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Port Royal Cemetery Video Commentary
by John Cardiff

Port Royal Cemetery [GPS:35.905/29.340], 2777 Lakeshore Road 5, at the west end of tiny Port Royal, is a short drive west of Port Rowan, approximately three miles west of the intersection of Lakeshore Road & Highway 59, in Norfolk County's historic South Walsingham Township.

The Ontario Genealogy Society/Norfolk Branch's CD-ROM of Names in Norfolk Cemeteries, lists over 650 names on Port Royal Cemetery stones as of 2003.

Care and maintenance of this historic cemetery seems to remain in private hands. As our video shows, it is located at the end of a gravel lane which is poorly signed. Not having GPS coordinates, we drove by the entrance several times before spoting the then-overgrown sign. This narrow is sometimes blocked by winter snow drifts and downed tree branches in spring.

Many of the surviving historic stones are still quite readable. Others are weather-worn and can only be read today with great difficulty. Still others are broken or missing altogether, (only their base stones remain). 

Cemetery stone transcriptions should not be taken as "gospel." Cemetery stones are not considered primary sources. Volunteers from both the Norfolk Historical Society and the Norfolk County Branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society as well as yours truly have all transcribed stones here, and transcribed the some stones differently. 

Although well over a dozen stones can be transcribed by pausing the playback of our video when appropriate, our video is meant only as an overview of the cemetery itself, not as an alternative resource to cemetery stone transcriptions.

When it comes to cemetery transcriptions, older is frequently better, particularly when looking at the earliest stones. Volunteer transcribers from the Norfolk Historical Society transcribed this cemetery in the 1970s. A copy of their typewritten transcription is on file and available for viewing in the Reading Room of the Norfolk Heritage Centre

The Norfolk Branch of the Ontario Genealogy Society subsequently transcribed this cemetery in 1990, then updated that effort in 2006. Their updated transcription is available for sale from their web site: Ontario Genealogy Society/Norfolk Branch. (See their "Published Resources" web page.)

Our videos are merely sneak peeks -- not exhaustive treatments -- of their subject. Hopefully they will provide a touch of perspective for those who live at a distance until they can visit.

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Copyright 2007-2008 John Cardiff