Talbot Times 1994 December






VULUME XIII            ISSUE FOUR                DEC. 1994

Help for Libraries and Archives?

When you read this newsletter our Annual Dinner will be history and Nancy’s surprise (again) will be out of the bag. This evening is, of course, one of our fun nights of the year.

Our recent past meetings have been most entertaining and informative. Thanks Carol. In September we heard Wilson Kerr tell about all the wonderful things to expect from Seminar’95 in Chatham. As an added feature, Joan Griffin spoke on Elgin connections she found in Michigan. In October we went to the L.D.S. Family History Centre for another great evening with Marie Turvey and her ever helpful assistants. In November our Vice-Chairman, Jim McCallum, entranced us in his talk on adoptions and everything related thereto. He gave us specific instances in his own research and gave an example of a successful result. You, who weren’t there, missed one of the best!     I note on reading reports from other Branches that some are donating substantial sums to archival depositories and libraries within their own area “as a token of goodwill”. What do you, Elgin members, think?

Our own St. Thomas Public Library has still not solved its problems. As I write the Fuji microfilm reader-printer has broken down again. We researchers need this machine badly. We must find ways to further assist the library to make its excellent repository available to all.

A week ago your chairman, our secretary, Frank Clarke, past chairperson, Mary Daugharty, and Marie Turvey, London regional co-ordinator of the L.D.S. Family History Centres, visited the newly (in October) opened Dufferin County Museum and Archives on Highway #89 between Shelbourne and Alliston. We spent fruitful hours touring this outstanding facility. We spoke with the director-archivist and those who make it all happen. We came away loaded with answers to our many questions and eager to challenge our local governments as to their denial of the need for such a facility in Elgin County. Make a point of visiting this fine museum-archives in the coming year.

Please attend our future meetings. In January we will have our annual meeting and election of officers for 1995 and our annual silent auction.

Lynda joins me in extending to you all a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous and happy New Year.

Don Cosens, Chairman


Chairperson’s Message    1

Meetings                 2

Annual Meeting Notice    2

1995    Fees                2

Summer Genealogy Camp    3

Weather                 3,4

Honeymoon Capital        4

Williams,    Ross            5

Is she your Great-Aunt     6

Region 2 Director        6

Scott-Sefton negatives     7

Queries                 8,9

Ostrander book            10

Hathaway reunion        10

Executive                 10



11 Jan – Annual Meeting – Reports & Election of Executive; Silent Auction & Social time. 8 Feb – Holdings at the George Thorman Room, St. Thomas Public Library by Peter Bailey & Jean Bircham. Meet there at 7:30 p.m.

8 Mar – Military Records of Elgin County by Max Doan & George Thorman.


This meeting will take place on 11 th Jan. 1995 at the Carnegie Room of the St.

Thomas Public Library. Our branch can only function with our members doing their part. To volunteer now for 1995 executive positions contact Lloyd Smith.


To: All Elgin County Branch OGS Members

Elgin + OGS

Individual: $10 + $35 = $45

Family: $12 + $40 = $52

Institution: $12 + $35 = $45

Please add fees for additional branches joined to the above amounts. Send to

OGS, 40 Orchard View Blvd.,

Suite 102 , Toronto ON M4R 1 B9

Elgin + OGS Associate

Individual: $10 + $ 7 = $17

Family: $12 + $14 = $29

Institution: $12 + $ 7 = $19

Please add additional branch fees to the above amounts. Send to Branch of Primary Interest.


The St. Thomas Public Library will be closed from 24 Dec ’94 to 3 Jan ’95 for Social Contract days. The libraries in Elgin County will be closed 24, 26,27,28 Dec ’94 & 31 Dec ’94 to 3 Jan ’95.


The OGS Toronto Branch will sponsor an innovative new program for the summer of 1995. Genealogy “Summer Camp” is an intensive one week hands-on course for adults. The program is designed for out-of-towners researching ancestors who lived in what is now Metropolitan Toronto, during the 1834-1918 years.

“Campers” will participate in daily tutorials at their downtown hotel and then travel as a group, with instructors J. Brian Gilchrist and Jane MacNamara, to various libraries, archives and other resource centres.

Participants will be able to make optimum use of their research time in Toronto, and with a bit of luck, make real progress.

‘Summer Camp” will be held June 4-10, 1995. For more information, please write to:

Summer Camp, OGS, Toronto Branch, Box 518, Station K, Toronto, ON Canada M4P

2G9 or call Jane MacNamara.







All kinds of Farm Produce taken in exchange for goods.


