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Talbot Times 1982 June



Newsletter of the




VOL. I        ISSUE 2                    JUNE 1982


Elgin County Branch, O.G.S.

From the Kent County branch newsletter, we learned about your new branch. The Annett family tree members came from England to Elgin County. Here’s a brief history of the Robert Annett family who came to Elgin County:

Captain Robert Annett’s son, Philip Annett, born 18 August 1810, when nineteen years old, and his sister, Louisa, age fifteen years, came with a neighbour named Silcox to Canada in 1829. They were six weeks on the ocean in a sailing vessel. In 1831 Robert Annett, his wife Sara Mines, with seven more of the family came to the woods of Southwold, near St. Thomas.  George, Joseph, Stephen, Noah, Jeremiah, Jane and Eliza came with their parents.  Three other children (Robert, Charles and Elizabeth deceased~ remained in England. Jeremiah married and remained in Southwold Township, Elgin County. Noah later settled near Glencoe, Middlesex. Robert Annett with four sons and three daughters went on to Euphemia Township, Lambton County.

Robert settled on Lot East half 29, Conc. 9. Joseph settled on the same farm. Philip settled on Lot West half 29, Conc. 9, George and Stephen purchased farms near there. George also owned and operated a cheese factory. Eliza married Robert Sutton, Jane married Edward Arnold, Louisa married Joseph Arnold and moved to Indiana. All except Eliza had families.

Perhaps you might want to use the above-mentioned info in your newsletter.

Yours truly, Mrs. N. (Noreen) S. Annett, 1403 Ryan St, , Victoria
B.C. V8R 2V9    (dated 16 May, 1982.)

APRIL MEETING— Our monthly meeting was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints on Elm St., St. Thomas. Our group is going to zero—in on cemetery recordings of Elgin. Our first co—ordinators “volunteered”. D. Van Seader will be the co—ordinator in Aldborough, Mrs. Norma Smith in Yarmouth, and Mrs. I. Begg, Ian Begg and Mrs. Marg Daugharty in Southwold.

A motion from the floor to have a voluntary collection at each meeting was passed unanimously.  A sum of $25 was collected. It certainly helps with the expenses. The fees for 1983 were set at $6 for an individual branch membership and $8 for a family membership.

Don Carroll, of the West Elgin Genealogical and Historical Society, spoke briefly about the foundation of the society. The society does extensive displays at the Dutton Games.  In 1981 the society decided to concentrate on transcribing cemeteries. Mr. Carroll then introduced the guest speakers, Irving Thomas, artist and philatelist, and Keith Kelly, Reeve of Aldborough Township.

Mr. Thomas spoke about the background of the postage stamp and about the early beginnings of the Canadian Postal System. Mr. Kelly followed this with a look at early post offices in West Elgin. Many well—known names are associated with the early postmasters (list included in this issue) of the area. Unfortunately Mr. Kelly was unable to finish his talk on the early post offices in the west end of Elgin as time ran out. It is hoped that he will be back some day to finish his talk.

was held at the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints in St. Thomas. We now have a post office box. Our official address is -  Elgin County Branch, OGS, P.O. Box 416, St. Thomas, ON N5P 3V2.

Steve Peters, vice—chairman, introduced the guest speaker, Ed Phelps of the Regional Collection at the D.B. Weldon Library, the University of Western Ontario.

Mr. Phelps spoke about the development of records in the Elgin area. Up until 1849, Elgin was part of the London District along with Oxford, Middlesex, Perth and Huron. In 1827 London was made the seat of government for the area and all officials were asked to send their records to London. This did not sit well with some officials, especially a Mr. Walsh of Simcoe. He refused to move to London and retained his records in Simcoe (records dating back to 1800). Mr. Phelps said this was fortunate because all the records of London District burnt in the great fire of 1846. Elgin and Middlesex wills of the period 1838 to 1846 were lost. However during the 1970’s Mr. Walsh’s old records were found in the vaults of the old Simcoe court house. Wills, deeds and receipts back to 1800 were discovered.

Up to 1850 the Clerk of the Peace was in charge of registering wills, assessment rolls, etc. After 1850, the new county governments took over. The assessment rolls for Elgin County from 1858 to 1912 still exist. They are available at the Regional Collection, D.B. Weldon Library. Mr. Phelps also noted that school census books were an excellent source of information for genealogists. Many of these books have disappeared or are in private hands and not available to the public.

Anyone having information on 1) old school census books, 2) copies of the Aylmer Express prior to 1890 or after 1945, 3) church records or 4) foresters lodge records should contact Mr. Phelps.

