Plot Rehabilitation in Bellevue Cemetery - 2021/2022 Season

Aylmer Sector, Gatineau, Quebec

NOTE: I've tried to use as little style as possible, so if you want the text bigger Control+ in your browser; images can be viewed full size by Right-click Open image in a new tab, etc. Let me know if you have problems.

With the greatly appreciated physical help of Robin, and the information and consultation of Randy Greene, Jacques Tardivel and Dorothy Bender, I got a start on the rehabilitation of the Flatters/Moore plot, numbered 53 on its official plan.

Using data from the Bellevue Cemetery records was a great help in locating lost markers and graves in plot 53 and when permission was obtained from Scoot Moore, plot manager of the Moore plot numbered 21.

The following is a draft documenting the work of the 2021-2022 season.

I apologize in advance for any repetitious statements and I’ve tried not to add too much genealogical information; that’s for another document!

With the death of my mother, Ethel May Moore Guertin, and knowing her wishes to “go into Bellevue with my parents”, I contacted Bellevue Cemetery about burial. I arranged to meet Randy Greene and discovered I had inherited the “Plot Manager” position for the Flatters/Moore plot.

When I visited, Randy was extremely helpful, knowledgeable and provided me with the information they held which was a photocopy of the layout of the plot (dimensions, location, etc. shown below), their list of burials photocopied from an index card and the fact that over the last winter or two, thieves had gone through Bellevue Cemetery and stolen many brass or bronze plaques to sell as scrap metal. One of those losses was from the Flatters Monument.

Flatters/Moores - Plot 53

The Flatters plot is a 24 feet by 30 feet area with a monument measuring 26 inches by 40 inches as a base with a cross topping out at 92 inches (7 feet .8 inches).

As can be seen, it was stained with lichens, pollution, etc. and the cross was not securely seated on the base. At Randy’s suggestion, I had contacted Alex Lapointe of D.R. Lapointe Monuments about a cemetery marker for my mother and since he was doing other work at Bellevue, I got him to clean the monument and re-seat the cross properly.

Cemeteries have a standard vocabulary for graves. For the label “Stone” on the layout below, the main (most often) stone is called a “monument” in a multi-grave plot. Single grave, single occupant (or two) is simply a “gravestone”. In a multi-grave plot, there can be stones placed in the ground level to the surface, and these are referred to as “cemetery markers” to mark a grave. These can be placed as either “headstone” or “footstone” which should be obvious as to location. These can be minimal as with just initials, or “Mother” which isn’t really helpful! Or they can be more detailed.

Some larger plots have stone markers at the four corners which I just call “corner markers” below.

Another standard is to bury Christians with the feet at the east and head at the west which is considered “facing the rising sun.” Thus, with a cemetery marker close to the edge of a plot, it should be obvious whether the marker is a headstone or footstone and the alignment of the burial in the case of a casket. An urn burial would be directly below a cemetery marker.

According to the Bellevue records there should be approximately 22 burials in the plot, but in evidence were only 3 cemetery markers. Two on the north side of the monument belonging to Joseph Tye Flatters buried 1885 and Fanny Flatters buried 1881 and one on the south side; Emily Helen Truman Flatters buried 1921 both roughly in line with the monument.

The first order of business was to find the dimensions of the plot which Bellevue records shows as being 24 feet east to west by 30 feet north to south. Robin Leckie (RL) and I measured diagonals from the monument which was centred approximately on the layout and which Randy confirmed. We adjusted the corners with the 24x30 measurements along the sides. I put a small dot of orange spray paint on each suspected corner.

Later, I was showing Bernie McDonald (BM) the work we’d done and put my foot on one of the orange dots and scuffed the sparse dirt and grass and discovered a square corner marker! I soon uncovered the other three approximately 4 inch by 4 inch markers.

The northwest corner marker had sunken into the side of a hill caused by a large old maple tree. It was underground about 4 or 5 inches, however to raise it, I had to dig to the bottom of it. It turned out to be about 15 inches long! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a shot of it out of the hole. Heavy and awkward work to raise and re-set.

