I actually managed to find some time to participate in this week’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun, courtesy of Randy at Genea-Musings. This week’s challenge is the following:

1) Who is your MRUA – your Most Recent Unknown Ancestor? This is the person with the lowest number in your Pedigree Chart or Ahnentafel List that you have not identified a last name for, or a first name if you know a surname but not a first name.

2) Have you looked at your research files for this unknown person recently? Why don’t you scan it again just to see if there’s something you have missed?

3) What online or offline resources might you search that might help identify your MRUA?

4) Tell us about him or her, and your answers to 2) and 3) above, in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook or Google Plus.

I took a look at my Ahnentafel chart and found number 53, Charlotte, my great-great-great grandmother. She married John Richardson sometime around 1860. They lived in Lewisham, England.

My records indicate that she was John’s second wife and she shows up on the 1861 census along with John, his daughter Ann from his previous marriage and their one-year-old son George. Their son, my great-great grandfather William John Richardson, was born in 1866 and emigrated to Canada in 1887. The 1881 census shows Charlotte had been widowed and was living with a number of her children.

For all the information I had on her, for some reason  I had never tracked down her last name. Until tonight.

A quick search on Findmypast turned up a marriage index for a John Richardson marrying a Charlotte Jackman in Lewisham in 1860. My great-great-great grandmother is likely, therefore, Charlotte Jackman.

The census data had suggested that she was born around 1838 in Woking, Surrey. A quick look at Family Search turned up a baptism record for a Charlotte Jackman, born in October 16, 1837, daughter of Thomas and Susannah Jackman at Saint Peter, Woking, Surrey. As Charlotte’s eldest daughter was named Susannah and one of her sons was Thomas, it seems probable this is the correct Charlotte. Which also means I may have just found my great-great-great-great grandparents!

I did find the family in the census for 1841 and 1851. There is doubtless additional information out there that I will go looking for another day.

All in all – not bad for a couple hours work!

It’s Saturday night and for the first time in months, I actually have time to play along with Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings.

Tonight’s mission is:

1) What year was your paternal grandfather born?  Divide this number by 100 and round the number off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”
2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ancestral name list (some people call it an “ahnentafel”). Who is that person?
3) Tell us three facts about that person in your ancestral name list with the “roulette number.”
4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook status or a Google Stream post, or as a comment on this blog post.
5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandmother, or yourself, a parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

1) My paternal grandfather was born in 1906. Dividing by 100 gives us 19.06, rounded to 19.

2) The person with that number on my ancestral name list is my great-great grandmother Jane Summerville (1851-1884).

3) Three facts about Jane:

  • She was the daughter of Christopher Summerville and Elizabeth Humphreys. She was actually the second of their daughters to be named Jane. Her elder sister died on board the ship that brought the family to Canada in 1846.
  • Jane married Harrison Thomas (1846-1878) in Sharon, Ontario, on June 9, 1874. They had two daughters – Gertrude Ethel (1875-1971) and Maude Evelyn (ca. 1878- ca. 1879). Harrison died on December 5, 1878, leaving Jane a widow.
  • Jane moved to Uxbridge, Ontario in 1879 with Gertrude to keep house for her brother John who had been widowed earlier in the year. Her younger daughter, Maude, had died in March. His son Herb was twelve and Gertrude was devoted to him her entire life. While in Uxbridge, Jane developed a close friendship with Dr. Joseph Bascom and his wife, Anna Workman. Anna’s cousin Tom Workman had married a cousin of Harrison Thomas’. When Jane died in 1884, the Bascoms adopted eight-year-old Gertrude.


While searching through census records on the Ansteds, I noted that both Thomas Ansted (my great-great-great-great-great grandfather) and John Ansted (my great-great-great-great grandfather) were listed as brokers. In one census, John was listed as a fruit broker. Once I had that detail, I decided to search Google for <Ansted and fruit broker> and, lo and behold, up popped Clark & Ansted, fruit brokers. So, I kept digging and this is what I have come up with on the company to date.

The first mention I have found of the company was a notice of auction published in the Times of London on Friday, February 22, 1793. At that time the company was operating as Fielder, Clark and Ansted:


At Garraway’s Coffee-house, ‘Change-alley, Cornhill, THIS DAY,
the 22d Instant, at Twelve o’Clock,
A PARCEL of the most superior new FRUIT
just landed from MALAGA, consisting of
738 Boxes Bloom }
200 Muscatel } Raisins
Now to be viewed at the place of landing, Ralph’s Quay, and
until the time of Sale, where Catalogues may be had, at the Place
of Sale, and of   FIELDER, CLARK and ANSTED, Brokers,
No. 2, Idol-lane, Tower-street.

