancy Island and Wasaga Beach.


Obituary of Elizabeth Hancocks U.E., A.O.C.A., C.G., C.G.R.S., C.A.L.S.

Elizabeth (Libby) Hancocks Elizabeth "Libby" Hancocks

Elizabeth Hancocks, for nearly a quarter of a century Dominion Genealogist of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada, died at Grace Hospital in Scarborough on February 13, 2015, after a short illness. She was 87.

It’s well conceivable to say that her work has indirectly influenced many of the applicants on this website, including her son, who is the webmaster and designer of the site. Indeed, her own ancestor, William Johnson, is listed here as an 1812 Veteran.

Elizabeth was a research genealogist with more than a half-century of experience. A graduate of the Ontario College of Art in 1951, she first became interested in genealogy in 1962 as a result of the accidental excavation of a family cemetery during a construction project at Finch and Dufferin Avenues in northwest Toronto.

She was a founding member of the first branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society in Toronto, and has been a member of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada since 1962.

Libby, as she was known to friends and colleagues, served the OGS publication Families as its Queries Editor from 1969 to 1978, and was fully familiar with the in’s and out’s of query genealogy.

As she gained genealogical expertise, she became a member of the National Genealogical Society of Washington, D.C., and held the rank of Certified Genealogist for the Board for Certification of Genealogists in the United States. She was the first Canadian — indeed the first non-U.S. citizen — ever to be certified by that century-old organization. In 1985 she was elected to its Board of Trustees where she represented a Canadian professional voice in North American genealogical research matters.

The descendant of a Loyalist — William Casey of Rhode Island — she has always been vitally interested in Loyalist lineages, and played an active role in the affairs of the United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada.

She was Branch Genealogist for the Governor Simcoe Branch (Toronto), 1965-1972, then assistant Dominion Genealogist at U.E. headquarters for several years. In 1972 she was named Dominion Genealogist, a post she held until 1986. In 1977 she was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Silver Jubilee Medal for her work on Loyalist pedigrees. She was again nominated Dominion Genealogist in 1998, a post she held to the present day.

A professional researcher for hire, her work was accurate and methodical. She was researching in the 1970s when the Ontario Archives was just a room over the Sigmund Samuel Museum in Toronto—a time when researchers were handed original documents to check (no microfilm), and was indexing by hand long before computers gained ascendancy.

She has many genealogical books to her credit. She wrote the preface to Scottish Roots. She was compiler of Loyalist Lineages of Canada, 1783-1983. Her series County Marriage Registers of Ontario and Surrogate Court Index of Ontario, Canada, 1858-1900, compiled with June Gibson, are essential tools for the study of genealogy in Ontario.

Her personal interest in Prince Edward County, in particular, has led her to publish much information on that area, including census and cemetery data.

She is also the author of the chapter on Famous Ontarians and The Shaping of Ontario for Loyal She Remains.

The standard research map set of Ontario, one of a genealogist’s most useful briefcase research tools was compiled by Libby.

Her later interests all revolved around Loyalist genealogy. She remained an active participant in the Association, and was recently given the Dorchester Award by the Loyalist Association for her contributions to Loyalist history.

She is survived by her husband of 60 years George, son Seaghan and wife Sandi, daughter Shannon and husband Arastou Rafizadeh, son Casey and wife Kim, grandchildren Cristiona and husband Bill McKay, Alex, Stephan, Coral, Roya and Emma and great-grandchildren Brydon and Mikayla. Internment will take place at Glenwood Cemetery, Picton, Ontario in late spring or early summer along with the 1812 Veteran plaque ceremony for her ancestor William Johnson.

Her contributions to Canadian genealogy will be missed.

1814 and The Treaty of Ghent
200 years later

We commemorate the signing of the Treaty of Ghent on Christmas Eve 1814 to end the War of 1812, which was formally ratified by the United States on February 18, 1815 to cease hostilities. The Treaty of Ghent was signed December 24 1814 between 4 pm and 6 pm by British and American Diplomats ending the War of 1812 and defining the borders of Canada.

