The updates - new or corrected material from readers and my research - are free to all.
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When readers write about Up To Rawdon as many of you do, I am truly pleased and especially when you post reviews on Lulu. (Have a look at the most recent.) When I was working and researching the material, somewhat blindly it seemed, I was, without really knowing it, thinking about future readers. When I receive messages, I immediately think of the sender as a friend, which is very satisfying. It is somewhat magical to realize that our ancestors have drawn many of us together to ponder about those long gone times.
Heather Bell Alexander of St. George's, Newfoundland and Labrador is a great grand daughter of Robert Roarke and Mary Ann Blagrave, page 20. Heather has provided photographs of them and with their five children, which may be seen in the update section. Robert's family turned away from the usual Rourke spelling. Heather was born in Montreal but brought up there and at Rawdon and says that when young she would start school in the country, transfer to a city school for the winter and back to Rawdon in the spring. Needless to say, her family used the expression "going up to Rawdon" and she clearly identified with the use of that expression for my title.
I had published conflicting information and I have clarified that George Swift and Naomi Dawson Swift, page 859, are buried in the Methodist (now United Church) Cemetery at Rawdon.
This tombstone, in Christ Church Cemetery, Rawdon is for Robert Brown and Margaret McMullen and commemorates one of the earliest burials in the yard of the original frame church (Robert Brown in 1831). It was erected later, some time after Margaret's death in 1846. The first photo gives a view of the shady, well-kept grounds, in the centre of the village. The second photo marks the meeting last summer of Rawdon resident Beverly Blagrave Prud'homme and John Weafer of Kitchener, Ontario. Bev and John are fourth cousins, once removed and are descendants of Susanna Brown Parkinson (page 59) and Gawn Brown (pages 49-50 and on line updates at 50), children of Robert and Margaret. Thank you to John's wife Gloria for the excellent photos.
Lori Harvie has added more details on her Burbidge family on page 493 with a great photo of her grandfather William Burbidge and his older brother, Edward Burbidge.
I want to thank Julie Baker who has posted a book review, which brings the total on the Lulu site to ten - nine are under Part One heading and one for Part Two. Julie belongs to the Robinson family who may be explored at pages 715-730 of Part Two.
Claudia Ellsberg inquired about my chapter on the Payton family, page 240. She is a descendant of Reynolds Peyton who immigrated to the USA; she asked "Can you tell me where you came up with the 'a' most of the time? I realize that in the 1800s, and before, people never spelled their names the same, but because the descendants use the 'e' I think it would be best if you also used Peyton."
Payton / Peyton was a choice I had to make early on and did not know any family members to consult. I opted for Payton because family members used that spelling when signing their names in early records. Clergy were inconsistent but were always unreliable when spelling was concerned. In the earliest records, it seemed to me Payton was the most used. I did not do a statistical survey. I was aware that in later generations Peyton was used by some of the family but not all. I did use the Peyton spelling when it had been used in church registrations but I see I was inconsistent in adding [sic] to so indicate.
I am grateful to John Swift of Tucson, Arizona who is a great grandson of Robert Swift and Eliza Pigott. He wrote on Christmas Eve 2014 that he and his wife had recently visited the Mesa, Arizona cemetery where Robert and Eliza were buried 101 years ago. They died, a week apart, of influenza. Robert and Eliza settled at Blackburn, Elmwood Township, Saline County, Missouri. They came to Mesa, Arizona to visit their son Samuel, caught the flu, and died a few days apart. John's email brought to light some errors in my text but he has also provided a wonderful archive of material and photos. See page 28 and page 863 for corrected and additional text with a lovely photo of the nine Swift children and their parents in Blackburn, Missouri.
Correction: Page 910, Footnote 14 - Henry Tighe was baptized at Christ Church, Rawdon. Thank you, Bill Clayton, for bringing this error to my attention.
