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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Nancy (Godfrey) Johnson, sister of Sarah Ann (Godfrey) Hunter

One of the great things about research in this day and age is how much sharing can go on via the internet.  I have recently come upon a website, Purdy Steele Family History, which has some documentation related to the Godfrey family.  A researcher named Edith Helen Purdy is responsible for most of the documentation on this site, with the assistance of her granddaughter.  The most significant find is a birth name for the mother of Sarah Ann Godfrey, wife of James Hunter.  

Sarah Ann came from a large family.  Her siblings were documented in the will of her brother John Godfrey, which was written in 1879.  Among Sarah Ann's sisters was a woman named Nancy Godfrey Johnston.  I was able to find abstracted marriage information for many of Sarah Ann's siblings, including Nancy, on RootsIreland.  The Purdy Steele Family History Website has an image of an actual parish record for the Godfrey/Johnston marriage which was issued by the parish in 1969, presumably in response to a genealogical inquiry.  Notice that they reproduced the mark that the illiterate Nancy made in lieu of signing her name.  

This site also contains a family history document written by a woman named Mary Johnson Conley, which was based on family letters in her possession.  The document is called History of the Johnson (Johnston) Family.  Here are some excerpts relevant to the Godfrey family.  

...Samuel Johnson married Nancy Godfrey in Ireland in January 1853.  His first five children were born there.  Encouraged to do so by letters from his brother John, he came to America about the year 1863 to make a home for his family.  He soon sent for them and it was a long, stormy voyage for the mother, Nancy, and her five small children.  During the voyage she spent much of her time, clinging to the mast and praying for the safety of her family, especially for that of the two small boys, who were constantly running about the small sailing vessel.  In America, two more children were born to this family...

Nancy Godfrey, wife of Samuel Johnson was born in England (Ballynease Ireland) and through her grandmother Stuart was a direct descendant of Mary, Queen of the Scots.  One of her sisters married a wealthy Englishman (North Irishman), William Crawford, who with his wife Mary Jane (Godfrey), family and servants, as well as a small flock of sheep, went on his own sailing vessel in about 1862 to settle in Australia.  It is said to have been about a three month voyage.  He had four sons, Henry...Thomas (after her father), John...and Hugh, and five daughters, Mary Ann, Matilda, Jane, Nancy and Sarah... Another sister Matty (Matilda) married Robert (William) Houston of Scotland and came to Canandaigua...There were two children, Robert and Ellen (Jane) but no descendants.  For awhile Ellen visited Ireland every five years, visiting the following places and families:  ...the Hunters, a sister of Nancy Godfrey, the McCulloughs, another sister of Nancy Godfrey... 

Finally, there is a death certificate for Nancy Johnson on the site which gives Mary Sampson as the name of her mother.  I wish I knew the full name of grandmother Stuart, whether she is descended from the Queen of Scots or not...

    Sunday, November 23, 2014

    More Hunter (And Related) Family Records

    John Hunter's parents, as we have seen on his marriage certificate and on his brother Hugh's birth record, are James Hunter and Sarah Ann Godfrey.  From the 1901 census which gives his age as 51, we can estimate a birth date of circa 1850 for John, although his death record, found on Ancestry, gives his age at death as 60 and the year of birth as circa 1846 (place of death, incidentally, is given as Ballymoney).   I think I have found a birth record for him, but it is dated to 1844, earlier than either extrapolated date.

    I found this on RootsIreland.  It's missing the maternal first name, but the last name matches.  Of course, this could always be an older child born to the Hunter family and then deceased in childhood--sometimes those names are given to later children, especially if it is a significant name in the family. 

    Name:  John Hunter
    DOB:  October 19, 1844
    Date of Baptism:  November 16, 1844
    Address:  Kiltinny
    Parish/District:  Portstewart
    County:  Derry
    Denomination:  Presbyterian
    Father:  James Hunter
    Mother:  Godfrey

    We don't have a marriage record for James Hunter and Sarah Ann Godfrey, so we don't currently have information on their parents' names.  However, their death records give us an approximate year of birth. 

    "Ireland, Civil Registrations Death Index, 1865-1958" on Ancestry.

    James Hunter, died July-Sept. 1889 (matches date given in will index of June 24, 1889.
    Registration District:  Coleraine
    Death Age:  78
    Year of Birth:  circa 1811
    FHL film #: 101595

    Sarah Ann Hunter, died Jan-March 1897
    Registration District:  Coleraine
    Death Age:  75
    Year of Birth:  circa 1822
    FHL film #:  101599

    I found an actual copy of James Hunter's will on the  PRONI (public records of Northern Ireland) website.  Here are the main points:

    • the will is dated 10 March 1889, and James identifies himself as being "of the Townland of Park in Co. of Antrim 
    • James bequeaths all of his property to his wife Sarah Ann Hunter while she lives, and then to his son John Hunter after his wife's death. His wife and son John are his two executors
    • he bequeaths to his daughter Mary Ann  Hunter the sum of 300 pounds to be paid yearly at 10 pounds per year
    • he bequeaths to his son Thomas Hunter 400 pounds to be paid yearly at 16 pounds per year
    • he bequeaths to his son Hugh Hunter "50 acres of perpetuity in the Townland of West Park" where he is to build a home and offices 
    • he asks his family to live together for as long as possible, and asks his wife to provide for his grandson Stewart Hunter
    • if any of his children are to die, their portion shall go to their siblings, except if his daughter is to die her portion should go to her son if living, and if he is not living it should go to her brothers--I'm not clear if this means that she has a son or only that she might one day have a son
    • witnesses are Hugh McFadden and, James McAfee 
    • James signs with a mark (i.e. he cannot sign his name)

    I also found a will for Stewart Hunter, John's nephew, who was living with John and Annie in the 1901 census.  He died shortly afterwards, on May 2, 1902.  Probate was granted on October 31 of the same year.   Stewart wrote the will on April 26, 1902,  just a few days before his death.  Stewart was a young man and did not have a lot to give, but here are the significant parts of his will:

    • he identifies himself as being of "The Park Priestland Bushmills C. antim Ireland"
    • he names his mother, Mary Ann Hunter, and leaves her 50 pounds
    • he leaves 10 pounds each to his Aunt Annie Hunter  and his Uncle Hugh Hunter
    • he leaves 5 pounds to his Uncle Thomas Hunter
    • he leaves the residue of his money to his Uncle John Hunter 
    His mother, Mary Ann Hunter, possibly had Stewart out of wedlock since there is no mention of a husband for her in any records I have seen.

