VOL. II ISSUE 4 DECEMBER 1983
WE HAVE COME OF AGE
After two years the Elgin County Branch of the Ontario Genealogical society has grown and reached maturity. In our first year, we were held together by our Chairman and founder Tony Hofstee and his wife Anna as Treasurer and Secretary. In our first project of recording the cemeteries of Elgin County, we received assistance in many ways from others. At our November 9th, we gave instead of receiving. The members unanimously voted to give $100. toward the restoration of St. Thomas Church. It is 164 years old and the first building in St. Thomas to be designated by the Ontario Heritage Foundation as an historical edifice. It is the oldest church between Windsor and the Mohawk Chapel at Brantford.
The first project is to put heat and lights into the church, hopefully, by Christmas. Before any other repairs are made the building must be dried to prevent further rotting of the wooden structure. Then repairs can be made to the roof, steeple, walls, etc.
As a member of the Fund Raising Committee for restoration of the old Church and a charter member of the Elgin Branch, of the O.G.S., I am very proud that our donation was the very first to be received.
Perhaps there are some of our 200 members who would like to make a personal donation. It would really be appreciated.
Editor’s Note: Donations can be sent in care of our branch, and we will get them to the proper authorities.
SEPTEMBER meeting was held at Central Elgin Collegite Institute Resource Centre. Wayne Gliddon, student project co-ordinator for the summer works project spoke briefly on the cemeteries the students had recorded this summer. They started with the Brayne Cemetery at Port Stanley and completed 37 cemeteries. He said the smallest cemetery that they worked on had two stones and the largest, Aylmer with 4,000 stones. Twenty-seven were typed by them and some are now ready for sale.
OCTOBER- A pat on the back to our members. You have accomplished a great deal in a very short time. Over 70% of the Elgin County Cemetery stones have been recorded. That is a lot of work. Congratulations, one and all.
Our queries are to be indexed by Brenda Edmonds and will be available to our members at a later date. Thanks Brenda.
We exchanged a set of our completed cemeteries with the Eva Brook Donly Museum in Simcoe for a copy of the “Haldimand-Norfolk Marriages” (it has many Elgin people listed) and also a copy of the “Boughner-Buckner Family.”
Our speaker for the evening was Al Hutchison of the Ideal Monument Works (London) Ltd., of London, Ontario. Marking graves goes back 20,000 years and is one of the world’s oldest traditions. “Memorials are raised because someone lived, not died.” In the beginning, heaping stones on graves to protect them from animals was the first marking of graves, he went on to explain burial customs. He explained the different types of stone used and the reason for using them.
Mr. Hutchison brought an excellent film titled “The Terry Fox Memorial.” The memorial was erected outside of Thunder Bay on the Trans-Canada Highway between Nipigon and Thunder Bay. It was build out of 20 sections of bronze. The film showed the construction of the monument from the selecting of the huge pieces of granite from Vermont and the sculptor casting the bronze to the unveiling in June 26, 1982.
NOVEMBER Helen Pincombe moved that we make a donation of $100. to the restoration fund of the old “St. Thomas Church.” The motion passed unanimously ( J. Fred Green a prominent, retired St. Thomas Architect has offered his services free of charge to supervise the restoration.)
Arnold Nethercott spoke on the United Empire Loyalists. They are celebrating their bicentennial in 1984, and are hoping to double their membership.
To qualify for membership in the U.E.L. one has to be able to trace their ancestory (with documented proof) back to the United Empire Loyalists c 1873. If one of your immediate relatives has already proven their line, you can use their lineage provided you can prove your relationship.
Affiliated Membership is available for U.S. citizens provided they can qualify as to U.E.L. ancestory.
The U.E.L. address for procedure and forms is -
The United Empire Loyalist Association of Canada
23 Prince Arthur
Toronto, Ontario MSR 1B2
The following descriptions were taken from Armstrong & Co’s County of Elgin Gazeteer
& Directory for 1872
TOWNSHIP OF YARMOUTH- This excellent Township is divided into North and South
Divisions- and may be regarded as the garden of the County, in point of soil &c.
The town of St. Thomas, with the villages of Port Stanley, Sparta, Orwell, Union,
and several other important places lie within this Township. It contains
70,000 acres; assessed at $1,771.71. The population is 5,563.