We have been very fortunate to have such well informed speakers, our thanks to Irving Thomas, Keith Kelly and Ed Phelps.



Aldborough Township - D. Van Seader
Southwold Township - Mrs. I. Begg, Mrs. M. Daugharty, Ian Begg
Yarmouth Township - Mrs. Norma Smith

We still need co-ordinators for South Dorchester, Malahide and Bayham Townships.

MELLOR CEMETERY - Joyce Locke has recorded and measured the stones in the Mellor Cemetery (also known as White’s Station Cemetery) and it will be turned over to the Southwold co-ordinators shortly. This cemetery is located in Southwold Township, Elgin County “South part, lot 4, range 2 ERR” (East River Road). The last burial took place in 1922.

LOVE CEMETERY - Aldborough Township, Conc. 12, lot 23 is presently being recorded by the members of the West Elgin Genealogical and Historical Society.


On the south side of the west end of Wellington Road, there is a steep hill covered with trees, wild flowers, brush and at the very top stands a huge stone monument.  The names inscribed on it are as follows:

                Silas Toles             1791    — 1871
                Margaret Toles      1794    — 1840
                Anna Toles              1818    — 1829

The slopes fall off on all sides of the stone, which makes it an ideal location for the spirits of these pioneers to watch over the country they helped to build so long ago.

Silas Toles was a Dutchman born May 28, 1791 in New York State.  He came to Canada with the United Empire Loyalists and fought in the war of 1812.  He was wounded at the battle of Lundy’s Lane. Toles was given this land as recognition of his services in the war.

In 1813 Silas was planning to marry Margaret Kelley of Niagara Falls.  The Kelleys did not approve of having a Dutchman marry their daughter and so Silas and Margaret eloped.  It is said, that they eloped to the tune of bullets.  They married in St. Thomas and the family soon accepted it and became friendly.  Silas and Margaret raised ten children.

The Kelleys were suspected of taking part in the 1837 rebellion and the Toles house was searched because they thought the Kelley’s might be hiding there.  Mrs. Toles did not like the intrusion and broke a chair over the head of the investingating officer.  They decided to have one of their boys stand guard every night to stop any further intrusions of this kind.  One of the boys, looking for some excitement took a shot at a pig that was running past.  The family wanted to know what he was shooting at and were told that when no one answered when he called out, “Who goes there?”, he fired.

Silas was a school trustee, and heard that a teacher was not performing his duties pro perly, and so he sat in on the classes.  Everything went along well until the spelling match, when the teacher corrected a student. Silas told the teacher that the student was right and a fight errupted.  The teacher struck Silas with a cane, which was a mistake, because Silas gave him a threshing and ended up in jail for 30 days, he also had to pay a $60. fine.  Silas was right about the spelling of the word.

Mrs. Toles and the children were picking berries one day when they were surprised by a bear.  Their screams were heard by some of the men, who chased the bear down the hill to a hotel, which stood by the London road (where it turned up to St. Thomas).  The bear charged into the barroom and wrecked the interior.  It was finally killed at an Indian encampment.

One of the Toles was known for inventing a new type of crosscut saw.

Margaret Toles died in 1840 on her way home from church.  Silas married again to Jane Benjafield Wilton.  He died in 1871.

In the September of 1932, the Toles descendants met on the hill by the grave site.  There were 110 of them.  T.W. Weyburn was the organizer and the committee included F.W. Toles, of Galt; H.B. Brodie of London.  These descendants hired Mr. Travers ofTalbotville to erect the stone that now stands on the hill.  Prior to this, the graves  were marked by a wire fence.

The information for this article was from an old London Free Press Newspaper clipping,  date unknown, supplied by Don Cosens.  Thanks Don.


KERR — Mr. Eugene P. Amos seeks info on John & Jannet Kerr listed in 1861 Southwold census.  Is John bro. to Alexander, Archibald and Colin Kerr also listed in 1861 Southwold census?  Any Kerrs buried in Southwold Township cemeteries, John, Jennet, etc?  1861 census John age 40 b. Scotland, Jennet age 31 b. Scotland.  1871 census John age 60 b. Scotland, Baptist.  Jenet age 47, b. Scotland, Baptist.  Dau. Margaret married Helmut Zoll/Ross Oct. 6, 1872 in Caradoc.  For further info contact Tony Hofstee. If you have any info please let Tony know.