    Here is a will which sheds light on the family of Sarah Ann Godfrey, the wife of James Hunter. It was written by her brother John Godfrey, and it names a number of siblings, including Sarah Ann. The will is dated May 19, 1879.  Main points include:

    • he identifies himself as being "of Ballymacombs in the Parish of Ballyscullion in the county of Londonderry, Farmer"
    • he leaves the bulk of his estate, including property, to his nephew John Godfrey of Ballynease, the second son of his brother Rowley Godfrey when he comes of age
    • if John Godfrey should die before he comes of age, he leaves the estate to John's brother Thomas Godfrey (Thomas would also be a nephew of John Godfrey's) 
    • he leaves his "beloved sister Sarah Ann Godfrey Hunter"  2 pounds a year for 12 years
    • he leaves his sister Martha Godfrey Huston 40 pounds to be paid over 3 years, and then 2 pounds a year for 5 years
    • he leaves his sister Elizabeth Godfrey McCullough 2 pounds yearly for 12 years 
    • he leaves his sister Hessy Godfrey Morrison 40 pounds to be paid over 3 years, then 2 pounds a year for five years 
    • he leaves his sister Nancy Godfrey Johnston 5 pounds 
    • he leaves his sister Mary Ann Godfrey Crawford 5 pounds 
    • he leaves his niece Mary, daughter of his brother Rowly, 20 pounds when she comes of age
    • he leaves several ministers in the area money to buy "Tracts and New Testaments to be distributed to the Sabbath Scholars"
    • he names his brother Rowley Godfrey of Ballynease and William Bruce Junior of Mullaghboy executors 

    This will gives us the name of many of Sarah Ann (Godfrey) Hunter's siblings, which hopefully will help establish her parentage.  With these names, we can look for birth or marriage records for this family.  This is what I have located so far from RootsIreland:

    On February 8, 1853, Nancy Godfrey of Ballynease marries Samuel Johnston of Magherafelt, occupation clerk.  The marriage takes place at the Parish/District of First Bellaghy, Co. Derry. The grooms's father is Samuel Johnston, farmer, and the bride's father is Thomas Godfrey, also a farmer. Witnesses are James Steele and Robert Johnson (sic).

    On June 1, 1861, Martha Godfrey of Ballyneese (sic) marries William Houston, also of Ballyneese, a farmer. The marriage is recorded in the Magherafelt Registrar's Office, Co. Derry.  The husband's father is Robert Houston, a farmer, and the bride's father is Thomas Godfrey, also a farmer.  The witnesses are Archibald Haw and Nancy Johnson.  (see above)

    On January 13, 1865, Rowley Godfry (sic) of Ballynease, farmer, marries Eliza Stewart of Ballymacpeake.  The wedding takes place in First Bellamy, Co. Derry.  The husband's father is Thomas Godfry, a farmer, and Robert Stewart, a farmer.  Witnesses are Robert Stewart and John Adams.

    On May 28, 1866, Hester Godfry (sic) of Ballynease marries Robert Morrison, a farmer,  of Harvey Hill.  The wedding takes place in First Bellaghy, Co. Derry.  The groom's father is Hugh Morrison, a farmer, and the bride's father is Thomas Godfry (sic), a farmer.  The witnesses are Andrew Brady and John Godfry.

    I think we can deduce that Sarah Ann Godfrey's father was a farmer named Thomas Godfrey.  Too bad her mother is not named in these records.

    PRONI also has a record of (but not an image, unfortunately), for the will of John Hunter's brother Hugh Hunter.

    "Hugh Hunter of West Park Rathfriland county Antrim retired farmer died November 27 1953 Probate Belfast 5 May to James Hunter farmer and William McAleese shop assistant.  Effects 4483 pounds 7 s." 

    And also for Sarah Ann (Godfrey) Hunter's brother Rowley Godfrey:

    " Probate of the will of Rowley Godfrey late of Ballynease County Londonderry Farmer who died 11 August 1909 granted at Londonderry to Thomas Godfrey and William John McIntyre Farmers."   The date of the grant was November 4, 1909, and the value of the estate was 507 pounds 6s. 11d. 

    Saturday, November 22, 2014

    Annie McCarter

    Annie McCarter or McCarthur was the mother of Molly Stewart Hunter.  I have found a probable birth record for her on the RootsIreland website.  All information is extracted.

    Name:  Annie McCarter
    DOB:  11 Feb. 1868

    Address:  Killowen Street Killowen
    Parish/District:  Coleraine
    County:  Co. Derry
    Father:  John McCarter
    Occupation:  Post Car Driver
    Mother:  Eliza Finlay
    Sponsor/Informant:  Eliza McCarter

    This record fits with all known information about Annie (she seems to have been actually named Annie, not Anne) and gives us both her parents names.  Two other children of John McCarter and Eliza Finlay have birth records on this database:

    John McCarter, born August 29, 1869,  all the same information except father John McCarter is listed as being a "Car Driver" without the "Post", and Robert McCarter, born July 11, 1871.  All three records are civil registrations, not church records.


    Friday, November 21, 2014

    Diving Into Irish Genealogy: Molly (Hunter) Fyfe

    I haven't really done any work on the Irish side of my husband's family, partly because not a lot is known about that branch of the family, and partly because I'm not very familiar with Irish resources.  Ancestry, upon which I rely a great deal, doesn't have a lot of great records for Ireland, and the site that does, RootsIreland, had a very messy and expensive pay-per-use billing system the last time I checked.  However, it has switched to a more reasonably priced time-based subscription service, so I have purchased a one-month subscription to try it out and see what I can find.  I'm excited since Molly, or Granny Fyfe as she was known to Doug and I, was a special person to us both.  I have very fond memories of her. 

    Granny Fyfe on her motorcycle

    Here's what I know about our Irish ancestors.  My husband's grandmother, Molly Fyfe, was born Mary Stewart Hunter.  Her marriage record names her parents as John Hunter and Annie McCarter.  Family oral reports say that she had a sister named Sarah, that her parents both died when the children were young, and that she and her sister were raised by a couple who lived in Scotland.  Their birth home was near Bush Mills, Ireland, which is in County Antrim.  From her marriage certificate we can calculate that she was born circa 1904.   We know her birthday was April 2nd.  There is a database on Ancestry, "Ireland, Civil Registration Birth Index 1864-1968" which has an entry for a Mary Stewart Hunter being born between April and June 1904 in Ballymoney, Ireland, but it has no additional data (parent's names, for example, or exact birth date).  I can't find a corresponding record on RootsIreland. This is almost certainly her, though--the name (including middle name), time frame, and place are all correct. 