The company appears to have dealt exclusively in dried fruit such as raisins and currants. Most of the auctions I found records for involved shipments from Malaga in Spain.

The company is listed in the 1794 Kent’s Directory as Fielder, Clark & Ansted, Fruit brokers, 2, Idol la. Tower str.

The data for that directory must have been collected the year prior or early in 1794 because by April 1794 the company is named Clark and Ansted.

From the Times of London, April 12, 1794:

At Garraway’s, on Tuesday, the 15th Instant, at 5 o’Clock, for Benefit of Salvage,
the Cargo of the Emanuel Picolo, Capt. Ragusin, Strand-
ed off New Haven, viz.
95 Butts Currants       |  8 Small Casks ditto
33 Hogsheads ditto   |  32 Carrotee’s ditto
19 Pipes ditto               |    Part damaged
To be viewed on Monday and Tuesday, till the time of Sale,
at Smart’s Quay, near Billingsgate, where Catalogues may be
had, at the Place of Sale and of
CLARK and ANSTED, Brokers
No. 40 Philpot-lane, Fenchurch-Street

The company has also moved and is now located in Philpot-lane. The company remains in that location until approximately 1811.

Many of the early auctions were held at Garraway’s Coffee House. Coffee houses were centres for business through much of the 18th and 19th centuries. Garraway’s was opened in 1669 by Thomas Garraway, the first person to import tea into England. It was a four-storey brick building with mahogany boxes and seats on the main floor. Businessmen would go there, and to other coffee houses, to eat, drink and transact business. The building was ultimately torn down in 1873. Clark and Ansted also transacted business at Hambro’ Coffee House, as evidenced by ads in the Times in 1800.  (For a more indepth look into coffee houses this article is worth a read.)

In 1811, the London Commerical Sale Rooms were built in  Mincing-Lane to provide offices and a market place. The Sale Rooms eventually became the London Commodity Exchange in 1954. Clark and Ansted appear to have moved into offices in that building by 1820, the year Thomas’ eldest son John was married. His marriage announcement gave Mincing Lane as his business address. After Thomas’ death in 1846, the following advertisement appeared in the Times of London on November 23:

Notice is hereby given, that a SPECIAL GENERAL MEETING of Proprietors will be held a the Institution, in Mincing-lane, on Monday, the 30th day of November inst., for the purpose of electing two Trustees of the said Institution, in the place of Robert Humphrey Marten and Thomas Ansted, Esquires, deceased. The chair will be taken and business commence at 12 o`clock at noon precisely.
By order of the Directors,
GEORGE MARTEN, Chief Clerk and Solicitor.
Chief Clerk`s Office, Mincing-lane, Nov 23, 1846.

It appears that Thomas was a Trustee of the commercial sale rooms.

It is evident from Thomas’ will that following Thomas’ death his son John took over the Ansted half of the company. In an issue of the London Gazette in 1853, an announcement was posted to note the dissolution of the partnership between Clark and the Ansteds:

39, Mincing-lane, London, September 12, 1853.
Notice is hereby given, that the Partnership hitherto existing between John Nassau Clark, John Ansted and John Ansted, junr., under the firm of Clark, Ansted, and Co., has this day been dissolved by mutual consent; and that the business will in future be carried out by John Ansted and John Ansted, junr., under the firm of Clark, Ansted, and Co.
John Nassau Clark.
John Ansted.
John Ansted, junr.

Beyond this notice, I have yet to find much evidence of the company’s doings from 1846 until the late 1850s. In this post, I outline the company’s business in Australia. Since the company had expanded its business overseas, I am assuming that it was doing quite well.

In 1876 both John Sr. and John Jr. are on a List of Brokers in the Times of London (published January 14, 1876):


The company appears to have moved back into premises in Philpot-lane some time between 1846 and 1877. It appears John Sr. and John Jr. were working together up until John Jr. passed away in 1876. John Sr. died the following year and it looks like Clark and Anstead was taken over by John Jr.’s two sons. The January 13, 1883 list of Brokers in the Times of London, shows that control of the company has passed to Alfred and Edward Ansted:

The company has also moved again – this time to 40 St. Mary-at-hill.

The next reference I have found for the company is from 1914. The Whitakers Red Book, 1914, includes a listing for Clark, Ansted and Co. under Fruit (Dried and Preserved).

That is the last reference I have found for the company. It is no longer in existence today. I suspect it may have closed its doors some time between Edward Ansted’s death in 1917 and Alfred’s in 1936.

