About

Our History

Inscriptions on the grave stones in Truro Cemetery tell us of fascinating stories of the community’s people from the first grantees of the Truro Township in 1761 to present day. Situated on the site where the first Presbyterian Meeting House was built in 1768, the cemetery is one of the few in Nova Scotia to be in continuous use since the settlement’s first burial soon after the Ulster Scots (Planters) grantees’ arrival.

Significantly, including some of the grave stones of the original settlers, the cemetery can claim those of a Nova Scotia Premier, a Father of Confederation, 13 of the town Mayors, 3 of the community’s first ministers, the first principal of the Provincial Normal College, and many other distinguished citizens and families. Among many of the names on the early stones still prominent in the community today are Archibald, Smith, Johnson, Yuill and Christie.

The old section of the cemetery is now a designated Municipal and Provincial Heritage Site. The oldest gravestones are of Jane Savage who died April 3rd, 1767, age 24 and John McKeen and wife Martha, who both died on the same day, Dec. 30th, 1767.

From a 1768 grant map, this cemetery was identified as “The Burial Grounds” and was approximately the same size as the Historical Section today. The cemetery continued to grow in size and became known as Union Cemetery (recorded on burial records of the late 1800’s to approximately 1925. Since then, it has been known as Robie Street Cemetery as well as Truro Cemetery.

With many people now looking for genealogical information, the cemetery superintendent works with the Colchester Historical Society Archive staff and volunteers assisting those pursuing family research. You may contact them year round for information on genealogy and other Colchester cemeteries: www.ColchesterHistoreum.ca   or  research@colchesterhistoreum.ca

A valuable resource for the future, undertaken through the Archives, is a project of recording every gravestone. As our headstones are photographed and documented by volunteers of the Colchester Historeum, they are added to our database on this website. As of March 2022, over 4780 headstones are now online (featuring over 7864 individual names), including the complete Historical Section. Burials which occurred more recently are now being added as well as unmarked names in the Baby lot, Poor/Town lot and missing markers. This work is a slow labour of fond remembrance done by only a few volunteers on 32 acres of land…please check back regularly. You can search by name by clicking the “Grave Markers” tab above….please use exact spelling or try different possible spellings.

Ongoing Services

Today, a large amount of land is available in the newer section for burial plots, for either cremation or traditional burials. This land overlooks the beautiful green agricultural fields towards Onslow.  A stone chapel on the cemetery grounds provides winter vault space for spring burials.

The Immaculate Conception and the Zion Baptist churches each have their own burial sections and these are both maintained by the cemetery staff.

Modern equipment and a summer staff keep the grounds well maintained for perpetual care not only at Truro Cemetery, but also for the Hilden and Terrace Hill cemeteries.

The cemetery is administered by a volunteer board of directors who meet regularly and hold annual meetings each spring for plot holders and the public.

Information on purchasing plots can be obtained from the superintendent in the cemetery office or by phoning (902) 893-3304.