Newsletter of the
ELGIN COUNTY BRANCH
ONTARIO GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY
VOLUME XVII ISSUE TWO
Extracts of Genealogical information
Chairman’s Message: Summer is fast approaching and O.G.S. Seminar ‘98 was a great success, especially with the help of our members.
A great deal of thanks goes out to Jim McCallum and the Committee who put so much effort into “The Wall of Ancestors”. The “Wall of Ancestors” is still available for sale in print or on a 3.5″ floppy disk from the Elgin County Branch. Thanks also goes out to Jean Bircham for getting our publications ready for Seminar ‘98 and to Marg Daugherty and other volunteers who worked on the Elgin desk at seminar selling our branch publications and the Wall of Ancestors.
I always hate to single out individual people for special recognition for fear that I will forget all of the great efforts put on by so many people. So thanks to everyone who helped out!
Additionally this summer our Cemetery Records Co-ordinator, Dean Paddon, will be putting on a push to ensure that all our records are up to date and complete. Volunteers may well be recruited for this also. If there are any members who have use of a computer who would be interested in volunteering to do typing, entering data in databases, etc. we would certainly appreciate hearing from you.
Congratulations additionally go out to Don Cosens and Bob Moore for completing our APOLROD Project, in such an excellent manner. That was certainly a very big job!.
Good Luck to everyone in their genealogical researches during the summer months.
Ross L. Harrison
The Aylmer Express, Nov. 17, 1938
“Jaffa – Several from the village attended a shower in honor of Mr. Joe Harkes and Mr. Harry Harris, who were recently married.” (No doubt the correspondent was trying to save a little ink or paper during the Depression when he or she wrote this by leaving out the “Mrs.” in each couple, for what was obviously a double shower for these people.)
ANNUAL WELLINGTON FAMILY REUNION & PICNIC
Descendants of Jonathan Wellington and Sarah James Wellington will be held at Moore Sports Complex, Mooretown, Ontario on Sunday, June 28th, 1998. Cost: Both Meals — $8.00 Adults, $3.00 children under 12. Registration 12:30 pm. — Lunch 1 pm — Supper 5:30 pm. — Bring Lawn Chairs, Camera and a Smile. Memorabilia table: Show old photos, etc. of relatives past or family history items. Address inquiries to D. Carr, 1229 Ryan St., Sarnia, ON N7S 1R7, Canada, Phone 1519-383-6779.
OSTRANDER FAMILY ASSOC. REUNION
August 7, 8, 9, 1998, Best Western Holland Inn, Holland, Michigan, Registrations 1-800- 428-7666, Registrations – Joe Ostrander, 1410 N. Beau Terre Pl. Columbus, IN, 47201, Adults $21, Children $12 – US funds. Locally call Joyce Ostrander 631-0307
STRAFFORDVILLE WOMAN CELEBRATES HER 70TH WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
Mrs. Phoebe (HAVENS) HOWEY Remarkable Women Despite Her 93 Years of Life – Married When She Was 22 — What She Had With Which to Start Housekeeping — Some Incidents of the Past — A Murder That Never Came Out — Justice Hard to Get in the Early Days — A.S. Paragus Hears Interest Reminiscences.
(By A.S. Paragus,
ST. THOMAS JOURNAL, SATURDAY, MAY 4, 1918 )
Staffordville, April 25 — To live to see the fiftieth anniversary of one’s wedding day is so unusual that we celebrate by having golden weddings, and all the papers sit up and take notice of these celebrations in their columns. A diamond wedding means the sixtieth anniversary and is so uncommon as to be almost unheard of. But to be able to sit at dinner and talk intelligently with one’s family on the seventieth anniversary of one’s marriage has in it something of the element of the astonishing. Yet so Mrs. Phoebe Howey is spending hers today.
Twenty years ago today, Mr. and Mrs. Howey celebrated their golden wedding, and both were still living ten years after on the “diamond” day. Mr. Howey, who was considerably the senior of his wife, lived in excellent health to a great age, until some seven years since. Had he lived until today, he would have been ninety-eight.
Mrs. Howey was born ninety-three years ago the ninth of next October, near Vittoria, in the Long Point district. And when, not long after, her father moved his family up to a farm a mile east of Eden, she was known to her new neighbors as Little Phoebe Havens. When Deer With Their Fawn Played in the Door Yard.
