A cemetery became part of Fort Beauséjour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site in 1964 when it was acquired as part of a farm property adjacent to the Site. It’s historical origin remains obscure as does its specific relationship with the fort.

Many of the headstones in the cemetery are of Yorkshire immigrants from England who arrived at Fort Cumberland during the 1772-1775 wave of immigration.

The cemetery was first surveyed in 1990 and again in 1998 utilizing ground penetrating radar technology. The surveys identified as many as forty burials within the area now designated as the cemetery. Early grave markers were thought to be made of wood and this explains why none survived for many of these burials.

Here is more information on the surviving eight sandstone markers.

George Dobson 1721-1773

George Dobson 1721-1773

George Dobson, the seventh child of Richard and Margaret (Watson) Dobson, was christened June 18, 1721 at Redcar, Yorkshire, England. Raised in the Anglican faith, he converted to Methodism and became a devout follower of the teachings of John Wesley. In 1773, George Dobson immigrated to Nova Scotia with his wife (née Mary Barker) and seven children. He purchased 1,750 acres from Joshua Winslow in Cumberland Township. He is reputed to have come over on the Duke of York in 1772 in order to assess the opportunities of the land before committing to the purchase of a property. Shortly after the family’s arrival, George passed away on July 28, 1773, having drawn up his Last Will & Testament the day before.

Richard Dobson 1701-1775

Richard Dobson 1701-1775

Richard Dobson, first-born child of Richard and Margaret (Watson) Dobson, was christened July 20, 1701, at Redcar, Yorkshire, England. In 1774, Richard embarked for Nova Scotia to settle his younger brother George’s estate. He traveled aboard the ship Albion, accompanied by his servant Sarah Barr. On January 13,1775, he drew up his Last Will & Testament, superseding one written in Yorkshire two years earlier. He died April 2, 1775. 2 The stone base beside George Dobson’s headstone is believed to be that of his brother Richard Dobson.

Polly, Lucy and Mathilda Smith

Polly Smith ?-1793
Lucy Smith 1807(?)-1815
Mathilda Smith ?-1801

Polly, Matilda and Lucy were the daughters of Rufus and Elizabeth (Dixon) Smith who had 10 children. Polly and Matilda died in their infancy and though they passed away at different times, a single stone marks their resting place. Lucy was born about 1807 but died at the age of 8. Dr. Rufus Smith was a Loyalist from the Maugerville area, New Brunswick. His father, Nathan, was also a surgeon who had come from New England. Born in 1766, Rufus Smith lived near Fort Cumberland. He was one of the area’s youngest surgeons and had a large medical practice extending from the isthmus of Chignecto to Moncton. Initially traveling by horse back, he later was one of the first in the area to import a traveling vehicle, known as a “grasshopper shay”. Elected as MLA in 1816, Dr. Smith represented the County of Westmorland in the Assembly at Fredericton for about 15 years. He died in 1844 at the age of 78, his remains lie in the cemetery at Point de Bute.

Thomas Dixson 1732-1809

Thomas Dixson 1732-1809

Buried in front of Fort Beauséjour Museum

Born in Dublin, Ireland in 1732, Thomas Dixson came to Norfolk, Connecticut with his parents when he was young boy. He had an active military career and his importance during the American Revolution is commemorated by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada as follows: “ In mid-November, 1776, a poorly armed band of American sympathizers under Jonathan Eddy invested Fort Cumberland, hoping to capture it and induce Nova Scotians to join the rebelling colonies. Captain Thomas Dixson and three volunteers sailed across Minas Basin and went on to Halifax to warn the authorities, securing the assistance of a force which helped rout the invaders. Dixson later represented Cumberland Town in the Nova Scotia Assembly (1777-1785) and Westmorland in the New Brunswick Legislature (1792-1802). He died at his Point de Bute farm”. Thomas Dixson was 77 years old when he died and was originally buried in Jolicure, New Brunswick. In 1938, his disinterred ashes were reburied with full military honours and a Memorial was erected in front of the Fort Beauséjour Museum.

Watson King 1829-1876

Watson King 1829-1876

Buried in the northern section of Fort Beauséjour

Watson King was the son of Thomas King who owned a large farm that adjoined the garrison land of Fort Cumberland. Thomas King’s father, also named Thomas, came from Yorkshire, England in 1773. He worked as a blacksmith for several years at Fort Cumberland. Watson King had 2 sisters, Jane, __, and 3 brothers, Edward, James and Samuel. None of the siblings ever married, except for one sister. It is reputed that the “King boys” as they were called, were well read and good conversationalists. Watson King died at the age of 47 and is buried on property formerly belonging to Thomas King, in the northern section of Fort Beauséjour—Fort Cumberland National Historic Site.

Samuel McCardy 1750-1827

Samuel McCardy 1750-1827

Very little is known about Samuel McCardy but he owned land in the area and was on the building committee formed near Fort Cumberland in 1794 to build a new church at Mount Whatley. He was also identified as a church warden of St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Mount Whatley in 1810. Samuel McCardy passed away at the age of 77 in 1827.

For more information about the Yorkshire immigrants to New-Brunswick, visit the Tantramar Heritage Trust website.