The updates - new or corrected material from readers and my research - are free to all.
Website contents © 2016.
Mike Holtby of Denver, Colorado surprised me in December 2016. He entrusted to my care the framed map of Rawdon Township used by our 3X great grandfather William Holtby when he was Township Secretary-Treasurer. When researching Up To Rawdon, I had used photographs of it to find locations of settlers, see Introduction, page xviii. I have made the map available to you as a research tool. Click to enlarge and scroll through each range. Although it is 175 years old and there is damage from folding, it is an amazing resource for us today. Thank you, Michael and the Holtby family, for keeping it safe and for sharing it with us.
By coincidence, in February, Karen Fadden of Waverly, Minnesota contacted me about John T. Holtby. He is the man who took the map from Rawdon to Minnesota, probably when his father Alfred (see photo) died. John used his skills a cabinetry to craft an altar table and pulpit for the Waverly Presbyterian Church, where Karen was a member. She sent me photographs and Waverly newspaper items about the Holtby families there. See: Holtby - Letter from Minnesota to a Dying Brother in Ottawa.
If you visited Rawdon some years ago, you will remember the Canadiana Village that has, sadly, been closed for a long time. The Toronto Star published an article about it on March 18. 2017. It includes an interview with Bev Prud’homme who many of you know. The site and all the buildings are for sale! How can a heritage site be for sale?
For those with a Copping in their family tree, go to the Boscobel Cemetery for information about the history of Boscobel, Quebec and the St John the Divine Anglican Cemetery; there is a detailed surname list. This is a lovely site created by Joan Oborne.
A copy of the 1873 marriage certificate of Thomas W. Parkinson and Abbie S. Knight and his 1876 US citizenship as Thomas William Parkinson may be viewed here. Thank you to their great granddaughter Peggy Gaver of Maryland for sharing this.I found the death of Isabella Lindsay Robinson, which has somehow evaded me for many years in Ontario deaths. It was 13 September 1925, in the home of her daughter Elizabeth at 465 Gerrard Street East, with whom she had been living for 3 years. (This is a small distance from where I live.) See updates to Isabella’s father, John Lindsay, on page 56 and for Isabella at Raising a Family on page 731.
I have been revising and improving my data base using Find a Grave and from time to time adding material. I can recommend it. Check the updates and corrections that I have made for the family of Cornelius Francis Brown page 55. He left Rawdon as a young man and eventually owned a farm and raised a family in Isabella County, north of Grand Rapids, Michigan in the 1880s.
This c. 1911 postcard reminds us of how folks went up to Rawdon for the Christmas holidays or wherever home was. Mary Parkinson, my father's older sister, was in nursing school in Vermont when she received this nostalgic card and would return to the farm at Waterville by train for her holiday.
Earl G. Turner of Saskatoon has kindly shared two photographs from the Edmund Hiram Holtby family of his grandmother Hazel Holtby Turner, with her brothers and their mother Sarah Coulter. They are shared on photos page 170 and referenced on Updates pages 170 and 377. The first photo is very touching because we know that Ed Holtby died of nephritis on September 15, 1901 and that Hazel, the infant daughter on his knee, was born January 14, 1901; she was sturdy and alert and under nine months. The photograph must have been taken only days before Ed died and includes their four youngest children. Norman Keith Holtby, the eldest, was pictured separately with his father and may be seen on Up To Rawdon page 377
Peggy Burbidge of Ottawa has shared her recent work on the family of Ann Sarah Holtby and Charles Burbidge from on line Ontario birth, deaths and marriages. I have posted details of the death registration for their eldest daughter Emily Charlotte Burbidge and for her husband James King on updates page 382. Peggy has given me some new information on their nine children and promises more on others.
An update about the Chertsey Church and Cemetery is found on pages 380 and 1068 from a petition to the Bishop of Montreal from the Anglican minister, William W. Seaborn and Thomas Holtby to informally consecrate the church and cemetery at Chertsey. It is dated 29 September 1870 and describes "a plot of land eighty feet in width and ninety feet in depth on the Chertsey village road ... bounded on the north and west by the lands of Thomas Holby [sic Holtby] and on the north and east by the lands of James Rorke [sic] was transferred and made over ... for the Church Society of the Diocese of Montreal by donation dated the twelfth of June eighteen hundred and sixty eight. That a portion of the said land now forms the site of a church ... [and] as a place for the interment of the dead." (Montreal Diocesan Archives).
This information confirms, what is known from the 1861 Census, that James Rorke lived at Chertsey. His death and burial, which must have occurred before the 1871 census, when his wife Rebecca was a widow, but has not been found. The record keeping of the minister, Mr. Seaborn is suspect because of the frequent blank and partially filled pages at this time. The cemetery where James was surely buried adjoined his farm property. We know that this church later became St. George' s Wexford when it was moved to Mount Loyal. It is claimed on many public trees on Ancestry that a man name John James Rourke who died in 1855 in Geashill, Offaly, Ireland is the James Rourke whose family settled at Chertsey. I dispute this because of the census at Chertsey and the donation of land for the Chertsey church and cemetery. Furthermore, there is no record of James ever using the name John; he had a brother named John. Also, it appears that James Rorke signed the church register in March 1870 (see next paragraph).
James Rorke [sic] infant son of Michael Rorke [sic] of Chertsey and Diana Blagrave) was buried June 17, 1869 at Chertsey. This is found on page 79 of the Christ Church register (Diocesan Archives, Montreal); his baptism is probably the incomplete Rorke entry on page 76. James Rorke, who was a witness for the burial, may be the brother of Michael. James, the son of James and Rebecca, was only 13 years old at this time. Isabella Rorke [sic] was another infant of Michael and Diana and was born and died in March 1870; (see Updates page 19).
Ellen Mason was the wife of James Rorke [sic] who was a son of Michael and Ann Davis Rourke. Her death and burial are confirmed at Updates page 541.
Samuel O'Rourke - A Boxing Champion has been added to the Supplements page of the website. I had suggested that this sports star from the early 19th century may have been Samuel Rourke, a cousin to the Rawdon Rourkes (Footnote 27 Pages 752-753). I now feel this is doubtful but it is an interesting story contemporary to the early settlement of Rawdon.