It was all woods in 1828, except the tiny clearings about the cabin, and so among the fresh burned stumps and up springing brambles and beautiful forests, with all its teeming wild wood folk, the little girl passed her childhood. Her mother cooked the meat of bears and wild turkey, and as for deer, she used to watch the pretty things go trotting through the dooryard. Once somebody had a tame deer and it came up and put its nose to the window.
Her father was a good worker and prosperous on his new farm, and it wasn’t long before the log shack was dispensed with and a new house made its appearance — one of those long low, rambling houses with great large rooms and no upstairs, and vast fireplaces, built for the comfort of the day, with a sublime disregard of a possible fuel question. About the big house sprang up large gardens and orchards and fruit trees. The pioneers believed in plenty. Long after she was married and before her own fruit trees grew, did Phoebe Havens and her children delight to go back home to visit those famous cherry and apple trees.
As for fun, Miss Havens loved horse-back riding. Most of the farms about had just oxen, but the Havens’ had horses and saddles and the girl was free to ride. She rode to church, she rode to the store, and best of all, in the lovely moonlight summer evenings she and her father cantered off to the singing school in Goschen, for pleasure was tempered with instruction in the “good old summertime.” Mrs. Howey’s son has invested in a new car this spring and there is a prospect of many fine rides in it ahead for this season, but the old lady confided to me today that the thing she did long for, if she could have it, was a horse-back ride like she used to have. “Sam,” the horse she rode as a girl, has still a warm nook in her heart.
A Garden Up and Growing By the 25th of April When she was twenty-two she married Henry Howey and came to a cabin on a sunny Little Otter hill to help clear another farm. Again it was all woods about — all woods and hills that are beautiful still — with many a merry rivulet or trout stream in the ravines hard by. On the twenty-fifth of April they were married and on the twenty-seventh her people brought her over to the “Hanging of the crane” in her new cabin.
Could her stuff all be brought in one load? We wanted to know, for we are used to modern weddings. “Easy” exclaimed the old lady. “Just a few chairs we had got at the village of Tillsonburg, a table, some plates and cups and saucers, a kettle or so for the fireplace, and a tin oven that you turned round and round before the coals. Girls nowadays would think it pretty hard lines if they had to bake that way. But one thing I did have lots of was bedding — feathers and blankets.
Houses ready furnished with rugs and fumed oak may be in the power of the twentieth century bride-grooms to bestow, but young Mr. Howey at the beginning of the nineteenth, had done what he could to welcome his bride suitably. It was no inconsiderable amount for the day. He had built a snug frame cabin and a roomy one, for there was actually an upstairs over the living room and two bedrooms off the ground floor. It was a great, sunny living room, facing the west, with plenty of built-in cupboards and a grand fireplace along the north end with a long mantle-self running above to hold the family candlesticks.
When all this wealth of appointment had been seen and duly praised, the bride and her friends were taken out to the garden and there, behold, sheltered at the sunny side of the cabin were onions and lettuce up and nearly ready to use! Think of it! And compared with the cold, backward gardens of these later days. Even twenty years ago at the golden wedding it was much warmer than today. Can it be that with the centuries we are gradually growing more arctic?
You Could Scarcely See the Road For the Dust of Traffic
Even if the woods were all about you must not imagine that the new bride was lonely. As a matter of fact the busiest road in the township ran past her door. This was a year or so before the building of the famous “Plank” road, and all the traffic from Ingersoll down to Port Burwell was south of Eden, deflected to the east, and came down the side road past Mr. Howey’s and so out to Talbot street. Day after day, and hour after hour, came a seemingly unending stream of wagons loaded with lumber — team after team, and plodding yoke after yoke of oxen. The young bride had much ado to get her washings dried because of the turmoil of dust. And then there was the noise of the mills, Hubbard’s mill above on the creek, and MacNaughten’s grist mill just below. In the old days the Bayham creeks seemed to have mills every half mile in their course. Some of Mrs. Howey’s children can still remember following their father as he swung a bag of wheat over his shoulder and trudged off down to the mill. Men now would think they couldn’t so carry a bag of heavy wheat.
