Monday 3 July 2017

My Ancestors in Canada in 1867

In a June 27th blog post, Canada’s 150th Genealogy Challenge, on My Genealogy Life, Patricia Greber posted a list of her ancestors who were in Canada at the time of Canada’s Confederation in 1867. She then challenged others to list their ancestors who were also here at the time. It was an interesting exercise, one I not thought of doing before – looking at who was present in one region at one point in time in the past.

Following is a summary of some of my direct ancestors who came to, came through or had been born in Canada when the British North America Act, 1867 was passed.

For reference, Upper Canada colony merged with Lower Canada colony and became Canada West, in the Province of Canada, with the British Act of Union 1840. At the time of Confederation, on July 1st, 1867, each region became provinces on their own – respectively, Ontario and Quebec.

Many of my ancestors came to Canada directly from the British Isles. Gilbert and Margaret (Maitland) Anderson, my 3rd great-grandparents, arrived in Lanark County, Upper Canada from Stirlingshire, Scotland in 1832, with five children. They had another seven, all born in Lanark. From there they moved to Huron County. Gilbert died in Kippen, Huron County in 1871; Margaret also died there in 1886.

My Scottish-born 2nd great-grandfather, Robert Anderson, met his wife, Susan Phillipo, my 2nd great-grandparents, in Brant County, Canada West. They married in Brantford in 1854. Susan’s parents, John and Mary (Manson) Phillipo, also my 3rd great-grandparents, had come over from England in 1838 with three children. They had another four in Brantford. John and Mary died in Brantford in the 1880s.
Robert Anderson ca 1900
Susan (Phillipo) Anderson ca 1900

My great-grandmother, Margaret Mary Anderson, was born in Goderich, Huron County, Canada West, in 1857, as were her ten siblings. The family moved to North Dakota Territory, USA, in 1881. Robert and Susan died and were buried in Ransom County, North Dakota, she in 1905 and he in 1912.
Margaret Mary (Anderson) Thompson ca 1895
Margaret Mary Anderson met Newton Isaac Thompson, my great-grandfather, in North Dakota and they married there in 1884. Newton had been born in Dunnville, Haldimand County, Canada West, in 1859, and had come to the US with several family members in 1879.
Newton Isaac Thompson ca 1895
Newton’s father, John T. Thompson immigrated to Upper Canada from New York around 1835. He met his wife, Elizabeth Emerson, near Thorold, Welland County, where her family lived.  John and Elizabeth, my 2nd great-grandparents, married in 1848, in Niagara County, Canada West. Elizabeth died in the year of Canada’s Confederation, and was buried in Dunnville.

Elizabeth’s parents, George and Mary (Tyler) Emerson, 3rd great-grandparents, had come to Canada in 1836 with four children, including Elizabeth. They had six more in Thorold. Mary died in Thorold in 1845; George lived to 1880 and died in Dunnville in 1880.

The Newton and Margaret Thompson family came back to Canada in 1910, with my grandmother, Carrie Jane Thompson, who had been born in North Dakota in 1889. Their four living children came with them and all settled near Keoma, Alberta. Carrie met my grandfather, James Pearson Shepheard in Keoma, where he had emigrated from England in 1907. They married in Calgary, Alberta in 1914.

At the time of Canada’s Confederation, eleven of my direct ancestors, in three generations, lived in southern Upper Canada, which became the Province of Ontario. The lines eventually connected in North Dakota before coming home to Canada in the early part of the 20th century.

If I had done this summary for my grandchildren, there would be a few more names to add to the list. Perhaps that will be a post for another time.