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 thirty-two.
My great-great-great grandfather, Cornelius Oakley, was born about 1815 in Southampton, Hampshire, England. His parents were John Oakley and Elizabeth Taplin. He was baptized on January 7, 1816 in St. Mary’s in Southampton.
Cornelius married Jane Adams on October 7, 1837 in Southampton.
The 1841 English census finds the family living in Southampton. Cornelius (25) and Jane (24) are there along with William (2) and Cornelius (1). Also in the home is Elizabeth Oakley (57), presumably Cornelius’ mother. Ann Edwards (60) is shown as head of household – I am not sure how she is connected to the family.
By the 1851 census, the family has expanded and moved to 29 Crown Gardens in Brighton. Cornelius (35) and Jane (33) are shown with William (12), Cornelius (10), Alfred (8), Sarah (5), Samuel (3), and George (1 month). Also in the home are Henry Goodborn (17) and William Baker (19), they are both listed as visitors and both are carpenters. Cornelius is a stone mason.
By the 1861 census, the family was back in Southampton, in the parish of St. Mary’s Extra. Cornelius (45) and Jane (43) are at home with Cornelius (20), Alfred (16), Samuel (13), George (11), Thomas (8), Alice (4), and Emma (4 months). Cornelius and his sons Cornelius and Alfred are all listed as stone masons. From the birthplaces of the various children, it appears the family was away from Southampton from the late 1840s until the late 1850s, not more than 10 years in total.
By 1870, however, the family moved much further away than just up the coast of England. They arrived in Quebec City on July 13, 1870 on board the Ganges. Cornelius was listed as a stone mason and traveled with 3 adult males, 2 adult females and one child. Travelling with Cornelius and Jane were Alice, Emma, Thomas and Edward Pardoe Coulman (listed as a son, he would eventually marry Alice). Alfred and his wife and their two children were also on that voyage. Their other sons William, Cornelius, George and Samuel would immigrate (and some return to England) at other times.
The Ganges trip was connected with the East-End Emigration Club, which helped to sponsor emigrants to the “new world”. There were 761 emigrants who set off on that ship. Some of them were sponsored by Kelsall’s Emigration Charity, which supplied a suit of clothing as well as a modest sum of money to help the immigrants get off to a good start. The Oakley’s appear to have been affiliated with “Mr Currie’s Club”. The records state they had $13.75 to help them start off in Canada – apparently supplied by themselves – and they were heading for Montreal.
And, in fact, the 1871 Canadian census shows the family living in St Antoine Ward in Montreal West. Cornelius (55) and Jane (53) are there along with Thomas (17), Alice (15), and Emma (10). Also with the family is Emily (26) and Albert (4), Frederick (2) and Sarah (4 months). Emily is shown as married and I would assume her husband is Alfred, but I don’t know where he was at the time of the census.
Sometime prior to the 1881 census, the family has moved to Ontario. Cornelius (66), Jane (65) and Emma (20) are living in St. Stephen’s Ward in Toronto. A number of their grown children are living on the same street. Cornelius Oakley Jr and his wife Frances are there with their children, William, Albert, Elizabeth, Frank, Harry and Nelly. George and his wife Mary Ann are living with Charles, Emma, George and Cornelius. Also living with them are George’s sister Alice, her husband Edward Coulman, and their son James. Thomas and his wife Anne are also neighbours, along with their children Anne, Alice and Thomas. Alfred and Emily are also just a couple of doors away, along with Alfred, Jane, Sarah, Annie, Frederick and Richard.
Cornelius passed away on September 1, 1886, at 70 years of age from dyspepsis. He was listed as a stone cutter.