Newsletter of the
ELGIN COUNTY BRANCH
ONTARIO GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
VOLUME XVI ISSUE ONE
Extracts of Genealogical information
Elgin County has again lost one of its contributors to local history. On January 8, 1997, the news of George Thorman’s passing reached us during a meeting of the branch executive. Mr. Thorman was well known as an Elgin County historian and author. Although not a native to Elgin County, he came to St. Thomas in 1939 and was a founding member of the Elgin Military Museum and a past president of the Elgin Historical Society. To honor his contributions to local history the room which houses the local history collection at the St. Thomas Public Library bears his name. Mr. Thorman had been a guest speaker at several of our meetings over the years. A detailed obituary and article outlining Mr. Thorman’s life appeared in the St. Thomas Times-Journal on January 13.
We would also like to extend our sympathy to Jean Bircham and her family for the loss of Jean’s mother, Mrs. Sadie (Andrietz) Dibert, widow of Leonard A. Dibert, on February 9, 1997.
Elgin County Branch now has a home page on the Internet and an e-mail address:
Information about our branch operations, publications and genealogy in Elgin County is available for browsing. A limited amount of research is available via e-mail through our research committee. 15th Anniversary
Bruce Johnson, our Web Publisher, has generously undertaken the assembly of a members’ interest section at our web site. For details of how to submit the names of ancestors you are searching please e-mail Bruce directly.
The extraction of genealogical material from the Aylmer Express continues to progress and is now completed to the mid-1920’s. Permission to use the material previously extracted for the years 1890-1907 has been granted by the Elgin County Library. The first volume of this publication should be available by June.
Although all known cemeteries in Elgin Co. have been transcribed, the recordings are now several years old. Our cemetery co-ordinator, Dean Paddon will be overseeing the updating of many of these during his term. Any person willing to assist in the updating and checking of these transcriptions will be greatly appreciated by Dean. Our goal also is to have all our transcriptions entered on computer. (Please read our “Wanted” box on page 8.)
I would like to thank the executive and committees of 1996 for their hard work and dedication, and to membership for returning me to a second term as chairman. Welcome aboard to Ross Harrison, Pat Temple, Brenda Edmonds, Bruce Johnson and Linda Allen, who have accepted positions in the operation of our branch for 1997.
James L. McCallum
The following is gleamed from a variety of sources, including the 1877 Atlas, and articles by A.S. Garret and C. Clifford
Thomas Talbot, was born at the Ancient Baronial Castle of Malahide, Dublin, Ireland in 1771. Young Talbot was provided with a Colonel’s commission with the 24th Regiment at Quebec in 1790 and in 1791 became attached to the suite of General John Graves Simcoe, the first Lieut. Governor of Upper Canada. Governor Simcoe seems to have had a high opinion of Talbot, recommending him for a grant of land. The grant was granted. Col. Talbot was to have given each settler 200 acres but he only gave them fifty acres and kept the extra 150 acres, contrary to the intention of the government. The “settlement duties” required by Col. Talbot were a dwelling of some kind and the clearing of one half of the width of the road in front of a lot by sufficient depth on the lot to make ten acres besides the road allowance. This and the payment of $40. to the Government entitled the claimant to a deed.
Col. Talbot landed by water at Port Talbot, May 21, 1803 with seven families. By 1809 John Pearce, Col. Leslie Patterson, Mrs. Stor(e)y, and Johnny Barber with their families had settled west of Port Talbot. In 1810 and soon after came Wm. Davis, David Secord, Benjamin Wilson, Esq., Moses Rice the Mandevilles, Daniel Rapalje and others. From Nova Scotia came the families of Lodge, Keillor, Lumley, Lowther, Brown, Mills, McIntyre, Boss, Smith and others.