Drop me a Card was published in QFHS Connections, Volume 39, Issue 1, Autumn 2016. It used family postcards to give a glimpse of life at Rawdon and Montreal, circa 1910. It is dedicated to my Aunt Aggie Morgan; she was the eldest sister of Edwin Parkinson, my maternal grandfather. I have a large archive of interesting and beautiful postcards from both sides of my family and look forward to sharing more of them here.
Material has been added to the Hamilton Index about Alicia Hamilton McCurdy and her sister Susan Irena Hamilton thanks to a question from Jane Miller. Go to the Supplements to book page for this information.
Jane Miller and I have been assessing what is known, and what has been said, about James Farrell and we think that he could be the unidentified child with the John Mason family on the 1831 Rawdon Census. See update to pages 545 and 888-889.
Farrell family research by Jane Miller of Haliburton, Ontario and Chantal Demers of Laval, Quebec continues. A burial card in Mount Royal Cemetery files for Elizabeth Cain Porteous places her birth at Rawdon (new information) in 1842 which is earlier than previously thought. Chantal and Jane and John Miller met for the first time at Mount Royal this summer, when the Millers were on a trip to Cape Breton. The reunion of families that have drifted apart through the passing of years is a joy. John, Chantal and Jane are pictured beside the stone of Ann Hamilton Farrell, the grandmother of Elizabeth Cain and ancestor of John and Chantal. Revised paragraphs about Elizabeth and Ann are in the Updates to pages 888 and 889.
(Merci à Marcel Marois pour le photo.)
In my June 21, 2016 update I wrote: The village of Rawdon was built on land that had been cleared of trees for farming. Beverly Prud'homme has very correctly pointed out that the ten-acre village lots, although cleared by the owners and tenants to grow crops for themselves and their livestock, were not farms.
Jacques Latendresse found notarial contracts at BANQ Montreal related to the construction of a church on Lot 16 of the First Range in 1829 and for which his ancestor Paschal Joubroux dit Latendresse had been hired to make shingles. He contacted Beverly Prud'homme this summer; it confirms the anecdotal evidence from Mr. Naylor in Up To Rawdon, pages 1064-1065 about a church built by Burton. It replaced the schoolhouse and preceded the village church. We are studying this and other material that relates to the two earliest Anglican and Presbyterian churches in the village and I will clarify and correct what I published in 2013. A long essay will, in due course, be added to the Up To Rawdon website. Nous sommes reconnaissants à Jac pour partager ce qu'il a trouvé.
What became of the first Rawdon graveyard at the Forks and how many were buried there? A note on update page 1065 quotes Hannah / Annie Truesdell, the daughter of Hannah Dugas who had attended the Forks school.
The 1836 date for the building of the village church (Marcel Fournier in his Rawdon book without documentation) is doubtful. Research in the Montreal Diocesan Archives makes it clear that in 1834 the church, stables, parsonage, a well and a bell were planned. Mr. Copping and family attended church in the village in January 1836 ergo construction was in 1835 but it took several years to complete. Preliminary correction is on update pages 1065 & 1069.
I added facts from the documents we have studied to the Updates pages. George Drought was a Rawdon church commissioner in 1829. Details are on Updates page 183.
Noted from Vestry minutes of 1835 (Diocesan Archives, Montreal) concerning Solomon Cook page 284, John Griffith, page 317 and Hiram Bateman footnote 13, page 514.
This did not come to pass: The Vestry meeting of 25 December 1834 recorded that the "Village known as Village Lands of Rawdon to be known henceforth as Charleston in token of the esteem entertained towards Right Reverend Charles James Stuart Archbishops of Quebec." (Diocesan Archives, Montreal)
The village of Rawdon was built on land that had been cleared of trees for farming; it was a very hot place in summer. It came to be known as the Village of Sunshine and visitors spent holiday time in boarding houses in the early to mid twentieth century. Today, there are beautiful, shady streets but not so at the beginning of the last century. This old post card suggests a bleak and dusty place.
New and revised information about Mary Susanna (Millie) Parkinson and William T. Brownell from searches in Ancestry has been added at pages 523 and 692.
The recent death of Mary Copping Parkinson has been noted on page 695.
Chantal Demers is a wonderful researcher and has used Lovell's Montreal Directory to find about the lives of Ann Hamilton Farrell and her daughter Sarah Farrell Cain. New material has been added to the chronology on pages 888-889. Chantal has learned that Ann, a widow, supported herself and lived independently of her daughter and son-in-law who were close by. Why Sarah, an Anglican, baptized her sons at Notre Dame Church after the death of her husband remains a mystery. Felicitations et merci beaucoup Chantal.
Jerry Hooker of Wolverine Lake, Michigan has written to me with information about the Hooker family who were immigrants from England in 1832 to the De Ramsay Seigneury. They were neighbours of the Reade family; there is a chapter on the Reades in Up To Rawdon. William Henry Hooker died in 1842 of a heart attack at De Ramsay while chopping wood. His widow, Ann Whittall, took her six children to live at Ormstown, Quebec where she had family.
I received a wonderful gift from John Swift of Tucson, Arizona of a book he has printed for his immediate family. It has pictures and material about his ancestors including the Swift and Gray families who left Rawdon for Sauk Center, Ashley Township, Stearns County, Minnesota. They were staunch Anglicans and founded a church and cemetery in the community. John has shared data from family files and documents on Ancestry and Find A Grave. Selected material from his research corrects or supplements what I have written. See Updates, pages 28, 292, 293, 296, 300, 708, 860, 81, 863, 864, 865, 888, 867, 868 and 871.
Co-operation with others and the sharing of genealogical research has brings wonderful rewards. Recently, I reviewed the extensive work that Blair Rourke of Verdun, Quebec has been doing on the children of Michael and Mary Rourke, who settled at Rawdon, and whose descendants have spread across the continent. It has spurred me to make corrections and revisions of Up To Rawdon and to find and add additional data from church files. There will be more on Rourke research in the months ahead.