After the Plank road was built (Mr. Howey was one of the shareholders and dividend receivers) came the merry stagecoach days. For the first, while the traffic was so great, a vast Rockaway coach on leather springs with a four -horse team, was employed. There were relays of horses at Eden, Tillsonburg and again, I suppose, at Ingersoll. Because the section between Eden and Tillsonburg was shorter than the others the horses for that beat were once a week, on Wednesdays, obliged to go clear through to Port at night, while the regular Port teams were left in the stables at Eden, to rest. For the rest, there were inns in those days every few miles, and the coach drivers were prone to get gloriously drunk Being men of undoubted influence with the travelling public, they were treated here, there and everywhere.
The Grand Old Rockaway Coach
“There were apt to be accidents” ….. mother was on once when they came tearing down the hill at Tillsonburg. The teams swung out of the road, got all tangled up and finally free from the coach. Nobody was hurt, but it was more by luck than virtue.” It must have been a sight to see that old coach! Piled high with trunks and baggage, many seated and packed with passengers inside and out, swaying and tooting, its dashing, well-fed teams clattering gayly down the plank-paved road. It always brought a thrill to the Eden schoolchild to hear the merry wind of its horn beyond the ridge to the north of the village, and in a moment to witness the mettlesome teams come flying over the knoll, with the great coach rocking behind, down to the town corners before the great hotel. And then the busy confusion! The driver rolling down from his high seat to stretch his limbs for a moment and to fulfil a multitude of errands, the passengers alighting and others loading one, the hostlers hurrying forth with blankets from the steaming steeds and fresh ones, pawing with life, dancing out from the stables to take their places, the clatter of bumping trunks and portmanteaus, the ringing call of commands!
And the variety of traffic that was carried on those stages! Mail and express — all there was of it at that day. Supplies for the stores, supplies for the host of inns also. Every village had its trio of quartette of these, to say nothing of the half-way houses between. Little as it is. Eden had two immense hotels and I do not know how many more. One of them, doubtless with an ironic reference to its quiet and dignified character, bore the nickname of “The Convent.” Supplies for the mills — every repair of saw and tool came by stage. And of the passengers, there were timber kings going up into the interior and people coming overland from St. Catharines and Toronto to attend social functions at Vienna and the Port, which had at one period boasted, perhaps, as select a society as existed west of Niagara.
When Gold Was Carried by Stage
And not seldom the coach carried was done in gold, the gold had to be got to Ingersoll at risk. Once a bunch of outlaws waylaid the stage near Griffin’s Corners and stole the box of money — or thought they did. In reality they bore swiftly off in cover of the darkness a trunk containing the wearing apparel of poor Mrs. Blank, which they left rather sheepishly later in some place where she might recover it.
Even later, after the coach had dwindled to a smaller affair with two horses, and Mrs. Howey’s own son became for two seasons the driver, it was heavy and sometimes dangerous work driving the stage.
“Lots of nights,” said the old lady, “Sam wouldn’t get to Port before ten or eleven. One winter there was a week he didn’t have his clothes off for a decent rest. The stage was a top-heavy thing, easy to upset, and once he upset five times in the snow before he covered the trip. And the passengers where sure to object if he arranged a rig not covered. And the errands! He scarcely had a moment free at the stopping place. Everybody was running out from everywhere to get him to do something for them.”
A Pedlar Was a Coveted Man
But it was of the old, old days, before even the stage coaches, that Mrs. Howey remembers best. Crime then didn’t always turn into comedy as in the mail-robbery venture aforementioned. Before the stages, pedlars possessed about the sole vehicles bearing supplies through the country and their savings in cash, with the bright goods in their wagons, were coveted.
“There was one poor fellow, and this was before the time of most of the older people now living,” Mrs. Howey told “who put up his horses and rig at Winings’s hotel back of here on the “Street” and was seen going west with two or three men on foot. The men were known in the vicinity. They said they were going out with the pedlar to look at land. In a day or so they came back without the pedlar, explaining he had gone on farther north to look at land in Dereham. In short the pedlar never turned up at all and his horse and rig with the contents was doubtless parcelled out among the men who had fallen in with him perhaps at the hotel and enticed him into prospecting. Well do I remember about the time talk of such and such a one being seen with a stocking leg of money, while other families suddenly came out with unwonted outfits of new clothing. And I could give you the name of an old woman who told that some of the stuff had been brought to her to re-dye.
