Howdenshire History

Emigration: Howden & Area, Yorkshire to Canada

I have been researching local history for over 30 years and, even before the age of the internet, I was contacted by people from all over the globe whose ancestors were from Howden and the surrounding villages. My own ancestors emigrated to the Port Hope area of Ontario, Canada in 1832 and from the letters I have read they knew several local families who had also settled in Ontario over the previous 10 years.

This project lists some of the families who began life in Yorkshire but who moved to many different parts of the world. I have used various sources. I have researched some of these families myself but although I have tried to check everything, some of the information below is from secondary sources. Therefore, please use it with caution.


Hewson - Imeson & Fearn - Nutbrown - Horsley - Proctor - Lee - Bletcher & Newcombe - Thornton & Bowler - Hairsine - Stephenson



The children of Nicholas Hewson and Elizabeth Pickering:  Yokefleet to Ontario, Canada

The material here is used with kind permission from Janice Fralick (the two letters from Matthew) and from David Horton at The Watermelon Blog.


Nicholas Hewson and Elizabeth Pickering (born 1764; Nicholas' birth date not known) probably married around 1785. From 1786 to 1807 they appear to have been living at Yokefleet and had at least eight children, two of whom, Thomas and Hannah, died young. Some of the children were baptised at nearby Laxton but gave their place of birth as Yokefleet.

There appears to have been an addition to the family in 1802 when Thomas Hewson of Market Weighton, a tailor, died and the administration of his estate was granted to his uncle Nicholas Hewson of Yokefleet, labourer, who also became guardian of George Coghill Hewson, aged six, son of Thomas Hewson.


Of the six surviving children of Nicholas and Elizabeth Hewson, three stayed in England:

Susannah (or Ana) Hewson, baptised 1796 at Laxton, married Robert Maud (born abt 1791, Asselby) at Eastrington in 1816. In 1841 the family was living at Portington where Robert was an agricultural labourer. In 1851 they were living at Holtby near York. Among their children (born Portington) were Nicholas (who later was a joiner in North Cave), John and Matthew. Two of the children, Elizabeth and William, married brother and sister Charles and Eliza Young. Ana died in 1859(?) and Robert later moved in with the Youngs.

John Hewson, born about 1791, was a school teacher and was married, had one daughter, and was remarkably mobile. He taught in Wiltshire and lived at Appleton in 1831, and moved to Huddersfield till 1848. He was then at Temple Coombe and in 1851 they were living in Abbas Combe, Somerset. After a short illness he died at the age of 75. His daughter was also a school teacher and taught for years at Temple Coombe, Trowbridge and at Bath, where she died in 1852. Her husband was a teacher too, and they were only married seven or eight years before she died, leaving two small children. She was said to be clever and was a gifted musician and talented water-colourist as well as a good linguist, speaking French quite fluently.

Matthew Hewson, born about 1790, was a soldier and served in the war of 1812-1814. He fought in the Battle of Queenston Heights and was present when General Brock fell. He received a medal for bravery. Matthew's wife Fanny was an officer's widow, and they lived variously at Woolwich, Howden and Hull. Matthew was described as a tailor in 1841 when he was living in Flatgate, Howden. In 1851 they were in Hull where Matthew was described as a tailor and Chelsea Pensioner. In 1853 he built a house for himself at Eastrington and lived there till he died, at the age of 75, in 1865. Fanny died three months later in North Cave. Nicholas Maud, yeoman of North Cave, Matthew's nephew, was the executor.


The other three children of Nicholas and Elizabeth Hewson emigrated:

Mary Hewson, born about 1791/2, married William Woodhall at Howden in 1821. In 1830, with her husband and two neighbours and her young brother James Hewson (bp. 1805 Laxton), they set sail for Canada. Within a year another brother Nicholas Hewson (bp. 1799 Laxton; he had married a farmer's daughter, Mary Mitchell, in 1829) also headed for Canada, all of them settling near each other in Ontario. James married an Englishwoman in Canada in 1834, but just before this there was an upheaval back home. Their father Nicholas died, and his widow Elizabeth also set sail for Canada, bravely at the age of nearly 70, and moved in with her son Nicholas. She died in Canada in 1838.