Weather and Emigration

– written and published with permission by Ronald Cox, Beaconsfield, PQ

Most references stress social and political reasons for causing emigration, but Al

Gore, suggests weather may play a big part in it as well. (Gore, Al., Earth in the

Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit, [New York; Houghton, Mifflin Company] 1992, Chapter 3, Plume – Penguin edition.) He has noted that after abnormal weather periods, emigration tends to rise. It may not be the only factor, but it does appear to be a consideration, especially with the Irish and US examples he cited.

A major volcano eruption in 1815 in Indonesia, resulted in 1816 being known as “the year without a summer” throughout Europe. Dust in the sky spread throughout the globe, sunlight was reduced and temperatures dropped. Rain fell almost continually from May to October, resulting in failed crops and food riots in both the British Isles and Europe, and a near collapse of society. The roads were clogged with “swarms of beggars” – worse in Ireland than on the Continent.

It also snowed in June and July 1816 in New England, with frost throughout the summer. Edgar Allan Collard’s 28 May 1994 Montreal Gazette column, talked about its impact on Quebec, “On June 7, winds blew from the north, strong and chilling. Snow fell almost the whole day long. It whitened mountainsides. On church belfries, snow gathered a foot-and-a-half thick.

No sun appeared for twelve days on end. These global weather disturbances lasted until 1818”.

He continued “Many Vermonters, devastated by the weather and the consequent condition of their farms, simply left and took up new land grants further east.” Gore states this was common throughout the east, hundreds in Maine sold their properties for a pittance and went west. The pattern was repeated in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Vermont, and the Carolinas. And once the unusual weather conditions subsided, normal population patterns returned.

There is enough evidence presented in Gore’s book of many occurrences of this nature, at different periods, to show civilizations disappearing in whole or port, e.g., 90% of population in Scotland and Northern England disappeared between 1150-1136 BC because of an Icelandic volcano’s eruption. Other examples of civilizations being largely decimated at times of unusual weather are cited. Coincidental?

Or of inclement weather contributing to political unrest, e.g., climate-induced suffering in France from 1783 to 1784 added to the bad mood of the population at the time of the French Revolution.

The end of the Little Ice Age, (1550-1850) resulted in a warming trend in the 1840’s. The wet warm conditions that resulted, were just what the potato blight needed to run rampant, which when coupled with a largely single strain of potato as the main food crop, set the stage for the Irish potato famine starting in 1845. More than one million died in the next few years.

But the most dramatic effect of these climate changes has been to cause massive migrations. We all know of the effects of the Irish potato famine, think of the ice bridge that allowed for the introduction of human beings into North America, or the low water levels allowing migration to Australia. And remember the “dust bowl” migrations of the mid 1930s caused by poor farming practices followed by drought. The start of the little ice age caused 100,000 Scots to settle in Ulster by 1691, because of failure of the cod fisheries and crops. The start of our Irish problem as the native Irish were displaced.     So weather may have been a factor in why your ancestors decided to move. Mine started leaving Ireland in 1818 the unusual weather period. From parish records I can deduce some were forced from fairly secure situations to poverty conditions by 1817.     It’s worth asking, “What was the weather like?”


Did you know that, in the time period from 1910 – 1929, St. Thomas was considered the “Honeymoon Capital” of southwestern Ontario? It was of greater importance even than Niagara Falls. The paper, The Jarvis Record, talks of tours of Victorian style and Georgian style homes of St. Thomas and district, bus tours, a Victorian Style confectionary, owned by a man by the name of SMELTZER, I believe, also by a Mr. CUNNINGHAM, day excursions on the train to London, to Toronto, to Buffalo, etc.

Contributed by Craig Burtch, Stratford.



The firm of R. S. Williams & Son, manufacturers and dealers in pianos, church pipe organs, and musical instruments and music generally, need no introduction. The name is a household word. Where there is music of any sort, there the name of R. S. Williams & Son is known, the fame of their pianos and church pipe organs being as wide-spread as the English language. The awards, medals, diplomas, etc., that this firm have carried off for the excellence of their exhibits at various points, where they were in competition with the best known makers of the world, are many in number, and testify to the excellence of the instruments manufactured by the firm of R. S. Williams & Son. The S1. Thomas branch of the firm, which is located at No. 569 Talbot S1. east, has been in existence for the past five years, and is the headquarters of the leading local musicians. Mr. Roselle Pococke, conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, meets violin students at the S1. Thomas music store of R. S. Williams & Son, Mondays and Thursdays. The manager in this city,Mr. Cohen, is an English gentleman who thoroughly understands every branch of the musical profession and is exceedingly popular with all classes of the community, more especially the ladies, being courteous and obliging at all times, and ever ready to do what he can to oblige a customer. He takes a keen interest in all manly and honorable pastimes, and contributes liberally towards the promotion of all such.