The book index, to the right of this column, contains the Table of Contents for Up To Rawdon, which is now searchable. Put in the desired surname and find the chapters where that family is discussed in detail and some of the places where they are mentioned as in-laws or witnesses at events. To find every miscellaneous instance one would search in an e-copy. Be careful with spelling - Burbidge not Burbridge and Rourke not Rourk or Roark, Smith not Smythe for instance.
Two new reviews appear on the Lulu site this month. They were placed by Pennie Redmile (former QFHS librarian) and Brenda Turner of Ottawa; thanks for the kind words.
Clarification of Bill Sprague's address is on page 357 footnote one; a space was omitted.
Blair Rourke of Montreal has been a generous correspondent over the years and is presently working on a detailed presentation on the Rourke brothers and sister who settled at Rawdon. I have enjoyed reviewing his file. New information, clarification of material in Up To Rawdon and inevitably the correction of some details came to light. On page 19, the dates for Michael Rourke should be 1832-1905, which agrees with his birth date on page 753 (footnote 29). The death of Ellen Mason, wife of James Rourke is on page 541, as is his second wife Esther Brennan [sic]. She is the same as Esther Brannan [sic], page 846. On pages 749, 751, 752 and 754, of the chapter Rourke of Annagharvy, there are references to a man named Robert Fox who Blair Rourke has identified as a teacher and family friend. I have added a note about Fox on page 749. Fox was a Catholic, he might have a connection to the man mentioned in footnote nine, of that page but there is no evidence to support this. Rourke Letter #7, on page 754, I had attributed to Mary Rourke but it was likely from her son-in-law John May. The post script on that page 754 may be from Letter 3.
Blair has been using Supplements to book on the website and pointed out some errors in the footnotes on page 7 of Rourkes of Annagharvy: Appendix of census and other data, includes Neville. Corrections have been on page 7 and the footnotes are now accurate. There were at least three men named William Rourke - father, son and nephew. The younger men were born 1830 and c. 1842 and I confused them in the footnotes and on page 294, which Blair had corrected for readers previously. The update to 294 now states clearly that this William was the son of John Rourke and Ann Eveleigh.
There is new information about this couples' second son, John Rourke, born 6 January 1832. He immigrated to Wisconsin, served in the Civil War and died 9 July 1866 in Juneau County. He settled there through the influence of his childhood friend George Craine who left Rawdon c.1850. See my article: ‘From Union Jack to Union Blue' Part One, OGS Families November 2014, Vol. 53, # 4, page 25. The deaths of John Rourke's brothers James Rourke and Joseph Rourke and of Joseph's wife Jane Manchester (from Ontario Death Registrations) have been added at page 1025.
Lori Harvie of Riverside Estates, Saskatchewan has sent details about her grandfather William Henry Burbidge collected and confirmed for a family history, by her mother. This adds to the brief mention of William on page 493. He was the third child of Frederick Albert Burbidge and Isabella Kite and reached Saskatchewan via Minnesota. Also on page 493, I have added information about Frederick and clarification and information about the youngest child Harold Walter Burbidge as well as baptisms of his sisters May and Ida.
In June, I met for the first time my third cousin Michael Holtby in Denver, Colorado. He is the proud owner of the 1840s Rawdon Township Map, which his great grandfather took to Minnesota c. 1880. It had belonged to our 3x great grandfather William Holtby when he was secretary-treasurer of the Township and includes the eleven original ranges. It is first referred to on page xviii of the Introduction to Up To Rawdon, Part One. It was a tremendous resource for me in locating where families settled if they did not have Crown Grants or if they had additional locations.
Research and writing of the chapter Burton of Burtonville in Part One, about the missionary priest and his second wife, involved endless hours of fascinating work. Recently, I read Good-Bye To All That, the autobiography of the poet Robert Graves, and realized that Graves was a direct descendant of the Reverend Thomas Graves, a brother of Richard Graves, the father of Elizabeth Maria Graves Meredith Burton. Robert Graves was not fond of his Irish ancestors and described them as "thin-nosed and inclined to petulance". Elizabeth's children were noted for their Roman noses - see page 116, fn. 92.