Back home, it was Matthew Hewson who kept in touch with his brother Nicholas and let him know the doings of the family back in England. The Canadian Hewsons had not written home from 1840 to 1853. In that year, the death of one of Elizabeth Pickering's brothers forced Matthew to write to them.


Letter from Matthew Hewson addressed to:

Mr. Nicolas Hewson,
On Lot No. 18 in the sixth Concession
East of center ward
Near Stanley Mills,
Upper Canada,
North America

Eastrington, Near
Howden, Yorkshire
August 3rd 1853

Dear Brothers & Sisters
It was a particular desire of poor Uncle Pickering, that you Should be Made Aiquanted With his Death by Us - which took place on the 14th January; he had been gradually decaying for Some time, but kept About till Nearly the last; he Was a frequent Visitant of Ours When We Was at Hull and Many times expressed an Anxious Wish to hear of you all before he died; but We Could get No Intelligence, for him About you; Any More, than We Could get About him for you; when you Made inquiries of Us, in your letters to Us at Woolwich; we found No difficulty in finding him ourselves; when we Went to Hull; and Was Much pleased With his Company at all times. He was a fine Venerable, Handsome looking old Gentleman, to the End. Haveing performed our promise respecting Uncle Pickering; I am About to Ask for an explanation; or reasons Why We have been thus Neglected and treated With Such disrespect in Not getting a line, or Message in reply to 3 Letters We Sent to you before We left Woolwich. It is 13 years, and 6 Months Since you Wrote to us; the Only Word we have ever heard was through John Maud; who told us of the Marrage of Brother Woodall’s Daughter - - If I have given an offence; it was Unintentionally and am wholly unconscience of having done so, in any way, that Could Merit 13 years Resentment and Consider it Nothing but right to know what it is - If you think proper to reply, to this you will direct to Us at Eastrington Where We Are Now liveing; We have built Us a New House, on our own property, and are verry comfortable, enjoying excellent Health; with great Cause to be thankful; for that and every blessing – We Conclude With Wishing you to Understand, We Shall Not be Satisfied With a Messuage from, or though Any One, nut a Reason from yourselves – Why you have So Neglected Us.
In Conclusion We have to beg our United love to All hoping it May reach you all in good health and Remain yours Affectionately
Matthew F. Hewson

P.S. I enquired a few days Ago After Mrs, Mitchel She Was then Well I have Not Seen her and have No Messuage She Was With her Daughter at Spaldington
Not knowing if you heard of the Death of Brother John’s Daughter, I Will tell you she died on the 5th April last Year leaveing two poor Children, who Are With her Father & Mother
M F Hewson.

After this, communications seem to have been re-established.

Letter from Matthew Hewson to Nicholas Hewson (some words unreadable):

October 9th 1858

Dear Brother & Sister
With Much pleasure We _____ received your kind letter and Newspaper for which we thank you – We are happy to find yourselves and family was enjoying health, and doing Well – May those blessings long attend Us all. As to ourselves, we have Much to be thankful for – as to health and all temporal blessings – we saw Nicholas Maud, and his wife last week – they Was Well, and all Members of the family, Was at that time Well, and doing Well, and all are living, at the same places, as When Nicolas sent their places of Residence to Canada. I saw Mrs. Mitchel a few days since, she desires her love, to you, - Also Cousins Jackson, they are Well, and doing Well, they have got their third daughter Married; they have two in Service, and one a Milliner in London, The eldest son is Apprentice’d, to a Draper in Malton and one is at home – I forgot to say Mrs. Mitchel was quite Well and I think looks remarkable Well, she Was sewing Without glasses, - She enquired if you Was coming to see her; Sometimes your old Acquaintances in this place ask after you Collins the shoe Maker; Stephenson the Bricklayer; Mrs. Oster, and many others - - We had a very fine Harvest, and delightful Weather to get it in, Crops good, and good in Quality, - which has caused provision, to be More reasonable than it has been for some time Meat, of all kind, is high yet Butter, has been very dear; for a long time; - We have had very long, hot summer, with Much Wind, and ______ Weather; great Want of Water in some parts; but I have Not heard of any particular sickness arising from the excessive heat, there was several Accidents, from the lightening; some very serious, and fatal – I suppose you heard of the Queen’s Visit to Leeds, and how Loyally the Yorkshire people, receive’d her You Must Not be surprise’d if you have the Prince of Wales visiting Canada, before long I think he will come; he is a Nice Agreeable Youth and Much belove’d go Weare he Will. Having Nearby fill’d My paper, I must Come to a Conclusion feeling sorry I have Nothing More to communicate, hoping this will reach yourselves & Family Well Also Brother & Sister James Hewson Brother & Sister Woodall & families to Whom We beg to be very kindly remember and are at all times happy to get a letter from Cannada And Now dear Brother & Sister May the givers of every good gift Continue to dipense his blessings On Us all and grant Us ________ Happiness Until our lives end Believe Us Yours, Affectionately Matthew F Hewson


