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.

Harrison Haight was my great-great-great-great grandfather. To the best of my knowledge, he was born in 1797 in the United States. He came north in the early 1800s and settled in Little Britain, Ontario. He died in 1877.

It’s Saturday night again which means it’s time for Randy Seaver’s Saturday Night Genealogy Fun over at Genea-Musings. Tonight’s mission is:

1) List your 16 great-great-grandparents with their birth, death and marriage data (dates and places). [Hint – you might use an Ancestral Name List from your software for this.]

2) Determine the countries (or states) that these ancestors lived in at their birth and at their death.

3) For extra credit, go make a “Heritage Pie” chart for the country of origin (birth place) for these 16 ancestors. [Hint: you could use the chart generator from Kid Zone for this.] [Note: Thank you to Sheri Fenley for the “Heritage Pie” chart idea.]

4.) Tell us about it in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a post on Facebook or google+.

Bearing in mind I don’t yet have complete information on all 16 of my great-great-grandparents, they are as follows:

James St. John, son of James St. John and Jane Lloyd was born on 22 Aug 1839 in Ontario. He died on 25 Jul 1910. He married Mary Elizabeth Barker on 11 Apr 1866 in Brock Township, Ontario.

Mary Elizabeth Barker, daughter of James Barker and Hannah Taylor. She was born on 26 Aug 1847 in Pinedale, Brock Township, Ontario. She died on 26 Jan 1892 in Ontario.

Harrison Thomas, son of Reuben Thomas and Melissa Haight was born on 30 Dec 1846 in East Whitby, Ontario. He died on 5 Dec 1878 in Holt, Ontario. He married Jane Summerville on 09 Jun 1874 in Sharon, Ontario.

Jane Summerville, daughter of Christopher Summerville and Elizabeth Humphreys was born about 1851 in Sharon, Ontario. She died on 09 Jun 1884 in Uxbridge, Ontario.

John Fee, son of Thomas Fee and Charlotte Williams was born in Sep 1844 in Quebec. He died on 08 Oct 1922 in Quebec. He married Henrietta Salter in 1872.

Henrietta Salter, daughter of David Salter and Maria Knight was born on 25 Apr 1846 in Montreal, Quebec. She died on 22 Jan 1932 in Westmount, Quebec.

John Johnson, son of Baptiste Johnson (?) and Ann Kelly was born on 11 Feb 1847 in Quebec. He died on 23 Jan 1939 in Athelstan, Quebec. He married Alice Jane Burton on 09 Mar 1873 in Montreal, Quebec.

Alice Jane Burton, daughter of Thomas Burton and Dionysia Ansted was born on 22 Dec 1848 in Loddon, Norfolk, England. She died on 26 May 1928 in Athelstan, Quebec.

Edward Pardoe Coulman, son of James Coulman and Mary Ann Pardoe was born on 20 Apr 1852 in London, England. He died on 16 1908 in Toronto, Ontario. He married Alice Louisa Oakley on 22 May 1879 in Toronto, Ontario.

Alice Louisa Oakley, daughter of Cornelius Oakley and Jane Adams was born on 04 Jun 1856 in Hove, Sussex, England. She died on 10 Oct 1947 in Toronto, Ontario.

William John Richardson, son of John Richardson and Charlotte (unknown) was born in Sep 1866 in Lewisham, Kent, England. His death date is unknown, but he is presumed to have died in Ontario. He married Rebecca Lusty on 26 Nov 1882 in Bromley, Kent, England.

Rebecca Lusty, daughter of Charles Lusty and Ellen (unknown) was born in Feb 1866 in Croydon, Surrey, England. She died on 26 Jun 1922 in Toronto, Ontario

Robert Hunter was born in 1816 in Ireland. He died on 29 May 1888 in Ontario. He married Hannah Dool around 1840 in Ireland.

Hannah Dool was born on 21 Jan 1823 in Ireland. She died on 22 Oct 1908 in Chinguacousy, Ontario.

James Davey, son of William Davey and Sarah Neil was born on 08 Feb 1854 in Chinguacousy, Ontario. He died on 28 Feb 1925 in Nortonville, Ontario. he married Margaret Hindle in 1875 in Brampton, Ontario.