The section on Gawn Brown and Margaret Finlay, page 50, has been revised and greatly expanded. I have done more research on James Kirkland and Ellen Brown and identified their family. It would appear that Gawn Brown was deceased after the birth of a son c.1857. His second wife Olive lived alone at Janesville, Wisconsin with her two sons. Her stepsons were not at Janesville.
I love coincidences; recently I was reading Willa Cather's My Antonia, about the settling of Nebraska. At the same time, I found that James and Ellen Kirkland had pioneered in Clay County, Kansas in 1870 and that their grandson lived in Red Cloud, Nebraska when he married in 1914. Red Cloud was Cather's home town.
Brian McGowan of Edwards, Ontario has been working on the several names associated with Ann Topping, Mrs. David McGowan. See page 617 and her daughter Mary Jane McGowan, page 618.
For those who belong to the Ontario Genealogical Society, the November issue will include From Union Jack to Union Blue, Part One. This is the story of a number of Rawdon men, or their sons, who served in the American Civil War. There are three sections and the story is continued in the February and May issues. The magazine is only available to OGS members.
Surnames of the soldiers featured are Ash, Bagnall, Brown, Craine, Drought, Edghill, Gibbs, Jackson, Lewis, McEvoy, McNown, Rogers, Rourke and Smiley.
Patsy McGuire Holland, who I visited in June in North Dakota, has sent this photograph of herself taken in the Jardine Cemetery, Sauk Centre, Minnesota (below). The memorial stone is for Patsy's great great grandparents, Rawdon settlers John McGuire and Hester Bowen who died within weeks of each other in 1889 and 1890. Their photographs are on page 621. Patsy and her husband Jim Holland will be in Rawdon on September 20 and 21
In clearing out old paper files, last month, I discovered material that had slipped out of sight and should have been included in Up To Rawdon. It has been added to Updates.
A second marriage for Samuel Wheelock Holmes, son of Schoolmaster Holmes, came from Jean L. Lee of Vercheres, Quebec and is added to page 364. I found a letter about Jane Marlin and her husband John Smith, which I updated with references to the 1870 and 1880 Rensselaer County, New York Censuses - see page 521. I also found the marriage of Denis Doherty sent to me by Diane Dougherty of Nepean, Ontario in 2002 - page 886, fn. 14.
I received an appreciative letter from Jo Ann Nelson of Carbondale, Illinois. We had been in touch many years ago about the Neville family. She sent me a photocopy of an 1875 letter from Henry Pigott junior to her ancestor John Neville, son of Joseph Neville and Mary Rourke. They had grown up together at Rawdon and then travelled all over North America as miners. Henry remained a rambler but John married and settled down. John had been involved with the brothers Henry and James Pigott at Sunshine Colorado. The Sunshine Mine was established in 1874 and was source of Tellurium, a somewhat toxic chemical element. See page 27.
John Neville was a son of Joseph Neville and Mary Rourke and born at Rawdon on March 11, 1838 and baptized at Christ Church on January 10, 1840; witnesses were Abraham Watters, William Bagnall and Ellen [Watters] Lewis who signed their names. Some information about the Neville and Rourke families is at www.uptorawdon.com/Rourkes.
John Neville had a farm at Pine City, Pine County, Minnesota and had married Mary Klos, a German girl. Jo Ann said that the story passed down in the family was that Mary didn't speak much English when John asked her to marry but she said she would if he bought her a farm, which he did. The 1900 Census records that they married in 1881, the year she arrived in the USA; John had immigrated in1863. In 1900, they owned their farm and had had eight children with seven living; all were in school except the youngest. John's birth was reported to be January 1843 [sic], which made him five years younger.
