Newsletter of the
ELGIN COUNTY BRANCH
ONTARIO GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
VOL. 3 ISSUE 3 September 1984
COMPLETE THE PICTURE
Gathering information to locate ancestors can contribute greatly to your understanding of their era. While researching you have the unique opportunity to not only discover your ancestry, but also bring it to life. Of course, such discovery demands that you delve much deeper than standard police-court facts name, date of birth and death, and occupation simply is not enough. It demands a diligence worthy of the insight.
In genealogy, the more information you can gather, the greater your chances are of locating an ancestor. Changes in city names and boundary lines are invaluable to your search. Once located, turn your investigation from the person to their surroundings, as they will complete the picture of how they lived. Looking into the traditions, customs and superstitions common to an area is very helpful in understanding the under-current forces that shaped their lives. Even knowing the education that was available to them will add depth to your picture as you begin to see the past through their eyes.
Further research on your part will gradually enlarge and clarify your picture. Do not settle for bare skeletal facts that only sketch a vague representation of your ancestral past. Beyond the black and white of the pages lies a distant past bathed in colour, waiting for you to discover it, and make it come alive.
Special thanks to a young friend Anthony Golding for writing this.
We wish to thank the following people for donations to our library.
From Grace L. Noad – The Sivyer Family History
From James L. McCallum – The Newell-Whitcroft Family History
From Barbara J. Ries – Copies of obituaries from her great grandmother’s scrapbook
We are always looking for Family Histories with an Elgin County connection. If you have one, we would like a photo copy of it. If you cannot arrange to have it done we will gladly have it done for you.
PLAINS CEMETERY – lot 7 & 8 Conc. 4 Yarmouth Township is now for sale at $4.80 Particulars for ordering a copy is explained under Cemeteries in this issue. We are sorry that the Plains Cemetery was not included in the regular list but the information was too late to include with the others.
McLACHLAN, Archibald Duncan b 1761 Kilmartin, Argyleshire, Scotland m Mary McArthur b 1770 in Argyleshire emigrated with 7 ch to Caledonia NY 1804 d 1807 bd Mumford cem NY. Wife with 3 sons 2 dau settled at Springfield, Malahide twp, Elgin Co. 1821 d 1851 at Glanworth bd Burdick cem near Aylmer, any info re desc to Mrs. Norm Knight.
GILBERT-FRASER, Almedia b 1814, d 1887, dau of Elijah 7 Hannah Gilbert of lot 12,
S.N.T.R., Southwold Twp. (Freewill Baptist). Almedia m John Fraser in 1834 with Albert Gilbert & Lefse Crandell as witness. After Elijah’s death, Hannah remarried to his brother Ira Gilbert. Ira & Elijah were sons of John Gilbert of Lansdown.
HODGKINSON-McINTYRE, John Pember Hodgkinson b c 1800 in Grantham Twp m Nancy McIntyre, dau of James & Margaret.. Nancy bd in Lakeview Cem, Elgin Co. Need info when John died and where buried. Info on both of above to Brian Pierce.
CHRISTIE, Alfred F. (Christy, Christe), b Peterborough 1854, Catholic- Farmer by trade. Any info will be appreciated to Mrs. Eileen L. Mycroft.
ANGER-McKIBBAN-SINCLAIR Ormena Ellen Anger b Walsingham, Norfolk County in 1864, prts were Benjamin and Jane McKibban Anger. Armena m David D. Sinclair in Wiarton, Bruce County in 1882. Any info to Mrs. Jean Kane.
CUMMINS-MINARD Need ancestry and details of Hiram Cummins who m Mary Margaret Minard who d in 1909 aged 79 and bur in Sparta Friends Cemetery. Info to Ross W. McCurdy.
CASCADDEN-John b Malahide Township, son of Robert Cascaden and w Mary. John m Joice McKillen (McKillian) dau of Benjamin and Elizabeth McKillen on January 20, 1875 at Lynedock, Norfolk County. Any info on John to Mrs. Margaret Phillips.
YOUNG– Looking for desc of Rufus and Matilda Young. Rufus owned N 1/2 lot 22 n. Longwood, Ekfrid twp. 1844 being located by Col. Talbot in 1830. Also owned N 1/2 lot 12 conc 2 Malahide twp., 1854. Ch were Nancy, William (possibly twins), Charles, James, Sarah and Jane. Matilda was b Massachusetts and died in Malahide 5 October, 1873. Any info on above to #69 Donald R. Udell. (Note: descendant Bruce Johnson is researching this line)
WALKER-WILLIS – Eleanor Walker, dau of James Walker and Jane (nee Willis), Lambton Cty. b 6 Mar 1838, d 1 July 1923. m James Annet. Prts came from Ireland.