While 1793 is the first documented evidence I have of the company’s existence, I have recently uncovered an interesting clipping that suggests they had been in business considerably longer than that. In the August 9, 1878 Times of London, the company responded to a previous story with a letter to the editor. The original story, published in the Times on August 8, 1878, read:

THE DISRAELI FAMILY AND THE CITY – Lord Beaconsfield’s grandfather was connected with, if not a parter in, the house now Messers. Clark, Ansted & Co., fruit brokers, Mincing-lane. The name of Disraeli may still be seen on the books of the firm. The father of Earl Beaconsfield bought a life annuityof the Corporation, which he received until his death. The balance due to his estate was paid to the present Lord Beaconsfield, whose signature, together with that of his father, can still be seen on the books of the Chamberlain’s office, Guildhall. — City Press.

The letter to the editor stated:

Sir, –It is true that we have the name of Benjamin D’Israeli on our books as far back as 1763, but the con-nexion with that gentleman was merely that of principal and brokers. We are, respectfully, yours,
London, Aug. 8    CLARK, ANSTED AND CO.

The company, in some form, was apparently in existence from at least the early 1760s. And the fact it was connected, in any fashion, with a name like Disraeli* is quite impressive to me.

I will leave Clark, Ansted and Co. here for now, though I have not given up hope of discovering yet more information on the company or the family.

*Benjamin D’Israeli was born in Cento, Italy in 1730. He came to England in 1748 and settled there as a merchant. He died in 1816. His son, Issac (1766-1848), was a writer and scholar. Issac’s son Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, (1804-1881) was Prime Minister of England from 1871 and 1877. (Disraeli information from Wikipedia.)

Happy Anniversary to me!

It’s hard to believe a year has already passed since I started this blog. I have not published nearly as often as I had hoped to – “real life” tends to get in the way of research at times. But, despite the intermittent publishing schedule, this blog has brought me into contact with a handful of “new” cousins and allowed me to reconnect with some “old” ones. My hope is to post more consistently in the blog’s second year. We’ll see how well that works!
Some of the reason for the recent quiet was a family trip to England. There was not really any time for actual research while we were there, but I was able to briefly prowl around Fulham Cemetery in London where my great-great-great grandfather James Coulman is buried. The cemetery sustained some damage during the Second World War and there is no longer a tombstone for him, or his wife and daughter who are also buried there. It is still a beautiful site – even on a grey day.

And there is a memorial near the section where James is buried for those who fought and died in the war.

We also took time to visit my husband’s grandparents’ gravesites – it’s never too young to get the children interested in genealogy!

Thanks for reading!

It’s Saturday night and it’s time for some of Genea-musings’ Saturday Night Genealogy Fun. Tonight’s challenge is to:

1) If you have your family tree research in a Genealogy Management Program(GMP), whether a computer software program or an online family tree, figure out how to find how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database (hint: the Help button is your friend!).
2) Tell us which GMP you use, and how many persons, places, sources, etc. are in your database(s) today in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook status or Google+ stream comment.

This is where I demonstrate in black and white how little time I really have to devote to genealogy. Reading through the comments on Genea-Musings from those who have many thousands of people in their databases, tends to make my number appear very small indeed. (In my defense, that is at least in part due to the fact when I upgraded software a few years ago, I decided to essentially start from scratch and only add people I was “sure” about. I didn’t really count on never having time to research when I made that decision.) Anyway, enough with the disclaimers – here are the numbers:

I use Family Tree Maker 2011.

I have 1,308 people in my database.

There are 399 marriages and 10 generations.

There are 318 surnames.

There are 231 places.

I have 89 sources and 132 pieces of media. (These numbers are lower partly due to that lack of time I mentioned previously, I have many, many items that need to be entered into the database.)

The average lifespan is 60.

The earliest birth date is John Oakely in 1750.

The most recent birth date is from 2010. (This is one of the main causes of my lack of time!)

It’s Saturday night and time for some genealogy fun, courtesy of Randy Seaver’s Genea-musings website. Our mission tonight:

1) List your matrilineal line – your mother, her mother, etc. back to the first identifiable mother. Note: this line is how your mitochondrial DNA was passed to you!
2) Tell us if you have had your mitochondrial DNA tested, and if so, which Haplogroup you are in.
3) Post your responses on your own blog post, in Comments to this blog post, or in a Status line on Facebook or in your Stream at Google Plus.
4) If you have done this before, please do your father’s matrilineal line, or your grandfather’s matrilineal line, or your spouse’s matriliuneal line.
5) Does this list spur you to find distant cousins that might share one of your matrilineal lines?

This was actually an interesting exercise and highlighted just how much work I have left to do, particularly on my mother’s family!