200 years later, with the close of the War of 1812 Bicentennial upon us, it's important that we make sure that you know that this War of 1812 Graveside Recognition Project does not cease with the end of the Bicentennial commemoration. This project will continue as long as there are like minded Canadians who feel that these War of 1812 veterans need to be recognized for their service.

The strength and courage, the resolve and sacrifice of these veterans represents a rich part of our heritage -- too important to be forgotten -- too precious to be ignored.

As the Graveside Team, we are committed to continuing to accept your biographies and will continue to ship the plaques to mark the graves of these founders of our nation.

Please take the time to enjoy the fruits of your labours as pictured below with associated links to read about the Veterans fascinating histories and accept our thanks for your continuing support of this project.

— Regards, the Graveside Team

Saint James On-The-Line, Pentanguishene Ontario July 18 2013 Plaque Ceremony The Graveside Project Team (Left to Right) Dave Brunelle, Lyn Downer and Seaghan Hancocks.


At this event Brigadier General Nicolas Eldaoud, Commander 5th Canadian Division unveiled Historical Military Establishment of Upper Canada Veterans Graveside Recognition Plaques at the graves of Major General Ross and Sergeant Smith.

Major General Robert Ross, Commander of the British Land Forces at Bladensburg, Washington and Baltimore and Sergeant Richard Smith, Colour Sergeant 104th (New Brunswick) Regiment of Foot.

Old Burying Ground in Halifax Courtesy of 5th Canadian Division.


Plaque ceremony to honour the service of Samuel Cochrane, a unique ceremony held in winter conditions.

A private in the 1st Regiment York Militia he served in Detroit and in Queenston Heights He volunteered once and was twice drafted and received a military pension.

Samuel Cochrane, Whitby Ontario Samuel Cochrane, Whitby Ontario.


The ceremony to honour Solomon Vrooman at a cemetery in Niagara on the Lake. Solomon, one of two brothers to fight in the War.

Solomon Vrooman enlisted in the Lincoln Militia when war broke out in 1812 & fought in the battles of Stony Creek & Queenston Heights 13 Oct. 1812 as well as Beaver Dams & Lundy's Lane.

James Vrooman was the son of Adam, a Captain in Butler's Rangers who was granted crown land in Queenston. He was the 2nd youngest of 7 children & youngest of five sons. His eldest brother was Solomon Secord Vrooman who was in the Lincoln Militia & who inherited his father's land. In 1812 James enlisted in the Glengary Fencibles at Three Rivers, a regiment of light infantry.

James Vrooman, Vroomaton Ontario James Vrooman, Vroomaton Ontario.


The ceremony to honour the service of William Scarlett, the plaque being placed by relatives of this War of 1812 veteran. William Scarlett is one of over 40 veterans researched, identified and graves located by the Heritage Arts Legacy of Fort Erie, a dedicated group of volunteers.

During the War of 1812-14, William served as a Private in Captain John Warren's Company, 3rd Regiment Lincoln Militia. His sons, John and Samuel served alongside him. It is written that he fought at the battle and siege of Fort George. There he was one of 1,931 men captured on May 27, 1813.

William Scarlett, Fort Erie Ontario William Scarlett, Fort Erie Ontario.


The ceremony to place a plaque to honour the memory of those who are buried in a mass grave at Old Fort Erie.

Fighting was intense during August and September 1814 when the Americans applied pressure and laid siege on Fort Erie. During those two months, 150 men lost their lives in battle and were buried on the grounds of the fort in a mass grave.

Mass Grave, Old Fort Erie Ontario Mass Grave, Old Fort Erie Ontario.


Ceremony to honour the service of Titus Williams

"Colonel Titus Williams, born Long Island, 22 November, 1790, son of Captain Jonathan Williams, of the British Army. He received Ensign's Commission in the 2nd Norfolk Regiment. Volunteered on 27 June 1812, the day of the war's outbreak, appointed Lieut., in Left Flank Company. Commanded a detachment of Norfolk men at Detroit. Became Captain and Adjutant of the 2nd Regiment of Militia at Detroit some time later.