“It was known these men had taken the pedlar as far as what is now known as Maple Grove. They were seen at a certain house there. Afterwards there came weird stories about the pedlar’s dog so haunting that house, sniffing and pawing to get under it, that the people living there had someone take the animal away and shoot it. Moreover, the house changed hands rapidly after that time. But there was little means for getting justice then. Talk was all there was to it. In those days people mostly found it convenient to confine themselves, strictly to their own business.
A Murder That Never “Came Out” “Years after, one day when the Gooderich Mills at Maple Grove were going full blast, someone came along about noon with the story that the people at the “haunted house,” in opening up on old cellar pit beneath the floor, had exhumed a human skeleton, which bore the strange evidence of having been struck in the chest with an axe. A thrill went through the mill and at the noon-hour every man went up to see for himself. It was whispered afterwards that one man slipped home first and talked with his people before he went “to see” with the rest. Like all such cases many … things .. of under the breath. There was an investigation but nothing could be proved at that late day.
“But there is no doubt in people’s minds that the horse and rig at Wining’s was not called for because the pedlar lay stark in a closed-up cellar many miles away and that a few men, who probably suffered more during a lifetime than as if they had been hung, had sold their peace of mind for a paltry handful of gold and some parcels of wool plaid.
Sacrificing a Cow For the Country’s Justice
“Yes, justice was hard to get in those days. This was all Middlesex then, and you had to go to London to have any trial at all. When either my father or Mr. Howey’s were empanelled on a jury they had to walk to London, and besides pay their own expenses while there the best way they could. A juryman didn’t get paid except on a criminal case and then only an English shilling! And he had to go just the same as now. Uncle Andrew Ostrander was obliged to sell a cow once for money to go with, which was rather hard lines.
“It was the same with voting. Voting was in London and lasted a week. Father used to have to walk there. I mind one time his bringing home some man with him and they both set out to walk to Simcoe to vote again. Father had land in both sections so he had two votes. “
Those were the days of open voting when men travelling far from home on foot were apt to seek the company of others of their persuasion for protection. We can easily understand the story of the Irish immigrant who told how hard it was to get the opinion of the people in Ireland Every man took his shillalah with him and got with his friends, but they were sure to be intercepted before they got to the polls by “bludgeon parties” who would come out with the express purpose of laying them all out and preventing their votes.
I myself have heard an old story coming shortly after the “walking” voter day, when a large bunch hired a four-horse rig and drove to London to vote. They entered the metropolis waving their hats and shouting the name of their candidate at the top of their lungs. Such advertising invited hostility. Doubtless they got it. I daresay they had the glory of fighting their way to the polls. Those were surely the good old days, weren’t they?”
Mrs. Howey’s children are Mrs. J. Pauling, Straffordville; Mrs. John Stewart, Maple Grove; Sam Howey, Straffordville, and Will, at the old homestead. ”
Charles and Rebecca Green
Catherine Green m. Henry Buchner
Rebecca Buchner m. Samuel Howey
Henry Howey m. Phoebe Havens
Rebecca Howey m. John Stewart
Winnifred Stewart m. John Billington
Norma C. Billington m. Lloyd G. Smith
Henry B. Howey, b. 1820 – d. 1911 Phebe A. Havens, b. 1826 – d. 1920
Author: A.S. Paragas was the pen name of Miss Louise Dean Hatch of Maple Grove and Tillsonburg and a journalist for Tillsonburg and St. Thomas newspapers.
Died 1970 age 92‘
Submitted by Lloyd & Norma Smith .
ST. THOMAS TIMES JOURNAL
GROWLING – BIRD
— (July? 16, 1893) Mr. John Growling, of this city, attended the wedding of his brother, Mr. George Growling, a few days ago to Miss Emma R. Bird, near Canfield. ”
CALDWELL – HUNTER
— (July? 16, 1893) The marriage of Mr. Spencer Caldwell of London, formerly of this city, to Miss Ella Hunter, daughter of Mr. J. Hunter, took place on Wednesday night at the latter’s residence, Egerton St. East London “.
