Amy Johnson Crow, on her blog No Story Too Small, has challenged her fellow bloggers to post 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks. This is week twenty-four.
My great-great-great grandfather Christopher Summerville was born in April 1822 in Irvinestown, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland to James and Jane (unknown) Somerville. Family legend suggests Christopher had five brothers – two went to Australia, one went to California, and two came to Ontario. I have not yet attempted to trace the other four – maybe someday!
He married Elizabeth Humphreys sometime around 1840, while they were still in Ireland.
They emigrated to Canada in 1846, as the potato famine was taking hold in Ireland. The records of James Allison, Emigrant agent at Montreal, show the family on June 19, 1846, on a “List of destitute emigrants forwarded to Montreal per steamer ‘Montreal’.” They are shown with a final destination of Toronto. The ‘family’ includes an adult male and an adult female, two children between the ages of 3 and 12 and a ‘free’. This would be Christopher and Elizabeth and their children John (about 5), Annie (about 3) and Jane (under a year).
Jane passed away the following month, on July 26, 1846. We had always believed she had died at sea, but it appears that she survived the voyage but not far beyond it.
By 1851, the family has settled in East Gwillimbury, York County, Ontario. The census shows Christopher (32), Elizabeth (33), John (10), Ann (8), Hugh (3), and Jane (1). Jane was named after her deceased sister. Christopher is listed as a labourer and the family is living in a one-story frame house.
In 1861, the family is still in East Gwillimbury, but their house is now a two-story frame, which suggests they have settled in well to life in Canada. Christopher (42) and Elizabeth (43) are living there with Ann (17), Hugh (12), Jane (10), Elizabeth (6), Christopher (4), and Mary (3). Christopher is listed as a labourer while Hugh and Jane are in school.
By 1871, Christopher (50) and Elizabeth (52) are home with Jane (20), Christopher (14) and Mary (13). Christopher is a labourer and Jane is now a seamstress. Christopher and Mary are attending school, but this is the first census where it is clearly indicated that Christopher cannot write and Elizabeth is unable to read or write.
In 1881, the family continues to live in East Gwillimbury. Christopher (60) and Elizabeth (59) are home with Christopher (24) and Mary (23). Christopher Sr. is still a labourer while Christopher Jr is a carriage maker.
The 1880s were not kind to the family. Christopher Jr. passed away in 1884 and Mary passed away at the beginning of 1886, followed by Elizabeth on November 3 of that year.
On July 2, 1887, Christopher remarried. The marriage records for the County of Simcoe, division of Bradford, show Christopher Somerville (son of James and Jane Somerville) of Irish descent marrying Sarah Pearsall (daughter of Robert and Sarah Pearsall). Sarah was 24 years old to Christopher’s 60.
By the 1891 census, Christopher (68) is show living with Sarah (27) and Albert (2). He is still a labourer. It looks like he may have been known as Christy, if that census is to be believed.
Christopher passed away on March 31, 1901. Although he was not a member of the Children of Peace, he was buried in their Sharon Burying Ground along with Elizabeth.
The 1901 census shows his widow, Sarah (36), living with Albert (12) and, I believe, her sister Mary Pearsall (28) who is shown as a lodger. They are now in the village of Sharon in the Township of East Gwillimbury.
At this point, I yet to determine what happened to Sarah and Albert following the 1901 census.