NEW SARUM- A post village in the Township of Yarmouth, situated on the Talbot Street, 7 miles from St. Thomas and 5 miles from Aylmer, It contains a good church--the regular Baptist, a handsome frame building; seated for 300 persons. Two hotels; a store and a post office. This village is designed to be a station on the G.W.A.L.R.R. Mails daily. Population 150.
Close, Lorenzo, laborer Oakes, Robert, do
Drullard, Mrs. widow Sanders, Richard, Blacksmith
Deo, Benjamin, carpenter Slater, L. proprietor of New
Lock, Mrs. Mary, widow Sarum Hotel
Luton, William, retired Wilton, Samuel, P.M. and merchant
McMaster, L., Inn Keeper Wilton, William, blacksmith
Norton, John, carpenter
YARMOUTH CENTRE - A post village in the Township of Yarmouth, on the Talbot Street.
Distant from St. Thomas 4 miles, and 8 miles from Aylmer. There is at this place a large tannery, carried on by Geprge Newcombe. Mr. Marlatt’s cheese factory and a good hotel kept by Mr. G.A. Parlee, in first class style. Mails daily. Population 100.
Bowr, David, farmer Marlatt, J, cheese manufacotry
Busee, Chas, blacksmith Newcombe, George, tanner & currier Calvert, Joseph, school teacher Newcombe, Abraham, farmer
Doan, Elgin, artist Newcombe, Webster, farmer
Evely, W, veterinary surgeon Newcombe, William, postmaster / merchant Hadden, Wm, farmer Parlee, C.A., prop. Yarmouth Centre Hotel
James, Wm, painter Phillips, E. shoemaker
Mann, W, lumber merchant Sanders, Wm & Bros, carpenters, &c
Webb, Samuel, Shoemaker Small, Nathan, blacksmith
Newsletters from O.G.S. Branches and Exchange Members
Calling All Condons by Audrey Delaney and Judy Potter Baird.
Boughner/ Buchner Family History
Haldimand County Marriages
Norfolk County Marriages
Member Family Histories
Some of our Members have asked what books are available on Elgin County as well as books of genealogical nature. We have started a list of our own books and will provide a list at a later date of what is available at local libraries.
Old Sparta by Charles S. Buck
Elgin Branch Books stored at the Central Elgin Collegiate Institute Resource Centre on Chestnut Street, St. Thomas -
A Bibliography of Elgin County and St. Thomas, Ontario by Gordon Ripley
Canadian Patents of Elgin County by Tom Bonano
Biographical Sketches of Some of the Residents of Elgin C ounty
That’s the Way It Was: A Tribute to Vienna.
Aylmer: A Walk Through Time by Sue L. McConnel
Old Port Bruce by M.G. McKnight
History of Corinth by Fred Lindsay
Belmont: Beneath the Surface by Heather Hudson
Town Book: Township of Bayham
St. Thomas and Its Men of Affairs
School Library at the above address- we have access to these.
St. Thomas is Proud of by Mary Sanders
Ghosts of Elgin’s Past by Hugh Sims
Vignettes of Early St. Thomas by W. C. Miller
The Talbot Regime by Ermatinger
Historical Sketches of Elgin County
Life of Colonel Talbot by Ermatinger
The Elgins by Curchin & Sum
Pictorial Port Stanley by Frank Prothero
London ~ Port Stanley Railway 1915 - 1965: A Pictorial History by Glen Curnoe
Alma College 1877 - 1977
A Pioneer History : Elgin County
Steam and Petticoats by Wayne Paddon
Talbot Settlement by Wayne Paddon
Reminiscences of Early Settlers & Other Records
Aldritches Pocket Directory of the Town of Aylmer April, 1888.
We would like to hear from anyone that has completed research on on their family particular one with any Elgin County connection.
LIST OF REEVES AND MAYORS, 1852-1983
VILLAGE Incorporated in 1852
1852 - 1855 David Parish
1856 Edward Ermatinger
1857 Asa Howard
1858 Thomas Arkell
1859 Archibald McIntyre
1860 Geo. Southwick M.D.
TOWN Incorporated in 1861
1861 M. T. Moore
1862 - 1864 Geo. Southwick M.D.