The Supplements file Rourkes of Annagharvy has been improved with these updates:
Isabella Gray Rourke was named, on the 1881 Rawdon Census, with the children of William Rourke and Rose McCurdy. See Updates Page 299 for an explanation of her identity.
Detail about the Smith family property in Annagharvy, from the research of Blair Rourke, has been added at page 837.
A death date has been added for Esther Brennan Rourke at Updates page 846. The church register states she was "about 90" but in fact she was 81.
Correction of birth date from 1901 Census for Elvina May Blagrave - see page 850.
There is a follow up to what was posted in March 2016 about the Blair-Keo family on Updates 1010. They left Rawdon c. 1851 and were recorded on 1852 Wellington County, Peel Township Census (Ontario). They went to nearby Elma Township in Perth County, in 1854. On the 1871 Census, Ellen, who had remarried, was a widow for the third time and lived there with her three sons and three step children. James died in 1854 and Ellen in 1881; they are buried in Trowbridge Cemetery, Elma. This, and information about sons John and William, is on Updates page 442.
I was able to get Reveries of a Pioneer by Vera Ernst McNichol from the Toronto Public Library. It is a fascinating collection of pioneer stories about this community that opened for settlement in 1848. A bit quirky, as much of it was written in verse, but lots of information about shanty building, rail fences and stage coaches to name a few topics.
Further research regarding Thomas Blair and Esther Marlin and their family is on page 523 and on the death of Jane Marlin Purcell on page 525.
Death dates for Joseph William Holtby and his wife Lillian Helen Davis have been added on update page 383. A mother's memory is more to be trusted than a father's: a clarification has been made concerning the infant sons of John Thomas Holtby and Maria Copping (through the kindness of Gary Peterson, a volunteer at Find-a-Grave) to Footnote 5 in John Holtby's Letter from Minnesota to a Dying Brother in Ottawa.
In writing the chapter Rogers Report I managed to overlook the birthdate of the youngest son, Samuel Rogers. See updates page 744. I was contacted on behalf of Bart Armstrong, a researcher and historian of recipients of the US Medal of Honor; Samuel Rogers was a recipient. Bart is working to have him recognized as a Canadian. (Sam is considered by the U.S. military as being from NY because he enlisted stating he was "from" Buffalo.) We have lost touch with Cathy Edwards who was a principal informant when I wrote this chapter. If anyone can help us to reconnect with Cathy please contact me.
If you are interested in Canadian Medal of Honour winners, Bart has in interesting website. Our Rawdon-born hero is in his blog for April 8, 2016.
Chantal Demers has persisted in the search for the death of Sarah Farrell Caine. Brava. It was under our noses but registered as Cane. See Updates entry for pages 888-889.
We had a mild early winter in Toronto then a couple of weeks ago the thermometer dipped and a few days ago we had seven inches of snow. Nothing like an old‑fashioned Montreal winter though. This card c. 1905 was when drifts were high and men dressed in style - no toques or hoodies. The Rawdon connection is in the background - St. James Methodist Church. My Holtby ancestors Alfred Holtby and Susanna Norrish married there in 1840 but not in this grand building, a national historic site, built in 1889. I sang in the church choir there in 1968.
Biographical data and a photograph of Maria Copping, Mrs. John T. Holtby of Waverly, Minnesota has been added at Updates page 377. The image is from a postcard sent by John Holtby to his niece, Agnes Parkinson Morgan, in Montreal about 1907.
A photograph of a map of Rawdon Township, held by Michael Holtby of Denver, Colorado, has been added. The map was used by William Holtby, who is Mike's and my 3X great grandfather, who was once Rawdon's Secretary-Treasurer. I used photographs of this map, made by Mike's father Ken, to find the locations of many of the early settlers.
For a couple of weeks I have worked closely with two eager researchers (Jane Miller and Chantal Demers) on the two lines of the Farrell family who left Rawdon before 1850. One family left for Ontario and the other moved from the Laurentians to the lush farmland of Chambly County on the St. Lawrence south shore. We have established a third line - Sarah Farrell Cain, sister of James Farrell and John Farrell. She did not live at Rawdon, as far as we know, but it is an interesting story of family ties. See Updates page 880.
Chantal Demers has donated a photograph of Enoch John Farrell and his wife Annie Chrow; it may be seen with his sisters Sarah and Emily Farrell photographs.
Footnote 1 on Page 217, mentions that some have misread the inscription on the tombstone of John Eveleigh in Woodlawn Cemetery, Listowel. The stone has been well-cleaned and the word Wexford is now legible. Rod Lee of Guelph, Ontario shared this photograph and ones of Elizabeth Eveleigh and William J. Lee, and of two of Elizabeth's siblings Daniel Eveleigh and Catherine Eveleigh Cosens. The photographs are of three of John Eveleigh's fourteen children and of his son-in-law. Rod is a descendant of John Eveleigh and of Elizabeth and William Lee. See the photographs at John Eveleigh, junior and Mary McGie: Appendix & Summary, in the Supplements to book section of the website. Thank you, Rod, for the marvellous contribution to Up To Rawdon.
Alex Rome of Welland, Ontario wrote with information about George Keo and his family. He identified Robert Wilson, who had previously been only a name on page 11 of the research file - see correction at 1831 Rawdon Township, L'Assomption County Census. Alex brought forward information about George's wife Catharine Gross Bonner who lived at Rawdon 1827 - 1838. She was unique among Rawdon settlers because she was born in Canada; her parents had married in Montreal in 1791. Details are added to page 440 in Updates. There is also information about Eleanor Keo, the daughter of George and Catharine, who with her husband, James Blair and their family, including George Keo moved to Peel Township in Wellington County in 1852. It was a destination for many Rawdon settlers. This latter information is also on Updates page 1010. I am very grateful for all this interesting material. It was very satisfying to learn more about George Keo and his family.