1) I will start my matrilineal line back at my great-grandmother. (I have all the details for myself, my mother and my grandmother but will not share them here).

(a) Me
(b) My mother
(c) My grandmother
(d) Margaret Jane Davey (1881 in Chinguacousy, ON – 1961 in Toronto, ON) married Hugh Hunter (1863-1939)
(e) Margaret Hindle (1853 in Chinguacousy, ON – 1930 in Brampton, ON) married James Davey (1854-1925)
(f) Faith Collins (1817 in England – 1886 in Chinguacousy, ON) married John Henry Hindle (1813-1905)

2) I have not done any DNA testing yet, but it is definitely on my list of “things to do” one of these days.

4) My father’s matrilineal line, starting back at his mother’s mother is:

(a) Me
(b) My father
(c) My grandmother
(d) Margaret Johnson (1883 in Athelstan, QC – 1971 in Toronto, ON)  married John Everett Fee (1878-1967)
(e) Alice Jane Burton (1848 in Loddon, Norfolk, England – 1928 in Athestan, QC) married John Johnson (1847-1939)
(f) Dionysia Ansted (1827 in Lambeth, Surrey, England – 1898 in Montreal, QC) married Thomas Burton (1816-1898)
(g) Dionysia Northeast (1796 in England – 1827 in England) married John Ansted (1789-1877)
(h) Elizabeth Barnes (Abt 1761 in Wiltshire, England – 1837 in Wiltshire, England) married Thomas Northeast  (Abt 1761-1817)

5) I don’t know as this list, per se, is spurring me on to find distant cousins that share one of my matrilineal lines – though I am always open to finding distant cousins!! So, please contact me if you see any familiar names!


My great-great-great grandfather Reuben Thomas on his 87th birthday in 1904. He lived to 91.
I don’t know who the woman is, but given her relative youth she may be a granddaughter.

My great-great-great grandfather Reuben Thomas (1817-1909) in an undated photograph.

It’s Saturday night and time for some genealogy fun thanks to Randy Seaver over at Geneamusings. Tonight’s mission is ahnentafel roulette:

1) How old is your great-grandfather now, or how  old would he be if he had lived? Divide this number by 4 and round the number  off to a whole number. This is your “roulette number.”

2) Use your pedigree charts or your family tree genealogy software program to find the person with that number in your ahnentafel (ancestor name list). Who is that person?

3) Tell us three facts about that person with the “roulette number.”

4) Write about it in a blog post on your own blog, in a Facebook or Google Plus note or comment, or as a comment on this blog post.

5) If you do not have a person’s name for your “roulette number” then spin the wheel again – pick a grandparent, a  parent, a favorite aunt or cousin, or even your children!

I chose the eldest of my great-grandfathers, Hugh Hunter. Hugh was born in 1863, which would make him 148 years old today. Divided by 4, one gets a “roulette number” of 37.

Number 37 in my ahnentafel is my great-great-great grandmother Melissa Haight.

  1. Melissa Haight was the daughter of Harrison Haight and Agnes Doan. She was born in 1819 and died on February 27, 1873.
  2. Melissa and her husband Reuben Thomas had 11 children: Agnes, Nicholas, Harrison (my great-great grandfather), Philander, Sophronia, Silas, William, Jane, Mary, Cynthia and Eva.
  3. Just recently, I discovered that Melissa and Reuben are buried with three of their children (John, William and Agnes) in the Zion United Church Cemetery in Darlington Township, Ontario.

I really don’t have a great deal of information on Melissa. I have gradually been turning up facts on her and Reuben, but it has been slow going. Family lore says that Reuben and Melissa met and married soon after Reuben’s arrival in Canada from Cornwall, England. My great-grandmother said that, “Grandfather fell in love with Grandmother at first sight. He was going over the field near Mariposa, Ontario, and was climbing a fence and sat on it for a rest and from there he saw Grandmother in the garden picking berries.” I have always quite liked that story and hope that it is true!


The Sharon Temple is located in Sharon, ON. It was built in the 1800s by the Children of Peace. I am not going to attempt to provide a comprehensive history of either the Temple or the Children of Peace. But I will touch on my ancestors’ connection to both. Should you wish to know more than I write of here, the Sharon Temple National Historic Site & Museum has a wealth of information on the subject.

The Children of Peace was an offshoot of the Quaker movement. They were led by David Willson, an American who migrated to Canada in 1801. Born a Presbyterian, he was eventually admitted as a Quaker. Following a spiritual transformation, he began preaching during the War of 1812. Around that time he left the Quakers and ultimately formed his own spiritual community, known as the Children of Peace. He sympathized with the movement for political reform in Upper Canada and Willson and some of his followers ended up being involved in the Rebellion of 1837.

