Sir John Johnson Burial Vault Project
Mount Johnson, Vault of Sir John Johnson
Painting by Henry Richard S. Bunnett, 1885
Click here for a larger version
For many years now, the family burial vault for Sir John Johnson 1742 -1830, former Superintendent General of Indian Affairs and last Baronet of New York, has been the centre of attention for both the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch of the UELAC and the Haut-Richelieu Historical Society. Together they have formed La Société de restauration du Patrimoine Johnson to research and restore this historical site that was destroyed in the 1950's. Representing Sir JJCB are Raymond J. Ostiguy, Charles Harbec and Adelaide Lanktree who also serves as the treasurer. Nicole Poulin who is the president of the Societe d' histoire du Haut-Richelieu (SHHR) serves as the Secretary.
Prior to this presentation, there were two main resources for information. In 2003, Caroline Kehne of the Brome County News prepared a thorough account of the history of the vault for the Townships Heritage WebMagazine. In addition, the SHHR posted a report that focuses on the archaeological field research.
As further resources we can present the following reports by Raymond J. Ostiguy.
- Summer 2014 Update
- Spring 2011 Update
- Summer 2007 Update
- Sir John Johnson Burial Vault — Ownership
- Sir John Johnson Burial Vault — Archeological Discoveries
Raymond Jacques Ostiguy - Associate Member of the Sir John Johnson Centennial Branch of UELAC since 2003 and an 8th generation descendant of Basque d'origine, Dominique Ostiguy dit Domingue, married at Pointe Olivier (today Saint-Mathias-sur-Richelieu) in 1754. As neighbours and militia officer corps colleagues on the Richelieu and Huron Rivers and at Mount Johnson, several generations of both his paternal and maternal (Poulin/Carreau) ancestors will have ties with equivalent generations of New York Province Johnson descendants.
On opposite sides during the French and Indian Wars and a part of the baronetcy of Sir William Johnson, the families will be reconciled during the periods of influence of the 2nd (Sir John), 3rd (Sir Adam Gordon) and the 4th (Sir William George) North American Johnson Baronets. Fealty and homage as well as cens & rentes and lods & ventes will paid to Sir John Johnson while Seigneur de la Seigneurie de Monnoir from December 1794 until September 1826.
Serving as a member of the Société de la restauration du patrimoine Johnson and calling upon his real property law background, Mr. Ostiguy, a lawyer by profession and historian by diversion, hopes, with the help of others, to reinstate and reunite the Sir John Johnson Burial Vault remains on the lot directly across the Chemin de la montagne from the "Mont St. Gregoire" cemetery, where, inter alia, the remains of his maternal great grandfather, Isaïe Poulin (1842-1913) and his grandmother Exéline Poulin (1870-1947), wife of Jean-Baptiste Carreau, have their final resting places.
Artifacts found in Johnson Vault
An abstract prepared in 1999 by Gérard Gagné relating to the Johnson Family Vault states that the artifacts found in the vault were few in number. They consisted mainly of nails and screws. The front door of the vault was found also metal bars, fragments of a coffin plate and 3 coffin handles. Words on the coffin plate fragments are "son of …, died…, July…, …1 year.., 6 months…" A few bones of animals were found.
Family Members in the Vault
The following is a list of verified members of the Johnson family buried in the family vault:
The Funeral of Sir John Johnson
- William Johnson
Born on August 21, 1775 at Johnson Hall, Johnstown, New York
Died on January 11, 1812 at the age of 37
- Robert Thomas Johnson
Born on 27, 1787 in Montreal, drowned in the Saint Lawrence River
On April 1, 1812 at the age of 25
- Colonel Edward Macdonnell, husband of Anne Nancy Johnson
Died on October 20, 1812
- Lady Mary "Polly" Johnson nee Watts, wife of Sir John Johnson
Died on August 7, 1815
- Sir John Johnson, second baronet,
Born in1742 at Fort Johnson, New York
Died in Montreal on January 4, 1830 in his 88th year
- Colonel John Johnson
Born on the boat "Hero" August 8, 1782
Died on June 23, 1841 at the age of 59
- Sir Adam Gordon Johnson, third baronet,
Born in Montreal on May 6, 1781
Died on May 21, 1843 at the age of 62