1865 - 1871 Thos. Arkell
1872 Archibald McLachlin
1873 - 1876 Daniel Drake
1877 - 1878 D. McLarty
1879 - 1880 John E. Smith
CITY Incorporated in 1881
1881- 1882 Wm. C. Vanbuskirk M.D
1883 E.W. Gustin M.D.
1884 - 1885 Edward Horton
1886 John E. Smith
1887 - 1888 John Midgley
1889 - 1890 Israel Morse
1891 - 1892 Robert McCulley
1893 - 1894 Geo. L. Oille
1895 - 1896 Wm. E. Idsardi
1897 - 1898 Fred W. Wright
1899 - 1900 Patrick Meehan
1901 - 1902 Sperrin Chant
1903 - 1904 Chas. F. Maxwell
1905 Thomas Meek
1906 - 1907 Calvin Lawrence
1908 - 1909 Geo. Geddes
1910 - 1911 Fred Guest M.D.
1912 - 1913 R.N. Price
1914 - 1915 M.B. Johnson
1916 - 1917 Wm. Trott
1918 - 1919 E.A. Horton
1920 - 1921 F.L. Brinkman
1922 - 1923 Chas. E. Raven
1924 - 1925 George H. Sloggett
1926 - 1927 John Handford
1928 - 1929 Wm. Stokes
1930 - 1933 John A. Jagoe
1934 - 1935 Angus Johnson
1936 - 1938 Ernest Duckworth
1939 - 1940 Peter Laing
1941 - 1943 George T. Dyer
1944 - 1945 Thomas H. Currah
1946 Richard Sanders, K.C.
1947 - 1949 J. Bruce Caldwell
1950 John F. Peterson
1950 - 1951 E.C. Gliddon, M.D.
1952 - 1954 Thomas H. Currah
1955 - 1956 Peter Laing
1957 - 1958 John M. Stirling
1959 - 1964 Vincent A. Barrie
1965 - 1966 Donald R. Stokes
1967 - 1968 Vincent A. Barrie
1969 - 1971 E.O. Fanjoy
1971 - 1974 Eber J. Rice
1975 - 1976 Wayne Neal
1977 - 1978 Clifford Barwick
1979 - 1980 Donald Hitch
1981 - 1983 Douglas Tarry
The information for this article was taken from the “ANNUAL REPORTS” of the Offices of Corporation of the CITY OF ST. THOMAS 1943; Vignettes of Early St. Thomas by W.C. Miller, and also from the St. Thomas-Times Journal.
ST. THOMAS CHURCH & CHURCHYARD
Our own local members are familiar with our lovely little St. Thomas Church, complete with churchyard (which is in remarkably good repair) and latch gate.
It is also sometimes referred to as the ‘Old English Church on Walnut Street”. (Colonel Talbot would only allow Church of England ministers and services in his county.) The church until now has been maintained by the Trinity Anglican Church of St. Thomas. It has been classed a Heritage Building by the Ontario Heritage Foundation as an historical edifice.
The following is a brief history copied from “St. Thomas’ Churches’ in the book St. Thomas And Its Men of Affairs printed in 1914.
The history of St. Thomas’ churches dates back to the early part of the last century. In 1820-22, Rev. Dr. Stewart, fifth son of the Earl of Galloway, labored in the district which extended from Port Talbot to Bayham and included London. In 1821 Captain Daniel Rapelje, the original owner of Lot No. 1, Concession 8, Yarmouth, deeded to Rev. Dr. Stewart the ground on which the old St. Thomas church and churchyard now are. The present old St. Thomas church (the oldest church building in the city), was erected in 1823-24. The first communion was celebrated the following year, 1825, and the first confirmation was administered in 1827 by Rev. Dr. Stewart, then Bishop of Quebec. The first pastor was Rev. A. McIntosh. The first marriage was that of Benjamin Pettit and Lydia Johnson, which was witnessed by Col. Talbot, founder of the district and John Warren, Josiah Goodhue and Bella Shaw.
Succeeding Dr. McIntosh as rector of the old church were Rev. E. J. Boswell, who served but a few months to be followed by Rev. Mark Burnham, who remained for twenty-three years. He was succeeded by Rev. St. George Caulfield, who was rector for twenty years. It was during Dr. Caulfield’s pastor ship that Rev. Maurice Baldwin, afterwards Bishop of the Diocese was ordained and became his curate. On the registration of Rev. (the Canon) Caulfield about 1872, Rev. Jeffery Hill succeeded. Rev. Mr. Kellogg became rector in 1874 and Rev. T. C. Des Barres in 1877.
