Southwold – Toles Family

Toles Family Burial Plot

Lot 44
North Talbot Road

Southwold Township, Elgin County, Ontario, Canada

SW 727

OGS 5968

Transcribed by Joyce Locke, Tony Hofstee and Marg Daugharty

Elgin County Branch OGS

Summer 1983

Revised and formatted for the Internet and Mobile Devices 20 August 2017 by Bruce C. Johnson Jr.

Latest Revision 19 September 2006 by Carol VanHarn

Copyright by the Ontario Genealogical Society, Elgin County Branch 1999
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, microform reproduction, recording, or otherwise – without prior permission of the publisher.


Silas Toles was born May 28, 1791 in New York state. He fought in the war of 1812 – 1814 and was wounded at the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, and was on the field at Queenston Heights when General Brock was killed. Toles was given the land in Southwold for his services in that war. He eloped with Margaret Kelley of Niagara Falls in 1813 and came to St. Thomas. They built a house on the Wellington Road hill in 1814. Silas and Margaret had ten children. When Margaret died Silas remarried, this time to Jane Benjafield Wilton, a widow with a grown family also. She was an English woman who migrated to Canada in 1834. When John, Silas’ oldest son married, the house and land were given to him by his father who then built another house slightly to the west and north of the original house. It was an especially fine structure furnished throughout with black walnut.

    Silas Jr., son of Silas & Mrs. Toles, grew up along the old road (Captain Shore Road) among the middle-aged people living here and a merry chase he led them. He was a good singer, a fine athlete and a crack shot. He was skilled in both wood and metal crafts. For many years before his death he was connected with Salt Dietrich Saw Works. He married Margaret Campbell Willis of North Yarmouth. Her father, a solider of the regular British Army, was stationed at Montreal, but resigning from the army had moved westward. Silas Toles and his wife Margaret had three children, Ida, born in the walnut house, Jennie and Farquard. Ida married David Collins of Galt and Jennie married Hillyard Scott, the youngest son of the Scott family who lived at the corner of Wellington Road and St. George Street. Farquard Toles was chief salesman of the Dietrich Saw Works.

    Silas Toles and Captain Shore were friends and close neighbours. Mr. Toles had one of the first orchards in the locality and he and Captain Shore enjoyed many a glass of cider together.

    The Silas Toles house was torn down after his death and the walnut wood was removed. The John Toles house was sold later to William Dodd who lived there for many years. A few years ago the Toles family held reunions at the original Toles home and they erected an inscribed boulder on the family plot on the hilltop where Silas Toles and his first wife were buried.
The marker reads as follows:
Silas TOLES / 1791 – 1871 /Margaret TOLES / 1794 – 1840 /
Anna TOLES / 1818 – 1829 /

St Thomas Times Journal, 16 September 2006, Page 3, c1 – Restoration work planned at Grave – Toles monument along Wellington Rd.; by Karen Otto, Times Journal Staff

Sites in Belmont and Lynhurst recognized

 – Toles Monument dedicated


Wednesday, June 15, 2011 10:43:31 EDT PM


Two delegations went before Central Elgin Council this week and both were successful.  The first was a delegation requesting permission to restore the Toles Grave Monument, located in a ravine along Wellington Road in Lynhurst.  The monument is in a state of decay, but marks the resting place of one of the first pioneer families in Elgin County.

    Costs for the project will be covered by the Lynhurst – St George Community Association while the Central Elgin Historical Society and students from St Joseph’s High School’s community environmental leadership program will do the restoration.