Burials in the Mohawk Chapel burying ground
What follows is all of the known burials of Six Nations Members that took place in the Mohawk Chapel Burying Ground. While the Church was constructed in 1786 there was no resident minister until 1827 when Reverend Abram Nelles and assistants such as Rev. Lugger took up residence and ministered to the Christians of Six Nations. By that time there was an active Methodist Ministry around Davisville, and many Mohawks were members of this Church, and likely buried in its churchyard. Another problem is that it seems that while the Baptism and Marriage records kept by Rev. Nelles (who eventually became an Anglican Archdeacon) are intact, all of his burial records were burned in a fire in 1903. Some existing records are found in a supplementary book kept by Rev. Lugger, which seems to have survived the fire — although few Six Nations burials are found in these records.
The following records are from tombstone inscriptions found in the burial ground, and as well, from letters sent by Rev. Nelles to individuals such as Lyman Draper, who was writing a biography on Joseph Brant (never published). These letters date to the year 1879. Other sources are noted below. As far as I know there are no other existing burial records for the Mohawk Chapel.
Burial Records: What follows is given by source.
1) “Records of Burials at the Mohawk Burying Ground, Brantford”. Transcribed by Alma Luard and published by the Brant County Branch, The Ontario Genealogical Society, Brantford, Ontario in 1964 from the burial register and from the tombstones (tombstones indicated with an *).
Askewe, Solomon, pupil at the Mohawk Inst. from Cape Croker died June 1902
* Brant, Henry Mohawk Chief died July 16, 1852 aged 61
* Brant Chief Joseph and son John interred at the west of the church. Tomb has an iron fence around it.
Cusick, Jesse 10 years Mohawk Inst. Feb. 10 1907
Davis, Mrs. Clara, 1848-1926
Davis, Fanny 1850-1930
Davis, Mary, widow, Ohsweken Feb. 3, 1916, by Rev. C.M. Turnell
Gibson, Robert, 10 Mohawk Inst. June 5 1917
Green, Mary, 61, Twp. Brantford Nov. 24 1879 widow of Daniel Green, Mabel Ellen 3, Twp. Brantford Nov, 23, 1887
Green, Estell Mary, 2, Twp. Brantford Aug. 1889
* Green, Daniel 1865 – aged 46
* Green, Peter Deer, born about 1814 or 1815 in the Six Nations Reserve died of a sunstroke in Brantford July 6, 1883
* Green, Peter, Oneida Chief, Mar. 17, 1851, aged 62
* Green, Estella, 1889 2 yrs. 7 mos. 29 days [same as above]
*Green, Mable, 1887 aged 2 yrs., 11 mos. [same as above]
* Green, Thele, 1881 5 days “Our Loved One”
* Hill, Margaret Martin 1861-1937
* Hill, Lorene Amy dau. of Margaret 1896-1903
Johnson, Allan Wawanosh, died June 19, 1923 b. [bur.] in Johnson Plot
Johnson, George Henry Martin, 68 Twp. Onondaga, Mohawk Chief, Feb. 27 1884. Father of Pauline Johnson
Johnson, John Smoke, 93, Tuscarora, 1886, Mohawk Chief see Kanyenga Register. Grandfather of Pauline Johnson.
Johnson, H. Beverly, 41, died at Columbia, Penn. Sept., 13, 1894 2
* Johnson, Jacob, Sandusky, died 1843 aged 85 [Great Grandfather of Pauline Johnson]
* John, Peter Brant died Mar. 3 1850 aged 24 Grandson of Joseph Brant
* Kerr, (?) dau. of Wm. Johnson Kerr granddaughter of Joseph Brant, died on the Reserve Grand River 1836-1876
Lcour, Theresa, 10 Caughnawaga, Aug 9 1891 Indian pupil at the Mohawk Institute
Martin, Charles D. 32, Kanyengeh Clergyman, Sept. 9, 1883 MARTIN, Lydia 84 widow Sept. 20 1884
* Martin, Sophia, (same stone as Chas. D.) 1938 aged 84
* Martin, Joseph, 1865 aged 73
* Martin, George, Mohawk Chief, b. 1767, died Grand River 1853, aged 86
Maracle, Jenny, 16 Mohawk Inst. Aug 16, 1900
Maracle, Margaret 14 Mohawk Inst. June 16, 1901
* Miller, John Oct. 26, 1870 aged 39 [not sure if he was Six Nations]
Poohle, George, 34, Tuscarora, Indian Labourer, July 17, 1891 [African?]