With this discovery of the four corner posts, we suspected that possibly other markers had also sunken. Although, my mother and brother, Marc had taken over as plot managers in 2004, I never knew of this and I assume no one had visited to maintain the plot at least in the intervening 18 years and probably much longer.

To push this back even further, the last burial in the plot was EMB in 1995, before that was AFM in 1992, then a jump back to FB in 1981. As it turned out, only FB actually had a cemetery marker...more later on that.

(I’ll use initials of the grave occupants and describe their names, dates and relationships later.)

After some thought and trials and discussion with Randy, I fashioned some rudimentary probing tools using the metal from election lawn signs which are pretty high strength steel. For reference, those are 4 inch squares.

Other tools included plastic paint scrapers, old kitchen knives, bushes, trowels, a bucket and a spade.

The Bellevue index card for plot 53 showed the layout as:

Across the bottom we have a blank grave, JTM, empty, HHM, KAM, DWM and RHB.

At 2, is EMB; 1 is AFM, and 3 was the location where my mother was going to go, EMG. JAG was planned to go beside EMG.

The three visible cemetery markers do not appear on this plan but as stated two would be on the right of the stone and one on the left.

With the diagram, and the other information above, RL and I started probing around the plot with the two smaller probes shown above.

Here’s what we found:

The first two images show how deep the markers had sunken about 2 to 4 inches under the surface. The next five images show the re-seated markers. The locations are shown below but several things should be noted. Four out of the five locations shown along the bottom of the plot layout held by Bellevue were wrong!

JTM was in the grave marked as blank in the southeast corner, DWM was located in the second grave where JTM was shown; HHM and KAM stayed in the same places but the burial dates for the two had been reversed so at least that was confirmed

RHB was correct and south (left) of him, the “BABIES” located and they lay between him and his wife, EAB.

Their other daughter, FB was still unlocated but with the Blakely family located a further probing found her beside her mother, EAB.

The FB marker had sunk almost 18 inches since it was installed! (She was buried in 1981, but I’ve no idea when the marker went in.)

Further probing was unsuccessful (more below).

The next order of business was to order markers for my mother and (later) for Jake, and replace the stolen plaques on the monument.

My mothers marker was made to mimic my fathers stone in St. Paul's Cemetery, while Jakes’ followed the style already in plot 53.

Additionally, two new stones were created for “AFM” and his wife, “EMB”.

I had already decided that any new markers would show women by their maiden name (or initials) and not their married name. The stolen plates had mentioned both, but I decided to drop that convention on new markers and the plaque. I will leave the marriage data to genealogists although I do have most of this data.

The plaque was ordered from Ottawa Brass and I installed it using exterior construction adhesive (as recommended by the Ottawa Brass folks) and seating it with two modified pins supplied. The cleaned and “plaqued” monument looks like this:

In the above image, you will see EMB and AFM on the left and EMM and JAG to the right of the monument.

I rearranged the listing on the plaque and tried to keep families together where possible.

So we had found and raised and re-seated 8 cemetery markers, re-seated or uncovered 4 corner markers, and installed 4 new markers. Not bad.

Yellow shows what’s on the markers with an exception for EMG, and red shows the maiden name vs. the married name initials on the cemetery marker.

Where expenses were incurred, these were paid for out of the estate of my mother, Ethel Moore Guertin, with the approval of the inheritors of her estate. These were Rollie and Jacques, her sons and Jeff and Johanna, the children of Marc.

Finding “FB” down 18 inches or so for a 1981 burial meant that others may be there, but deeper still and there are the graves of 8 persons unlocated. We’ve been over most of the plot using the two smallest probes I built with 9 inches and 13 inches reach subsurface; the large one can go down 26 inches and this is the plan for summer 2023. I’d only built the longer one at the end of the season.

Now, who were these people?

I will cover the located people first with their death or burial dates.