I have been doing research on Rourke and O'Rourke with friends Blair, Jerry and Patty. Sometimes the two versions of the name are used in one family. Some families only used one spelling; some used mostly one but not always. Sometimes one indicated Protestant and the other Catholic but not all the time. This is fascinating and confusing without mentioning the many spellings for Rourke. Our research to determine if Samuel Rourke / Samuel O'Rourke was one man or two or quite possibly three continues. At present much is still unresolved. I hope to publish about this in the Supplements portion of this website in the future.
If you are on Facebook and interested in the Rourke family find Jerry Rourke and ask about joining Rourkes of Annaharvey 1956-2016 Reunion Page.
Here is something that I did find while searching in Ancestry. The home county of Chelsea pensioner Andrew O'Rourke (Updates page 1098) and his daughter Catherine O'Rourke was Queen's County (Laois) and her husband John Johnson was of County Tyrone (Updates page 427). All from the marriage register for Catherine and John at Notre Dame Church in Montreal on 3 March 1835.
Jaime Huston has corrected the death date for Elizabeth Dawson Huston; he feels the tombstone date of 28 February is more accurate than 1 March, which is the date on her death registration. I had misread the year from the photograph of her tombstone inscription; it should be 1901. See Updates entry for page 1017.
The Henry Dawson and Elizabeth Huston family (see page 1019) was large and interesting. They could have had their own chapter; however, most of their children were mentioned in chapters relating to other families they were connected with.
Henry Dawson came to Canada with the 70th Regiment; see his photo and a brief biography on page 1090. Henry and Elizabeth were married at Sorel, Lower Canada in 1823 and we know of twelve children born to them. Their first child Jane Dawson died August 5 1825 and was buried the following day at the Garrison Church in Montreal. Other known children are Elizabeth Huston at York, U.C. in 1826 (page 1090); Mary Jane Norrish in Kilkenny, Ireland in 1828; William 1832 in Kilkenny (page 1029); Matilda 1833, Jane McEwen in 1835 at Kildare, Lower Canada (page 592, footnote 15); Henrietta Rolph 1837 at Kildare, Lower Canada (page 1021); Henry 1839 at Kildare, Lower Canada (page 1021); Samuel 1841 (page 1022); Isabella 1843, John 1845, Robert 1848 - the four youngest born at Rawdon. This family summary is also on Updates entry for page 1019.
Gloria Primeau of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario wrote with information about Richard Mason (pages 541 and 1027). She sent a scanned photograph of him in his later years and one of his sons James Henry Mason and Richard Mason junior; see photograph. Richard lived at Keppel, Grey County in 1901 and may be found with family members on the census for Portage la Prairie, Manitoba in 1906 and at Lawrence, Dauphin Rural Municipality in 1916. Richard died at Lawrence on 13 December 1916. His wife, Jane McNichol, died between 1901 and 1906, probably in Manitoba. Their children, known to me, are named on page 1027.
Correspondent Jane Miller provided information and photographs last year about the family of James Farrell; see photographs. Jane has connected me with Chantal Carmelle Demers and Bernard Demers, from Laval, Quebec who are direct descendants of James's brother John Farrell and his wife Jane McEvoy. Chantal has shared information (updated page 890) and photographs of her ancestor Sarah Farrell Chevalier Sims, their daughter. See photograph of Sarah and one of her sister Emily Farrell.
Correction: In reviewing material on the Marlin / Law / Asbil families I found that I was unhappy with what I had written about James Marlin junior. On page 524, I said that he was born c. 1812 and his wife Elizabeth Dixon c. 1811, which I had estimated from their ages on the 1852 Rawdon Census. However, in September 1828 James was a tailor living in Montreal when their first known child was baptized. James signed the register and Elizabeth marked with an X. The census ages, if correct, would mean that they were 16 and 17 when their daughter was born. I believe that they were at least ten years older and as evidence, it was recorded that Elizabeth Dixon Marlin died, at Rawdon, 10 April 1887, at 84 (or born c. 1804). No age was recorded, at his 1872 burial, after James had been "accidentally shot". However, the May 1871 census declares that James and Elizabeth were both 66. This seems more accurate and I believe they were born c. 1805.
I attended the Induction and Installation of The Very Rev'd Andrew Asbil as Rector of St. James Cathedral and Dean of Toronto on January 31, 2016. The homily was given by his father The Right Rev'd Walter Asbil, a retired Bishop of Niagara. Verna Asbil-Ngem of Rawdon was one of the many family members who gathered for the occasion. Walter and his sister Verna were born at Rawdon where Verna still lives. They have been generous sources of inspiration and information about the Asbil family (page 534 of Up To Rawdon).
Hamilton Slesssor of Toronto has discovered a post about the mausoleum of Sir Richard Francis Burton, at Mortlake in south west London. He was the illustrious cousin of Rawdon's Reverend J. E. Burton. Hamilton Slessor's wife Jane is a direct descendant of J. E. Burton's daughter Frances Maria Burton Heward. The link includes a dashing portrait of the famous explorer that is more glamorous than the one I used on page 92 in the chapter Burton of Burtonville.
Hamilton Slessor completed an assignment, in August 2015, to produce a year-long series of daily postings of his regiment, The Royal Montreal Regiment, to mark its 100th anniversary - This Day in RMR History. It tells of the regiment's 1914 founding, its movements and its personnel, officers and men with events that were a part of their daily lives. Hamilton is now working on a nominal roll of the 6,200 men who passed through the regiment during WWI.
Following email correspondence with Jaime Hayes in Switzerland, as reported in the November 6, 2015 update, I went to the Diocesan Archives in Toronto to see if there was more concerning the birth of Elizabeth Dawson than what is reported on page 1017 of Up To Rawdon. The baptism was 13 August 1826 in the register of the Fort York Garrison Chapel and with date of birth possibly (damage to register) on 14 July.
It has taken many years to get a better image of Alfred Holtby and Susanna Norrish than the one I used on page 678 in William Norrish: Survivor. Thank you Mike Holtby in Denver for nudging me and hurray for cell phone cameras and a good friend to help with a tricky shoot. The original (which hangs in my upstairs hall) is paper on a thin lead sheet. Has anyone else seen photos mounted in this way? The couple, as you can see, still look youthful and without gray hair. They married in 1840 aged 20 and 21 and Susanna was 45 when her 14th child was born in 1864. I am guessing this was taken about 1860. Comments are invited.
