When the Rideau Canal was first being constructed, and early settlement of Smiths Falls had begun, the two largest landholders in the area were Abel Russell Ward and William Simpson. Both of these men set aside plots of land for their own private cemeteries. When the settlers living in Smiths Falls needed a place to bury their dead, they would often approach Ward or Simpson, requesting space in their private burial grounds.
It wasn’t until 1869 that the Town of Smiths Falls purchased the private burial ground of the Simpson family and created a public non-denominational cemetery named Hillcrest.
The oldest burials in the Cemetery date to the early settlement of Smiths Falls and the building of the Rideau Canal in the 1830s. What started as the private cemetery of William Simpson and his family now houses the final resting places of approximately 10,000 individuals, including many of the area’s prominent citizens. As a result, Hillcrest Cemetery has become a place of shared community heritage.
Hillcrest Cemetery is located on Highway 43 West at the intersection of Hwy. 43 and Spinelli Lane, Smiths Falls. For more information or inquiries about Hillcrest Cemetery please contact the Cemetery Supervisor at 613-283-4247.
For more information regarding the location of burial records and genealogical research please see below.
Hillcrest Cemetery Archival Project
This project has been completed with the help of a grant funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, and through the partnership of Heritage House Museum, Hillcrest Cemetery, Lanark County Genealogical Society, Kinkaid and Loney Monuments and the Town of Smiths Falls. The purpose of this project was to preserve the municipal archival records relating to Hillcrest Cemetery and promote the cemetery as a historical and genealogical resource for the community and beyond.
With the help of a group of dedicated volunteers and project partners the digitization of approximately 8,600 historic cemetery records from 1830 to present day has been completed. This information is currently available for public inquiry in the form of printed reference binders and a digital database, which are available at our Cemetery Research Centers (See Location information Below).
At Hillcrest Cemetery signs have been physically installed along the roadways and a large interpretive panel with a map of the site have been installed to help with navigation of the cemetery. To use these resources first locate the grave reference of the resident you are interested in visiting by using our online database or Cemetery Research Centers. Once you have your grave reference information use our site map and street signs to help you navigate between the different sections of Hillcrest Cemetery.
To help maintain this project a number of dedicated volunteers have stepped forward to become the Friends of Hillcrest Cemetery group. It is the goal of the Friends of Hillcrest group to raise awareness about the Cemetery, preserve and recall the stories of the people buried there, research and record its history and support its future growth. If you are interested in becoming involved please contact us!
Cemetery Research Locations
With the help of a group of dedicated volunteers and project partners the digitization of approximately 8,600 historic cemetery records from 1830 to present day has been completed. This information is currently available for public inquiry in the form of printed reference binders and a digital database, which are available at our Cemetery Research Centers.
Lanark County Genealogical Society Reference Library
Located in the Basement of Heritage House Museum, 11 Old Sly’s Road, Smiths Falls
Hours of operation: 10:30am to 4:30pm daily from May 1 to December 21, and Monday to Friday from January 2 to April 30
Admission: A $2.00 Seasonal Researcher Pass will be required to access the genealogical section in the basement.
Hillcrest Cemetery Chapel Building
Located at Hillcrest Cemetery, Highway 43 at the intersection of HWY 43 and Spinelli Lane, Smiths Falls
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 7:00am to 4:00pm
If you have any questions or concerns regarding using the resources at Hillcrest Cemetery please contact the Cemetery Supervisor at the Chapel or call 613-283-4247 and leave a message.
For individuals unable to travel to Smiths Falls to use our Cemetery Research Centers we have a digital resource available online. Please click the button below to access the digital database.
The Town of Smiths Falls maintains more than one set of cemetery records. The digital database has been extracted from the original cemetery records and may contain errors and omissions. The information will be updated when errors are brought to our attention and when proper verification is provided. We are in the process of completing this record and if you do not locate the individual you are searching for please contact us.
This project was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. The Ontario Trillium Foundation is an agency of the Government of Ontario.