As stated above, I’ve no idea when the monument was actually installed but I assume the plot was purchased by the Flatters patriarch, Joseph Tye Flatters (JTF) when his young daughter Fanny (FF-1882) died in 1882 at about 22 months old. This seems to be the first burial in plot 53.

Her burial was followed by JTF-1885 himself in 1885 when he died of a gunshot wound from an altercation with a robbery suspect.

JTF had three other daughters; Kate Alice, Elizabeth Arnold, and Josephine Tye, the latter being my grandmother, who was under 5 months old at the time of the death of their father.

Kate Alice (KAM-1964) was married to Harvey Hilton Moore (HHM-1968) who is buried beside her; their son Arthur Francis (AFM-1992) is buried beside the monument and his second wife, Edna Mary Brooks (EMB-1994) beside him. I vaguely remember Aunt Kate and Uncle Harvey; I was in the Lucas-Flatters house for sure and I remember they had a chestnut tree! I do not remember AFM or EMB, but I did know AFM and his first wifes’ adopted daughter Maureen Beverly Moore. She lived in Queen’s Park/Cedars area and owned a Mercedes Benz sports car; I forget the designation (190 maybe?). I think she may be buried in the Pink’s Mountainview Cemetery, corner of Vanier and Cook Roads.

Elizabeth Arnold (EAB-1927) was married to Robert H. Blakely (RHB-1961) and is buried beside him with two infant boys that died between them (BABIES-1899/1900). I did not know these folks.

Beside EAB is her daughter, Fanny Blakely (FB-1981). I do remember her coming to visit us as kids. She was nice and I liked her.

Josephine Tye (JTM-1965) was married to David Wilfred Moore (DWM-1966) and were my maternal grandparents. They are buried next to each other. Their daughter, Ethel May Moore (EMM*-2020) and her son, my brother Jacques "Jake" Alexander Guertin (JAG-2022) are buried beside each other on the north side of the monument.

Emily Helen Truman (EHF-1921) who was the wife of John Henry “Harry” Flatters, son of JTF was the marker initially visible on the south side of the monument.

Note that there are other children of JTF and his wife, but they are buried elsewhere in Bellevue and other cemeteries.

Which is a good place to start with the unfound/unlocated graves:

John Henry “Harry” Flatters buried 1942, mentioned above is son of JTF and husband of EHT,

Francis George Flatters buried 1951, was son of the above and EHT.

Ella Constance Flatters buried 1932/34, and William Hester Flatters buried 1951, are children of JTF.

Frederick Henry Flatters buried 1899, is the grandson and Lucy May Flatters buried 1909 and Vivian Louisa Flatters buried 1925 are granddaughters of JTF. They are the children of Frederick Richard Flatters, son of JTF who along with his wife is buried in plot 202-D in Bellevue. I assume that he had not purchased his plot at 202-D by the time his children died.

Frances Harriett Hester buried 1928 was the wife of JTF, my great grandmother.

I’ll be working on a more systematic probing in the 2023 season. The eight listed above probably have some markers, but we haven't found them yet.

So far, I’ve covered the burials only in plot 53 at Bellevue, but other descendants (hence, relatives) are buried in plots in Bellevue as well.

In plot 53, we have JTF and FHH along with 2 sons, 5 daughters, 2 grandsons, 6 grandchildren, and 4 grandsons along with 5 spouses. (I think!)

In addition, JTF and FHH had:

Daughter Nellie/Nelly Hester Flatters buried in 1969 along with her husband, Frederick James Garner in plot 178-B (image below); and,

Son Frederick Richard Flatters buried in 1948 along with his wife Maria Henderson in plot 202-D.

I’ve sprayed, scraped, brushed, etc. the Garner plot and I assume that family is managing it, but there seems to be no Flatters handling 202-D, so...

Flatters - Plot 202-D

No markers were in evidence for the plot although the Bellevue records show two burials 1948 and 1949. I probed found, raised and cleaned up:

“Mother”,i.e. Maria Henderson. Both were this deep:

Contrast stretched on the above image because the stone is so light coloured.

