My great-grandfather, Hugh Hunter was born on May 17, 1863, in Brampton, Ontario. He was the twelfth child of fourteen born to Robert Hunter and Hannah Dool, who had immigrated from Ireland some twenty years previously.
The 1871 census shows the family living in Chinguacousy Township, Peel County, Ontario. Hugh was 7 years old. Also in the family home at that time were brothers James (30), Thomas (28), Robert (26), William (24), John (22), Joseph (19), Alexander (17), Henry (16), and Jacob (5), along with sisters Mary (14), Jane (11) and Hannah (9). Of the fourteen children born to Robert and Hannah, only one (Issac, Jacob’s twin) died in early childhood.
By 1881, not all the children were still at home, but 17 year old Hugh was there along with William (31), Jane (22), Hannah (19) and Jacob (15).
The 1891 census indicates that Robert Hunter had passed away and just Hugh (26) and Jacob (24) were at home with their widowed mother.
On January 11, 1899, 34 year old Hugh married 18 year old Margaret Jane Davey in Chinguacousy.
The 1901 census shows the couple in Chinguacousy with their one-year-old daughter Mary. My grandmother was born in 1905 – the fourth of what would be nine children, three of whom died in infancy or young childhood.
The family was still farming in Chinguacousy in 1911, where the census shows Hugh and Margaret with four children. Between then and 1921 – it was probably around 1913 or 1914 – the family moved to the city. In 1921, the census shows Hugh and Margaret with their five children in Toronto.
Hugh passed away in Toronto on May 24, 1939. He and Margaret are buried, along with other family members, in the Brampton Cemetery.