Douglas Family Vault

Virtual Tour of Ross Bay Cemetery
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28. Douglas Family Vault

A burial vault is a room under ground where coffins can be stacked or placed on shelves. It is lined with brick. The Douglas vault is one of several at Ross Bay Cemetery. In the late 80’s the Old Cemeteries Society restored the iron grave fence around the Douglas vault.

Lady Amelia Douglas
Block: H
Plot: 20 E 57

BC Archives Image H-04909 

Amelia was born in 1812 at one of the largest fur posts of the North West. Her father, William Connolly, was an Irish Canadian fur trapper, who rose the ranks of the Hudson’s Bay Company, her mother was Miyo Nipiy, also known as Suzanne Pas de Nom the daughter of a Cree Chieftain. Amelia was raised in fur trading posts.

In 1828, at age 16, she married James Douglas. Amelia gave birth to thirteen children altogether, with ten of them being born during the years she lived at Fort Victoria. In 1864, Amelia became Lady Douglas when her husband was knighted.

BC Archives Image H-01229

Sir James Douglas
Block: H
Plot: 20 E 59

Governor and Chief Factor

James Douglas was born in Guyana to a Scottish father and a Creole mother. In 1812 he was sent to Scotland to be schooled. At the age of 16 Douglas left Britain to enter the fur trade in the employ of the North West Company. He is often credited as “The Father of British Columbia”.

He was Chief Factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company, founding Fort Victoria in 1843. He was the 2nd Governor of Vancouver Island and the first Governor of BC. At his retirement, James Douglas was given the rank of Knight Commander of the Bath.