VINCENT-ANNETT– H. Sarah Vincent b 1816 Dorchester/Dorsetshire or Yeovik, Somerset, Eng. d 10 August 1900 in Canada m 14 Oct. 1832 Philip Annett in Canada (in Elgin or Lambton Co.). Info would be appreciated on both of above by #260 Mrs. Noreen Annett.
WEMYSS-Looking for any info on David WEMYSS b 1859 in St. Thomas. Father Charles d in St. Thomas. Any info on Charles or David will be appreciated by Tony Hofstee.
BERDAN-HUNTER. Looking for desc of Jacob BERDAN and his w Lucinda HUNTER. Is Lucinda dau of Socrates HUNTER who lived Conc 3, Malahide? Anyone who has info on birth date of Jacob and Lucinda or their marriage date please contact Tony Hofstee.
AUSTIN– Seeking info on Rev. William Austin, d 10 July 1916, Wakefield, Ontario. Son Allie (?) lived nearby with daughter-in-law, Margaret Alice, and Annie Nadine. Any info to #202 Deloris Willerton.
We have more information and corrected information. When the stones from the cemetery are transcribed, they are read by two people. If you have worked with old stones and even some that are not so old, you realize that some of the stones are almost impossible to read and a great deal of time is spent attempting it. We have had students spend extra time cleaning and restoring some of the more difficult stone and have more information to add to the cemetery transcriptions.
We would also ask that if you have family in these cemeteries and know of family connections within a cemetery would you please inform us. This helps with research especially for someone that perhaps hasn’t much background for their own family.
Luton title page change A to 4
Guysboro title page change Con 7 to NS TR (North Side Talbot Road) alpha list CARNES, Arokbe change to CARNES, Margaret Stone 57 change Arokbe to Margaret, 1887 to 1897 alpha list add BERDAN, Elizabeth (Warner) 37 wife of John H. alpha list McLEAN to McClean
stones 144, 145, 146 change McLean to McClean
Trinity Anglican, Port Burwell
alpha list BISHOPVICK to BISHOPRICK stone 37 change Bishopvick to Bishoprick stone 56 Marion Ida died 1890 not 1830 stone 75 change Nov. 25 to Nov. 28
stone 76 add 8 after Dec. and remove question mark
alpha list MOORE add Ellen 771 wife of John alpha list DOWLING change Margaret 773 to Mariah alpha list STRIGEL change Wendeln to Wendelin alpha list ADDLEY add Henry 957, Jean 957 wife of Henry,
add Donald C. 957 son of Henry & Jean, add Len Henry 957 son of Henry & Jean alpha list HOOLEY add John lOO5A stone 628 Jas. A. O’Brien add the A. and aged 45 stone 751 COCHRILL not Cockrill stone 771 add right side – In memory of/Ellen/wife of/ John MOORE/died/Sept. 14, 1892/aged. . .years stone 773 change Maragret to Mariah stone 778 change 1789 to 1799 and 84 to 74 stone 801 add Carlow after Co. stone 885 change Wendeln to Wendelin and add 7 ms. stone 919 change 1873 to 1872
stone 957 change to Black granite groundstone – ADDLEY/ Henry 1905 – 1958/his wife Jean 1922 – 1950/ their children/Donald C. 1946 – 1947/Len Henry
1949 – 1949
stone lOO5A add after 1005 – Head marker. John/HOOLEY/ died Dec. 19, 1904/aged 63 years/Father
title page change Con 7 to NS TR (North Side Talbot Road) alpha list Flotc to Floto #254 Flofc to Floto
We have compiled extra data from old Burial Permits and Burial Plots, and Cemetery Records for Guysboro, Holy Angels and Richmond West Cemeteries. If your are interested in obtaining these please write.
The following cemeteries have been transcribed but are not yet available for sale.
Aylmer Orwell Plains
Cemeteries in Aldborough and Dunwich Townships are available from Mrs. Norma Schnekenburger.