Mary Hewson, nee Mitchell died in 1899 and is buried at Brampton Cemetery Chinguacousy Twp, Peel County, Ontario.

The Hewsons certainly left an impression on Canada. By 1949, when a big family reunion was held, there were 1200 Hewson descendants in Canada.

N.B. Probate of will of Robert Mitchell of Yokefleet Lodge, farmer, held in East Riding archives. Executor: son William. Beneficiaries: wife Mary; eldest son Robert; daughters Mary Hewson, Jane Mitchell, Sarah Foster and son William. Property: land at Ellerton. Witnesses: William Dinsley, William Johnson, Robert Drinkall junior. Will dated 1 Apr 1837; Probate 14 Nov 1839.

In 1851 Mrs Mary Mitchell, aged 83 and born Aughton, was living at Sandwood House, Spaldington.





The Imeson and Fearn families:   Howden to Ontario, Canada

Richard Imeson was born at Howden in 1780 and died in 1817 at Drummond, Lanark Co., Ontario. In 1803 he married Elizabeth 'Betty' Fearn, who had been born at Howden in 1784. They emigrated to Canada with their family (Joseph, Charles, Brooks, Harriet and Hannah, all baptised at Howden) before 1817.

There is some evidence that Joseph Imeson and Elizabeth Alcock also emigrated to Drummond Township, Lanark County.

Elizabeth's brother William Fearn and his wife Mary, nee Markham, had a daughter Hannah Fearn, who married Joseph Garbutt at Howden in 1831. They emigrated sometime between 1846 (when their son Joseph Fearn Garbutt was born at Laxton near Howden) and 1849 (when son Charles Thomas Garbutt was born at Pickering, Ontario).





Thomas and Ann Nutbrown:   Howden to Ontario, Canada

Thomas Nutbrown was baptised in 1786 at Howden. He died in 1858 at Leeds, Quebec, Ontario. His wife was Ann Cottam, who was born at Escrick in 1789 and died in 1866. They were married at Thorganby.

Ten children were baptised at Howden and Eastrington. The family emigrated to Canada around 1830.





William Horsley:   Saltmarshe & Eastrington to Ontario, Canada

William Horsley was born on the 9th June 1809 at Saltmarshe, near Laxton, East Yorkshire.

His father John Horsley worked on the Saltmarshe estate farm, and his mother Judith Tomlinson came from a well-established Saltmarshe family. John Horsley's father was William Horsley Snr., a farm worker and husbandman, and his mother was Sarah Lumby (or Lum); they had married at Howden on the 7th November 1784. Willliam Horsley Snr. originally came from the village of Eastrington, and was one of the many children of John Horsley and Elizabeth Brigham.

Sadly, William's mother Judith died in 1815 and his father John also disappeared (he may have died in 1810). By 1836, William had emigrated to Northumberland Co., Ontario, Canada. He and his wife Jane had six children: Thomas Brigham Horsley, Lyman Henry Horsley, Meloney Allen Horsley, Truman Alonzo Horsley, Clarasey Ann Horsley and John Edward Horsley.

William died on the 19th February 1880 at Murray Township, Northumberland Co., Ontario, Canada.