    I have located what looks like Molly's parents' marriage information on my first series of searches, so that's an encouraging start!  Unfortunately it is extracted information, so I can't see the original record, which is a little disappointing.  However, here is what the record says.

    Date of Marriage:  October 24, 1900. 
    Place:  Ballyrashane, Co. Derry, Ireland (Ballyrashane is near the border between Derry and Antrim, and has at various times been in either county)
    Husband:  John Hunter, Occupation Farmer
    Wife:  Annie McCarthur (sic), Occupation Domestic Servant
    Husband's father:  James Hunter, Occupation Farmer
    Witnesses:  Hugh Hunter, Sarah Taggart

    The record tells us that neither John nor Annie had been previously married, and that they both belonged to the Church of Ireland.  John's address is given as Park Ballywillin, and Annie's address is given as Beardiville.  Unfortunately, Annie's parents names are not given, and we don't know the relationship of Hugh Hunter to John. 

    I also found the marriage record of Molly's sister Sarah Hunter.

    Date of Marriage:  February 18, 1915
    Place of Marriage: Agherton, Co. Derry
    Husband:  Charles Frederick Bacon, Occupation Fisherman
    Wife:  Sarah Hunter
    Husband's father:  James Bacon, Occupation Fisherman
    Wife's father:   John Hunter, Occupation Farmer
    Witnesses:  William Shaw, Sarah Ann Hunter

    Again, this is a first marriage for them both, and they are married in the Church of Ireland.  Both Sarah and Charles give their address as Heathmount Portstewart.  

    On the National Archives of Ireland website, I also found an index of wills which includes a listing for John Hunter, Molly's father. His executors include a man named John Taggart (remember that a Sarah Taggart was a witness at his wedding).  Are the Taggart family friends or relatives?  

    Hunter John [30] 14 January Probate of the Will (and one Codicil) of John Hunter late of West Park County Antrim Farmer who died 27 July 1906 granted at Dublin to David Huey M.D. and John Taggart Farmer.  Effects 247 19s. 6d.

     John's wife Annie Hunter left less than half of her husband's estate.  She has named the same two executors as her late husband. 

    Hunter Annie [329] 6 May.  Probate of the Will of Annie Hunter late of West Park County Antrim Widow who died 10 March 1914 granted at Dubin (sic) to David Huey M.D. and John Taggart Farmer Effects 120 14s. 6d. 

    There is also a record of the will of John's father James.

    Hunter James [295] 19 August. The Will of James Hunter late of Park County Antrim who died 24 June 1889 at same place was proved at Belfast by Sarah Ann Hunter Widow and John Hunter Farmer both of Park the Executors.  Effects 401 9s. 3d.
    The wills themselves can apparently be ordered from the Archives, but they're pricey.

    Census records can be searched on the Irish Archives website.  Again, the information is transcribed.
    I found Molly and her family on the 1911 census, which was quite exciting!  Notice that the Hunter family is now described as Presbyterian rather than Church of Ireland.  Annie, who would die in 1914, was apparently already ill, as there is a nurse in residence.  The ages allow us to calculate birth years.  The "extra information" on the census shows that Annie said she was born in Derry County, Ireland.

    And here is the 1901 census, which shows Stewart Hunter, John's nephew, living with the couple.

    John's brothers Thomas and Hugh are living close by in 1901.

    In 1911 Thomas is no longer part of Hugh's household, but Hugh has a wife and children.  Could this Sarah Ann Hunter, 5 years old in 1911, could be the Sarah Ann Hunter who witnesses Sarah Hunter's marriage to Charles Bacon in 1915?  She would be quite young.  Or is there another Sarah Ann in the family somewhere? 

    Although the age is slightly off, I believe this is the same Thomas Hunter, now living with another sibling in West Park, Beardiville.

    If we look for Mary Anne Hunter in the 1901 census, it's not clear where she's living--she's marked as a "visitor" in the Mc Afee household.  It's possible that she's really living with Thomas and Hugh, or with other relatives.

    Apparently much of Ireland's census information from the 1800s was destroyed during wartime.  I can't find anything earlier relating to this family.

    Ancestry ("Ireland, Select Births and Baptisms, 1620-1911) has a birth record extract for John Hunter's brother Hugh Hunter.  Hugh was born on October 10, 1865, at Bushmills, Antrim, Ireland, to James Hunter and Sarah Ann Godfrey (FHL film number 101115).  RootsIreland does not have a corresponding record.

    Finally, a bit of speculation.  There is a marriage record for a Stewart Hunter, a grocer in Coleraine, Derry,  marrying a Jane Andrews on July 17, 1849.  Could this be a relative? Stewart is certainly a name which has come down in the family. 

    Sunday, November 16, 2014

    Extracted Parish Records for the Bowling Family, Yorkshire, England

    Mary Bowling and Thomas Bulmer, the parents of John Bulmer, came from an English town in Yorkshire called Hatfield.  We know they were married in St. Lawrence Church in Hatfield before their immigration.  The Bulmer family file at the National Archives of Canada has a family tree which states that Mary Bowling was the daughter of William Bowling and Susanna Rawood of Kirk Bramwith (a parish within Hatfield).  Susanna Rawood was a widow when she married William;  her first husband was a Mr. Wilburn.  William Bowling's father was John Bowling of Braithwaite, and Susanna Rawood's father was John Rawood of Hatfield.

    There are a few different kinds of databases you can use when searching for records of births, marriages and deaths.  One kind gives you a scanned image of the actual record, and the other gives a transcription, perhaps leaving out certain information.  The following pieces of information I was only able to see transcribed records for.  The first set come from "England and Wales Marriages, 1538-1940", on Ancestry.  