William Joseph Brown was a Montreal grocer and is found on page 53 of Up To Rawdon. His store front appears on this advertising postcard for his business. The address was 888 Ste. Catherine West on the south side near McGill College Avenue; this is currenlty the number of Reuben's Delicatessen in a new building.
The card was sent to his second cousin Agnes Parkinson Morgan on December 12, 1910. The bottom front of the card states "Perfecto Coffee is a winner - Pansy Tea now the Family Tea (Reg.)" The suppliers of these brands may have paid for the cards to be mailed out. Note the bananas in the entrance way and what are the strange gold balls on the bench to the left of the door? Armour's Solid Extract of Beef must have paid for the marquee and sign on the outside side wall. Mr Brown, from his appearance, was a very successful grocer.
Some Canadian census reports use the word "shanty" to describe the dwelling place of the head of the household. The 1851 Census gave the enumerator the following choices for types of houses: "brick, stone, frame, log, shanty or other kind of residence". I suspect that a "shanty" was constructed of logs, maybe of boards, but less substantial than a log house, of a temporary nature, even a lean to. A well-built log house was a permanent structure and meant to last. Many log houses still stand 150 - 200 years later although perhaps now covered with siding. Perhaps a shanty was not on a foundation, did not have a wood floor or did not have a proper roof beam. I am guessing. Shanty comes from the French word chantier meaning a work site - logging camps were known as chantiers and housing there was temporary as the lumber camp was perhaps needed only for a season.
In October 2015, I added information about the family of Zerena Chamberlain Bagnall. Her niece was Mary Ann Whittaker also spelled Whitaker and the wife of Robert Knowlton, a one time Rawdon settler. There is no proof that Mary Ann lived at Rawdon but she must have visited there. Zerena's brother-in-law, Robert Bagnall owned Lot 15, Seventh Range beside the Knowlton property and William Bagnall, it appears, purchased the south half of 7 / 14 from Robert Knowlton. I have had correspondence with Elizabeth Cohoe of Kingston whose husband is a direct descendant of Robert Knowlton and have made a substantial update and correction of the chapter Knowlton: Father and Son. It is possible that Samuel and Robert were brothers or related in some other way. I still hold that they were father and son but would love to find a proof of their relationship. See Updates entry for page 499.
Jaime Hayes, a correspondent who lives in Switzerland, has contacted me with interesting material on the Huston and Dawson families. As a result, there are corrections and new material on pages 1017, 1018 and 1019 of Updates, which include links to some Manitoba sources. Additional information for William Dawson and Alice Eveleigh family is on page 1020.
A link to Jaime's website has been added to my page of helpful links and note the correction to footnote 6 on page 1091; it should read "his" website. Other new links have been added and one has been corrected.
I have reorganized some material on the website. The Protestant Settlers in the St-Felix area and Baptisms, Marriages and Burials of St. John's Anglican Church, Kildare and the copy of an 1821 Map of the original Rawdon Township, drawn by Surveyor Joseph Bouchette were until now on Supplements to book page and are now found on the Research files page.
On September 16, 2015, cousins Patsy McGuire Holland of Bismarck, North Dakota and Linda McGuire Knutson of Polson, Montana made a trip to Rawdon accompanied by Patsy's husband Jim and brother-in-law Lew Holland. They had visited in September 2014. Linda and Patsy are the great-great granddaughters of John and Hester Bowen McGuire. Bev Prud'homme gave the visitors a wonderful Rawdon tour; they later came to me in Toronto before beginning a Canadian bus tour. Here are Linda (left) and Patsy (right) on Rawdon's Tenth Range somewhere not too far from where John and Hester raised their family before emigrating leaving, c.1872, for Sauk Center, Minnesota.
Donald MacKay, in his 1990 book Flight from Famine: the Coming of the Irish to Canada, reported on 1840 ship arrivals at Quebec as follows. "From the Nicholson from Sligo, a few families of about thirty persons have gone to their friends in the township of Rawdon, Lower Canada." Thanks to Beverly Prud'homme for spotting this item.
It has been claimed by descendants of John Gray that he immigrated to Rawdon in 1840, at the invitation of his cousins and uncles and who we know were from Sligo. The Nicholson immigrant group of thirty could have included him, Mrs. Francis Johnston (Rebecca Scanlon) and her (at least) four children who were known to be from Sligo and came out to join her husband's brothers' families at about this time. We know that James McLeary and his wife Ann Johnston (sister-in-law of Rebecca) arrived sometime shortly before 1842; their eldest child was possibly born in Ireland. There could have late-arriving members of the Morgan and Sharpe families although we know that most of those families settled before 1840. It is possible these emigrants from Sligo were Catholic; however, I have not come across any Catholics at Rawdon from that county.
Many people ask, "Why did my family go to Rawdon?" John Gray, in joining his family, was typical of many who settled there. In my investigation of Rawdon families, there are few where kinship did not play a major role in bringing additional family to Lower Canada and their subsequent resettlement in Upper Canada and the United States. In 1832, 700 people died of cholera in the City of Sligo and its citizens fled into the surrounding county spreading the disease. This was a good reason to leave Sligo and the system of tenancy that kept so many in or on the edge of poverty.
For others, not wanting the long journey to Upper Canada, it was a relief to find a place in the new townships near Montreal. McKay's book helps explain the reasons for leaving Ireland, which differed over the decades and were often dependent on religion and social / economic class. It is full of personal accounts of emigration and much useful and interesting background information. The book is a worth reading.
Dr. Glenn Cartwright contributed this link to the documents of the Royal Institute for the Advancement of Learning at McGill. It is an abstract of a thesis by Réal G. Boulianne.
The material relating to Rawdon is on the Up To Rawdon website in a transcription of correspondence concerning the first Rawdon school. I used this data in the chapters Burton of Burtonville, Gibson: a Difficult Settler and William Gordon Holmes Schoolmaster as well as in the family chapters where a child was recorded as attending school or a parent was a commissioner before 1829.