–(July? 16, 1893) The remains of the late Neil Munro, of Dunwich, were brought yesterday to the residence of his brother, Mr. Malcolm Munro, Southwold, whence the funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon to Fingal Cemetery …”CANADIAN HOME
April 14, 1871
Mr. Alex. Brodie a farmer from the Township of Aldborough, fell out of a wagon in Warsdville, on Thursday night of last week and was instantly killed — his neck being broke by the fall. ”
At Port Stanley on the 8th instant, Sarah, wife of Lauchiln Leitch, aged 22 years and 4 mos. ”
March 31, 1871
On the 25th inst., the wife of Mr. A. C. McBain, Yarmouth, a son.
WALLIS – POTTICARY
– On the 21st inst., by the Rev. Thos. Baldwin, at the residence of the bride’s father, Mr. Mark Wallis, Southwold, late of British Columbia, to Miss Lucy, youngest daughter of Chas. Potticary, Esq., of Southwold. ”
ELLIOTT – PHILLIPS
– On the 27th instant, by Elder Richmond, at the residence of the bride’s father,
Mr. Henry Elliott, New Sarum, to Miss Amanda Phillips, Yarmouth Centre ”
BARN DAMAGED BY LIGHTENING
On Sunday morning about 2:30 the barn of Mr. E. A. Smith, manager Atlas Loan Co., of this city, at Sparta, was struck by lightning, and the end torn off. At 7:30 the hired man went to the barn and a fire, which had evidently been smouldering from the time the barn was struck, burst out. He put it out with eight or ten pails of water. The sill had been burned almost to charcoal. A heifer lying near the barn was killed by the electric fluid. ”
The three year old daughter of Mr. John A. Lang, of Berlin, fell out of the second story window the other forenoon and broke both her arms, the right one in two places. ”
Mr. George Byers, who keeps a hotel at Nilestown, pleaded guilty before Squire Smyth on Saturday afternoon to having allowed gambling on his premises. Mr. Byers permitted some young men to be on a pedro game and he was fined $10.
Rev. Charles R. Gunne, B.A., late principal of the Dutton High School, who was ordained last week as a deacon, has ben appointed to Millbank by the Bishop of Huron.”
Lindsay D. Caldwell, sentenced to five years for larceny, will take to Kingston penitentiary by C.P.R. this evening by Deputy Sheriff, S. B. Brown and County Constable Fairbrother. ”
MARINE CORPS AT PORT STANLEY
Weekly Dispatch, Thurs. 9. Jan. 1862 – Free Press
The people of the Port seem to be some what in advance of many elsewhere, on the subject of defences, and have completed their Marine Corps, and elected officers, subject to approval. This too place on the evening of the 6th, at the Western Hotel, amid every indication of sterling enthusiasm. The following are the names of the members of the Corps.
John Ellison, Captain
John Batt, Lieutenant
- E. Chandlier,
- Gough, Jr.
- S. Berry
- H. Maudville,
- B. Draper,
- D. Burge,
T, Whang. Note: This is the earliest nominal roll of the Port Stanley Marines. A total of 53 names.
Note: I. Coyne -is possibly the Isaac Coyne, son of Wm. Coyne of St. Thomas who later is a member of St. Thomas Rifles.
PORT STANLEY MARINES
An act of Parliament authorises the raising of a marine corps at Port Stanley, “wich certainly is a military and commercial station of importance. About 200 of the active, courageous and industrious inhabitants met 1st week at the Draper’s Hotel for the purpose of forming a company of Marines. Full compliment of men having enrolled their names in duplicate to serve for a period of five years conferred the rank of captain by a unanimous vote on John Elison, Sen., Esq., and as a singular make of distinction elected John Batt Esq. As their first lieutenant. Previous to the dispersing of the meeting Mr. J. Moffatt, the temperance lecturer made an able address on the properety of arming, drilling and opposing all freebooters.” After ample refreshments were served the troop mastered for drill, then sang God Save the Queen.
Weekly Dispatch, Jan 16, 1862, Page 2, Col. 3
(The above report was copied from the London Prototype.)