    • A William Bowling married a Sarah Jackson in Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, in 1772.  Was this a first marriage for the William who was later to marry Susanna Rawood?
    • Also in that year, a John Bowling married an Elizabeth Ball on July 21, in Kirk Bramwith. 
    • A Susannah Bowling married a James Jackson in Kirk Bramwith on March 20, 1786.  Is she a relative of William Bowling, Mary's father?
    • William Crawshaw, son of Francis Crawshaw, married Susanna Bowling, daughter of William Bowling, on August 30, 1858, in Warmsworth, Yorkshire, England.  Susanna was a sister of Mary Bowling.  Her tombstone is in St. Mary's churchyard, Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire.  This was a late marriage for her;  she was born in 1797 so would have been around 61 years old in 1858. 
    • A Susannah Bowling, 28-year-old daughter of a William Bowling, married 60-year-old Richard Whittam in Bubwith, Yorkshire, on May 13, 1879.  Could this be a granddaughter of William and Susanna?  
    Another database, "England, Select Marriages, 1538-1906", also on Ancestry, gives us some extracts from additional records.

    • On November 25, 1755, John Bowling married Mary Ellis in Kirk Bramwith. (FHL film # 919307) 
     A look at the database "All England and Wales Christening Records, 1530-1906" shows us some birth information for William Bowling's birth family.  William seems to have been the eldest child.

    • On October 17, 1756, William Bowling, son of John Bowling and Mary, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith (birth date given is Sept. 12, 1756).
    •  On June 18, 1758, Frances Bowling, son of John Bowling and Mary, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith 
    • On January 29, 1765, Richard Bowling, son of John Bowling and Mary, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith
    • On September 14, 1772, Jonathan Bowling, son of John Bowling and Mary, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith
    • on December 21, 1775, Isaac Bowling, son of John Bowling (no maternal name given), was baptized at Kirk Bramwith
    • on May 13, 1779, Elizabeth Bowling, son of John Bowling and Mary, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith.  Maternal grandfather's name John Ball.  
    Now we come to a bit of a mystery.  Elizabeth Bowling's birth record says that she is the child of John Bowling and Mary Ball.  The next few birth records where there is a father named John have a mother named Elizabeth, whose father is also John Ball.

    • On September 26, 1784, John Bowling, son of John Bowling and Elizabeth, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith.  Maternal grandfather's name is John Ball.
    • on January 3, 1788, Thomas Bowling, son of John Bowling and Elizabeth, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith.  Maternal grandfather's name is John Ball.
    • On August 24, 1789, Thomas Bowling, son of John Bowling and Elizabeth, was baptized at Kirk Bramwith.  Birth date August 18, 1789.  Maternal grandparent's names are John Ball and Elizabeth;  Paternal grandparent's names are John Bowling and Ann.  
    John seems to have married twice, but the timeline is confusing. The marriage records, above, show John Bowling marrying Mary Ellis in 1755 and Elizabeth Ball in 1772, but Elizabeth is not named on the birth records until 1775. Jonathan was baptized in September of 1772, and John and Elizabeth were married in July of that year.   Isaac's record has no maternal name.  Elizabeth's has Mary's name as the mother but John Ball as maternal grandfather.   I think the likely explanation is that  John's wife Mary died at or soon after Jonathan's birth, and John remarried quickly. Elizabeth's birth record probably names the wrong mother.

    Note also that there are a few large gaps in the children's births.  There is a gap of seven years between Frances and Richard, and a gap of seven years between Richard and Jonathan.  

    There are several records of tombstones on the website for the Bowling family in St. Mary's Churchyard, Kirk Bramwith.  Unfortunately there are no photographs.

    • Richard Bowling, buried February 6, 1765, son of John and Mary 
    • Thomas Bowling, buried April 2, 1768, son of John and Mary 
    • Frances Bowling, buried August 4, 1768 daughter of John and Mary
    • Mary Bowling, buried August 21, 1771, wife of John  
    • Joseph Bowling, buried 30 March 1779 aged 9 months
    • Elizabeth Bowling, buried February 28, 1785, aged 5 years, daughter of John and Elizabeth
    • Thomas Bowling, buried Febuary 1, 1788 aged 6 weeks, son of John 
    • John Bowling, buried November 28, 1794, aged 58 years (therefore birth circa 1736)--the dates would fit with John the husband of Mary Ellis and Elizabeth Ball, father of William Bowling and grandfather of our Mary Bowling
    • Elizabeth Bowling, buried June 1, 1800, aged 54 (therefore birth circa 1746)--this could be John's wife Elizabeth Ball
    • Susannah Bowling Jackson, buried May 13, 1801, aged 42 (therefore birth circa 1763), daughter of John Bowling 
    • Elizabeth Bowling, buried April 4, 1821, aged 18 years (therefore birth circa 1803)
    • William Bowling, buried May 22, 1848, aged 91 (therefore birth circa 1757)  
    • Susannah Bowling, buried October 7, 1850, aged 83 (therefore birth circa 1767)
    • Isaac Bowling, buried July 21, 1887 (therefore birth circa 1806) aged 81

    So here is a preliminary, tentative sketch of  the birth family of William Bowling, father of Mary Bowling.

    John Bowling, son of John Bowling and Ann Unknown, marries Mary Ellis in Kirk Bramwith (Nov. 25, 1755)

    • William Bowling b. Sept. 12, 1756, m. (1) (possibly) Sarah Jackson 1772, m. (2) Susannah Rawood, d. May 1848 Kirk Bramwith aged 91 
    • Francis Bowling baptized June 18, 1758, d. August 1768 aged 10
    • Richard Bowling baptized January 29, 1765, d. bef. Feb. 6, 1765 
    • Thomas Bowling born bef. April 2, 1768, d. April 1768 
    Death of Mary (Ellis) Bowling August 1771 
    John Bowling marries Elizabeth Ball July 21, 1772
    • Jonathan Bowling baptized Sept. 4, 1772, d. unknown 
    • Isaac Bowling baptized Dec. 21, 1775 d. unknown 
    • Elizabeth Bowling baptized May 13, 1779, d. Feb. 1785 aged 5 years
    • John Bowling baptized Sept. 26, 1784 d. unknown
    • Thomas Bowling baptized January 3, 1788, d. Feb. 1788 
    • Thomas Bowling baptized August 24, 1789 d. unknown
    What about Susannah Rawood's father, John Rawood, of Hatfield?