E. Ross, the grocer, is a very extensive dealer in staple and fancy groceries, provisions, etc., and has been established in business for the past sixteen years. He occupies the whole of the first floor of the handsome large three story building located at No. 273 Talbot St., where he gives employment to two hands. Mr. Ross does a very large trade with the people of the surrounding country as well as with those of the city itself. He makes a specialty of his teas and fancy groceries, and has acquired a very high reputation in these special lines, handling none but the best quality of goods. Mr. Ross has been a resident of St. Thomas all his life, and has had thirty years experience in the grocery trade, so that he may be truthfully said to thoroughly understand it in all its branches.


Proprietor Sheddon House

Every accommodation for the comfort of Guests.

Good Sample Rooms.

N B.-Sober and attentive hostler.



Jean Bircham

I would like to extend SEASONS GREETINGS and BEST WISHES FOR THE NEW YEAR to all members of Elgin, Oxford and London-Middlesex branches of OGS.

The last weekend in November had the Board of Directors meeting. We reviewed “The Board” by H. Perry by participating in orientation to the board. Updates were given about ongoing committees and projects (Seminar ’95, permanent Seminar committee, Nomination report, Parish Register Indexing, correspondence). Reports of various meetings (Heritage Alliance, Ontario Archivist) were given. The names of the branches who had successful applications for June Leadership Training grants were given and note made of October ones. The budget for 1995 was reviewed and passed by the board. The Strategic Plan was evaluated and goals for the next year talked about.

Meeting dates for 1995 were set.

For further information or concerns, contact the director.


What do you call your father’s father? Grandfather, right? And your father’s mother is Grandmother, right? Now what do you call the siblings of your grandparents, who are in the same generation as your grandparents? What? You call them Great aunts and uncles? Unfortunately, all of us seem to have been brought up using this incorrect terminology. Properly stated, they are your Grand aunts and uncles. Your great aunts and uncles will be siblings to your, you guessed it, great grandparents. Simple once you get the hang of it.

Conversely, what do you call the children of your nieces and nephews? I think you’re beginning to catch on. Since you are a sibling to their grandparent, you are a grand aunt or uncle, and they are your grand nieces and nephews.

So big deal, you say. What difference does it make? Well, it can actually create a tangled nuisance in genealogical records, for incorrectly using the term great when grand is meant implies another generation in there that doesn’t, of course, exist. I’ve noticed that many newspapers appear to use the terminology correctly, but the same cannot be said for some of our august genealogical societies on this continent, who use the terms loosely and carelessly. They can point to a dictionary that says great instead of grand is acceptable, but this is due to common usage, and because of common usage you’ll also find “ain’t” in these same dictionaries.

So next time you read or hear someone mention their great-aunt or uncle, you’ll now ponder whether or not it’s grand that is meant. And you can correct them and be one up on them.

Extracted by Eileen Stewart, taken from Hazen Family Assoc. newsletter, Sept. ’94.


The members of the Elgin County Photographic Heritage Society have been busy making inventory sheets of the negatives of the Scott – Sefton Collection held at the Elgin County Library. Among the negatives are many interesting items. I have taken some information for which researchers may be looking. – Jean Bircham

Martin Birth Record

Box 76, #23978

Birth record taken from Family Bible

Southwold Fingal March the 4

Margaret McINTYRE and Robert MARTIN was married in the year March 4 1869.

John A. born June 14 1870

Robert James was born July 29 1872

Archable C. was born July 15 1875

Arthur A. was born May 1 1878

Mary C. was born December 30th 1880

Charlie D. L. was born March 18 1883

Martin Birth Certificate

Box 76, #23979

Extract Entry of Birth from Records of District of Elgin in the County of Elgin 23 May 1871.