John Proctor:   Eastrington to Ontario, Canada

John was born on the 7th April 1801 in Eastrington, and christened on the 27th April 1807. His father was Francis Proctor. He married Rebecca Hart (who was baptised on the 30th July 1809 at Swinefleet) on 5th September 1829 at Airmyn. The marriage was witnessed by Samuel and Mary Hart.

John Proctor emigrated to the US in 1831. He was listed in the 1871 census at Sarnia, Ontario,Canada.

John Proctor died on the 7th May 1872 in Florence, Ontario, Canada.
He was buried in May 1872 at Butler Cemetery, Florence, Lambton, Ontario, Canada.




The Lee Family:   Laxton and Blacktoft to Ontario, Canada

Thomas Lee (1781 - 1876) was born at Laxton and married Elizabeth Coates (1790 - 1867) from Cotness at Howden in January 1810.

The family lived in Blacktoft and later Laxton, where Thomas was the village tailor. They had ten children.

Two of their daughters, Susannah (bp. 1823 Blacktoft) and Jane (b. abt 1825 Laxton), emigrated:

Susannnah Lee married Joseph Outhwaite at Holy Trinity, Hull in 1846. They had four known children, at least two of whom were born in Canada. The children were William Lee Outhwaite, Ann Outhwaite, Thomas Joseph Outhwaite (born 1862 in Toronto) and Mary Outhwaite (born Toronto in 1864). Joseph died between 1881 and 1887. In 1887 Susannah remarried to Robert Snead, her brother in law. Susannah died in 1905.

Jane Lee was baptised in 1825 at Laxton. She married Robert Snead (bp. Hook) at Howden in 1845. The couple had ten children. By 1851, they were living at Grimsby, where Robert was working as a general labourer. Sometime either later that year, or the year after, the family emigrated to Canada. A son, George Barnard Snead, was born at Etobicoke Township, York Co., Ontario in 1852. The family was still there in 1861 but by 1881 they were living at Innisfil, Simcoe, South Ontario. Jane died in 1884.





The Bletcher and Newcombe Families:   Eastrington to Ontario, Canada

There is much more detail on the family in my recent book about Eastrington. But in brief:

In 1818 Barnabus Bletcher, son of Stephen and Margaret Bletcher of Eastrington, then aged 30, decided to emigrate and begin a new life in Canada. He was accompanied, or joined soon afterwards, by his brother Joseph, his unmarried sister Phoebe, his married sister Ann and her husband Thomas Newcombe and, probably, by his married sister Jane and her husband Thomas Jackson.

Barnabus Bletcher settled on the outskirts of Port Hope, where eventually he ran an inn. His descendants say that he was supposed to have raced horses at York and to have taken with him to Canada a load of thoroughbred horses in the hold of an old sailing ship.

Stephen and Margaret Bletcher had planned to join their children in Canada but Stephen died shortly before they were due to leave. He died in October 1826 aged 72 and, although Margaret did travel to Canada, she died soon after her arrival.

The Bletchers were closely related to John Thompson of Eastrington, who also emigrated to the Port Hope area.


More about the Newcombe family:

Ann Bletcher married Thomas Newcombe at North Cave in 1815. The witnesses were Robert Horsley, who had married Ann's sister Betty Bletcher; Mahalah Bletcher, Ann's sister; and Jane Bletcher, another sister. Ann and Thomas Newcombe emigrated to Ontario with five children including their eldest, Stephen Bletcher Newcombe (born 1816), as well as Thomas (born 1824), Margaret, Elizabeth and Mary.

Thomas Newcombe and his sons, Thomas and Stephen, built a mill at Orland, Northumberland Co, Ontario. The site of the mill is now part of a conservation area.

Ann Newcombe, nee Bletcher, died in 1877.





The Thornton and Bowler Families:   Eastrington to Ontario, Canada

John James Thornton was baptised on the 9th January 1787 at Eastrington. On the 6th April 1814 he married Frances Herbert, the widow of William Herbert, at Eastrington.