THE ELGIN BATTALION
Canadian Home Journal, Oct. 29, 1868
The Elgin or 25th battalion of Volunteer Militia of the Dominion will meet in the Drill Shed in this Town on the 9th of next month. It consists of four companies, the St. Thomas, Infantry under the command of Captain Carswell; The Iona company commanded by Captain Philpot, the Vienna company by Captain Watts’ and the Wallacetown company by Captain McBeth. The Battalion will be under the command of Col. McBeth, and will be under drill for eight days beginning with the 9th of next month.
Note: No Port Stanley Marines
The above notations are believed to have been by the late George Thorman.
ERNS / POWERS – William FERNS and desc, Yarmouth & Malahide Twp., pre & post 1850 William and Mary A. FERNS – need b ______ m ______death 1874, also for offspring. William and Eliza B. FERNS (2nd marr) Eliza b 1802, m ______? d 1885 (offspring as above) Who were prts of George M. FERNS b 1842 Yarmouth Twp, d 1913 Michigan and sister Jane FERNS POWERS b 1844 Yarmouth, d 1922 Michigan. Who were prts of Asa FERNS b 1860 Elgin Co. D 1913 Elgin Co. ? and bro Edgar FERNS b 1864 Elgin Co., d 1951 Elgin ? George William FERNS (great grandson of George M. Ferns)
STANDARD MISSION CHURCH, St. Thomas, ON. During the 1920’s and into the 1930’s. Where located? When started? By whom?& What denomination affiliated with? SHINPLASTER – Paper money used in the 1920’s and called “shinplaster” worth .25 cents. Why named? Length of time used? Why used? I would appreciated getting a lazer photocopy of both side of this ‘money’. Miss Donna LONGHURST,
DRAKE / MacQUEEN / SPADES / WHITESELL / WOOD / PAUL / MALLOTT / Captain William DRAKE and wife Margaret DOWDLE DRAKE emigrated to UPPER CANADA in 1797 from Orange Co., N. Y. They brough two ch with them (1). Richard Dowdle DRAKE b 1792, mar Elizabeth MacQUEEN. (2). Mary b 1795 mar George Daniel SPADES. Other ch born in Ontario. Phineas b 1797 mar Emily WOOD; Thomas b 1800 mar 18 April 1828 Vashti WOOD; Margaret b 1805 mar Anson PAUL; Anna (ANNIE) DRAKE b 1803; Margaret b 1805; William Drake b 1807 m Elizabeth MALLOTT; Benjamin DRAKE 1809 m 18 March 1837 Margaret WHITESELL who d 20 April 1838; James Wallace DRAKE b 1811, d 1893 ; Eleanor DRAKE b ca 1812 or 1813, d 1825. Seeking desc of these families to develop the Drake family history, both in ON and USA. Mrs. Patricia R. MacLEAN,
HUGHES- Rev. W.R. HUGHES was Minister in Elgin County at the Sparta and Union churches of the Wesleyan Methodist churches which became a part of the United Church of Canada in 1925. According to records he was Minister in charge from 1926 to 1930 or thereabouts. Is there a descendant available who might be able to help us with finding the records of this charge for that period? There are no records available for that period in the churches, or in any Church Archives, or the Provincial or National Archives contacted. There is a lack of proof of baptisms, marriages, and burials for that period! A history has been prepared for Union United church and is ongoing also for the Sparta church. Lloyd G. Smith, U.E. or Norma C. Smith, U.E.
EDMONDS / HORSMAN / HINES – William Henry EDMONDS b. 1833, Downton, Eng. Married when? Maria HORSMAN. 1861 Elgin Co. Census ch. George H. 4, & Charles T. 1 also Samuel b. 1863 Eliza b. 1865 When did Maria Horsman die and where buried? When & where did William mar Lozina HINES DOHM b. 1844, Vermont. Immigrated to Traverse City, MI, and had ch. Arthur J. b. 1881. What happened to Charles, Samuel & Arthur Edmonds’ families and stepson Frederick DOHM? Brenda EDMONDS,
LEITCH / TAYLOR / BAKER / DOWNING / CAMPBELL / Donald LEITCH came to Canada in 1830. I wish to find info on the family line of Dugald LEITCH’s siblings. I believe they resided in Elgin County. Debra Diane (BUTLER) HONOR,
WILLERTON – Would like to hear from anyone with the WILLERTON surname. We are trying to put a Family History together. Deloris WILLERTON