    There is a record for a John Rawood, of "Hatfield near Doncaster, York, England", marrying a woman named Sarah Carr on November 25, 1765, and marrying for the second time to a Susannah Robinson on April 1, 1766.  A John Rawood of Hatfield also marries an Elizabeth Heywarth on August 24, 1793, but the spread of dates makes it uncertain if this is the same man.  These records are from "England, Select Marriages, 1538-1973".  If this John Rawood is Susannah's father, her name suggests that she is probably from his second marriage to Susannah Robinson. 

    Baptismal records possibly related to this family include:

    • John Rawood, baptized November 3, 1771, son of John Rawood and Susannah 
    • Elizabeth Rawood baptized November 1, 1779 in Hatfield, Yorkshire, daughter of John Rawood and Susannah Robinson

    Birth records for the children of William Bowling and Susanna Rawood: 
    • William Bowling, born January 28, 1791, baptized February 8, 1791, at Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, England, son of William Bowling and Susanna, grandson of John Bowling and John Rawood
    • Mary Bowling, born March 28, 1792, baptized June 3, 1792, at Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, daughter of William Bowling and Susanna, granddaughter of John Bowling and John Rawood
    • John Bowling, born March 19, 1794, baptized March 25, 1794 at Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, England, son of William Bowling and Susanna, grandson of John Bowling and John Rawood
    • Susanna Bowling, born July 25, 1797, baptized October 2, 1797 at Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, England, daughter of William Bowling and Susanna, granddaughter of John Bowling and John Rawood
    • Thomas Bowling, born and baptized June 20, 1800, at Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, England, son of William Bowling and Susanna, grandson of John Bowling and John Rawood 
    • Elizabeth Bowling, born February 27, 1803, baptized April 17, 1803 at Kirk Bramwith, Yorkshire, England, daughter of William Bowling and Susanna, granddaughter of John Bowling and John Rawood 
    • Isaac Bowling, born April 10, 1806, baptized May 11, 1806 at Kirk Bramwood, Yorkshire, England, son of William Bowling and Susanna, grandson of John Bowling and John Rawood
    • Charles Bowling, born April 17, 1808, baptized May 15, 1808, at Kirk Bramwith,  son of William Bowling and Susannah,  granddaughter of  John Bowling and John Rawood or Raywood.  

    Tuesday, November 4, 2014

    Alexander Maxwell in "Then and Now 1799-1974"

    I recently found some information on the career of  Alexander Maxwell, husband to Mary Elliot and brother-in-law to Robert Elliot, in a book put out by the law publishing firm he helped establish.  The following is from Then and Now, 1799-1974:  Commemorating 175 Years of Law Bookselling and Publishing, London, Sweet & Maxwell, 1974.  The chapter containing the history of the company is written by M.W. Maxwell, a descendant of Alexander Maxwell, and he has drawn upon his father's recollections of family history as one of his sources. 

    " Alexander Maxwell, who was born in 1776, was not at first a law bookseller.  He started around 1800 at the corner of Fetter Lane, and moved first to Charing Cross and then to Snow Hill where he was in partnership with Walter Wilson as book auctioneers and booksellers.  It was not until 1811 that he moved to 21 Bell Yard, and it was probably the proximity to the Inns of Court that led him into the publishing of law books.  He had been particularly interested in religious matters and both wrote and published books on religion...It is not known when he first published a law book, but by 1820 or so he must have been predominantly interested in law books because he was one of the founders of the Associated Law Booksellers....He issued with other booksellers what is described as a "Catalogue of Law Books Ancient and Modern' and on the title page this is describbed as 'Printed for A. Maxwell, Law Bookseller and Publisher, 21 Bell Yard.'  In fact this was clearly a co-operative effort because other copies of the same catalogue bear the names of Sweet and of Stevens & Sons on the title page.

    Alexander Maxwell moved to number 32 Bell Yard around 1830 and in 1831 was granted a Royal Warrant as law bookseller to His Majesty.  His son William joined him about this time." (p. 121-122)

    This seems consistent with what Maxwell's obituary tells us, particularly about his interest in religion.  It's interesting that he published books that he himself had written on this topic. Note the fluidity of the bookseller/publisher labels--it seems not uncommon for booksellers to also publish during this time. 

    Unfortunately, Then and Now doesn't include a portrait of Alexander or his son William.  It does show a photograph the Royal Warrant given to Alexander when he was appointed Law Bookseller to King William IV.  The Warrant reads:

    "These are to Certify to whom it may Concern that by Virtue of a Warrant to me directed from The Duke of Devonshire Lord Chamberlain of His Majesty's Household I have Sworn and Admitted Mr. Alexander Maxwell into the Place and Quality of Law Bookseller in Ordinary to His Majesty to have hold exercise and enjoy the said Place together will all Rights Profits Privileges and Advantages thereunto belonging.
    Given under my Hand and Seal this 6th day of July 1831 In the First Year of His Majesty's Reign."

    After Alexander's son William had worked with his father for some time, he became a partner in the firm.

    "On January 1, 1845, Alexander Maxwell took into partnership his son William.  The indenture conveys one-half share of the partnership in consideration of 'natural love and affection'.  The value of the partnership assets is stated as 16,000 pounds, and the partnership accounts at December 31, 1845, show the value of a half-share as 8,362 pounds.  The profit and loss account shows a surplus for the year of 1,716 pounds.  In 1848 Alexander retired and sold his share to William for 7,000 pounds, payable by instalments of 500 pounds a year.  He died in 1849." (p. 124)

    Back in 1822 Alexander Maxwell joined with five other London-based law booksellers and publishers to form the Associated Law Booksellers.  This was a professional association whose members planned to co-operate with certain publishing ventures and otherwise "promote each other's success in trade by mutual advice and friendly co-operation."  One of the other members was Stephen Sweet, whose firm was to merge with Maxwell's in 1889, many years later.  The merger seems to have been necessitated  by the fecundity of the later Maxwell family.

    "William Maxwell was joined in business by his son William Alexander around 1865, and they continued the business at No. 32 Bell Yard until the house was pulled down for the Law Courts when they moved to 29 Fleet Street.  At that time they were trading under the name of W. Maxwell & Son and they commenced rebuilding of 8 Bell Yard in 1882 when William Maxwell died.  It was completed in 1883 and the business was carried on there until the amalgamation with Sweet in 1889...