Frances was the daughter of John Bowler and was baptised at Eastrington in 1793. She had married William Herbert at Eastrington in 1810 (they may have had a daughter Sarah, who died at Port Hope c.1828). John and Frances Thornton had the following children:

Mary Ann Thornton (1815 – 1899)
Bowler Thornton (1816 – 1876)
William Thornton (1818 – 1897)
John J Thornton (1820 – 1905)
Richard Thornton (1820 – 1905)
Thomas Thornton (1823 – 1916)
Jabez Thornton (1824 – 1910)
Samuel Thornton (1826 – 1905)
'Baby' Thornton (1828 – 1829)
George J Thornton (1830 – 1900)
Sarah Elizabeth Thornton  (1833 – )
Caroline Thornton (1835 – )

The family emigrated in 1829 to Ontario.

In 1853 they were living in Durham Co., Ontario. John Thornton died in 1854 at Kirby, Clarke Twp, Durham City, Ontario. Frances died in 1872 at Kirby, Clarke Twp, Durham City, Ontario.

An article about their grandson, George J Thornton, son of Bowler Thornton, was published in 1892 in the Portrait & Biographical Record, Winnebago & Boone Cos., IL. Chicago:


"George J. Thornton, one of the leading contractors and builders of Rockford, Winnebago County, Illinois, is pleasantly domiciled in one of the fine residences of his own building, at No. 414 Whitman Street, and at the head of Grand Avenue and Thomas Street.  This is one of the many beautiful spots of the thriving city of Rockford.  Since 1881 Mr. Thornton has been a resident of this city.  He has attended strictly to his business, winning a just reputation as to his ability as a contractor and builder.  He was born in the Province of Ontario, Canada, and his parents, Bowler and Hannah (nee Blackburn) Thornton, were natives of England.

"Bowler Thornton was born in Yorkshire, in 1816, and comes of an old Yorkshire family. He grew to manhood there, and learned the blacksmith trade of his father, John Thornton.  In 1829 the family came to America, settled at Port Hope, Province of Ontario, and in Clark Township, of that province, Bowler was united in marriage with Miss Blackburn.  She was also a native of Yorkshire, England, born in 1821, and in 1832 she came with her parents, James and Rachel (Ware) Blackburn, who were natives of Yorkshire, to Canada.  They settled on a timbered farm in Clark Township, Province of Ontario, and there the parents passed the allotted age of man. Both were prominent members of the Methodist Church.  Of their 11 children, Mrs. Thornton was the youngest in order of birth.  Her last remaining sister died in the Province of Ontario on 14 Mar 1892.

"After his marriage Mr. Thornton followed blacksmithing for some time, but later engaged in the grain business, and made a fortune at this.  He was also actively engaged in merchandising, but soon met with reverses and lost all.  In 1865 he came to Illinois and settled in Winnebago County, where he became manager of a sheep and stock farm of 640 acres in Owen Township, know as the L W Owen farm, and received as compensation $65 per month.  Three years later he purchased 160 acres of land in that township, and resided on the same, making many improvements, until his death in Aug 1876, when nearly 59 years of age.  Although he met with many discouragements and reverses, he was never disheartened, and at his death left a fortune of $12,000.  His wife, who is still living and who is 70 years of age, has a comfortable home with a daughter, Mrs. H H Wilcox, in Burritt Township Winnebago County, Illinois.  She is a member of the Methodist Church, and her husband was also associated with that church.

"George J. Thornton was one of 11 children, and was seven years old when he came with his parents to Illinois.  He remained in Illinois until 17 years of age, and then returned to Canada.  Later he entered the Medical Department of the University at Ann Arbor, MI, and then the Chicago Medical School, after which he went West.  He had followed the drug business in Canada for some time before going to Ann Arbor, and in 1881, as before mentioned, he returned to Illinois.  He was married in Rockford [Winnebago County, Illinois, to Miss Ida J. Corlett, a native of Guilford Township, Winnebago County, where she was reared and educated.  Her parents, James and Emma A. (Wood) Corlett, were natives of the Isle of Man and NY State, respectively. Mr. Corlett came to the U. S. with his parents when a child, settling with them in Ohio, and later came to Winnebago County, where he followed farming in Guilford Township.  He was first married to Miss Mary A. Von Alstein, who died when a comparatively young woman, leaving four children.    His second marriage was with Miss Wood, by whom he became the father of nine children.  Mr. Corlett died at his home in Guilford Township, 21 Dec 1885, when 63 years of age.  He was a very successful and popular business man, and left at his death an estate valued at $75,000.  Mrs. Corlett is a resident of this city, and is now not quite 50 years of age.  She resides at No. 412 Whitman Street.