Col. Mahlon Burwell, one of Col. Talbot’s first settlers, an United Empire Loyalist, from New Jersey located in Port Talbot in 1809. His first residence was burned at the burning of the mill in 1813. He then built a log house west of Watson’s Corners and in 1824 a brick home where he lived until his death. Col. Burwell’s practical knowledge of mathematics made him very useful as a surveyor of this wild countryside. He surveyed the township of Malahide and Bayham, the city of London, Villages of Port Burwell, Vienna and others.
In 1792 the Province was divided by Governor Simcoe into nine counties of which Middlesex was one, with Lake Erie for the southern boundary. The township received their names when they were surveyed. The county of Elgin became a county in 1852. Elgin, in honor of the Earl of Elgin, Governor General of Canada from 1847 to 1854.
The first provisional Council met in St. Thomas on April 15, 1852, composed of:
Duncan McColl, Reeve Alborough
Moses Willey Reeve Dunwich
Colin Munro Reeve Southwold
Elisha S. Ganson Reeve Yarmouth
Leslie Pearce Deputy Reeve Yarmouth
David Parish Reeve St. Thomas
Thomas Locker Reeve Malahide
Lewis J. Clarke Deputy Reeve Malahide
Jacob Cline Reeve S. Dorchester
John Elliott Reeve Bayham J. Skinner Deputy Reeve Bayham.
1817 – 900
1848 – 4,443
1852 – 5,063
1861 – 5,467
1871 – 5,559
School was established in 1818, at Watson’s Corners, and in 1822 two more schools were added.
– takes its name from William Lawrence on whose farm it is located. SHEDDEN –
takes its name from John Shedden an enterprising capitalist and stock grower who died in an tragic accident on boarding a train in Hamilton.
1848 – Duncan McCormick, employed George Munro, Esq. To do a conveyance of village lots which he had surveyed on his farm in Southwold. The DeCow brothers, sons of one of the first settlers of Southwold made their homes there.
– originally Five Stakes from the five roads – the junction of Back Street, Port Stanley and London gravel roads
(You will be able to read more about this village in the FIVE STAKES book now at the publishers.) FINGAL –
the oldest village in the township, named after the Fingal Caves in Scotland. The village was laid out in 1840. . The four corners were owned by Samuel and Lewis Burwell, Nevills and Cowal. William Burwell built the first tavern. The first general store was opened by Levi Fowler, Esq.; a magistrate and the first postmaster. Later known merchants were George Elliot, and Col. McQueen, Robert Blackwood, William Arkell, George McKenzier and J.P. & Phillip Finlay. In 1872 Fingal had a population of 500. The firms of Macpherson, Glasow and Co. ( a foundry manufacturing threshing machines), John Conn’s Cheese Factory, Wm. A. Doyle’s Marble Works, George Metcalfe’s Cabinet Works, Thomas Casey’s Tannery, Tomkin Bros Flour and Lumber Mill, and Fulton Bros. Saw Mill and Veneer Factory were in business, as well as three hotels – the Fulton House run by Fulton Bros., Fingal House operated by Capt. John Sweeney and the Farmer’s Inn operated by Joseph Smith.
SELBORNE-SUCKERTOWN – Just a Memory
One mile up stream from the Village of Port Stanley, there once was a thriving hamlet known as Selborne or Suckertown where lake boats came up Kettle Creek to extensive docks. At its height Selborne was described as a busy little village of 18 families.
Thomas Daniels purchased half an acre in 1834 and James Meek bought a slightly larger lot. In 1835, William Mason bought a quarter acre on which he built a woolen mill. In 1837 Andrew McKenzie bought a small lot next of David Anderson’s tavern, but in 1840 sold it to James Turville who kept a general store. Also in 1837 John Meek purchased a quarter acre. Properties near by were owned by Thomas Hutchison, William Meek, William Burwell
and his wife Martha, Adolphus Urin, Hugh Stevens, William H. Allworth, William Burnside, Samuel Farr, and William Forsyth, and the children of Capt. Joseph Smith. Captain Joseph Smith’s children were: William, Charles who predeceased his father and was married to Louisa Zavitz the daughter of Jesse Zavitz, Jane Smith wife of James Begg, Sarah wife of John H. Winemute, Mary wife of Bryce Thompson.
