The members of the my great-grandmother’s family who died in or near Grey Township are also buried at Knox Presbyterian cemetery.
John Johnston was a taxable resident of Grey Township by 1866; I do not know the exact date he arrived there. Just two members of John’s family survived and migrated to Michigan, his children, James and Jane. Jane was my great-grandmother.
A cousin related to me that her father, Rae Johnston, son of James Johnston and grandson of John Johnston, traveled to Canada with a friend and visited the cemeteries. It seems that either James or Rae Johnston purchased the Johnston gravestones. The appearance and style of the markers is not consistent with the death years of the family.
My second great-grandfather, John Johnston, 1829-1881
I stood at this grave for a long time. As a reminder, I didn’t crop my foot off the photo. In my mind, this grave connected and cemented my relationship to this family forever. My grandmother, Winnie Alice Kaiser, must have been named for this aunt, her mother’s sister. Just seeing the name made me shiver. I had absolutely no doubt, these Johnstons were my family.
After this trek, I drove back to Goderich and began to search the marriage, death and birth indices for the time. Funny, a marriage record I found said this:
#004614-81: William HARBOTTLE, 23, farmer, born Granville, Ontario, residing Grey twp., son of John HARBOTTLE & Sarah CHISHOLM, married Kate JOHNSTON, 23, born Perth County, Ontario., residing Grey township, d/o John JOHNSTON & Catherine RAPER, witnesses were Earnest HARBOTTLE & Mary Ann KAISER, both of Grey Township, date April 20, 1881 at Grey twp.
Hmmm. Back to the cemetery records; then, another, sadder drive back to the cemetery.
I remember years ago, when Papa and I located the grave of his g-grandmother I said, great! Now, who else is around here, it is important to look at the neighbors. That day we did find some neighboring graves with names that seemed significant to us. On this day in May, 1991, in Grey, Ontario, I had missed it. I would not have realized, even had I seen the grave before I left the cemetery the first time. I am glad I had planned a several day trip, in order to view all the records I could find in the area.
After locating Kate’s marker, I took this overview of the Johnston markers and her marker, to show the relationship.
The taller, older marker for Kate is just behind the Johnston lot, in the next row.