For anyone interested in Kildare Township, the Boulianne thesis will be helpful. Thomas Dixon donated land for a school at Kildare Lot 10, 8th Range on 2 March 1827. School Commissioners in early days included Horace Gibbs, John Sullivan, and George Dixon. There is a much of interest and the controversies of that township are recorded.
Zerena Chamberlain Bagnall: I have corrected and expanded entry for "page 14, footnote 17" in Updates. Zerena may have had two sisters living in Shefford County, near Granby, Quebec and both married to men named Payne. I looked at some public family trees on Ancestry and some Quebec church registrations. A grandson of Zerena's sister and others of the family were prominent in the Pennsylvania coal industry and lived in Schuylkill County and in New Jersey.
Neil Broadhurst of Calgary has located more information about another child of Gawn Brown and Margaret Finlay. This should have been included in my July update but was set aside; I apologize for this; thank you, Neil. Richard Brown (by baptism) used his maternal grandfather's name and was known as Richard Finlay Brown. He migrated to California where his family prospered. Refer to Updates entry for "page 50: Brown".
Gloria Weafer has added a daughter for Jane Ann Brown and her second husband John Goudie: Johnanna Eliza Jane Goudie. Gloria is tracing the family of her husband John Weafer and Jane Ann Brown was his great grandmother. This infant died before her mother immigrated to Missouri (page 50). From the Goudie family, Gloria has learned that Jane placed the farm for sale in March 1868 and we assume from this that John had died. Refer to Updates entry for "page 50: Brown".
Thank you to Chris Goudie who is the wife of a descendant of John Goudie's son Joseph; she found this announcement in the Fergus News Record of 8 January 1869 and shared it with Gloria and me - "Married: By the Rev. Mr. Millican, at the house of Mrs. Gowdie [neé Jane Ann Brown], Mr Mathew Stewart, to Mrs Olive Brown, all of Garafraxa, on the 24th [December 1868]." In the 1871 East Garafraxa and 1881 Arran, Bruce North Censuses, it is recorded that Olive Stewart was born c.1824 in the United States. Jane Ann's stepmother, we know from Wisconsin Census records, was born 1819-1822 in either New York or Massachusetts and we feel quite certain of this identification. There is a typographical error on page 52, footnote 10. Olive Brown was 28 in 1850 not 38. We cannot explain how Jane Ann's stepmother found her way from Wisconsin to Garafraxa or where her two sons were living. The elder is possibly the William Brown, 22, living alone on a farm in Rock County, Wisconsin.
Blair Rourke has written regarding my recent comment on the English origins of many Irish-Protestant families. "Yes, I think that unlike many of the other Irish-Protestant settlers at Rawdon, the Irish roots of the Rourkes are strong and consistent, that is, Rourke being an Anglicized version of the Irish Gaelic "O Ruairc".
Jane Miller of Haliburton, Ontario has sent marvellous scans of James Farrell and Catherine Tansey and the nine of their children who survived adolescence. They are her husband's family and a handsome lot. They appear on her Farrell / Stewart Tree on Ancestry courtesy of collaboration with "kenhatch179". There are some trees in Ancestry with incorrect information linking the Rawdon and Bruce County family to a James Farrell who died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Catherine as the second wife of James Farrell who died in Indiana. Jane has correct information. I have tried for accuracy and clarity and posted some of the photos and additional information about James and the children on Updates entry for "pages 888-889: Farrell & Tansey".
New material has been added to the Supplements Section; there is a new footnote 17 to the Hamilton appendix. It concerns Samuel A. Hamilton whose photo is Updates entry for "pages 888-889". with his wife Alicia J. Farrell.
Significant additional material about John Thomas Holtby and his life at Wright County was contributed by Sue Claessen a present day resident of Waverly, Minnesota and is found on pages 2, 7 and 8 of Holtby - Letter to a Dying Brother..The chronology of Holtby immigration to Minnesota has been clarified; John, it appears, accompanied his uncle, William Holtby, and family to Montrose in May 1880 joining James D. C. Holtby who had emigrated in 1878.
Bill Clayton of Abbotsford, BC has pointed out that I refer to Mary Morgan Tighe as Mary Ann on pages 643, 644, 645, 648, 777 and 910. She was only Mary on the registrations of the baptisms of her children and was Mary on the census in 1852 and in 1871. However, the index of the Mount Royal Cemetery names her Mary Ann Morgan Tighe. Further documentation of Christian name Mary Ann would be helpful if any one has that. On page 645, footnote 9, Margaret Pearso should read Pearson.
Arden Wade of Ottawa continues to track the descendants of William Wade and Margaret Tacey and has provided more information on their daughters Ann Wade and Mary Ann Wade (page 952) and their connection to his family. Arden is a descendant of their only surviving brother Robert Wade.
July 11 was sunny with a fresh breeze that kept visitors to the Rawdon Family Fair from overheating. I enjoyed meeting the people who dropped by and have taken the liberty of adding their addresses to receive updates. This included meeting or being reacquainted with several Parkinsons and Rourkes and many others as well. The photo below is Irene Parkinson Clayton (1911-1998) as a child on her father Fred's Rawdon farm (Up To Rawdon p. 693). I was able to show it to her children Shirley Clayton Rourke and Neil Blair Clayton and others of her family.
At the Family Fair, I met Louise Marsan, a descendant of immigrants Andrew Keogh and Suzanne (Susan) Burns (Byrne / O'Byrne). See Updates, page 442. We had a long chat about whether the two Burns families were related. Most of the Hannah Pierce Burns line claimed their origin in County Carlow but we know nothing of about the "other" John Burns family from which we believe Suzanne Keogh stemmed. Louise confirmed that Andrew Keogh was born February 1, 1805 in Rathvilly, Carlow. This village is located on the River Slaney near the border with County Wicklow. This makes it possible that there was a pre marriage link to the Burns families. The question remains did these people first meet at Rawdon or were they acquainted back in Carlow?