Later he was captured by Americans on Niagara River, sentenced to be executed, but was liberated in May, 1814. Immediately appointed Adjutant of the 4th Regiments of Militia and was at Lundy's Lane. Then placed in command of the 103rd Regulars at Dover and Ryerse.

Military General Service Medal awarded to Colonel Titus Williams St. Williams Ontario Military General Service Medal awarded to Colonel Titus Williams in 1848 for bravery and services during the War of 1812. It has a Fort Detroit Campaign clasp for the taking of Detroit. The brown paper box is the original box the medal came in.

Richmond Hill Ontario, October 27/13 Plaque Ceremony Federal MP Costas Menegakis ready to unveil a commemorative plaque with a colour guard of War of 1812 re-enactors from the Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada.
Richmond Hill Ontario, October 27/13 Plaque Ceremony Rev. Duncan J. Jeffrey of the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church helps unveil a plaque to commemorate the service of members of the York Militia during the War of 1812.

Five War of 1812 veterans of the York Militia were honoured in Richmond Hill, at the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church on October 27, 2013. The veterans — John Arnold, David Bridgeford, John Langstaff, James Marsh and James Miles had Bicentennial commemorative plaques placed at their gravesites.

Mr. Costas Menegakis, MP for Richmond Hill, did the unveiling of the plaque for Colonel John Arnold. Mr. Reza Moridi, MPP for Richmond Hill did the unveiling for Brother James Marsh. Mr. Dave Barrow, the Mayor of Richmond Hill unveiled the plaque for John Langstaff. Rev. Duncan Jeffrey, representing the church unveiled the plaque for James Miles who was a founding elder for the Richmond Hill Presbyterian Church. Rt. W. Brother, John C. Green, Deputy Grand Master of The Grand Lodge of Ontario assisted by V. W. Bro. Jeffrey Smart, Worshipful Master of Richmond Lodge, #23, GRC, unveiled the plaque for V. W. Bro. Col. David Bridgeford.

Re-enactment Groups represented: Incorporated Militia of Upper Canada, York Volunteers, The HMS Nancy Gun Crew, 49th Regiment of Foot and On-gwe-ho-way Historical Re-enactors.

Pictures courtesy of Roger Potts Photography. Special thanks for the efforts of Dinah Cruse and Greg Hunter to honour these veterans.

Fort Erie Ontario, Oct 27/13 Plaque Ceremony Descendants of George Huffman a veteran of the War of 1812 Flank Company 3rd Lincoln Militia gather at the Coloured Cemetery in Fort Erie on October 27, 2013 to unveil a Bicentennial Plaque in his honour.
Fort Erie Ontario, Oct 27/13 Plaque Ceremony Local Navy Cadets and Legion members form an honour guard at the ceremony to recognize veterans George and Jacob Huffman.
Fort Erie Ontario, Oct 27/13 Plaque Ceremony Part of the crowd in attendance at the plaque laying ceremony on October 27, 2013.
Fort Erie Ontario, Oct 27/13 Plaque Ceremony Members of the United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada in attendance at the ceremony to honour these veterans.

Ceremony to honour War of 1812 veteran George Huffman of Flank Company 3rd Lincoln Militia at his gravesite.

Photos supplied by Vanessa Warner.

Perth Ontario, Oct 12/13 Plaque Ceremony (Left to Right) John Fowler (priest), Hillary Fowler, Sandra Beacock, John Gemmell (Legion), Susan Code (local historian), and Karen Prytula (holding plaque).

Ceremony to honour War of 1812 veteran Michael Harris at his gravesite.

Special thanks to Karen Prytula for her efforts in honouring this veteran.

