Description of Historic Place
This obscure and neglected cemetery is located in a wooded area behind the current Presbyterian Church on the corner of Main and Church streets in Murray Harbour south. There are two remaining standing headstones which are enclosed by a dilapidated fence.
This cemetery is valued for its historical association with early settlers to PEI from the Channel Islands and for its association with the early history of the Church of England in the area.
Families from the Channel Islands arrived in this area of Kings County in 1806. They included the following surnames: Bonnell, Pathewridge, Marquand, Brehaut, LeLacheur, Richards, Taudvin, DeJersey, Harris, Bishop, Giddings, and LeMeusurer. Many of these were Hugenots or French Protestants who had lived in the Channel Island of Guernsey. Today, the rural community of Guernsey Cove is located near Murray Harbour.
An Anglican Church was not built on the property until the early 1840s. It was located close to the current Presbyterian Church which opened in 1934. In 1842, the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel made a grant for the construction of the church. By 1846, it was finished and consecrated. The proprietor of Lot 64, Sir Samuel Cunard, had donated 50 shillings and 100 acres of glebe land to support the building of the church. He even had his own pew. By May of 1877, however, the church was sold to Daniel Machon, a native of Guernsey Cove for $50 and was hauled to his farm there. The building was used as a barn. Meacham's 1880 Atlas of the area shows no sign of this church, but does show a great deal of land as "English Church Property". The cemetery is incorrectly labelled as being close to the street.
The two remaining headstones date from the time before the church was moved. The first to be placed there was for Ann Dorey (1816-1857) the wife of James LeLacheur. She had been born in Arichat, Nova Scotia and was the youngest child of Philippe Dorey (1753-1847) and Elizabeth Williams (1794-1864) who had emigrated from Jersey in the Channel Islands. Ann had been married in 1832 to John Robin/Robbin in Arichat and they had one child. Robbin drowned in August of 1837 and by 1840, she remarried James LeLacheur and came to PEI.
James LeLacheur (1810-1868) was the seventh of nine children born to Jean LeLacheur (1771-1860) and Elizabeth Windsor (1774-1849) who had both emigrated from Guernsey. James was listed as a blacksmith in the 1841 PEI Census.
After the church was moved, the cemetery was neglected. Some families (including Brehaut and DeJersey) removed the stones of their ancestors and placed them in the newer Murray Harbour North cemetery. However, the remains of those individuals were not disinterred. Today, it is believed that the site contains from 24 to 30 individuals. Although associated with the Church of England, it may have been used by other faiths, since it was once the only burial ground in the community.
The cemetery remains an important cultural link to the earliest inhabitants of the Murray Harbour area.
Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P30
The heritage value of the cemetery is shown in the following character-defining elements:
- the location of the cemetery in a secluded wooded area behind the Murray Harbour South Presbyterian Church
- the two remaining standing headstones with inscriptions
- the remnants of a picket fence surrounding the headstones
- the potential for other unmarked graves on the site and buried headstones