Selborne had a sulphur spring (which can still be smelled today) where a health spa was once considered but never materialized.
Selborne hosted at one time a large general store operated by James Turville, an Oatmeal Mill operated by a Hornby and a foundry operated by James Turville’s son.
Hugh Stinson and Bill Bryce were shoemakers there. A tavern operated by Richard Martin and another tavern owned by a great many different people. As well as John Waddal’s distillery (vacant in 1850)
A serious flood in 1855 which changed the course of the river, probably cut into Selborne’s shipping trade and Port Stanley which was major port took over. The south part of Port Stanley was developed for home sites the north was reverted back to farmland. Some houses were even moved away and the Harding Mill was dismantled and re-assembled as a summer cottage east of Port Stanley.
James Westland, whose wife was related to the Zavitzes and the Minors, rented a store in Selborne and he wrote in his diary: March 21st, 1850 – Turville’s child died, March 23rd,- Turville’s child buried, March 26th,- Vaccinated J.T.W.(his 2yr old son) March 27th, – Richard Turville died. Dr. Moore here, J.T. taken sick. March 28th, – attended funeral, very sick took pills at night. March 29th, – rather better April 2nd, – J.T. died April l4th, – Turville buried.
Obviously the smallpox had hit the Turville’s wiping out half of the family. The smallpox was blamed on one of the lake vessels bringing in the disease.Some Well-Known Southwold Settlers
Bibliographies for the following can easily be found as well as many more
George Elliott George Elliott Casey, B.A.
John Philpot / Fillpot:
Edward Burwell Neil Dewar
William A. Glover
John McPherson Esq.
Ewen Cameron Sr.
Ewen Cameron Jr.
Nichol McColl Leonidas Burwell
And many many more ….
The following names were taken off an old photocopy of a handwritten surveyors map – undated and the original copy can not be found – but believed to be that of Mahlon Burwells’ approx 1811 -1817. (Some of the names were not very clear but have been transcribed as accurately as possible and some names are not legible). It must be also noted that some of these names refer to absentee land owners.
John Godfrey Ammon
Johnathan W. Berdan
Daniel Bowlby James Bowlby
Richard Bongor ? John Book Jr.
Adam Burwell Jr.
John Cattowick James Chase
John W. Clarke
Stephen Cornwell Jessie Crandle
Richard D. Drake
Charles Duncombe John Dyer
John Fillpot / Philpot
Samuel Gainsey / Guernsey
Jonathon W. Gordon
John Van Kirk Harris
Samuel Sr. Horton
John Lee Rivarius Hooker Lee
George Owen Lumleyl
Cornelius McDonagh ?
James McIntrye /
James, Jr. Mitchell
William C. Moore
Abraham Nellis &
A. Nellis Colin Nevill
Mary Risen (?)
John Dr. Rolph
Wells Prime Shaff
Hugh Sharon / Sherron
Thomas Sharon / Sherron
Frances Siddall / Siddle
Abel Jr. Stafford
Jonathan Teetzel / Teetsul
James Samuel Thomson
James Van Velzer
John Van Cise
Benjamin G. Willson
MURDER OF MR. C. KNIGHT!
A Partial Statement of the former Career of
JOHN PHILIP ALBERT GARDNER
Charles Knight which was committed at the residence of the prisoner by him, on Wednesday night the 13th October 1858, giving full particulars of the deed, as well as other acts of crime in which he took a part; also, a history of his birth parentage, &c. The prisoner is a man five feet six inches in height, brown hair, grey eyes, and sandy whiskers.