#110 Peter Grant MARTIN, born 1871 May eighth, 10h 0m a.m., New Elgin, Elgin;

(father) Alexander Martin, ploughman; (mother) Mary Martin M.S. MacDougall; 1861

Nov 16th, Inverness; signed Alex’r Martin, father (present) registered 1871, May 23rd by James Allen, Registrar at Elgin,

Miller Birth Certificate

Box 76, #23980

Family Bible page – Births

Francis Miller born May 18th 1860

Jane Miller born November 12th 1862

Hellen Miller born July 29th 1864

Gidion Miller born Aug’t 4th 1866

Murray Oliver Miller born Dec’r 19th 1868

Annie Isebela Miller born March 29th 1871

Parsons Birth Certificate

Box 76, #23687

True copy of Birth 24 Nov 1921

Registration District – Cuckfield Union

Birth in Sub-District Hurst Pierpoint in the County of Sussex

#341, 17 Nov. 1865, Hickstead, Twineham

William (boy),

Peter Pierce Parsons (father),

Mary Elizabeth Parsons formerly Gremmett (mother), groom

Registration date 23 Dec 1865

Blough Birth Certificate

Box 76, #23800

Page from Family Bible – Births

Isaac born Feb. 6 1862

Louis Alfred born Feb. 2 1864

Noah born Aug. 3 1866

Merchant Blough born Nov. 24 1868

Garrit born Apr. 21 1870

Noah born May 3 1875


Members of Elgin Co. OGS are entitled to 2 free queries per issue. Printing & editing is done at the editors’ discretion.

OSTRANDER/DODDS – Seek info/desc of Elizabeth, b ca. 1852, d/o Ebenezer & Elizabeth, who m at Aylmer, ON. 28 Dec 1871, Abraham DODDS, b ca 1850/ s/o Robert & Catherine. All info appreciated by Ross W. McCURDY.

PARKS/PARKES/SYTES – Wish for info on the issue, relocation (if any) and deaths of Robert PARKS, slo Atwood & Mary Ann (HARLOW) PARKES, shoemaker, b Nova Scotia 1842, mar Elizabeth SYTES b 1853, dlo Abram & Eliza SYTES of Aylmer. Mar in Aylmer 11 May, 1869. Last record of them in Springfield, Malahide census 1871. Any issue, where? All info to Carol TAGGART.

ATKINSON/COHOON/PARKS – Need Christian name and maiden name of Mrs. Elmer ATKINSON of Aylmer, Elgin Co., gr granddaughter of Capt. Wm. & Elizabeth COHOON PARKS. Any issue? All info to Carol TAGGART.

OWEN – Seek info on my grandfather, William OWEN, b 1875 Penraeth, Wales, or his employer or desc of a Mr Lloyd Chauncey SMITH, dairy farmer of Corinth, Brownsville or Aylmer, Canada. William OWEN was in Canada 1924-1930, again 1933-1935 or 1938. He probably belonged to church in the area. Please send info to Rebecca BULT.

FELKER/LAFEY/WHITESELL – Seek ances and desc of Lydia FELKER who d 29 June 1880; Anna (FELKER) LAFEY who d 4 April 1891, & Elizabeth (FELKER) WHITESELL, w/o Daniel who d 29 Aug 1875; all at Malahide Twp., Elgin Co. all bd at Luton Cem. They may be’sis and grandchildren of Johann Jacob VOLCKEL/FELKER, who was b Erndtebruck, Westfalen, Germany, 6 Dec 1739, d Gainsboro Twp, Lincoln Co. 1803. All info to Bruce C. JOHNSON, Jr.

GOFF/YOUNG/NICKERSON/CARPENTER – Seek ances and desc of Matilda (GOFF) YOUNG, w/o Rufus, d Malahide Twp., Elgin Co., 5 Oct 1873; Sarah GOFF m at Malahide Twp, 1 Aug 1830, Levi NICKERSON; David GOFF, m at Malahide Twp., 3 Dec 1839, Mary Ann THAYER; Abigail GOFF mar, at Malahide Twp., 30 Oct 1839, Lemuel DILTS, he d at Malahide Twp 28 March 1840, she is wid in 1842 Malahide Census. Irena GOFF m at Malahide Twp., 25 Oct 1842, James CARPENTER, wit. Wm. GOFF. Are these people related to the Aaron GOFF who d at Ekfrid Twp., Middlesex Co. ca l860? All info to Bruce C. JOHNSON Jr.

BAILEY/ROBERTSON/INNES Seeking info on fam of Rev. Seth BAILEY, poss Free Methodist, Toronto area, and his wife Winnifred E.M. ROBERTSON, she was b in Thamesville 1893, d 1961 in Toronto. Her prts were William Henry ROBERTSON & Minnie Teresa INNES. All info to Gordon ROBERTSON.

ROBERTSON – Searching for death date and fam of William ROBERTSON, b 1888 poss Oil Springs or Thamesville area. Had 5 girls. Died 1942 in Chatham, Ont. Contact Gordon ROBERTSON.