    William Maxwell admitted his son to partnership in 1877.  The partnership deed records the value of the business as 21,600 pounds.  William died in 1882...[and] left his half-share of the business to be divided between his children, of whom there were ten.  By 1887 William Alexander had eight children of his own, and having to share the profits with his brothers and sisters put him in great difficulty, particularly as only one of his brothers was helping in the business.  This led him to approach Sweet and to the merger of the businesses and the foundation of Sweet & Maxwell Ltd. on April 1, 1889." (p. 127-128)

    So, the bookselling and publishing company which Alexander began continued to grow and remained a family business at least until 1974:  quite a legacy!   Although it is no longer under family ownership, it is still based in London and today employs over 900 people.  

    Friday, October 31, 2014

    John Highlord Bland in "London Silver-hilted Swords"

    The reference book London Silver-hilted Swords:  their makers, suppliers and allied traders, with directory by Leslie Southwick (Royal Armouries, 2001, Leeds, UK) contains an entry on John Highlord Bland, Stephen Bland's brother, and his partner Robert Foster.

    "Bland/Bland & Foster/Foster
    John Highlord Bland (died 1791) was a royal sword cutler and belt maker to George III, of 68 St. James Street, parish of St. James, Piccadilly, Westminster.  The building was on the west side of St. James Street 'situated at the Corner of Catharine Wheel Yard, near St. James's Place in St. James's Street'. 

    Bland succeeded the royal cutler and belt maker Mrs. Anne Becket (widow of John Becket, died 1767) the above location in the spring of 1768 and he is recorded being there in the poor-rate book dated 19 April 1768.  A Sun insurance policy (no. 390917) was taken out by Bland on the property on 18 October 1777.  Following the death of Anne Becket he was appointed Beltmaker and Sword Cutler in Ordinary to George III in Anne's place on 26 February 1782.  Following this appointment Bland...undertook the annual supply of swords and belts for the yeoman guards and warders at the Tower.

    The partnership of John Bland and Robert Foster was established by 1787.  Robert Foster (1758-98) the son of the sword cutler and hilt maker Thomas Foster...was indentured as an apprentice sword cutler to Bland on 24 September 1772....

    There is no doubt that Foster worked under Bland until their partnership was formed.  The union was established certainly by 1787, if not just before.  The joint names are found on an invoice dated 25 March 1787, which relates to work undertaken for the Prince of Wales between January and March 1787....However, only Bland is listed in the rate books until 1789.  

    John Bland died on 3 August 1791....His will, proved on 4 August 1792, left his estate in part to his wife, Harriet, and to his brother (PROB 11/1207, f350).  However, the testament was disputed by Foster because of the arrangements made for their business.  The will was proved a second time two years later on 4 August 1794, a tribunal finding in Foster's favour...

    Following Bland's death, Foster succeeded to the business of being royal sword cutler and belt maker (see PRO LC9/399, no. 50).  Seven years later, in March 1798, 'Robert Foster of Barleyford in the Parish of St. Nicholas, Shepperton, Middlesex' died aged 39 and was buried at the church of St. Nicholas on 18 March 1798 ..."
    There are two other Blands listed as silver-hilted sword cutlers in Southwick's directory:  one, Cornelius Bland, comes from Oxfordshire and is probably not related.  The second, Edward Bland, might be Ann's brother. Here is his entry:

    "Edward Bland was a sword cutler and a freeman of the Weavers' Company.  'Son of Stephen Bland of Hammersmith, a Gardner', he was indentured to Thomas Foster for seven years on 5 November 1770...and sworn free of servitude of the Weavers' Company 23 years later on 5 March 1793, giving his address as 63 Fetter Lane, Holborn, the house next door to Foster's then location.  Clearly, Bland had worked with Foster as a journeyman long after his 'time' had finished.  His name does not appear as being at the above address in the land-tax assessment books in this period."

    Notice that Edward's master was Thomas Foster;  Thomas was the father of Robert Foster, John Highlord Bland's apprentice and eventual partner.  (Thomas also had a son named John Foster who began life as a leather-seller and ended up succeeding his father as a sword cutler in Fetter Lane, so sword-making seems to have been a family occupation.) 

    Now, our Stephen Bland, Ann (Bland) Elliot's father,  lived in Hammersmith, but I thought he was a cutler, not a gardener.  However, when I go over my notes, I can't see any documentation for this.  Did I just imagine it?  Stephen definitely had a son named Edward Bland, as evidenced by Stephen's  will, and the timing would be about right.

    Stephen also had a son named James.  And here is a document from the database "London, England, Freedom of the City Admission Papers, 1681-1925", dated October 7, 1789, that records a James Bland, "Son of  Stephen Bland of Hammersmith in the County of Middx Gardener" apprenticing himself to "John Foster of Fetter Lane London Sword Cutler"

    All of these professional connections between the Bland and Foster families make it seem more likely that Edward and James, son of Stephen Bland of Hammersmith, Gardener, are indeed John Highlord Bland's nephews and Ann Bland's brothers.  

    By the way, here's another record from the same database, showing that the profession went down in the family for at least one more generation:

    "This Indenture Witnesseth, That Stephen John Highlord Bland Son of Edward Bland of Cow Cross Street Est Smithfield Sword Cutler doth put himself Apprentice to Charles Matthews of Kings Head Court Shoe Lane Cutler a Citizen and Goldsmith of London, to learn his Art of a Cutler....the...Second day of the Year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Seventeen." 

    Friday, October 17, 2014

    The Birth Family of Stephen Bland

    Stephen Bland is the father of our ancestress Ann Bland, who married Robert Elliot and moved to Canada.  He was also father to Harriot Bland, wife of Daniel Pontifex, and a sword cutler in London, England.  Who were his family?

    Stephen's brother, John Highlord Bland, also a cutler, left a will which names many relatives, and which is a good place to begin our information gathering.  John Highlord died before his brother Stephen did:  his will was proved in London, August 4, 1792.

    "I John Highlord Bland of St. James Street in the parish of St. James and city of Westminster sword cutler do make this my will and testament in manner following..."

    John Highlord Bland leaves bequests to
    • "my wife Harriet Bland" 
    • "My brother Stephen Bland of Hammersmith"
    • "Edward Bland the son of the said Stephen" (he also refers, elsewhere in the will,  to Edward as Stephen's eldest son):  to Edward  he leaves a bequest of two hundred pounds
    •  more of Stephen's children: "his [Stephen's] two daughters Ann and Harriet Bland" get a bequest of one hundred and fifty pounds each, "his son Thomas Bland" gets a bequest of sixty pounds and "his son James Bland" gets a bequest of forty pounds
    •  "to my Sister in Law Mrs. Gwyn Bland"  (amount is illegible)
    • "to her daughter Gwyn ten pounds (?) and to her other two daughters five pounds each"
    • "my nephew Thomas Bland the son of the said Gwyn Bland I totally disinherit and put him off with a shilling" 
     He appoints his "friend and partner Robert Forster" sole executor of his will.

