Hamilton_Files/Patterson/Irwin/Vanderlip Cemetery


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Other Known Names: File, Irwin, Van Der Lip

Street Address: Vanderlip Road

Location: Lot 20, Concession 4, Ancaster

Type of Cemetery: Family

Responsible Agency: City of Hamilton

Status for Burials: Closed for burials       Plot Plan: None

Size:         Small, 48 monuments

Fencing: Hedgerow with open section Monument Types:            Flat and upright Monuments of: Marble

Date of Opening: 1829


 Located roughly 500 yards from the end of Vanderlip Road, at the western end of the former Township of Ancaster, the entrance to the File-Patterson Cemetery requires the visitor to walk the entire length of a grass walkway to reach the site. This cemetery contains graves for the File, Patterson, Irwin and Vanderlip families, and possibly served as a communal burial ground for much of the area. It remained in use until the last recorded burial for Sara Ann Fisher in 1911. The cemetery was in a state of disrepair until it was taken over by Ancaster Township in the 1970s. It is closed for burials, and no plans or records are known to exist.


Registered to City of Hamilton. At end of Vanderlip Rd just off of Ferguson Rd just west of Alberton, Ontario.

This cemetery contains the graves of the File, Patterson, Irwin, and Vanderlip families, and possibly served as a communal burying ground for much of the area. Their are 40 remaining monuments.

Parking can be found at the end of Vanderlip Road, where the paved road, meets the gravel path. I have created a parking waypoint.

You must access the cemetery from the parking by walking approximately 200 metres via a road allowance, on a gravel walkway, which turns into a grassy walkway, until you reach the cemetery boundary. While you can drive further down the walkway, the neighbour recommended parking at the parking waypoint that I have recorded.

I have confirmed the existence, and use of the road allowance with the City of Hamilton cemeteries department. This is how they access the cemetery. Please let the neighbours know, if they see you, that you are visiting the cemetery to ease any discomfort.

This is definitely a lost cemetery in the Hamilton region, and cannot be seen at all from any road. The cemetery is located on ancestral land, owned and sold by John Brant, the youngest son of Chief Joseph Brant to Jacob File. In 1815, Jacob File and his wife farmed the land surrounding the cemetery. Jacob File’s stone is the earliest remaining. The last burial was in 1911.

No one really knows where the Patterson Cemetery sign came from. When the Ancaster Cemetery Board took over the upkeep and rehabilitation of the cemetery in the 1970s, the sign was located amongst the fencing and re-erected.

Bi-annually, the Alberton Presbysterian Church holds an anniversary and memorial service in
the cemetery, often with the guest preacher being a direct descendant of the File family, Rev. James W. Files. The congregation takes their own chairs and parade down the trail to
the cemetery’s location. Some members take their musical instruments and accompany the hymn singing.