On Canada Day (July 1), this Toronto Globe and Mail article featured old summer homes at Rivière-du-Loup and Cacouna. One summer resident mentioned in the story and photographed was Hilda Thomson, 89, of Vancouver. Her "great-grandfather, William Collis Meredith, one of the founding judges of the Quebec Superior Court and chief justice from 1866 to 1884, was among the original St. Patrick summer residents." W. C. Meredith is featured in the Burton of Burtonville chapter of Up To Rawdon and was a stepson of J. E. Burton.
The name John Swift will be recognized by those who read this column because of his generous contributions to the Updates page. John and Vicki were in Montreal and Rawdon in late June to visit cemeteries and collect photographs and were kindly assisted by Al Parkinson and Brett Parkinson. On July 1, John, Vicki and I visited Toronto's Distillery District near my home and on the perimeter of the Pan & Para Pan Am Games site. It was a pleasure to meet them as they head back to Arizona. I think we had great day even if I forgot to take them to the site of where the Upper Canada Legislature was burned in 1812 that prompted the burning of the White House.
John sent me this 1896 map of Ashley Township, Minnesota. All the McGuires and Grays named are directly connected to Rawdon. The Kinsellas, if I remember, are relatives of the Rawdon family. Note the church at the centre of the Township. This was St. John's Episcopal Church (Anglican) and was built by the Rawdon settlers. It is no longer there and worshipers, from Ashley, attend the Church of the Good Samaritan at Sauk Centre. The church yard cemetery that once known as Ashley Cemetery, is now known as the Gray Swift Cemetery in honour of the many from those families who are buried there.
Pierre Emond of Lac des Deux Montagnes, Quebec has generously shared this scan of a painting by Linda Blagrave of the Joseph Neville homestead, which was on the Ninth Range, Lot Six. It is presently the site of Québécamp. Pierre received it from Clifford Neville, as a souvenir of his days spent working on the Neville farm when he was young. It is one of several that Linda did of this typical Rawdon farm scene. Joseph Neville is referred to on page 755 of Up To Rawdon, in the chapter The Rourkes of Annagharvy. For more on Neville see Rourkes in the Supplements section.
Lucy Bowler at the headstone of her 5th great-grandfather Henry Peyton 1787 -1874 and her 5th great-grandmother Mary Ann Finlay Peyton 1798 - 1868. Both born in Ireland and died in Rawdon, Quebec, with the stone of a great uncle, Cornelius Finlay on her left. The chapter in Up To Rawdon on these families begins at page 233. The second photograph Lucy poses beside the stone of William Burns 1796 - 1881, another of Lucy's fifth generation great grandfathers (see page 74 of Up to Rawdon). Lucy visited Rawdon in mid June with her grandparents Peter and Melanie Plumb of Whitinsville, Massachusetts. Lucy wrote of her visit.
"I came to Rawdon with my grandparents for genealogy research. We thought that we had some family buried there. When we got there we met with a wonderful woman, Beverly Prud'homme. She was a terrific help, and showed us all the cemeteries in Rawdon. She even took us sightseeing to the waterfalls there. She was an excellent guide and we talked to her for a long time. The next day my grandparents and I found all the ancestors we had been looking for. The cemeteries are in great shape. Our relatives' (some of whom died in the 1880's) gravestones were in very good shape. Everyone we talked to in Rawdon was very helpful. Thank you Rawdon for a very successful trip!"
- Lucy Bowler, Age 12
I will join the Rawdon Historical Society for the 20th Annual Family Fair at Rawdon, Quebec on Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The fair brings together family members and friends to enjoy exhibits, food and games in the Anglican Church Rectory Gardens - Rectory Garden Road off Metcalfe Street. For detailed directions, google Rectory Gardens Rawdon; everyone is welcome.
I am honoured by the invitation from the Rawdon Historical Society. I will meet and discuss families and all aspects of Rawdon history, informally, with everyone who comes by. I will bring some photographs, my lap top and try to answer questions. Up to Rawdon is mainly about the early families who arrived in there from Ireland, England, Scotland and America between 1820 and 1850. If you cannot be at Rawdon Family Fair, you may always send comments via email.
I recently heard from Earl Turner of Wiseton, Saskatchewan. He is a descendant of Rawdon natives Edmund Holtby and Sarah Coulter, who settled in Ottawa but lived at Casselman (Prescott / Russell Counties) and Cobden (Renfrew County) in Ontario before marrying. When widowed, Sarah moved with her sons to Saskatchewan. Around 1920, Sarah took her youngest daughter, Hazel Edith Holtby, on a trip to Rawdon. Earl Turner is Hazel's grandson. Their destinations included Sarah's sister-in-law Mary Holtby Parkinson who is my great grandmother. My mother lived as a child with her grandparents and remembered the occasion because of Hazel's beautiful thick, wavy hair. Sarah took Hazel to the Cultra / Coulter place on the Tenth Range, Lot 28. Hazel is said to have remarked "How did Daddy ever find you out here in the back of beyond." An expression that was apt and often quoted. Today some of this area has returned to wilderness and seems even more isolated, which has been the fate of so many of the pioneer farms. Take a look at Richard Prud'homme's beautiful photographs for some current Rawdon views.
Marsha Newton Lett, my dear friend and cousin, came from this branch of the Holtby family. In my early days of genealogy, she was a prime resource and provided me with copies of old family photos made from originals by her brother Gregory Newton (several appear in Up To Rawdon). It saddens me to write that Marsha died on March 16, 2015; see here for obituary and photo.
There is a Rawdon connection to the upcoming Toronto Pan Am Games. Lucinda Nowell of Kanata, Ontario is part of Canada's group rhythmic gymnastics team. Lucinda is a granddaughter of my dear friend, the late Richard Mason who was one of my early supporters in the publishing of Up To Rawdon. We worked closely on his book about his great aunt: Cyclone Days: Plowing, Planting & Partying, the Journals of Sarah Alice Mason Copping 1899 - 1925. I would love to hear if there are other Pan Am athletes with Rawdon connection.
