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Vanessa Cemetery Video Commentary
by John Cardiff

Vanessa Cemetery is located at 1974 Brantford Road 4, at the intersection of Norfolk County Road 19 West, Vanessa, in historic Windham Township, Norfolk County. The cemetery was established in the Methodist churchyard in 1853. 

Although we have not done it justice, our video includes several shots of Vanessa itself, including the historic church at the community's main intersection, which was burned and rebuilt, then destroyed by tornado and rebuilt, as well as shots of the cemetery itself.

This cemetery is still in use. The Ontario Genealogy Society/Norfolk Branch's CD-ROM of Names in Norfolk Cemeteries, lists almost 1500 names on Vanessa Cemetery stones, in 2003.

Many of the surviving historic stones are still quite readable, and most can be read with effort.  Although 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. Volunteer transcribers from the Norfolk Historical Society transcribed this cemetery in the 1960s. A copy of that 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 1998. Their 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 2006-2008 John Cardiff