Mississauga News - May 24, 2006, courtesy of Joanne Krywko
The 175 year old burial place for one of Mississauga's pioneer families is once again taking its rightful place in the sun.
Restored by the City of Mississauga after being re-discovered 14 years ago, Kindree Cemetery was dedicated in a recent ceremony.
The cemetery, which had become hidden beneath overgrown bushes and weeds prior to its rediscovery, is located on the west bank of Sixteen mile Creek on Derry Road West between Ninth and Tenth Lines.
The seven known burials were all children of Nathan and Mary Kindree. The Kindrees have their origins in Wales, journeyed from New Jersey through Niagara before settling in that part of Mississauga, then known as Trafalgar Township.
Only a quarter of an acre in size, the cemetery holds much historical significance, said Ward 9 City Councilor, Pat Saito, the driving force behind the project.
"It is testament to the early childhood mortality rate in the early 19th century and a reminder of the pioneer families that settled in Mississauga." Said Saito, who unveiled the Ontario Heritage Plaque at the ceremony.
The children, none older than three, died between 1829 and 1839 ? three from tuberculosis. Along with the Kindree siblings, there are more than 30 unidentified burials in the cemetery. Nathan Kindree is buried in Eden United Cemetery, one mile down the road.
The Kindrees had 12 children, five of whom survived and raised families in the area.
Among those attending the ceremony was Jane Lindsay, whose grandmother, Daisy Kindree died in 1982. Lindsay moved to Mississauga 4 years ago, but had no idea her family played such a significant part in Mississauga's history until she was tracked down by City staff.
"I was aware of Kindree Public School, but I didn't connect the name," said Lindsay. "The discovery for the cemetery fills in a few gaps in my family tree."
Kindree Cemetery is among the last visible reminders of a pioneer settlement called Lisgar. Beginning around 1819, families settled the area and Nathan Kindree dived on a 90-acre farm at the northwest corner of what is today the intersection of Derry Road and Winston Churchill Blvd. The community soon boasted an inn, general store, post office and blacksmith shop. In 1878, a train station was located on the nearby CPR line.
As with many pioneer communities, the prominence of Lisgar declined and signs of the village disappeared.
The cemetery had been almost forgotten until the surrounding area was developed as a residential neighbourhood in the early 1900's after being rural farmland for more than 150 years" said Saito, who rediscovered the cemetery in 1992 following a tip.
The Booster - August 9, 2006, courtesy of Joanne Krywko
A plot that offers more questions than answers
You get the feeling Robert Frost may have visited this little cemetery tucked away at the northwest corner of Mississauga, a century ago ? long after the first settler here had harvested this land for the last time
"...to hear his long scythe whispering to the ground, and feel his spirit kindred..."
Or perhaps, Frost should have said, 'spirit Kindree'. The Kindree family has been part of Lisgar since the inception of this vanished village. The Kindree graves have outlasted the community itself ? although just barely.
For decades the cemetery, where Nathan and Mary Kindree's children rest, laid in a pitiable state. Vandals are partly a fault, but sadly most of the blame must be placed on Nathan himself, for his unfortunate choice of location.
The cemetery plot may have seemed scenic at the time, but the steep bank that still slopes down to the nearby creek allowed the ground to shift over the decades, nudging the coffins out of place and the toppling the tombstones. Then acid rain eroded the carefully chiseled names.
The memory of the Kindree children might have faded into oblivion had not the chance annexation of old Lisgar, in the neighbouring Halton County, brought the Kindree's family gravesite under the authority of the City of Mississauga in 1975.
Eventually, the responsibility for the cemetery was placed in the hands of Denise Mahoney, supervisor of the city's cemeteries. Denise has become a kindred spirit to the Kindrees, attempting to uncover lost names and restore the cemetery's dignity.
Denise has been a one-woman archaeological CSI team, having so far recovered the names of eight of the twelve children, including two boys named William, born 11 years apart ? the second one likely born after the first had died.
Those identified so far died between 1829 and 1839. Denise has yet to uncover the name of a four-year-old son born in 1835 or any information on all of his sisters. Denise recalls, "the stone for the children was badly deteriorated and barely readable." The unidentified son and his older brother Alfred both died within months of each other ? possibly of a tuberculosis bacteria that spread through the Kindree household. The three anonymous daughters may have fallen victim to the same outbreak.
Perhaps there are more tombstones to be discovered, or pieces of existing stones that might provide answers.
The city had the help of the Lisgar Resident's Association in refurbishing and relocating the broken tombstones. The LRA also raised funds to put a pedestrian pathway through the plot. Oral tradition says that there area over 30 other burials at this site, but if this is indeed the case, then they've yet to be found. It's more likely that local residents over the generations have confused Kindree's tiny family plot with Eden Cemetery, just 2 kilometers east. Nathan is buried at Eden, and the confusion between the two cemeteries may explain the "missing" burials.
But why is Nathan not buried with his children in the plot that he chose? And who is B.E.M. ? the one known burial at Kindree that is not a Kindree family member?
Lisgar was home to the May family. Perhaps on of them is buried here but if so, why?
You're welcome to visit Kindree Cemetery, stroll alongside the creek and maybe even so do a bit of genealogical investigation of your own.
Here, in the presence of the spirits Kindree, you might even hear the sound of Nathan's scythe as it whispers to the ground.
SOURCES / THANKS
Some persons named in this index may not be interred in this cemetery. They are designated as spouse or parent on appropriate stones, and may not have their own birth and death recorded here (See our FAQ).
Women, if maiden names are known, will appear under both their maiden and married names.
This index represents ALL visible headstones still in existence at the time this cemetery was visited
|KINDREE, (3 daughters)|
|KINDREE, (son) 1835 - 1836 (age: 1)|
|KINDREE, Alfred 1836 - 1839 (age: 3)|
|KINDREE, William J. 1833 - 1836 (age: 3)|
|KINDREE, William M. 1829 - 1829 (age: 1m)|
Correct a name / Request a removal: Corrections & removal requests can be made using the form found on the name page. From the index above, locate the name in question, click on it, and fill out the form on that page.