Old St. Thomas Churchyard
by Miss Hattie Robinson - taken in part from St. Thomas and Its Men of Affairs printed in 1914.
“The Old St. Thomas churchyard on Walnut street formed part of lot 1, 8th Concession of Yarmouth, comprising 200 acres, and was patented from the crown in 1815 by Daniel Rapelje, of Huguenot descent, who came with his family from Long Point in 1811 and built a log house on top of the hill. His two sons dying, one in 1818, the other in 1819, and not wishing them buried in unconsecrated ground, he laid them in the most beautiful spot on his farm. In the year 1821, he deeded the parcel of land adjoining, upon which the old church and graveyard and Thomas Williams Home now stands, for church, rectory and burial purposes, to the Rev. Dr. Stewart, soon after appointed Bishop of the whole of what is now Ontario and Quebec.
The grounds facing Church street present in summer a beautiful appearance, gay with masses of scarlet flowers and well kept green grass. A venerable willow tree, the last of a row which at one time shaded the north side, stands near the entrance. This tree measures fifteen feet in circumference with large hollows in the trunk.”
Ed. Note: A lovely litch gate is now at the entrance way. If you come to visit be sure to bring your camera.
An excellent article is “Old St. Thomas Churchyard” by Miss Hattie Robinson in St. Thomas and Its Men of Affairs printed 1914. This article often describes the stones where they are located in the cemetery, and other bits of information vital to Genealogy, including place of origin and sometimes even a profession. The following list of family names was taken from this article.
Our thanks goes to Susan Christman for the following contribution
Poem by an unknown author
If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row,
Would you be proud of them?
Or Don’t you really know?
Strange discoveries are sometimes made in climbing the family tree,
Occasionally one is found in line who shocks his progency.
If you could see your ancestors all standing in a row,
Perhaps there would be one or two you wouldn’t care to know.
Now turn the question round about and take another view -
When you shall meet your ancestors - will they be proud of you?
Elgin Branch Members will be allowed two (2) queries free of charge in each newsletter. We will read any queries at our general meeting, but will charge $3.00 per query per newsletter for non-members.
BARCLAY-BENTLEY-SINCLAIR, Jane Barclay dau Rev George and Janet (TULLIS) Barclay of Cupar Fife Sct, settled Pickering Twp Ont m Randall Spencer Bentley 1800-1893 dau Maria Bentley 1827 - 1901 m Duncan Sinclair lived Owen Sound - Meaford. Family moved from Markham to South Dorchester ca 1847. Info to Jean Kane,
MATHEWS - Jehu b 1842 d 1911 bd Richmond m. Catharine E. --- 1845 - 1906; Jeremiah b c 1838, Elizabeth b c 1844. Lived on part of lot 109 NTR in 1850-80 period at least. Name changed from Mather and Mather-Moore. Need any info on descendants. to Betty Calvert,
TUMMON - All occurrences of Tummon to Mrs. Eileen L. Mycroft,
LAUR - Ervine b c1855 in Ontario m c1878 and wife Julia (Firby) b c1860 Malahide. Dau Jessie b 1879. May also have been son. Lived on part lot 33 con 8 Malahide unil 1906. May have second wife Lovela by 1906. Need any descendants. Info to Betty Calvert,
NICHOLS-MERRITT Abram Nichols b Delaware Co NY 1798 m 1832 Yarmouth to Mary Merritt b Halifax c 1813 d Kansas 1898 (m2 James Call) lived Morpeth to 1856. Eliza Merritt, Mary’s sister, m George Clarke b US lived Ekfrid Twp, Middlesex. Need parents and siblings and any reference to Nichols or Merritt in Elgin pre 1832. Info to Mary Knox,