(Left to right)The Venerable John R. H. Fowler, Irene Spence, John Gemmell. (Left to right)The Venerable John R. H. Fowler — Who officiated at the ceremony, is the retired Archdeacon of St. James Anglican Church, Perth, and a descendant of George Fowler (Vet ID 90). Irene Spence, co-author (with Ron Shaw) of a recently published biography of Alexander Fraser Forgotten Hero and lives in the house built by Fraser in Drummond Township where he was granted land near the Perth Military Settlement following the war. John Gemmell the Deputy Mayor of Perth and Curator of the Perth Royal Canadian Legion Branch 244 Hall of Remembrance Museum. Legion Branch 244 provided a color party for the ceremony.
(Left to right) Irene Spence, and Ken Fournier Drummond Township Councilor ... representing the Township where Alexander Fraser and William Horricks lived their lives following the War of 1812. (Left to right) Irene Spence, and Ken Fournier Drummond Township Councilor representing the Township where Alexander Fraser and William Horricks lived their lives following the War of 1812.
Perth Ontario, Oct 2/13 Plaque Ceremony Perth Ontario, Oct 2/13 Plaque Ceremony.

Irene Spence — Was the driving force behind the October 2, 2013 ceremony; engaging Perth Branch 244 of the Royal Canadian Legion and Karen Rennie, Perth Heritage Tourism Manager/Curator, in organizing the ceremony around the plaque for Lieutenant Alexander Fraser (Vet ID 59). Prompted by Irene’s initiative the October 2, 2013 ceremony was extended to include the placement of plaques for Roderick Matheson (Vet ID 70), Alexander Thom (Vet ID 107) and Michael Harris (Vet ID 98) who are buried in the same cemetery, as well as Joshua Adams (Vet ID 96), William Horricks (Vet ID 49) and Andrew Playfair (Vet ID 56) who are buried elsewhere.

Special thanks to Ron Shaw for providing photos and information.

Penetanguishene Ontario, July 18/13 Plaque Ceremony (Left to Right) Lyn Downer, Dave Brunelle, Steve Ball, Lenore Ball, Seaghan Hancocks and Ed Kristufek standing at the gravesite of Captain James Keating.
Penetanguishene Ontario, July 18/13 Plaque Ceremony (Left to Right) Steve Ball, Dave Brunelle, Lyn Downer, Seaghan Hancocks, members of the Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada address the crowd. Captain James Keating gravesite (left) and Captain John Moberly (right) can be seen in the background.

On July 18, 2013 a plaque laying ceremony was held in Penetanguishene to honour the service of two veterans of the War of 1812. The first two plaques laid in this national bicentennial project were placed at St. James-on-the-Lines Anglican Church to honour Captain James Keating of the Royal Artillery and Captain John Moberly of the Royal Navy. Plaques were unveiled by Federal MP Bruce Stanton and Provincial MPP Garfield Dunlop.

Members of the Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada address the crowd at the War of 1812 Gravside Recognition Project. This War of 1812 Bicentennial project is unique in the history of Canada as it represents the first time in our history that War of 1812 veterans have their individual stories told, and have their gravesites marked to honour their service to our nation. The Historic Military Establishment of Upper Canada is a not for profit group of heritage volunteers who conceived this bicentennial project, manage the submitted biographical information, and distribute the bicentennial plaques. We gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance received from the Federal government's War of 1812 Commemorative Fund.

Who We Are

We are a non-profit group that have come together to ensure that the War of 1812 veterans get the recognition that they deserve, not only in the defense of Canada, but also for their dedication in building the foundation of the Canada that we live in today.

This site is intended to make you, the visitor, aware of the people, the places, and the foundations that our forebearers made, sometimes in the face of extreme hardships.

Why This Project is Important

The Graveside Recognition program will fill a tremendous gap in Canadian's knowledge about the far reaching effects of the War of 1812 on our nation. We are one of a very few nations that has not honoured its founders.

The graves of veterans of the War of 1812 have never been recognized nationally and by doing so, we will bring an awareness of this time in our history to light in communities that have no other link to the War of 1812.

This project will provide a data base of biographical information on thousands of veterans of the War of 1812, a data base that presently does not exist, and one that will be a boon to future research by students of our history.

This legacy project that will see schools, heritage committees, legions, and family members research this time period and place these plaques in the future brings the promise that the veterans of the War of 1812 will not be forgotten, nor will that important part of our nation's history.