    Thomas Bland obviously did something to irk his uncle!  I wonder what it was?

    John Highlord Bland's will not only establishes that he is the brother of our ancestor Stephen and the uncle of our ancestress Ann, but also names all of Stephen's children and gives good clues to finding another sibling.  Now we have to search for a Bland man who married a woman named Gwyn and had children named Gwyn and Thomas, as well as two other girls.   I propose the best candidate is Thomas Bland, married to a Gwyn, last name unknown, who had four girls baptized in the parish of St. Dunstan in the West, London.

    Gwyn Dau of Thomas & Gwyn Bland B. July 31st Whites Alley. Baptized August 5, 1764.

    Sarah Daughter of Thomas & Gwen Bland Born Jan 27th Whites Alley.  Baptized February 9th, 1766.

    Mary Dr. of Thomas & Gwen Bland Born April 13, Whites Alley.  Baptized April 19, 1767.

    Elizabeth Catherine Dr of Thomas & Gwen Bland Born March 18, Whites Alley.  Baptized March 27, 1769.


    Sadly, Elizabeth Catherine died at two years of age, which may be why John Highlord Bland indicated in his will that this family had three daughters.

    Elizth Catherine Bland, buried Fetter Lane, from Whites Alley.  May 21, 1771. 

    There is an additional birth record for a son:                                                                                            

    John Son of Thomas & Anne Gwenn Bland born Nov. 14. Whites Alley.  Baptized Nov. 25, 1770.

    This record is especially interesting because it gives an additional name for the mother;  rather than Gwen, she is referred to as "Anne Gwenn". I still don't see any sign of a Thomas Bland.

    Now all I have to do is find a couple named Bland who not only had a son named Stephen but also one called Thomas and one called John Highlord.  Shouldn't be too hard, right? 

    Friday, September 26, 2014

    Will of Charles Elliot of St. Giles in the Fields

    Charles Elliot, the son of Charles Elliot and Lydia Bailey of Hayes, left a remarkably brief will.  Here it is, in its entirety:

    Here are the interesting parts of the will:
    • it was written April 12, 1827 and proved May 14, 1833, fixing the time of Charles' death in between these two dates
    • he names a wife;   I believe the name is Leonora Elliot (in the administrative section she is called Leonora Herbert)
    • witnesses are his brother Josiah Elliot and a William Sims;  this means that Josiah Elliot was still in England in April 1827 (he is believed to have immigrated to Canada around this time) 
    • the will gives a location:  I can't read all of it but parts of it (Great Wild Street, the parish of St. Giles in the fields.  Lincoln's Inn Fields is part of that parish but I'm unsure about deciphering the writing -- Inn Fields is certainly part of the phrase.
    • It gives his profession (coach trimmer), which is a fit with his apprenticeship record (he apprenticed with a carriage maker) 
    Charles didn't specify what should become of his estate after his wife died, and I can't find a will that she herself has written.  

    Tuesday, September 23, 2014

    Elliot Family in "Ontario Marriage Notices" by Thomas B. Wilson

    "Ontario Marriage Notices", Thomas B. Wilson, Hunterdon House, Lambertville, N.J., 1982.  p. 227.

    "At St. Paul's Church, Rochester, on 24 June, Robert H. Street, of Indiana, Grand River, & Mary Emily, youngest daughter of the late Josiah Elliot, formerly of Hayes, MIddlesex, England. (Rev. A. Wood)"

    Taken from the periodical "The Church", Toronto, July 8, 1852.  

    Wednesday, September 17, 2014

    Family of William Elliot, son of Charles Elliot, of Uxbridge, Middlesex, England

    In our previous post we found a number of birth records of the family of William Elliot (son of Charles and Lydia) and his wife Elizabeth Best, daughter of William and Joanna Best.  William Elliot's will, which was proved on May 20, 1841, can help us identify some marriages and deaths in the family between 1799, when the birth of their first child was registered, and 1841, when William died. 

    "This is the last will and testament of me William Elliot late of Uxbridge in the county of Middlesex but now of Hillingdon End of the same county Gentleman....."

    The upward mobility of some parts of  this family is quite fascinating to me.  Again, William seems to have been a working class man turned Gentleman by the end of his life.  He leaves an estate of "furniture...linen, china, books, wines and liquors" well as copyhold and leasehold land and possibly some kind of investment stocks or securities.  He names as his heirs "my dear wife Elizabeth"  and "my five children that is to say the said Eliza and Thomas Elliot Sarah the wife of the said Charles Woodbridge, William Elliot and Rebecca the wife of John Jackson".  Charles Woodbridge was an Uxbridge solicitor and one of the executors of this will;  he was a partner the family firm Woodbridge and Sons, the same firm that handled Charles Elliot's will.   I'm guessing Eliza was unmarried as William does not name a husband for her;  impossible to tell if any of the sons are married since the convention does not seem to require naming the spouses of male heirs.   However, having the names of William's five surviving children and and two of their spouses brings us a long way.

    There are a few discrepancies among the children named in his will and the birth records I have found for this family.  We have birth records for Thomas, Eliza, Sarah, Rebecca,  two children named William (only one must have survived) and two children, Mary Ann and Joseph, who are not named in the will and have presumably died.   I did find a burial record for a Mary Ann Elliot who died in 1824;  I think it is probably William and Elizabeth's child, even though the parents are not named, since the birth date would fit and the burial was in Uxbridge (Uxbridge, Providence Chapel (Independent), 1812-1826).  

     Here is the marriage record for Charles Woodbridge and Sarah Elliot:

    Hillingdon St. John the Baptist Church, Middlesex.  Charles Woodbridge and Sarah Elliot, June 1, 1825.  Witnessed by Eliza Elliot, probably Sarah's sister.

    Was there already a family connection?  Nineteen years earlier there was another Woodbridge-Elliot marriage.

    Westminster, St. George Hanover Square Church, 1806.  Henry Woodbridge and Jane Elliot. 

