July 16, 2014

e-book cover, Up to Rawdon, by Daniel P. Parkinson, © 2013

Johnston Cabin by Linda Blagrave
photographed by Richard Prud'homme
 

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.

May 10, 2014

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.

April 14, 2014

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.

March 16, 2014

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.

Jan 27, 2014

As my research about Rawdon families continues, new information from census reports and from generous readers has again been posted on updates:

  • On page 50, the Gawn Brown family rediscovered, including photographs of Jane Ann Brown and her daughter Ella Cornelia Goudie.
  • A photograph of Rebecca Irwin Marlin and several of her family, at Ascot Township, QC, is on page 520, footnote 4.
  • Pages 632-633 contain corrections to data about James Edwin McManus and his son Charles Bernard McManus.
  • I located Isabella Lindsay Robinson, page 734; she lived with daughters in 1911 and 1921.
  • On page 845 are photographs of Rockville Farm, the original Henry Smith homestead; one image includes Jane Watters Smith, Robert Smith and Susanna Boyce Smith and their newly adopted on George Kinsey.
  • New information about James Henry Swift is found on page 863.

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!

Nov 6, 2013

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.

Oct 3, 2013

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.

Aug 21, 2013

1921 Canadian census images can be browsed online at ancestry.ca without a membership; it has not yet been indexed. For more information see postings by Ontario Genealogical Society.

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.

July 27, 2013

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.

April 28, 2013

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

To order Up To Rawdon:

  1. Part One
  2. Part Two
  3. e-book (PDF)

If you have purchased Up To Rawdon, I thank you and ask that you recommend it to others with a Rawdon interest.

What is Up To Rawdon?

Published in two parts, it is a distillation of years of research into the early history of Rawdon Township, Quebec. Check the Book Index 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.

Sales and Reviews

Up To Rawdon has been a top seller in all formats, since its publication in February 2013. Six generous (5 star) reviews of Part One are posted on Lulu. Ken Wilson, a retired copy-editor from the London Free Press, offers his comments on 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).

Overview

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
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 869-0088