The burial site of Joseph and Sarah Longhurst, in Avonbank, near Stratford, Ontario...

From a search with the Ontario Cemetery Finding Aid...

LANGHURST Caroline Parsons Avonbank Presbyterian Perth Downie PH-806-9, PH-616-4

LANGHURST Joseph Avonbank Presbyterian Perth Downie PH-806-9, PH-616-4

LANGHURST Sarah Avonbank Presbyterian Perth Downie PH-806-9, PH-616-4

On July 24, 2004, a visit to the site found the gravestone of Joseph and Sarah laying flat on the ground, unbroken. It is in surprisingly good shape compared to the other stones of the same age and contruction material in the same cemetery. The sun has bleached the stone and has kept moss from growing on it. The stone is also relatively free of other surface damage and corrosion. Weathering has made the inscriptions somewhat unreadable, but here is what the stone likely reads...

"In Memory of JOSEPH LANGHURST. Born November 20, 1787. Died September 7, 1877. A native of Surry England. Also SARAH, wife of the above. Born August 18, 1786. Died March 11, 1863."

"Our parents here lie underground, the dearest friends we ever found; but through the Lord's unbounded love, we hope to meet in realms above."

Avonbank Presbyterian Church, front view. Avonbank Presbyterian Church, rear view, Alfred Longhurst and his aunt Margaret Faith Cooper (nee Longhurst) in the distance. Relative positioning of the gravestones shown here.

Daughter Caroline Parsons (nee Longhurst) is buried in the plot to the left of the double plot of Joseph and Sarah.

Gravestone of Joseph and Sarah's daughter Caroline, with husband George Parsons. Gravestone of Joseph and Sarah Longhurst. Plaque near cemetery entranceway.

Photos taken by Cam Longhurst, July 24, 2004.

Two plaques on stone fenceposts of the cemetery read...

"1842-1929. In memory of those who were the first to come into this Canadian countryside. The cultivated fields, the homes, the school, the church, are existing monuments of their courage, their wisdom, and their piety. A later generation adds this token of gratitiude."

"1842-1929. The Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water springing from the valleys and the hills, a land of wheat and barley. Thou shalt not lack anything in it, and thou shalt bless the Lord thy God for the land which He hath given thee."

An unusual unmilled gravestone near the entrance to the cemetery may explain the "Lang" in "Langhurst". The stone is engraved "John & Janet Hotson from Langholm, Scotland to Avonbank 1853". Many of the gravestones in the cemetery have Scottish family names, and it appears that the area was a Scottish settlement, so a local stonecutter may have thought the name to be "Langhurst".

Directions to the Avonbank Presbyterian Cemetery...

From Toronto, take the 401 west to exit 218. Go north on 119 about 33 kilometers, through Ingersoll, Thamesford, and on north to Highway 7. Take 7/119 northeast about 6 kilometers to a small junction called Conroy. (If you go too far, you will wind up in Stratford.) Turn left onto Line 16. Travel on Line 16 for about 7 kilometers, beyond Perth Road 130, to the community of Avonbank. The Presbyterian Church is there, on the north side.

This file last modified 9/29/2012...

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