Ruggles, [William] of the Mohawk Village Apr. 24 1831 [white man but see other source re wife Sarah]
Russell, 5 mo. Aug. 5 1884 [not sure if was Six Nations] Smith, Deborah, 87, Tuscarora, found dead, widow Sept. 4 1891
Smith, Charlotte, 81, Tuscarora, widow Jan. 12, 1901
Smith, Arthur Wellesley, 80, Apr. 2 1917 [Six Nations?] Smith, Lucenda Widow of Isaac Barefoot 1846-1870
Smith, Lydia, daughter of Isaac 1867-1870
Walker, Mabel, 11, Cape Croker, Pupil at the Mohawk Inst. Aug 8 1902
Wilson, Inez, 11, Tuscarora, Pupil at the Mohawk Inst. Apr. 6 1900 WILSON, Hilda [no further info] 2) “Coffin plate found during excavations around Mohawk Chapel”
At the time of the Queen’s visit in the 1980s there was a lot of work done both around the Chapel to “spruce it up” and take care of some infrastructure upgrades, and also a complete archaeological dig in the area where the parking structure was to be placed on the south side of the Church. Near the Church, the following item noted above was found with the following inscription:
Mrs. Sarah Rugles, Died 2nd of May, 1851, Aged 75 Years.
Sarah was the wife of the William Ruggles noted above, and the daughter of Lt. Brant Johnson Kaghyakon and Margaret Campbell who was an Indian captive. Brant was a son of Sir William Johnson.
3) “Letter of 1 October 1879 from Archdeacon Abram Nelles” 73 years of age to Lyman Draper” (Draper Manuscripts, Series F, Vol. 13, pp. 58-9). Draper wrote that, “The following was taken from his [Rev. Nelles’] burial record”.
Mary Tekarihogea buried June 23rd 1830 Henry Tekarihogea buried Aug 18, 1830 John Brant buried Aug 27, 1832 Catharine Brant buried Sept. 16, 1832 Mary S. Hill buried Jan. 13, 1828
Esther Hill [Dekahondahgweh] buried Dec. 16, 1838 aged 90 years [she was the widow of Captain David Hill Karonghyontye Astawenserontha who died Nov. 1790]
4) Jacob Crooked Neck, an Oneida, buried Jan. 28, 1844, aged 110 Widow Susanna Claus, buried Aug. 22nd 1845, aged 97 years Thos. Claus, buried Feb. 25, 1849, aged 74 years
Jacob Brant, buried Dec. 16, 1847
Oneida Jacob, buried 14th March 1850 – aged 100 years. Mr. Nelles adds – he was a fine old man
Margaret Powless buried Nov. 23rd, 1860 – aged 72 years. Died of consumption
When Mrs. Cath e. John died, there is a blank in the record.
I believe that many of the members of the Mohawk Chapel attended St. John’s Anglican Church, Tuscarora Township, from 1847, the time when the Reserve was consolidated. Hence many, unless they already had burial plots at the Mohawk Chapel, will have been buried at St. John’s. I have a copy of the St. John’s records and will check them when I am able to access this collection. An example of an individual who attended the Mohawk Chapel up to at least 1845 (Communion records of Rev. Nelles?) is Daniel Spring [Oghnawera]. In the records which Mrs. Alma Luard noted in her “Mohawk Chapel Records” (Alma Luard Collection Book 6, Brant County Museum, Brantford, Ontario), apparently as burials in the year 1845 is:
“Daniel Spring – Mohawk Chief is 98”
In the records of St. John’s Church above, we find the following entry in the burial register beginning 1831:
“Daniel Spring a Mohawk Chief aged 104 years 9th Nov. 1849”
“Inscriptions from selected tombstones” which provide more information than what is above. Author’s transcription:
George Martin, Mohawk Chief, born at Kanajohara U.S [NY], Dec. 23, 1767, died at Grand River C.W. [Canada West], [?] 1853
Jacob Johnson, born Sandusky U.S. [Ohio], July 16, 1758, died at Grand River C.W. [Canada West] Dec. 1, 1843 aged 85 yrs., Chief of Mohawk Tribe
Peter Brant John, who died March 3, 1850, aged 24 years and 10 mo. grandson of the late Capt. Joseph Brant[wife of] Peter Pow[broken], died, Aug. 27, 1877, aged 96 years. 3 m. & 2 d., “She took the cup of life to drink ……..
“I don’t think that there is a more comprehensive list out there, but I keep hoping that one will surface (e.g., in the papers of Rev. Abraham Nelles),” says Faux. Mine is a compilation from about four sources. Please note that I only published the Six Nations burials in that Cemetery, not those of non – Native people (who make up the majority of marked burials there).