Jurisdiction: Niles Township Section 15
Status: Inactive. BCGS Cemetery Records include information up to August 6, 2012
Location: Madeline Road, West of Bond Street
Cemetery Governing Body: Niles Township
Location of Cemetery Records:
Bertrand Catholic Cemetery is full of history but the current state of disrepair leaves little history left. Many stones are badly damaged and much of the brush is overgrown. Although not in prime form as of this writing, the atmosphere is very peaceful with the sounds of nature.
In 1975, David Savage of the Berrien County Genealogical Society transcribed the headstones. He found 189 markers with the oldest one that of early settler and founder of Bertrand Township, Madeline Bertrand who died in 1846. Unfortunately, Madeline’s grave was not found in 2001.
From “Historical Sketches of Berrien County Volume 2” by Robert C. Myers:
“French-Canadian fur trader, Joseph Bertrand married Madeline Bourassa about 1804. She used her Potawatomi ancestry to obtain a land grant along the St. Joseph River, which later became the site of the Village of Bertrand. Madeline Bertrand died on October 14, 1846 and was buried in the Catholic Cemetery in the Village while Joseph Bertrand moved to Kansas and died there on September 8, 1865.”
From “Berrien County Michigan Cemetery Records of All Persons Born Before 1867” by the Algonquin Chapter of the DAR in 1930:
“One of the oldest cemeteries in Berrien County, nearly all the early graves were marked with wooden slabs, but a fire in the cemetery several years ago destroyed these. Hence some of the oldest graves are now unmarked.”
Written By Chriss Lyon