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McArthur Family Cemetery

Peter's Road, Route 244, Churchill, Prince Edward Island, C0A, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2008/11/10

Showing context of cemetery near wooded area; PEI Genealogical Society, 2006
Showing context of cemetery near wooded area
Showing context of cemetery near field; PEI Genealogical Society, 2006
Showing context of cemetery near field
Showing stone detail with open book; PEI Genealogical Society, 2006
Showing stone detail with open book

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/12/03

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

This small cemetery is located in a secluded area leading from Peter's Road, Route 244, approximately one thousand metres from the Trans Canada Highway. The site is surrounded by trees on the east, south and west. A farm field borders it on the north. All of the gravestones face east.

Heritage Value

The cemetery is valued for its historical association with the McArthur family who had settled in the area.

The earliest record of the family arriving in this area of Prince Edward Island dates from October 5, 1841. They farmed the land adjacent to the cemetery until at least 1900. The 1881 Census shows Donald and Christy (MacLean) McArthur residing on the property. Beginning in the early 1880s and continuing into the 20th century, many Islanders left the province to seek opportunity in the Boston or New England States. Several members of the McArthur family were part of this diaspora. A few members remained on the property into the 1920s, but today the family is no longer present in the community.

The first interment in this family plot happened in 1879. Tragically, Donald McArthur and his wife lost all five of their children ranging in age from two years to fifteen years in a diphtheria epidemic - all within the space of ten days. The local newspaper, "The Patriot" reported on September 25: "This is one of the most melancholy cases that we have heard of."

Subsequent owners of the property, including Rogersons' also used the cemetery. The last interment was that of James D. Rogerson in 1962. Other names present include: MacLean, Pollard, Cann, and MacQuarrie. It is estimated that there are 31 interments with most occurring in the 1920s. Of the 13 remaining headstones, several feature interesting motifs such as the open book or Bible or a bouquet of flowers. Some have fallen over.

The site measures fifteen by fourteen metres. A fence once enclosed the cemetery, but it is in a state of disrepair. The site remains a tangible reminder of the early settlement of the area.

Source: Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8
File #: 4310-20/P7

Character-Defining Elements

The heritage value of the cemetery is shown in the following character-defining elements:

- the location of the cemetery in a secluded area adjacent to a field and woodland
- the variety and styles of the remaining headstones
- the orientation of the stones facing east



Prince Edward Island

Recognition Authority

Province of Prince Edward Island

Recognition Statute

Heritage Places Protection Act

Recognition Type

Registered Historic Place

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Philosophy and Spirituality

Function - Category and Type



Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Culture and Heritage Division, PEI Department of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8 File #: 4310-20/P7

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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