The following is his statement which we took down in his cell by his dictation, I, John Philip Albert Gardner, state that I am a German by birth from Grand Duchy Baden, a Lutheran in religion, and a Weaver by trade, the son of Henry and Christina Gardner. I was born on the 20th February, 1819, am 40 years of age next February, Lived in Germany [Baden] thirty-one years; was never before a Magistrate during the time but once, and that as a witness. I emigrated to New York in 1851, stopped there for a short time when I left for the State of New Jersey, County of Somerville or Somerset, remained there for fifteen months, then I went to the Town of Munro in the State of Michigan; I followed my trade there, and got married to Mary Doty, of Munro, my present wife. We both kept a transient boarding house there for some months; had boarding with us, a man by the name of Laing, a Harness Maker, and one John Myers, a Laborer, also one George Schuback, a German: the latter got married and rented a part of my house; he borrowed a quart bottle from me, when Laing, my boarder, without my consent, said he should have a bottle from Schuback. He went into his [Schuback’s] room, and asked him for the bottle in my name; he got the bottle and kept it; he was of a drunken disposition, and was in my debt five dollars for board I put him away altogether; he had spite towards me for doing so. I afterwards asked Schuback for the bottle and he told me Laing got it. I said he should get that bottle. He went to the shop where Laing worked, it was owned by a man named Reid, and asked him for the bottle, he said I should come myself; I did not go there, he sent Schulback the second time for me and said he would kill me and throw me in the mill race; when I went Laing got hold of me, we both clinched, and Schuback caught him by the legs, he fell on the steps, where he received a severe bruise on the head; Schuback and I kicked him when down, then we both left and went home. It was ten o’clock at night, [Saturday]. The following Monday we were both arrested, and brought before Squire Prentiss of Munro; we were both found guilty, and sentenced to forty days imprisonment in Jail; I did not go to Jail, I escaped from the constable, and left the country. The constable’s name was Charley Kirchazner. I asked him to go with me to a Lawyer, when he told me to go myself the Lawyer told me to go away, I left that day on foot, [at this stage of the enquiry Gardner appeared to be much affected]; I walked over 23 miles to Toledo; I took the cars for Cleveland where I stopped four weeks. I wrote to my wife and told her to sell the furniture and come to Cleveland, she did so, we both remained there for about eight days. My wife told me that Laing said he was sorry I left as he was not badly hurt. I and my wife then left for Canada, by a steamer bound for Port Stanley. I did not since hear from Schulbach neither do I know where he is – Since I came to Canada I lived in the Township of Yarmouth, worked with Septimus Davis, John Wood, Leslie Pierce, Lewis Fisher, Emanuel Winters & others. I rented a house and lot opposite Mr. Charles Knights’ house. I intended to move away this fall, accordingly sold my provisions and what stock I had, also received $150 from Mr. Davis, lent money. Mr. Knight and I went to the market the Wednesday of the murder, he took some things for me to sell, after I selling all I came home, left Knight in St. Thomas, he returned about three o’clock, came into my house I was at the loom when he came in, he commenced joking me about my wife, but I did not mind him. I offered him a scythe snath as a present but my wife said no, that he must pay for it. I then gave him the snath, and he went home; I went to Knight’s house about five o’clock. I told Mrs. Knight I felt rather sick, she gave me some whisky and pepper and I went home. Mr. and Mrs. Knight afterwards came to my house in friendship, he went and got some whiskey from his house; I made some sling for the women; Mr. Knight took his whiskey as it was, conversed about several things during the night. Knight told me he would stop all night, and for my wife to go to his house.