BALDWIN — #6455, Morley John Baldwin requests any info Charles Bridgman Baldwin m. Susie Hawley, July 24, 1916; and John Webster Baldwin m. Rachel Lanbier, Sept. 4, 1939. Can you help? (address membership list)

WILLSON—WINTEMUTE — searching for desc. of Mordecai Willson and Rachel Van Syckle who came to Southwold Township, Middlesex just prior to Elgin being formed, from Ancaster district.  Also desc. of Benjamin Wintemute and Esterann Melvina Willson b. 1840 both d. 1916 - Esther ann d. Vancouver, B.C.  Eldest dau. taught Alma College, St. Thomas, went to Japan m. Harper Coates both were missionaries there. #7248 Mrs. Norma Smith,

SEAKIN - All occurrences to Mrs. Joyce Locke

OFFER OF HELP - #2634 Mrs. Ceclia Casey,will be visiting Ireland, Scotland and England, July 4 to 26. If she can help, let her know.

The following is a list of West Elgin Post Offices giving their opening and closing dates, also a list of the Post masters.

1.    Port Talbot         1820 - 1870 reopened 1875 - 1914

1820 -               M. Burwell
1853-1865        John Clarke
1867-1870        Geo. Macbeth
1875-1891        Andrew Lunn
1891-1904         John Brown
1904-1914        Thomas Lunn

2.     Aldboro (New Glasgow) 1831 - 1913

Donald Currie (school teacher) P.O. in school
1839    (resigned)     J. McDougald
1839-1841        Duncan McDiarmid
1841-                 Ewen McKinlay
    -1857             (died) John McDougald
1858-1865        Donald McDougald
1865-1871        (left the place) Luther Carpenter
1871-1895        Sam Kirkpatrick
1895-1900        D.H. McIntyre
1903-1905        Mrs. D.H. McIntyre
1905-1913        Mrs. Betsy Shoultz

3.        Tyrconnel        1837 -1913

1842-                  Jas. Patterson
1842-                 Leslie Patterson
1853-1854        Thomas Coyne
1855-1858        Jas. Blackwood
1859-1860        Joseph Mitchell
1862-1867        Peter Cameron
1867-1874        Meredith Conn
1874-1883        Samuel Harris
1883-1884        Rev. John Sanderson
1885-1889        John O'Brian
1890-1899        Atkinson Conn
1900-1902        Mrs. Adela Payson
1902-1910        Mrs. Allan Page
1910-1912        Geo. Bexton
1912-1913        Jas. Page

4.     lona             1852 - 1963

1852-                 J. DeCow
1854-1863        Wm. Harris
1863-1868        Daniel Decow
1868-1872        John Philpott
1873-1891        Edmond Roche
1891-1917        Miss Bella Roche
1918-1935        J.0. Lumley    Mrs. Mary Lumley (acting)
1935-1944         Wm. W. Lumley
1944 (acting)-1945    Wm. John Lee Westover    
1946(act.ing)-1960(death)    Ray W. Lumley
1960-1963            Mrs. Mae Lumley

5.     Wallacetown         1852 -

1852-1855        A. M. Gunn
1855-1856        D. Gunn
1856-                J. Mayhew
1856-1857        N.D. Mickle
1857-1860        Angus Rose
1860-1873        John McKillop
1873-1879        A.E. St. Th. Barclay
1880-1894        Robert Gunn
1894-1910        Wm. Cusack
1910-1937        Emily Cusack
1939-1960        Mrs. Blanch Rietz
1960 (acting)    Clifford Reitz
1961-(acting)    Mrs. Mary Sloan
1981-                 Mrs. Wallace Pfaff

6.    Brocks Creek         1855 - 1856

    1855-1856        Donald McKillop

7.        Largie            1856-1866,    1868-1871,    1873-1884

        1855-1856        Neil McEachran
        1857-1965        D. McCallum
        1868-1870        Archibald Leitch
        1870-1871        Hugh McPherson
        1873-1884        Allen McPherson

8.     Clachan         1858 - 1915

1858-1867        Jas Marchbank
1868-1870        Dunc. McPhail
1870-1871        Joel Eastman
1871-1875        Dunc. McColl
1876-1881        Charles Jennings
1881-1882        Dunc. McColl
1883-                   Mrs. Mary Carnes
1884-1886        Fred Sticker
1887-1888        Jas. Chase
1889-1892        D.D. McColl
1893-1901        L. Patterson
1901-1910        Mrs. Susan Patterson
1910-1915        J.L. Patterson

9.     Crinan            1859-1967

1859-1892        Dunc McIntyre
1892-1916        John McIntyre
1916-1942        Mrs. Jessie McIntyre
1942-1967        Mrs. Edna McIntyre