Port Bruce, Where Fabled Rocabores Rambled, Was Once Busy With Industry
Port Bruce, where the first salute is believed to have been fired by British soldiers in Upper Canada, gave every promise of developing into a major lake port and business and industrial centre a century ago. Like Tyrconnell in West Elgin, Port Bruce was laid out for a thriving town and for some years seemed certain of becoming such then the railroads came to supplant the plank roads and the sailing schooners. But at one time, there were seven or eight steam-power saw mills in the Port Bruce area; as well as numerous flour and grist mills and also lumber mills operated by water power.
Port Bruce had a busy wooden pier or dock, 400 feet long and extending to 11 feet depth of water. The Port Bruce Harbor Company was responsible for this enterprise also for a large warehouse and several other harbor buildings.
The launching of Port Bruce, which carries the baptismal name of the Earl of Elgin, for whom the County was named actually took place on September 10, 1851, when there was a gathering of local and district notables to celebrate the completion of the pier and warehouse.
Joel Lewis of Lewisville was in charge of the notable meeting until a Vienna man,
Captain Thompson, was elected chairman. Joel Lewis was one of a group of South Yarmouth men who promoted Port Bruce interests for years. There were also his brothers Amasa and Barnabas Lewis, Lindley Moore and Sheriff Munro. The Lewis brothers did an enormous business in the wheat exporting trade.
Catfish Harbor – Long before the village was dubbed offically, Port Bruce, at that September 1851, gathering when “the luxuries of the season were furnished in great abundance”, it was called Catfish Harbor because of the many catfish in the harbor and creek mouth, an abundance of nature which caused the early French explorers to name the creek Riviere a la Barbue, which was translated Catfish Creek.
Old records tell of the brisk business done out of Port Bruce in the ‘40s and early ‘5Os of the past century. During the shipping season, wagons loaded with grain and hauled largely by plodding oxen, were lined up for miles along the road to the pier.
On the day of the harbor dedication ceremony and the official naming of Port Bruce, several vessels were in the harbor receiving their cargoes.
To mark the occasion a pine tree was planted by Captain Thompson, assisted by the beautiful daughter of Lindley Moore . It was only in January of 1851 that Lindley Moore and Amasa Lewis acquiredthe harbor site.
Eight toasts were drunk at the feast in the warehouse, which attented the ceremonies., The first was to Queen Victoria; the second to Prince Albert, her consort, and the royal family; the third to “James, Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, the honored descendant of the illustrious Bruce.’ The fourth toast was to Port Bruce and was proposed as follows: “May her prosperity never cease until she competes successfully with any port on the Lake.” Joel Lewis responded.
When Adonison Davis was invited to respond to the toast to Canada, instead of speaking he sang “The Indian Hunter’s Lament”, possibly to the surprise of some of the assembled personages.
The seventh toast connoted the spirit of the occasion and the great faith held for the future of Port Bruce. It was to “Amasa Lewis and Lindley Moore, the proprietors of Port Bruce. May the spirit of enterprise pass into the hearts of their fellow citizens and excited them to entertain their noble example.”
Efforts to have Port Bruce recognized as an important harbor were exerted for 20 years before the celebration of Sept. 10, 1851. In 1835, Henry Dalley, who lived in what was the west entrance to Port Bruce, made representations to the Upper Canada Legislature in 1835. Dalley gave this part of Port Bruce its name as he came from Devon, England. He invested considerable of his own and other British funds in Port Bruce, built a beautiful home with English style gardens and grounds, but he lost everything and returned to the British Isles, a disillusioned man. Subsequently he went to Australia where fate was kinder and he made another fortune.
Even an oil boom at Port Bruce failed. For many years an old drilling derrick stood on the flats off the west entrance until it literally fell apart.
The pound net fishing industry flourished at Port Bruce for many years. Sylvanus Young and his two sons George and Levi Young, kept the fishing industry alive over a long period.
The First Salute – Reference has been made to the first military salute by British troops being fired at Port Bruce. It happened on August 24, 1761, when Sir William Johnson landed there with his fleet of eleven boats while on his way to Detroit. It was an emergency landing, made because of the heavy seas encountered by Sir William’s party after leaving Long Point and Port Dover. The next day a messenger from Niagara arrived at Johnson’s encampment with a packet from General Amherst, bringing news of three British successes in different parts of the world. This encouraging news caused Sir William, to give orders for the Royal Americans and Yorkers under Lieutenant Ogden, and Ensigns Slossand and Holmes “to be in arms and fire three volleys and give three cheers After that each man was given a dram of whisky or rum to drink to the health of King George III, and then cam a banquest or feast in the lovely shelter along the north shore of Lake Erie.