My review of Sustainable Genealogy: Separating Fact and Fiction in Family Legends, will appear soon in the OGS quarterly Families. In this useful book, the author, Richard Hite, tells how he questioned seemingly reliable, long-standing data and proved that what was believed to be fact in his own family tree was actually fiction, often from an entirely different family. The use of logic, questioning and comparison should be used to assess data, especially from internet postings, to find if it could possibly be relevant.
I have added the death of Joseph Marlin, which I found in Ancestry, on page 520 of the Updates section. It illustrates one of Hite's chapters that questions the reliability of the informant on death registrations. In this case, Joseph Marlin's widow, an American, registered the death and because she knew very little about her husband's family, she had identified his mother as born in Scotland, instead of County Down, which is known from various reliable family sources. In this case, the death registration, which many would call a primary source, is incorrect, as to this particular information.
Canada's Forgotten Slaves: Two Centuries of Bondage by Marcel Trudeau (1960 and 2009) is available in a translation by George Tombs, published in 2013. Slavery was not finally abolished in Quebec until 1833. It had waned from 1791 but the Legislature failed to outlaw all aspects despite the efforts of the courts that upheld habeas corpus and released jailed slaves. In the 200 years he covers, writing of New France and Quebec post 1759, two thirds of the enslaved were Amerindians, known as Panis. Some Panis were Pawnees but dozens of tribes mostly from what is now the American Middle West were represented. The French received the Panis as gifts or purchased them from their Indian allies. The majority of Black slaves in New France, before the American Revolution, were captives taken by Indians in New England. Later, Loyalist families brought their Black slaves with them. Slave owners in French Canada included, governors, intendents, at least half of the seigneurs, bishops, priests, nuns, merchants and tradesmen - almost all residing in Montreal, Quebec and Trois Rivières.
For Rawdon connections see page 1046 of the Updates section about the Widow of James Sawers, of Sorel. On page 1074 reference is made to John Turner, senior, a slave keeper in Montreal. He was the grandfather of Henry Leonard Turner, of Rawdon and Montreal.
On June 7, I stayed overnight with Patsy and Jim Holland in their lovely home in Bismarck, North Dakota (left). See Patsy's great, great McGuire and Bowen grandparents on page 621. The Hollands plan to visit Rawdon and Montreal in September.
Two days later, in Casper, Wyoming I met Phil and Donna Johnston (right). The Johnston chapter begins on page 399 and Phil is a great, great grandson of George Johnston whose brother Robert's cabin is on the covers of Up To Rawdon. George, after his marriage, lived nearby before heading west to Maryborough, Wellington County Upper Canada on the barely habitable 11 / S24 . I have added an Updates on the Johnston property at page 402, which Robert acquired from Patrick Tighe, of Killala County Mayo. Killala is also in Sligo - could this be a clue to the Johnston's Irish origins? The Sharpes, other near neighbours were from Kilglass, Sligo. The Grays and Morgans, also neighbours at Rawdon, were reputedly from Easky [sic Easkey]. Comments are invited.
While in Denver, I met my third cousin Michael Holtby who owns the much-referred to map of Rawdon Township (see Part One Introduction, page xviii). A picture of Michael and the map will be in a future update. We got acquainted over lunch after years of correspondence. Michael is newly retired from a psychology practice. I introduced him to my nephew, Cameron, who plans to study in that field, when he attends university.
Note that the Rawdon Loyal Irish Volunteers 1837 - 1839 are now in alphabetical order instead of by rank as when posted initially.
I have continued to investigate the members of families, featured in Up To Rawdon, who served in Rawdon Loyal Irish Volunteers. See these pages in the Update document, for my comments: Asbil 532, Barber 239, Brennan and Pearson 846, Connelly 134, Delahunt 478-479, Eveleigh 230, Fairley 550, Doherty, Farrell and Tanzey 884, Gracey 799, Scott 777-778, Hamilton 1106, Hobbs 1106, Kerr 443 and Sinclair 816. The Mason men are found at 538, 567 and 1130-1131; the Torney men are on 926 932 and 1095. More about the Watters on page 960.