Mrs. Knight said “yes if I wished it.” I said I did not care. We drank the quart of whiskey Mr. Knight brought, and Mrs. Knight went after more and she brought it; I did not drink much liquor. About ten o’clock the women went away leaving Mr. Knight and myself together. After the women going he asked me for my gun, I told him it was loaded and should not have it; he said I should not think he did not know how to handle a gun; I then opened the door and fired the gun off, this was about eleven o’clock; he went through the exercise with the gun, and wanted to load it; I told him I had no powder. He asked me to stand up, and he would show me how Englishmen fought; I told him I would not, I did not like it. He then said let us go to bed; I told him to go to bed, if he liked, but I would stop up, as I wanted to pray; he went to bed; and called me, saying I should come, or also he would get up. I then went to bed; I did not undress myself, he Knight had his coat off. After going to bed he asked me if I got the money from Mr. Davis, I told him no, [but I had the money in my pocket], I gave him two shilling before going to bed, for carrying my vegetables to market that day; he Knight told me he had to pay three hundred dollars, next Saturday, and for me to give him my money; I told him I was going to move next week to get a piece of land somewhere; he offered me some of his, I would not take his and I wanted cheaper land; he spoke no more after that, I went to sleep, shortly afterwards I awoke and felt his hand in my pocket where I had the money. I asked him what he wanted he made no reply but jumped on me seized me by the neck, and almost choked me, he put his knees on my stomach and beat me with his fist; he then said I will not let you up until you tell me where the money is. I struggled very hard, he fell out of bed, when I asked him Knight do you want to kill me for the money, he made no answer but took hold of me we both clinched and fell together. I must have got him under and beat him with my fists. I did not strike him with any weapon. What I did was done in self-defense. I did not think I killed him. I came up to the Sheriff to have him taken, but could not find him. Don’t remember going back to the house after I left it or going into the bush. I came out of the woods opposite Mr. Fishers, and went to the barn to look for him, he was not there but I asked his wife where he was, she said he would be home soon. I then went to the barn to rest being sick. Mr Fisher came to the barn to me; I told him Mr. Knight tried to kill me and take my money; I asked him to go and see how it was, he said he would. I gave him two shillings for his trouble. I was afterwards arrested in the barn. I must have seen thy wife someplace, after coming from town, as I had only part of the money when I was in the barn.
I solemnly declare that my wife had no hand in the murder.
P. A. Gardner,
Elgin County Jail,
St. Thomas, December 21st, 1858.
This article was found in an old scrapbook belonging to Brenda Edmonds
John Garner’s sentence was reduced to Life in Prison and he died in Jail about five years later.
Charles Knight is buried in the Old English Church Cemetery
Please correct the index of the Straffordville Cemetery –
Add: Maude A. Richardson Neville to the index under “N” – stone # 457
Remove: Maude A. Richardson Neville, wife of Peter Laur – stone # 457 under “L”
Note: Maude A. Richardson Neville was NOT the wife of Peter Laur
Peter Laur was never married
BROWN/HUNTER – William Henry BROWN (b 1837 N.B.) mar Christina HUNTER (b 1840 Malahide) 1856 in Malahide. Prts names unknown, from Ireland. Ch: George Albert (1858), Caroline (1859) Nancy Jane (1861) Alexander Coats (1863) John Edward (1866) Edward (1867) James Henry (1869) Carabele (1870), Colborne Eli (1873), Catherine (1875) and Walter Thomas (1877) . Seeking info on any or all of this family.