CAMPBELL-McBRIDE Mary Campbell b 1832 Scotland, d 1862 Port Burwell m Captain Alexander McBride 1846. ch Ann (c 1846), John (c 1848), d Bay City, MI 1891), Mary (c 1850 m T. Smith), Alice (c 1853 m. Robert Allen of Essex), Amelia (c 1856 m Dr. Alexander Sinclair, Paris 1891), Grace (c 1858). Any info to Jeannette Campbell Tyson,
CAMPBELL-BLACK Lachlin Campbell 1829-1906 m Nancy Black lived Drake St., St. Thomas, high constable of Elgin. ch John (c 1853), Duncan (c 1856), Neil (c 1857) who died Buffalo 1906, Dugald (c 1858) died Detroit 1908, Flor (c 1860) m. --- Cochrane lived in Winnipeg, Mary (c 1863) m J. T. Griffin died in Winnipeg 1903, Agnes (c 1866) m George Davey, St. Thomas. Any info to Jeannette Campbell Tyson,
DAKINS-SLAUGHTER William H. Dakins (c 1883, d 1920) s/o William & Sermantha Slaughter m ? Vernna Millard (1895 - 1971) d/o Oliver & Syrena Montross. Need exact dates for William and any info on parents and siblings. Info to Anna Hofstee,
BERDAN-ROBERTS Mary Della Berdan (c 1870) d/o Jacob & Lucinda Hunter m 1895 Avon to John Roberts. Any info on Della and her parents to Tony Hofstee,
CAMPBELL, John H. b c 1839 Ontario m c 1865 to Mary b Scotland. John d 1921 St. Thomas, b Black’s Cemetery, Wallacetown, ch Robert (c 1867), Archibald (c 1869 to Muskegon, MI), Elizabeth (c 1870), Mary (1872 m Harry Knott), John (c 1874) to Detroit MI, James David (1874 m Augusta Jacob), Alexander (1877 m Sarah Jane Baker, Catherine (c 1880), Jessie (c 1881). Any info on above to Anna Hofstee,
ROWE-BLASHILL Edward Rowe d 1934 at age 70 said to be from pioneer Malahide family m ? Bessie Jane Blashill do George & Catherine of Malahile. Bessie d 1944. Any info to Tony Hofstee,
DOUGLAS-WHITING Thomas T. Douglas (c 1871 Townsend) s/o Thomas E. & Helen (perhaps buried Fairview, Dutton) m 1893 Waterford to Laura Ann Whiting d/o Samuel & Rachel Aspden. ch Mae (1895 Wallacetown), Charles (1896 Cowal), Nellie (Dunwich Twp) Any info on parents and grandparents of Mae, Charles and Nellie to John Douglas,
PORT STANLEY REEVES
The village of Port Stanley was incorporated in the year 1874. The right of the village to run its own affairs was granted by Elgin County Council and elections were called. The nomination meeting, held in the school, produced only enough candidates to fill the offices, so no election was required.
The first reeve of the village was Major’ John Ellison, assisted by four councilors, James Begg, Angus Gunn, Manuel Payne and Joe Young. The Clerk of the first council was Joseph Bostwick. Appointments were made to fill a number of positions in the village. The treasurer of the village was Henry Arkell. Property was to be assessed by Joseph Mitchell and the taxes collected by William Burgess. The license inspector was Sam Edgecombe and the pound keeper, George Young. Three younger members of the community, John Mitchell, Thomas Edgecomb and John Ellison, were introduced to municipal affairs, being appointed as fence viewers.
1857 John Ellison
1877 Manuel Payne
1882 John Ellison
1886 Manuel Payne
1893 James D. Ellison
1895 F.E. Shepard
1897 Alex Taylor
1899 C.A. Cromwell
1901 John M. Beaseley
1902 Alex Taylor
1904 W.A. Day
1905 Arthur MacDonald
1909 Wm. Jackson
1912 V.H. Taylor
1914 N.S. Cornell
1919 John Brumpton
1920 N.S. Cornell
1921 Geo. H. Jackson
1926 N.S. Cornell
1932 Ezra Fahner
1935 Joseph H. Burke
1938 W. Wheaton
1941 Dugald G. Brown
1943 Ezra Fahner
1944 Dugald G. Brown
1945 Mark G. Berry
1947 Joseph A. Monteith
1949 Mark G Berry
1950 Garnet Speers
1952 C.A. Bell
1954 Violet McCarthy
1957 Lloyd S. Gurr
1964 Violet McCarthy
1966 Lorne Keillor
1970 Stanley Speers
1973 John P. Nemett
1978 Charles Phillips
1980 Ray Lavereau
Information from the above article was taken from Port Stanley: Musings & Memories by Frank & Nancy Prothero.