Links to Up To Rawdon may be found on Cyndi's List. She has many good sources that I used in the early days of my research.
More new material has been found on the Gawn Brown family, see page 50. There is a correction concerning Agnes Holtby on page 387 and two 'new' John McGowans are discussed on page 607. Speculation about the Tighe brothers is on page 905.
I have started to compare the militia list with what is presented in chapters about the various families. My conclusions are on the Updates pages. See Allen page 3, Bagnall page 7, Corcoran on 157-158 and Coulter on 165-166.
It is known that the Booth (page 29), Payton (pages 240 & 244) and Finlay> (237-238) families were intermarried and from Counties Leitrim and Cavan. The Finlays had marriage connections to the Fitzpatrick (page 1104) and McMaster (page 1098) families who were possibly from one of those counties, which share a long border.
An update concerning the Burns brothers Militia service is on 1103-1104. Go to 514 fn. 13 for information about Brace, to 628 for Bowen, to 63 for Burbidge and to 924 for Borrowes. Two Cassidy families are on 152 and 716 and the Copping men are on 145. Captain George Drought was listed as a private; my explanation is on pages 183-184. My assumption about Dugas and the Rebellion may be incorrect; see page 1105. On page 357 the John Holmes family, Lavery on page 740, one may find Swift on pages 861 & 871 and Vail on page 878. For all the Gray families look at page 273 and Cook on 284-285 and Wade on pages 947-948.
As my research about Rawdon families continues, new information from census reports and from generous readers has again been posted on Updates. For Asbil go to page 50, for McGowan page 610 and Nightingale on 667.
Updates posted in January 2014 - on page 50, Jane Ann Brown (with photographs) rediscovered; a photograph of Rebecca Irwin Marlin and family, on page 520, footnote 4 and on pages 632-633 there are corrections to data about James Edwin McManus and his son Charles Bernard McManus. I found Isabella Lindsay Robinson, in 1911 and 1921; see page 734. On page 845 there are photographs of the original Henry Smith homestead, Rockville Farm. New information about James Henry Swift is found on page 863.
Militia pay lists from Library Archives Canada have been added to Research Files for the Rawdon Loyal Irish Volunteers, 1837-1839 (421 names) and the Kildare Sedentary / Volunteer Infantry 1838-1839 (67 names for a 65 member company)'. This information updates the chapter "And the Boys Are At the Barracks" as it adds dozens of names of men aged 16 to 60 many of whom were not previously catalogued. It determines the families who were at Rawdon and Kildare at these dates and in some cases narrows the field as to when they may have left. I will try over the next weeks (or months) to update individual chapters with information from these pay lists.
As my research about Rawdon families continues, new information from census reports and from generous readers has again been posted on updates:
Forward this news to family and friends who may find it of interest, especially if they haven't invested in copies or an e-book. Thanks!
Here are some recent updates and corrections. I am very excited to have photographs of James Rourke and Rebecca Odlum (page 750) who still have descendants living at Rawdon. Rebecca was a half-sister to Sarah Bagnall Blagrave, who also has family at Rawdon. Their mother, Dinah Patterson in Ireland,was the second wife of Isaac Bagnall. Some corrections and additions have been posted regarding the Asbil family (pages 533-534). I was thrilled by Elizabeth Lapointe's very encouraging review of Up To Rawdon in the November 2013 issue of OGS Families magazine. I hope to comment further on both these topics in my next update.
Recent additions to Author's & Readers' Updates include the correction of the identity of William Rourke, first husband of Rose McCurdy Rourke Gray (page 294) and the burial place of William Rourke, senior (page 360). A son of James Mason and Mary Armstrong who was previously omitted (page 541). A photo of John Rourke (page 747) and images of James Rourke and Rebecca Odlum (750 footnote 17). Tighe brothers leave Quebec City (page 905). The correct spelling of the name of William Dunbar and additional information about him is posted for pages 1045-1046. With thanks to contributors as noted in the text.