10.     Cowal

1863-1871        Neil McBride
1871-1875        Grant Silcox
1875-1885        Jas. McDougall
1886-1888        John Battin
1888-1891        John Thompson
1891-1904        Daniel Thompson
1904-1906        John Thompson
1906-1906        J.A. McGugan
1906-1911        Alex McLachlin
1913-1913        Ruben Adams

11.    Eagle            1863 - 1913

1863-1871        Wm. Mowbray
1871-1872        Elisha Budd Stuart
1873 -1874        Colin Gillies
1874-1913        Philip Lindenman

12.     Rodney            1865 -

    1865-1902        Albert Humphrey
    1902-1912        John S. McGugan
    1912-1927        Donald G. McPherson
    1928-1958        John Messerschmid
    1958-1966        Alice Paterson
    1966-1973        Wallace Pfaff
    1973(acting) 1975-1978 Mrs. P. Lewis
    1973-1975        W.N. Morey
    1978-1978         Steven Pfaff

13.     West Lorne         1873-

1873-1919        Dunc. McKillop
1919-1924        W.J. Wakeling
1924-1925        Cliff Hall
1925-1958        Jas. P. Scott
1958-1978        Mrs. Irene Telford
1978-                   G.N. Freele

14.     Dutton            1887 -

1874-1912        Archibald Leitch
1912-1922        A.A. McKillop
1943                    Mrs. B. Blanchard
1943-1967        Jack A. McNeil
1967-1977        Henry C. Davis
1977-1978        Mrs. K. Ahrens
1978                   Mrs. L. Carroll
1978                    Steven Pfaff

15    Iona Station        1875-

    1875-1879        Dunc Galbraith
    1880-1883        Dan Decow
    1883-1888        Wm. Henderson
    1888-1894        Jas. J. Campbell
    1894-1912        Joseph Gage
    1912-1921        Alfred Widdifield
    1921-1940        D. J. McBride
    1941-1960        A.M. McBride
    1960 (acting)        Alfred Richie
    1961-1965        Wilfred Richie
    1965-1967         Mrs. E. Richie
    1967 (acting)        Mrs. Winnifred Brown
    1967-1978        R. T. Hudson
    1978-1978        Carol LeCourtois

16.     Campbellton        1875 — 1930

    1875-1881        Neil McBride
    1882-1898        Mrs. Mary McKeracher
    1898-1903        John Searle
    1903-1906        Sam Sowden
    1906-1911        John Gill
    1911-1920        A.C. Turner
    1920-1925        George Percival
    1926-1937        Miss Mary McPherson

17.    Kintyre            1894 — 1913

    1894-1903        Jas. Fleming
    1903-1909        Neil Brodie
    1909-1913        Miss Sarah Brodie

We wish to thank the West Elgin Genealogical & Historical Society and especially Keith Kelly for making their Post Office research available to us.

When Post Offices were first established in West Elgin, and particularly at Port Talbot, mail was either brought overland or by boat from Niagara.

In 1832 Collins Handy took the contract to carry the mail on horseback from Kettle Creek (St. Thomas) to Amherstburg and Fort Malden. This was a weekly trip through dense forest west of Clearville.

There is no record of anyone else carrying the mail after Mr. Handy but it is known that stage coaches from St. Thomas through Middlemarch, lona, Wallacetown and Aldborough carried it. From these drop off points it was carried on horseback inland to settlers.

With the coming of the Great Western Railroad in 1854 through Newbury and Glencoe, mail was brought overland to Aldborough. Later with the coming of the Canada Southern Railway in 1872, the pattern of mail delivery changed again. Finally in 1913, rural mail delivery began in general in this area and continues to this day.

BOOK REPORT - “THE PLAINS” by Jean I. Griffin

The First Yarmouth Regular Baptist Church known as The Plains has published a very complete and well-indexed book of their history.

It contains 98 pages beginning in 1830, with List of Charter Members, Minutes of meetings, reference to other Baptist churches in the district, Baptisms 1830 to present, List of Deacons 1832—1981, List of Clerks 1833 to present, 1899 Membership List, Choir Leaders 1894 on, Sunday School Superintendents 1891—1980, “1842” Sunday School Membership, The Old Plains Cemetery list with first burial May 1818, The Seminary Cemetery records - earliest burial 1820. “The Plains” also includes “List of Burials from the minutes of four local graveyards”.

This book “The Plains” is available from - Mrs. Harvey Barrett, R. R. #5, St. Thomas, Ontario NSP 3S9 (phone (519) 631-4058) for $6.00. “The Plains" is well written with tender loving care.