Methodology

In compliance with FOIP, we used publicly released data of burial dates and death years from 1995 and earlier, as found using the City of Edmonton Cemetery Search.

A shortlist of surnames was gathered by the Research Assistant from the Cemetery Search database for each of the three selected cemeteries. It is noted that some surname and firstname discrepancies were found, as well as some birth and death year data was inputted incorrectly. All the spelling of names in this project reflect the characters and words, as transcribed by hand by the Project Lead, directly from on-site visits to the headstones.

All Chinese words on the headstones were in Traditional Chinese characters, accurately reflecting the geography and historical connections of these communities in Canada from the 1800s onwards. These characters were transcribed as accurately as possible by hand, and translated by the Project Lead and Research Assistant in context.

The Jyut Ping style of romanization into English characters was used for this project to best reflect the specific and relevant heritage and history represented by the data. Related languages of the ethnocultural groups represented by the data include but are not limited to: Cantonese, TeowChow, Hokkienese, and Toisanese, etc.

Mount Pleasant and Edmonton Cemetery had plots scattered in various sections around the cemetery. Edmonton Cemetery featured a row of neighbouring headstones: all facing east. Beechmount Cemetery official map denotes “Chinese Section” and features an impressive view of rows and rows of headstones with Chinese words. In-person visits to cemeteries are encouraged and recommended to best experience the different styles of headstones, locations, and to further connect with this project.

The geographical location names denoted for 16 cities/towns were collected from the Headstone Addresses and used to establish clusters. Please note that place-names and village/town or city designations may have changed. There may be unintentional transcription and translation mistakes to Chinese characters due to the erosion of the headstones and font-style of the calligraphy words. If you believe we have inaccurately represented information about your family or kin, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Project Lead.

145 complete addresses were gathered from the 3 Historical Cemeteries of Edmonton, spanning lifetimes from 1872 to 1995. The historical and geopolitical ties are framed within understanding Canada’s colonial history, global migration patterns, as well as labour policies and settlement stories; specifically to Treaty 6 lands around the birth and growth of Edmonton from Fort to City.

  • Mount Pleasant Cemetery Shortlisted 66 sites, visited 68 sites, and collected 15 complete addresses.
  • Edmonton Cemetery Shortlisted 148 sites, visited 162 sites, and collected 81 complete addresses.
  • Beechmount Cemetery Shortlisted 1796 sites, visited 53 sites, and collected 49 completed addresses.

Some sites not yet documented for data collection from Beechmount Cemetery in this dataset due to funding constraints. Please consider a donation to support the continued development of this project and completion of this dataset.

© Elaine Yip 2021. Supported by the Edmonton Heritage Council and the City of Edmonton.