Some of you may already know I’m a genealogy nut, emphasis on the nut. While drinking-aged teen friends were out making their world a fuzzy place to be, I was poring over notes about my great-grandparents and trying to make connections between them and others with the same surname. Twenty-five years later, I’m still doing the same thing.
Because of this obsession, I’ve dragged first my young nephews then my own children through dozens, perhaps a few hundred, cemeteries in Atlantic Canada. Some of these cemeteries held the remains of several hundred individuals while others were a single grave.
As whim allows, I’m going to post some of the photos I’ve taken over the years. I can’t do it all at once, just as time permits.
Today, I’m posting pictures taken at the Early Settlers Cemetery ~ Herr Heinrich Moser Sr., Moser River, Halifax County, NS.
Although I had thought I’d visited every cemetery between Sheet Harbour and Sherbrooke while digging up the Tibert and McDonald history, I was wrong. On a sunny summer’s day in 2007 while talking with Gail at the Trail Stop, Moser River, and discussing my activities for the day – taking pictures of local headstones – she asked if I had been to the Early Settlers Cemetery
“No! I hadn’t heard of it,” I said. “Tell me more.”
Gail kindly gave me direction to this secluded cemetery then I packed my youngsters in the car and went in search of it. It took several minutes of driving and asking neighbours near the cemetery before we discovered the right path to the waterfront property where many early settlers of the small community of Moser River were laid to rest.
The incredible advantage digital cameras have over film cameras is the onboard computer that captures the exact time of each photo taken. Four years later, without having made one note, I know the first picture was taken at 1:25 pm, July 22, 2007, and the last at 1:31 pm. Incredible!
How did I do this, you might ask. Simple. Hover the curser over the file name of the photo and these details and others are revealed. For more details, right click the file name and choose Properties from the menu that appears.
The Old Settlers Cemetery contains only three headstones with information. Most of the graves are marked with a simple steel cross. My usual mode of taking pictures is to first take a shot of the entire stone and setting. The second photo is a close-up so I can read the information clearly. This is not needed for every headstone.
I used the Nova Scotia Genealogy website (https://novascotiagenealogy.com) to search for records to add information to what I have.
The Old Settlers Cemetery
As we approached the cemetery, I could immediately see it was well cared for. The lovely white fence was in perfect working condition, the grass was neatly trimmed and the tree added beauty to the tranquil setting.
A fitting sign graced the entrance way.
The setting was beautiful. The soft summer breeze blew off the ocean, bringing with it the aromas of salt and sea.
Turning away from the harbour, I took a picture of the cemetery to show where the headstones and crosses were located.
William E. Moser’s headstone was the oldest on site. William had died October 24, 1890, age 54. I could find nothing further on William’s death on the Nova Scotia Genealogy website.
However, I believe I found his marriage registration (book 1816; page 184, number 84): William Edward Moser married Catherine Moser on February 5, 1877 (hard to read) at Moser River, Halifax County, NS by license, Presbyterian. William was 40 years old, a bachelor and farmer. He was the son of Ann and George (farmer). Catherine was a 24-years-old spinster. She was the daughter of Mary Ann and Arth? (very hard to read) Moser (fisherman). Both were born and resided in Moser River. Witnessing the wedding was George Fraser and Rev.(?) Alfred B. Dickie.
If someone knows whether these guesses are right or wrong, please, let me know.
Wm J. (Wm indicates William) Shiers was born in 1866 and died in 1948. His wife, Eliza A., was born in 1872 and died in 1955.
Searching for a death record on the Nova Scotia Genealogy site, I found Wm J. was William Jack Shiers. He died at Moose Head, Halifax County, NS on February 11, 1948 at the age of 81 years, 5 months and 23 days. Although the handwriting is difficult to read, I believe he died from coronary occlusion (heart disease).
William was born at Moose Head on August 20, 1866, the son of Eliza Moser (born Moose Head) and Albert Shiers (born Moose Head). William was married at the time of his death to Eliza Shiers. He had been a carpenter during his lifetime, working in the trade for 50 years (if I read the handwriting correctly). It appears his last day of work was ten years before he died. His nationality is listed as Canadian, and his racial origin as English.
Neil H. Smith of Necum Teuch, who was unrelated to William, served as informant to his death. William was buried at Moser River on February 13, 1948 by the undertaker, D. K. Veinotte of Ecum Secum.
On further search of the website, I found Eliza’s death certificate. Eliza Anna Shiers died February 27, 1955 at Moose Head at the age of 82 years, 9 months and 22 days. Again, the cause of death is difficult to read. It appears to be cardial vascular disease. She was a widow.
Eliza was born Eliza Anna Moser on May 5, 1872 at Moser River, the daughter of Catherine MacDonald (born Harrigan Cove, NS) and William Moser (born Moser River). She had been a housewife. Her nationality was listed as Canadian, and her racial origin was German.
The informant for her death was her daughter, Stella Maud, the wife of Arthur Moser of Moser River. (Stella and Arthur were married September 1, 1921 at The Rectory, Ecum Secum, Guysborough County). She was buried March 1, 1955 at Moser River by the undertaker, D. K. Veinotte, Ecum Secum.
Nelson Moser died the same year as Eliza A. Shiers, in 1955. He was born in 1868, so was a few years younger than her. His wife, Sarah M., was born in 1879 and died in 1964.
Searching the NS Genealogy, I found Nelson’s death certificate. He had died August 3, 1955 at Moose Head, Halifax County, NS at the age of 89 years, 1 month and 18 days of arterial sclantic (?spelling), cardio vascular disease.
Nelson was born June 16, 1866 (which differs from the headstone) at Moose Head, the son of Sophie Howbolt (born Mary Joseph (now Marie Joseph), Guysborough) and Ephram Moser (born Moose Head).
Nelson was a carpenter for twenty years, but also worked as a fisherman. His last day of work was in 1935. His nationality is listed as Canadian, and his racial origin was Dutch. He was married at the time of his death to Sarah Matilda Moser.
The informant who provided the information for the death certificate was Mrs. Nelson Moser (Sarah), his wife, who lived at Moser River. He was buried August 4, 1955 at Moser River by the undertaker Ken Veniot, Ecum Secum, Guysborough County.
Sarah’s death certificate won’t be available online until 2014, fifty years after the event.
The couple’s marriage registration can be found online (book: 1819, page 18, number 268). They were married July 5, 1894 at Moser River, by License, Presbyterian. Sarah M. Moser was age 15-year-old spinster, the daughter of Catherine and William (farmer) Moser. Nelson Moser was 24 years old, a bachelor and fisherman, son of Sophia and Epherium Moser (Carpenter). Both had been born and resided in Moser River. The witnesses were Maggie Bresker? (hard to read) and George Moser.
I checked the steel crosses. None of them had markings on them to indicate a name or a date.
If you found this information helpful, please consider buying me a cup of tea ($1.50) as if we had chatted at a cafe and I shared this with you. [Payment is through PayPal.]