The Sharon Temple was built between 1825 and 1831. It is a stunning piece of architecture, incorporating an Ark of the Covenant, inspirational Banners, Pipe and Barrel Organs and Jacob’s Ladder. The Temple represents the Children of
Peace’s vision of a society based on the values of peace, equality, and social justice. Built in imitation of Solomon’s Temple, it was used once a month to collect alms for the poor. There were two other meeting houses Sharon, which were used for regular Sunday worship.

From what I have been able to determine, most of my ancestors who lived in the area were not actually Children of Peace but at least some of them were Quaker.

My great-great-great-great grandparents Harrison Haight and Agnes Doan settled in Little Britain in the 1830s. Harrison was born in 1797 and he died in 1877. Agnes was born in 1799 and died, according to the best information I have found so far, in 1842. Information that the Temple Museum Society has collated suggests that Agnes was a member of the Children of Peace until she married Harrison in 1818. At that time she was disowned.

Family lore has it that at some point in the 1840s Harrison decided that the world was going to end. He gave away many of his possessions, put on his best night dress, and climbed on to the roof of his home. I suspect he may have felt rather foolish when climbing down the following morning and trying to reclaim his belongings. I will probably never know whether this story is true or not, but it is true that many followers of William Miller, an American Baptist preacher, believed that the world was going to end on October 22, 1844. So, there is at least the possibility that Harrison was one of the many who came to believe Miller’s assertion that the world would in fact end on that date.

Sharon Burying Ground Circa 1813
Community burial place containing members of the Children of Peace, builders of the Sharon Temple. Tombstones dating to the 1820′s include that of their founder David Willson.

Agnes’ parents – Mahlon and Rebecca Doan – are buried at the Sharon Burying Ground near the temple. Mahlon and Rebecca emigrated from Pennsylvania to Yonge St. in 1808 and joined the Children of Peace in 1813. Mahlon farmed and was a carriage maker by trade. Many in the Doan family immigrated to the area at the same time as Mahlon and Rebecca. In fact,  Mahlon’s brother, Ebenezer Doan, was the master builder for the temple.  (For more information on the Doans, the Temple Museum Society has a Genealogy page with a section on the family. It’s a good starting point for further research.)

Mahlon Doan
Deceased Feb. 20, 1852. Aged 81 years & 6 mo.
With stedy steps I did persue, My lifetime or my journey through And when my seeing eyes did close My soul did rest in sweet repose Of all the griefs I ever bore I tast I feel I see no more.
Erected by Judah Doan.

Rebecca Doan
Wife of Mahlon Doan deceased who departed this life Septr 5th 1852, Aged 79 years and 24 days.
My spirit went before to rest, While I laid on my dying bed, And often hath my soul been blest And I in peace laid down my head. Dear children my last days attend Nor never let my mind decay For heaven above hath been my friend And peace hath blest my dying day.
Erected by Jonathan & Enos Doan

My Summerville great-great-great grandparents – Christopher and Elizabeth – are also buried at the Sharon Burying Ground. To the best of my knowledge (and according to information available from the Temple museum) they were not members of the Children of Peace. Their daughter Jane Summerville, my great-great grandmother, married Harrison Thomas – the son of Reuben Thomas and Melissa Haight (Harrison and Agnes’ daughter). Jane and Harrison are also buried in the Burying Ground.

Died Mar 31 1901; Aged 79 years 1 Mo.
Not lost but gone before

Mother is done
In memory of Elizabeth
Wife of Chris. Somerville,
Who died Nov 2, 1886; Aged 66 years
Thou art gone to the grave, but we will not diplore thee Tho sorrow and silence encompass the tomb, The Saviour hath passed thro its portals before thee, And the image of his face was thy guide thro’ the gloom.

As a side note, on the site of the Sharon Temple museum is a little log house. The house was moved there from Holt, Ontario. It’s a rather non-descript, very simple home. It is the closest I have ever come to a time travel machine. My great aunts maintained that their mother, my great-grandmother, had been born in that cabin in 1875. Gertrude Ethel Thomas was the daughter of Jane and Harrison Thomas. When we were there several years ago we were lucky enough to be able to go inside the cabin. It was incredible to stand there and imagine that this was where my great-great-grandparents lived and where my great-grandmother had been born. The cabin – and the whole Sharon Temple site – really allowed me to feel connected to my heritage in a way I had not felt previously.

This post is my submission to the September 4, 2011 Carnival of Genealogy 109, Our Ancestors’ Place of Worship.

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