Also in the plot is their daughter and her husband, Edith Muriel Flatters, and Robert J. Russell:

To complete the JTF/FHH family, as stated above Nellie Hester Flatters is in plot 178-B:

The four other children of JTF/FHH are twins, Eleanor Hester and Frederick Arnold, born in 1869 and died the following year, Arthur Ernest died 1913 in Rosthern, Saskatchewan, and Annie Maud died 1953.

The twins are buried probably in Bourne, Lincolnshire, England as this was before the family came to Canada; Arthur Ernest's burial location is not documented other than Rosthern and, Annie Maud is probably in Urgel Bourgie Memorial Gardens, north of Montreal where her husband is buried.

Moores - Plot 21

Plot 53 holds my mother, brother, maternal grandparents and my maternal great grandparents with my mother, and grandfather being Moores. My great grandparents, James Moore and Cecilia Pelletier are buried in plot 21. The plot manager for 21 is Scott Moore (Moore The Mover) who is my second cousin once removed. With his permission, I did some work in plot 21 on items that were visible but needed work.

Plot 21 holds a number of individuals related in one way or another. The first markers in evidence were those of Eric Miller Neil Coghill and Alexander John Coghill. These twins were born in 1927 and both died just past their first birthday in 1928. The markers for both turned out to be different from the ones found in the Flatters plot.

Clearing around the marker revealed that they were under an inch thick and just laid into the ground. Both were cracked through the middle.

They are both white marble, I believe, with inscriptions carved into the surface, reading:


Loving Memory

Alexander Coghill

Age 1 year 2 months

Born April 6 1927

Died June 12 1928

Asleep in Jesus,


Loving Memory

Eric M Coghill

Age 1 year 2 months 6 days

Born April 6 1927

Died May xx 1928

Asleep in Jesus

The backs were reinforced with an old steel rusted plate with two bolts and nuts holding it on.

I couldn’t see any historical value in leaving this as is so I cut the nuts and tossed the iron. I then laid a thin wire mesh over the back and trowelled construction adhesive over it and placed three aluminum picture frame pieces atop in the glue. A small amount of adhesive was put between the two pieces only filling the gap about half way from the back.

After that had set, I cleaned the face a bit and put a line of waterproof exterior transparent chalking along the front crack to try to prevent water from freezing and cracking the face. It is almost invisible. I also glued the original bolt heads into the holes so it looks as found.

The markers are hard to read face on which is why I highlighted them from the side. I replaced them but think there may be a better way to preserve them (encased in clear epoxy maybe?) and there should be a way to anchor them so someone doesn’t just pick them up and walk away. Maybe they should have stayed buried?

These twins were grandchildren of James and Cecilia via their daughter, Nettie May Moore who married John McAdam Coghill who is buried in Almonte, Ontario. Nettie’s broken gravestone is beside the twins and I plan to probe around to see if any pieces exist there.

Bellevue records show some of my mothers’ uncles buried in plot but no markers are visible (yet) for these two men, but their two wives markers were there partially sunken, and I raised these two. The following images look scruffy but it’s difficult to brush, clean, etc. And take a good picture on the same day! Some of the ones I’ve exposed will probably re-settle over a year or two and have to be re-done.

These markers were larger as they had more text and really heavy. Before re-setting them these were:

Clarence is buried somewhere in plot 21 while Albert is buried with his second wife in Pinecrest Cemetery, Ottawa. These are the two oldest sons of James Moore and Cecilia Pelletier, i.e. my grandfathers’ brothers.

George Leopold Moore, Hendrick’s twin was another brother of my grandfather, born in 1884 and died just short of his fifth birthday. Before and after re-hab photos are shown:

Family lore has it he was killed by a collapsing woodpile. Hendrick Moore and his wife, Lucy Evelina Faris are buried in Bellevue plot 56-B.