Port Bruce has always been one of the most picturesque places along the north shore a vertiable gem set below lofty hills; but a century ago the natural beauty must have been very lovely, for the Catfish Creek ran through a country covered with magnificent forests of pine, oak and maple.
A plank road had been laid out from Port Bruce through the township of Malahide, Dorchester and Dereham to Otterville, touching Aylmer. This road intersected the plank road from Ingersoll to Port Burwell, which is now Queen’s Highway No. 19, passing through Straffordville, the former Sandytown. In this way Port Bruce was linked with the leading communities of western Ontario by the best type of road of a century ago.
Land of Rocabores – Port Bruce may be a “ghost town” so far as its industrial and commercial past are concerned, but it remains a popular summer vacation place for many Canadians and Americans who enjoy its relative seclusion and excellent beach facilities. Many also like the quaint tradition of the Rocabores that has given Port Bruce unique advertising for at least four decades. R.J Dunsmmore, former St. Thomas postmaster and newspaperman now living in Wallacetown, and the late Harry Heard, St. Thomas and London industrialist, get the credit for promoting the rocabore myth. A rocabore is supposed to be a fabled animanl of the porcine family that nature built on unusual lines so it could graze the steep embankments of the Port Bruce topography. A rocabore is supposed to have shorter legs on one side than the other, so it could proceed on an even keel, and to overcome the problem of turning around, a rocabore had a head on either end. Mr. Heard perpetuated the rocabore legend in the lakeside hote he built at Port Bruce and called Rocabore Inn.
The late Lt.-Col. E. H. Cambpell of St. Thomas, an amateur photographer, produced a picture of the Rocabore.
The above article was copied from the St. Thomas Times-Journal, August 1, 1952
Richmond is Oldest Place in East Elgin Settlement
The village of Vienna has long been regarded as one of the oldest communities in Elgin district as well as in southwestern Ontario, but the truth is that the little village of Richmond, or Bayham Post Office, on the Talbot Road from Aylmer to Straffordville, is far older than Vienna, Port Burwell or Aylmer, Up to 1830, we told those three places has but slight claims to the title of villages, but in 1819, Richmond was quite a flourishing little business centre and by 1835, Richmond has three stores, two tanneries, two hotels, and different woodworking and iron working shops. Until 1845, it was a larger and busier place than Aylmer. Caleb Cook was Richmond’s first settler, then Noah Cook about a year later, in 1817, built a saw mill and grist mill on the Little Otter. In 1819, William Fisher started a store and an ashery (where ashes from virgin hardwood were leached) and the Sphor tannery widely known in its day, was also begun. Richmond can claim pioneer priority almost as far back as St. Thomas.
Richmond figured quite prominently in the MacKenzie Rebellion of 1836-37. In the “Life and Times of William Lyon MacKenzie” reference is made to a riot in that area and the Riot Act having to be called. This took place in Richmond.
The Reformers or “Rebels” as their opponents called them, from Yarmouth, Malahide and Bayham Townships, arranged for a convention to held in Richmond and to be addressed by George Lawton of the Sparta district and others. The meeting was held and the speaking was over and all would have been well if there had not been a clash of hotheads of the two political schools of thought before the Reformers got out of Richmond.
The Riot Act was really not read for the reason that as soon as the magistrate, Doyle McKinney put his head out of the window of his office to read it to the surging crowd, he was seized by a burly individual named Cooke, by the collar and seat of his trousers and tossed down the stairs, carrying his copy of the Riot Act with him.
First Sunday School In Malahide
A Sunday School in connection with the pioneer Baptist Church on the 1st Concession of Malahide was instituted on July 28, 1840, with Thomas Chute as president; Kenneth Hankinson, vice-president; Jacob Northrup and Daniel Treadwell as the supervising teacher; and David Rees, George Chute, Daniel Treadwell and Lewis Frazee in charge of the boys’ classes; Harriett McConnell, George Northrup and Meriah Hankinson in charge of the girls.
The number of verses of the Bible the children had learned each entered session in an old record book belonging to Mrs. Frank Brackenburly, Lakeview. On August 30, 1840, Reuben Saxton recited 121 verses; Thomas McConnell, 91; Phoebe Jane Chute, 97.
On September 6, Thomas McConnell was able to recite 152 verses; Eliza McConnell,
87; Ann Hankinson and Phoebe Jane Chute 70, each. On September 13, young Thomas McConnell was able to remember 90 verses, and on September 20, 122 verses. Attendance at that first Baptist Sunday School in Malahide ranged from 45 to 60.