Correspondent John Swift brought to my attention tombstone postings from the Gray Swift Cemetery in Sauk Center, Minnesota, on Find a Grave. The cemetery was started by the families from Rawdon who built and attended St. John's Episcopal Church at Ashley and, later, belonged to the Church of the Good Samaritan at Sauk Centre. Marilyn Uhlenkamp of the Historical Society in Sauk Center lives across the road from the cemetery, on a farm that was once owned by the Grays. She and her husband are the cemetery caretakers. Marilyn wrote she "can't wait for the grass to green so I can walk over to take pictures" of the gravestones. Thank you in advance, Marilyn.
I used the Find a Grave search engine to find burials in the cemetery for the Gray family. Some of the postings include obituaries taken from local papers; however, the papers are not identified by name or date nor do they say if the material has been edited in any way.
New or corrected information, from these sources, about the English Gray family and Catherine Lewis has been added on pages 295, 296 and 303 and about Rachel Vail and the Swift family on pages 861, 866, 871 and 878.
In Find a Grave there is a stone at Calvary Cemetery, Sauk Center for Mary Kinsella, with dates 21 March 1821 - 14 June 1904. This is Mary Delaney, wife of John Kinsella, born in Ireland; she is mentioned in footnote 3 on page 458. Two paragraphs of family information have been added in a footnote update.
Up to Rawdon was placed in the Victoria Genealogical Society library, Victoria, British Columbia. The copies had belonged to my dear friend, Leonard Woods, who died at Langley last autumn and is mentioned on the dedication page of Part One and Part Two. His nephew and executor, Peter, kindly placed the books with VGS. I am thrilled to learn that Leonard is to be awarded a posthumous honorary doctorate at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, Surrey, British Columbia, on May 20, 2015, in recognition of his role as one of the five founders of the Langley School of Music.
Church of Ireland registers for County Carlow can be found at http://ireland.anglican.org/about/160; they are indexed here. In the register of Barragh Church is information about children of Major Beauchamp Colclough, who was Crown Agent for Kildare Township (1822). His older son, Captain Guy Carleton Colclough, was the Crown Agent at Rawdon (1823-1825). Both were British military officers (Yeomanry) from County Carlow. I found data about these men and their families in a number of sources, including a connection to Sir Guy Carleton, the first governor of Quebec. (See Colclough in Supplements.) A clarification about Guy Colclough is made on page 505, footnote 2 of Updates. In the register of St. Fiaac's Church, Clonegal there are a number of DIXON families and in the records of St. Mary's Church, Newtownbarry there are many records for RALPH. They may be of interest to anyone connected to the Kildare Township families who reported to be from Carlow on the 1852 Census and in other sources.
Blair Rourke has been working on his Rawdon ancestors and has reviewed Up To Rawdon entries in his research. His fine-tooth comb collected some nits, which are corrected in updates. Michael Samuel Rourke was born in 1832 according to his baptism; see page 19. Correction of page 430, footnote 3, which should say the pictures of St. George's, Wexford appear on page 1068 above footnote 18. Clarifications concerning the Rourke family have been made to the text on pages 1025 - 1028. Thank you, Blair, for your attention to detail. The Irish-Protestant settlers at Rawdon appear to have been almost all of English origin; although, Blair wonders if the Rourke family were actually Irish and has been giving it some thought. I have been reading about Cromwell and the clearance of the native Irish in To Hell or Barbados, the Ethnic Cleansing of Ireland by Sean O'Callaghan (Brandon 2000). The first English settlers in Ireland arrived in Elizabethan times but the majority were settled after 1653-1654. The mainly Catholic Irish nobility, gentry and leading proprietors and any Protestant Royalists, if not executed or transported, were transplanted to the poorer parts of Connaught as their properties in Ulster, Munster and Leinster were required for the English planters. Ploughmen, farm labourers and the working classes remained in these districts to provide support. I have found the English origins of only a few the Rawdon Irish-Protestants and wonder if others have been more successful in identifying when their families went to Ireland.
When listing the children of James Mason and Mary Armstrong, page 541, their son John Mason was omitted and his death was conflated with text for his brother Richard Mason. Blair brought this to my attention. In an earlier update, the omission of the youngest son, of James and Mary, Thomas Mason, was corrected. Thank you to Blair Rourke and Neil Broadhurst.
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
Since publication in February 2013, Up To Rawdon has been a top seller at lulu.com in soft cover and in e-book (PDF). Read the reviews of Part One and Part Two. You are invited to add your opinion on the Lulu site.
Lulu instituted a price change for Part One in December 2015, but the original 2013 manuscript has not been revised or changed in any way.
Thank you to those who have purchased Up To Rawdon and to those who have recommended it to others.
Published in two parts, it is a distillation of years of research into the early history of Rawdon Township, Quebec. You may search the Book index (above) for the principal family names in both parts of the book. The chapters are alphabetically arranged by family name and include most of the Protestant and many of the Catholic families settled before 1850. Part Two completes the family chapters and includes some on emigration, churches, school and other the background material.
About twice a year a letter goes to the Up To Rawdon mailing list. (That list is private and not shared with anyone). View previous letters. If you would like to receive future letters, please suscribe.
Up To Rawdon traces the origins of more than 250 families who settled at Rawdon between 1820 and 1850. Rawdon's population peaked in 1852 and though some descendants still live at Rawdon, others left for the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Ontario, western Canada, New England and the American Midwest. The descendants of their large families may be found across North America and indeed around the Globe. Included are the first Rawdon settler Joseph Dugas, an Acadian-American and J. E. Burton, the first clergyman of any faith to live at Rawdon. He played a prominent role in the story of the first school and the first church in the township.
The book is a very personal account of Rawdon's history - all my ancestors began life in Canada at Rawdon between 1824 and 1832. It is based on my research in original sources and includes stories entrusted to me by individuals from many families. 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.The Up To Rawdon website contains supplementary information to the chapters on more than twenty families that could not be included in the book itself. Also, there are unique research files, most of which are not found elsewhere on the Internet; they are free to anyone interested in the families and history of the township. Corrections of the original text and additional material, with reference to the particular page are regularly made in this printable file: Author's & Readers' Updates.
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