The history of the Wexford and Chertsey missions, which are part of Christ Church Rawdon, in the last paragraph of page 1068, has been clarified. A more accurate explanation of relationship of the Heather, Job and McGowan families on page 1141 footnote 2 has been posted.
New information for the James Mason / Mary Armstrong family for their son Thomas Armstrong Gray and his wife Elizabeth Gray is available. See update for pages 283 and 541. See page 16, footnote 19 for my latest thought concerning relationship of Mary Coulter Scroggie to Samuel and James Coulter. See 1821 map on supplements page.
I will be in Rawdon on Saturday, June 1, 2013 and hope to meet people who are interested in talking with me about Up To Rawdon. The Centre d'interprétation multiethnique de Rawdon (CIM) is running a display of work by the late Linda Blagrave, the artist whose painting makes the covers of my books so attractive. CIM, or in English, the Multicultural Centre has generously given me access to their facility. It is at 3588 Metcalfe Street in a lovely, old, white frame house in the centre of the village. CIM is only open on weekend afternoons and I will be there Saturday, June 1 from 1:30 to 4:00.
Due to a computer problem, I have been unable to add to the Author's & Readers' Updates section of the website since April 10 but will to do so again as soon as possible. Thank you to all the friends who have emailed with comments, pictures and kind words. Doing this book and website has expanded my world in a wonderful way.
Daniel B. Parkinson
If you have purchased Up To Rawdon, I thank you and ask that you recommend it to others with a Rawdon interest.
Published in two parts, it is a distillation of years of research into the early history of Rawdon Township, Quebec. Check the Book index (now searchable)
above - the chapters are alphabetically arranged by family name and include most of the original Protestant and some of the Catholic settlers. Part Two completes the inventory of families and has chapters on origin and emigration, church and school and other topics. Available from lulu.com in soft cover and in e-book (PDF) formats. See below for ordering information and a book overview.
If you are new to this site check the reviews and consider a purchase. Up To Rawdon has been a top seller in all formats, since its publication in February 2013. See nine generous reviews of Part One and Part Two. You are invited to add your opinion on the Lulu site.
The Supplements and Research Files are free to all. Be sure to check Updates regularly for new and corrected material contributed by readers and from my continuing research. Note that previous comments from the author are now available by scrolling the message area (on the left).
Up To Rawdon traces the origins of more than 250 families who settled at Rawdon 1820 - 1850. Although some descendants still live at Rawdon, others families went from Rawdon to the Eastern Townships, Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, New England, the American Midwest and many other places.
The first Rawdon settler is identified and the story of J. E. Burton, the first clergyman, of any faith, to live at Rawdon is related. You will learn about the building of the first school and the first church in the township in which Burton played a considerable role.
It is very personal account of Rawdon's history - all my ancestors began life in Canada there between 1824 and 1832. My point of view is based on my research in original sources and includes stories entrusted to me by individuals from many families. Rawdon's population peaked c. 1852; the families were large and prolific and their descendants are now found across North America, Australia and Europe. There are chapters on the military background of some settlers, the story of the militia, the surprising influence of American settlers and how British (Irish, English, Scottish), American, Canadien, Acadian and Protestant and Catholic cultures interacted.
This website contains supplementary information on more than twenty families that could not be included in the book itself. There are unique research files mostly not found elsewhere on the Internet and which I am pleased to share gratis with all who are interested in the families and history of the township. Additional material is added regularly as are any verifiable corrections that come to my notice.
Up To Rawdon honours my parents Elton and Llewella and is written for those "dear days of old with the faces in the firelight; kind folks [who] come again no more."
Daniel B. Parkinson