MURRAY/SLAGHT -Elizabeth MURRAY b ca 1807 – Woodhouse/ Townsend, Norfolk Co., d 6 April 1888 ae 76 yrs., bd Hartford Cem, Hartford Twp., Norfolk Co. marr ca 1828-30 Philip SLAGHT. 10 ch. Who were her prts & sib? All info to Ruth ROBERTSON.

BARNES/SPITLER/EDMONDS/NEVILLS – Info needed on Sarah BARNES,d/o Amos BARNES & Elizabeth SPITLER BARNES. When/where did Sarah BARNES mar George EDMONDS? Prior to 1851 census? Who were prts of George EDMONDS? Ch: Amos EDMONDS s/o Sarah & George EDMONDS bd Fingal Cem. Southwold Twp. also George d 26 Nov, 1853, ae 24 yr 9 mos, same year as son Amos (12 Dec 1853) ae 1 yr & 10 mos. Were there more ch? Sarah EDMONDS mar James Wilmot NEVILLS, 8 Nov 1855 – Were there any ch? Did Sarah also mar PEETS/PEETES, & were there ch? All info to Brenda EDMONDS.

EDMONDS – Info needed re EDMONDS fam found in Southwold 185l Census: W.H. EDMONDS, 29, blacksmith, Mariah/Maria/Sarah/ 28 & George 4 yrs. What happened to them? 1871 Southwold Census William EDMONDS 40, Phoebe 38, and ch: Abram 14, Joseph 10, Suzanne 7, Thomas 4, Hiram 4/12. 1881 Census: William EDMONDS 50, Phoebe A. 48, Joseph Willliam 20, Thomas Wesley 14. All info to Brenda EDMONDS.

OSTRANDER/ FITZGERALD/ HALEY/ HEALEY – Seek info/ desc of Rachel b 1812 d 1887 m Ebenzer HALEY b 1805 d 1885, lived in S. Norwich Twp. Children:  Warren, Fitzgerald, Ursula. Warren moved to Kent Co. All info welcome to Joyce Ostrander.

OSTRANDER/ BANGHART – William C. b 1824 d 1898 mar in 1844/45 by Meth minister in Westminster Twp. to Nancy BANGHART b ca 1827 in Lambeth ON d 1907. Moved to Michigan ca 1850, then to Nebraska. Any info about parents, relatives appreciated by Joyce Ostrander.

ANNOUNCEMENT – The OSTRANDER Family Ass’n appears determined to publish the genealogy of the family in 1996. This is purported to include all descendants of the original immigrants who came to New York in 1660 in the “De Bonte Koe” (the Spotted Cow). All descendants not in correspondence with this correspondent should send their info to EMMETT OSTRANDER. Submitted by Ross W. McCurdy.


Hathaway Family Association

The Hathaway Family Ass’n of (North) &~erica (since 1911) will hold the 82nd Annual Reunion, for the first time in Canada during June 23, 24, 25 1995 at Stratford Ontario. Descendants of HATHAWAYS, HATHEWAYS, and HATHWAYS are invited. One need not be a member of the H.F.A. to attend. For information, please call or write to H.F.A. before March 1, 1995.


Past Chairperson – Lloyd Smith

Chairperson – Don Cosens

1st Vice Chairperson – Jim McCallum

2nd Vice Chairperson – Carol Hall

Treasurer – Marg Daugharty

Secretary – Frank Clarke

Talbot Times editor – Jean Bircham

TALBOT TIMES published quarterly; March, June, Sept. & Dec. Articles, news items, clippings, etc., which would be of interest to our readers are welcome, especially if about Elgin County. All entries are subject to the discretion of the editor. Submissions should be made by 15 Feb., 15 May, 15 Aug. & 15 Nov. and state if there are copyright restrictions. The TALBOT TIMES makes every effort to provide accurate information but disclaims any responsibility for errors or omissions. Articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Elgin Co. Branch O.G.S. or its executive. Permission is granted to reprint any material from the TALBOT TIMES unless otherwise mentioned, provided that the original source is credited.

MEETINGS are held on the 2nd Wed. of the month in the Carnegie Room of the St.

Thomas Public Library, St. Thomas, except Dec. which is reserved for a social evening. There are no meetings in July & Aug. All visitors are welcome.

The ELGIN CO. OGS LIBRARY is located in the George Thorman room of the St.

Thomas Public Library and is open to the public for the same hours as the public library.

MEMBERSHIP information about the Elgin Co. OGS and the OGS is available at the meetings or by contacting the Chairperson or Membership Coordinator.