William Watson arrived in Saint John from Virginia in 1815 on board the Romulus. Watson and his son William Jr. (born in New Brunswick and married to a White woman from England) became respected members of the community. William Jr. lived until 1916. He and his wife Elizabeth, two infants and an adult daughter were buried in their family cemetery. Circles of stones outlined their resting place. Five small white wooden crosses, placed there in recent years by a previous owner, mark the grave sites.
A tribute to this family is noted on a story board at the Kiwanis gazebo on the Nerepis causeway. In 1838 Watson was granted a 50-acre parcel of land adjoining that of Samuel Smith, the other Black man who arrived aboard the Romulus in 1815. The lots were located near Alwington Manor, the Coffin Estate. Less than an acre of this land was used as a family cemetery. When Elizabeth sold the farm to Stanley Scott, this cemetery was not part of the sale. Successive owners did not maintain the lot and eventually the land returned to forest. A large boulder marked "Watson" was placed at the site by the Nerepis Institute, but the marker has deteriorated over time.
(Sources: Beatrice McGovern, Local Historian)
(Source: PANB Land Grants)