STACEY/STEVENS/BERRY/CARRUTH – Benjamin STACEY b 1812 in Haslemere Surry mar Christina STEVENS 6 Jan 1836 in St.Thomas. Lvd in Malahide then Port Stanley. Ganor STACEY b 1810 in Hesborne, Sussex, mar John BERRY and emigrated after 1852. Lvd Port Stanley. William STACEY, b 1825 in England mar Marjorie CARRUTH 26 Oct 1848 in Port Stanley, then resided in Dunwich Are these three STACEY’s related? Nancy BROWN
CAMPBELL/PASSMORE – Seeking info on Annie CAMPBELL and family. Annie b in Aldborough ca 1852-1857 to John and Annie CAMPBELL. Religion Baptist. She and fam lvd in Newbury, Middlesex Co. ca 1870’s. Fam mvd back to Aldborough in 1871. Annie mar Thomas PASSMORE 24 Jan 1884 in Aldborough. Wit: John B. CAMPBELL and John McKILLOP of Aldborough. Pat PASMORE,
KNIGHT/ MON(C)K/ DECOU/ FREDERICK/MARTIN/ GLASSFORD – Seek desc of Samuel Henry KNIGHT ( 1801 – 1886) & Mary MONCK (1796 – 1879) Ch: Philip m Nancy DECOU, James m Gabriella FREDERICK, Dorothea Ann m ? MARTIN, Elizabeth m John GLASSFORD, Richard m ?. The four youngest ch bapt at St. Peter’s Church, Dunwich Twp. 29 June 1844 while fam living on Townline Road, Howard Twp, Kent Co. Desire Birthplace? Prts? Siblings? Of Samuel Henry KNIGHT & Place of mar to Mary MONCK? Mary b N.Y. State. Where? Prts? Siblings? Date of Marr? & KNIGHT/SHAW (1870-1941). Both bd Aylmer Cem. Elgin Co. – Seeking desc of Katherine KNIGHT
(1868-1948) and Dr. R. William SHAW (1870-1941) Have photo of Aunt Norma KNIGHT as flower girl at their wedding and another of the SHAW’s with son William Ulric, c1910. Also seek desc of Margaret (Madge) Elizabeth KNIGHT (1870- post 1926)& John Herbert GLOVER (1859- ?) Madge’s sis will dated Oct 1944 includes bequests to Gloria R. GLOVER, Margaret Ann GLOVER and John H. Jr. while John GLOVER and W.U. SHAW served as pallbearers at funeral. Elinor R.
ESSELTINE/ ASYSTINE/ VARIANTS OF NAME/ ROOKES/ HATCHERS / WINFIELD – The latter came from Oxford City, England in late 1880’s & ESSELTINES were well established by 1810. Erastus ESSELTINE is the particular interest! Cannot get info further than his b in 1810. The WINFIELD name from Oxford City is allied with the ROOKES and HATCHERS. Any help welcome.Gail
LOVE/ McMILLAN/ GALBRAITH – Catherine McMILLAN b ca 1785 mar Neil LOVE in Argyll Scotland c 1800. Known ch: John b 1801 (mar Mary GALBRAITH); Peter b 1812; Alexander b 18 ? ( mar 1st cousin Jane LOVE); Mary b 18 ? (mar 1st cousin Alexander LOVE); Neil LOVE d in Scotland. Widow Catherine & dau Mary to Aldborough Twp 1848. John, Peter & Alexander in Aldborough prior to 1848. Seek desc? & CAMPBELL/ McKILLOP/ McGILP – Dougald CAMPBELL b 1793 North Knapdale Arg. Scotland. Mar 1813 Catherine McGILP b c 1790. Ch: b Island of Danna Argyll, Scotland; Malcolm b 1814; Janett b 1819; Margaret b 1823; Dugald b 1826; Isabelle b 1828; family emigrated 1840’s, settled ORMSTOWN Que. Dau Janet visiting in Dunwich with ( Uncle) Donald (McKILLOP) McGILP, Lot 14 Con 7 in 1856. Did she marry and remain in the area? Shirley WILSON
PURDY/ ELLIOTT/ TAYLOR – John C. PURDY b 1838, Vienna, Elgin Co. Youngest of 9, left home at age 12. Have found fam of Obadiah PURDY in 1842 census of Vienna with male child under 5. Need proof that John is that child. A Daniel PURDY may be Obadiah’s father. Obadiah and Daniel were Talbot Settlers, I have their land records. Other names which appear to fit this family are: Henry, Samuel, Thomas, Lavinia (PURDY) ELLIOTT and Mary (PURDY) TAYLOR. John C. PURDY was in Erie Co., Ohio in 1861, married there and enlisted in the Civil War. Ozzi (Mrs Leonard) PURDY,