Margaret Hindle, daughter of John Henry Hindle and Faith Collins was born on 14 Oct 1853 in Chinguacousy, Ontario. She died on 11 Oct 1930 in Brampton, Ontario.

Of these 16 people: 6 were born in Ontario, 3 were born in Quebec, 2 were born in Ireland, and 5 were born in England. And 12 died in Ontario, while 4 died in Quebec.

And here is my “Heritage Pie” chart:

Turns out I am, in fact, just about as Canadian as I thought I was! Over half of my great-great-grandparents were born in Canada and all of them died here. When I have some more time, I’d like to take this idea back as far as I can – it would be interesting to see where everyone originally came from. I’m pretty sure that it will show up mostly English with a bit of Irish and German/Irish Palatine thrown in for good measure!

It’s Saturday Night and time for some Genealogy Fun courtesy of Randy Seaver over at Genea-Musings. Our mission is to create a “Genea-Bucket List”.

Knowing that a “Bucket List” is a wish list of things to do before death:

1) What is on your Genealogy Bucket List? What research locations do you want to visit? Are there genea-people that you want to meet and share with? What do you want to accomplish with your genealogy research? List a minimum of three
items – more if you want!

2) Tell us about it in a blog post of your own (please give me a link in Comments), a comment to this post in Comments, or a status line or comment on Facebook.

Think big! Have fun! Life is short – do genealogy first!

I have lots of things that could end up on such a list – but I will confine myself to the top seven (since that’s how many I typed up before I had to stop and actually think).

1) I would like to visit London, England and Norfolk County, England. When I was in England several years ago I did spend some time digging around for family but since that time I have discovered a great deal more information on some of
my branches, including the Ansteds, Lustys, Oakleys and Coulmans. Now I need to go back with a more purposeful plan. I have also discovered some information that leads me to the Burtons in Norfolk, so I’d like to go there, too.

2) Since I will already be over in that part of the world, I would like to drop in on Ireland! I know my Palatine German St. Johns settled for a time in the Co. Limerick area, so I would like to visit there. I also want to visit Co. Fermanagh in Northern Ireland where I believe my Summerville ancestors hail from. Hopefully by the time I actually make it there, I will also have figured out where my Johnson, Fee and Hunter ancestors came from. Surely I can do better than just “Ireland”.

3) If time permits on this mythical trip, I would also like to visit the region in Germany where the St. Johns originally came from. I have a bit more research to do before I set off in that direction, though.

4) Within Canada’s borders, I would like to go back to the parts of Ontario my ancestors settled in. That would lead me to Brock Twp for the St. Johns, Uxbridge for the Thomases, Little Britain for the Haights, Sharon for the
Summervilles, Chinguacousy for the Hunters and Daveys and Toronto for the Coulmans. I grew up in that part of the world so I have been to many of those locations, but I’d like to go back now that I have a little more knowledge.

5) While I’m in Ontario, I may as well head east to Quebec to see what else I can turn up on the ancestors that settled there. The Fees, Johnsons, and Burtons moved around between Montreal and the Athelstan area and I’d like to spend more time investigating them. I’d also be interested to see what I could find on the Salter/Bohle branch in the Montreal area.

6) I would like to figure out where Harrison Haight came from. He has long intrigued me and has been a bit of a block to my research for years. I know I haven’t exhausted every possibility so I hesitate to call him a ‘brick wall,’ but he’s a challenging person. I would also like to spend more time verifying the origins of his first wife, Agnes Doan. I keep finding other people’s trees online that take her family back to Deacon John Doane in the early days of the Plymouth colony – but I not 100% convinced  yet. And, while I’m at it, I’d like to discover more on Reuben Thomas who married Harrison and Agnes Haight’s daughter Melissa. I have very little information on him beyond the fact we believe he came from Cornwall.

7) Finally, I would like to take all the information I have published on this blog – as well as the information I haven’t – and put it into book form of some sort. Hopefully someone in the next generation will be interested enough to
carry on my  research but even if there isn’t anyone to continue on, I would like to ensure that the information I have already found doesn’t end up “lost”. An actual book seems a better way to protect the information than a few computer
files and a big box of photocopies and other material.

Looking over my list I have to say I hope I have inherited the genes from some of my longer lived ancestors – it may take me well into my 90s to accomplish all that I want to!

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