    Ealing, Ealing St. Mary Church, July 8, 1831.  Wedding of John Jackson and Rebecca Elliot. 

    Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Religious Dissenters Among the Children of Charles Elliot and Lydia Bayley

    Charles Elliot and his wife Lydia Bailey seem to have been lifelong Anglicans.  They married, baptized their children and were buried in Anglican churches (primarily St. Mary's church in Hayes).  However, many of their children became religious dissenters.  (A "religious dissenter" during this period in England can refer to a number of Christian groups with varied theologies, such as Baptists, Presbyterians, Congregationalists, or Quakers:  some of the following records refer to the Elliot family as dissenting Protestants).    I've written about Alexander Maxwell and his wife Mary Elliot's religious life in a previous post.  Here are some additional family records I have found on the database "All England and Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970" for the families of Charles and Lydia's children.

    The records of these dissenting churches are in some ways more informative than the records I have seen kept by Anglican churches during this time period.  Particularly, they include the name of the paternal grandfather (sometimes both of the paternal grandparents) so that you know the mother's maiden name. That is an absolute gift.  The records also seem to mark three occasions:  the child's birth (always) baptism (sometimes) and date recorded, which could be many years after the event.

    I have found records for these families in the non-conformist database:  Henry Hilton and Martha Elliot (4 children baptized between 1787 and 1792), Thomas Burton and Lydia Elliot (1 child recorded 1787),  William Elliot and Elizabeth Best (6 children recorded between 1798-1805), John Elliot and his first and second wives, Susanna Jones and Ann Best (7 children recorded between 1798-1812) and Robert Elliot and Ann Bland (1 child recorded, 1815).  These dates do not necessarily tell us when each family became associated with a dissenting church, but they at least pin down times when the families were definitely involved.  I also found a birth record for a child of of Mary Bailey, Lydia Bailey's sister or cousin, and her husband William Pontifex, indicating that the William Pontifex family was also dissenting.  The children of Charles and Lydia that I did not find dissenting records for were Thomas, Josiah and Charles Elliot and their families--perhaps these three men and their respective families remained Anglicans.

    Here are the baptismal records I have found for the family of Alexander Maxwell and Mary Elliot.  The baptismal address was Carey Street, New Court.  Robert Winter calls himself a Protestant Dissenting Minister. 

    Mary Maxwell, born December 17, 1808, baptized February 12, 1811.  

    Lydia Maxwell, born December 2, 1810, baptized February 12, 1811.

    Alexander Maxwell, born January 19, 1813, baptized April 19, 1813.

     Right next to each other on the register of Roger Flexman are Mary Hilton, the daughter of Henry Hilton and "Martha the Daughter of Charles Elliott" (sic), born July 31 1787, and Lydia Burton, daughter of Thomas Burton and "Lydia the Daughter of Charles Elliott" (sic).  They were recorded together on September 5, 1787.  I believe the additional women's names on the record are the midwives (the record refers to them as witnesses to the birth).  

    Martha Hilton, born in Southhampton Street in St. Martin in the Fields, Westminster, November 1, 1788. 

    Rebekah-Sarah Hilton, born September 3, 1790, registered December 10, 1790.  One of the witnesses to the birth is Lydia Burton.  We have two separate records of Rebekah-Sarah's birth. St. Paul, Covent Garden, Middlesex.

    John Hilton, born February 20, 1792, Registered April 9 1791.  St. Paul, Covent Garden, Middlesex.  Lydia Burton is again a witness to the birth.  Minister Roger Flexman. 

    Next comes the family of William Elliot and his wife Elizabeth Best:
    Thomas Elliot, born October 23, 1798,  registered March 7, 1799, Uxbridge, Middlesex.

    William Elliot, born September 1, 1795, and Eliza Elliot, born February 27, 1799, both registered March 7, 1799.  Parish of Uxbridge.

    William Elliot Jr.:

    Eliza Elliot:

    Sarah Elliot, born October 1, 1801, another William Elliot, born October 10, 1803, Mary Ann Elliot, born January 1, 1805, all registered July 9, 1816.  Parish of Uxbridge.

    Sarah Elliot:

    William Elliot (the first William Elliot must have died):

     Mary Ann Elliot:

    Joseph Elliot, born July 28, 1809, and Rebecca Elliot, born May 2, 1811.  Both in Uxbridge, Middlesex;  both registered April 30, 1816

    Joseph Elliot:

    Rebecca Elliot:

    John Elliot, son of Charles and Lydia, and his two wives Susanna Mary Jones and  Ann Best also have a number of children listed in the nonconformist records database.  Mary, Ann, and Jemima Elliot were all registered on October 21, 1819, although they were born in 1793, 1800, and 1804 respectively.  When Mary was born John and Susanna were living in St. Giles, Middlesex.  When John's next two children, by his second wife Ann, were born, he was living in Hampton Wick.  Notice that again Lydia Burton is present for a birth.  I wonder if she was a midwife?

    Mary Elliot, daughter of John Elliot and Susanna Mary Elliot, daughter of Richard Jones.

    Sarah Elliot and Catherine Elliot were also registered on October 21, 1819.  Sarah was born January 26, 1806, and Catherine was born April 1, 1802.

    Henry Elliot, born April 26, 1814, registered June 30, 1820.  Parish of Hampton Wick, Middlesex.

    Lydia Elliot, born March 3, 1818, registered Nov. 1820.

    And finally:  ta dah!  It seems that Robert Elliot and Ann Bland were also religious nonconformists.  Josiah Elliot, January 24, 1815, Angel Row, Hammersmith, Fulham.  There was a Sarah Jane Bailey present at the birth:  was she a relative? 

    I have found the names of some connections to the Elliot family as well.  William Pontifex and his wife Mary Bailey, daughter of Edmund Bailey and sister or cousin of Lydia Bailey, had two children within a dissenting church:

    This is all of particular interest to me because of the light it sheds on the religious life of the Elliot family in Canada.  We know for certain that William Elliot, at least, belonged to a Christian church called the Disciples of Christ when he was a young man, and became a Baptist later in life.  I have no record of Robert and Ann's religious affiliations in Canada, but this family history makes me believe that William, who, after all, spent the first fifteen years of his life in England with his extended family,  would have grown up surrounded by some degree of religious conversation and debate, and that his family were not strangers to religious non-conformity.