"Mr. and Mrs. Thornton became the parents of two children:  Birdie A., who died at the age of about five months, and Bessie A., a bright little girl of six years.  Mr. and Mrs. Thornton are members of the Centennial Methodist Episcopal Church.  Mr. Thornton is a Republican in politics.  Socially our subject belongs to the Modern Woodmen of America."


Frances Bowler also had a sister, Elizabeth Bowler, who was baptised in 1788 at Eastrington. Before she married, Elizabeth had a daughter Hannah Bowler, who was baptised at Whitgift in 1807. Elizabeth then went on to marry David Wainman.

Hannah Bowler married John Williamson and emigrated to Canada. She died at Markham, Ontario. They had two sons: George, b. 1844, and William, b. 1845 in Canada.

Meanwhile, Hannah's mother Elizabeth Bowler had married David Wainman at Eastrington in 1809. David and Elizabeth Wainman had a large family and lived at Laxton. On the local census, David gave his birthplace as Hive and Elizabeth gave hers as Gilberdyke. There is memorial stone to David and Elizabeth Wainman in Laxton graveyard.

There is some evidence that one of the sons of David and Elizabeth, Emmanuel Wainman (born 1825), emigrated and settled in Orillia, Canada in about 1856.





Charles Hairsine:   Eastrington to Ontario, Canada

Abraham Hairsine was born at Drax in 1738 (he died at Faxfleet). He married firstly Tabitha Blanshard, and secondly Rebekah Jubb. Both marriages were at Hemingbrough. Abraham's son, Charles, was born in 1775 from his second marriage.

In 1803 Charles Hairsine married Mary Shipley at Eastrington. They had the following 11 children:

Rebecca Hairsine (1804 – 1887)
Jane Hairsine (1805 – 1881)
Anne Hairsine   (1807 – 1883)
Thomas Hairsine (1811 – 1897)
Hannah Hairsine (1813 – 1888)
Charles Hairsine  (1814 – 1833)
Abraham Hairsine (1817 – 1817) 
Isaac Hairsine (1817 – 1817)  
James Hairsine (1819 – 1824)
Edward Hairsine (1823 – 1907) 
William Hairsine (1825 – 1825)

In 1818 Charles and Mary Hairsine (nee Shipley) emigrated to Canada and settled on 300 acres on Talbot Road, Mersea Township, Essex County, Ontario.





The Stephenson Family:   Howden & Blacktoft to Ontario, Canada

Robert Stephenson married Hannah Drake at Howden in October 1803. They had the following children:

Mary Stephenson, b. April 7 1805, Laxton.
John Stephenson, b. November 1806.
Hannah Stephenson, b. March 05 1809, Blacktoft. Married George Markham.
Jane Stephenson, b. May 8 1811, Howden.
Maria Stephenson, b. August 19 1813, Howden.
Henry Stephenson, b. July 20 1815, Yorkshire. Married Mary.
George Stephenson, b. abt. 1817; d. Australia.
Elizabeth Stephenson, b. September 16 1817, Howden.
Harriet Stephenson, b. May 9 1823, Blacktoft.
Robert Stephenson, b. November 8 1825, Yorkshire; d. 1915, Ontario, Canada.

Of these children, it is thought that John and Robert emigrated to Canada in 1832 and also probably Henry. Family rumour says that George also emigrated - but to Australia, having got on the wrong ship!


Further details of John Stephenson from his obituary:

"He came to Markham, Ontario, Canada about 1832, at 27 years of age, with his young brother, Robert. He married Abigail Gould (1810 - 1891), Newmarket, Ontario in 1834 Township of Whitechurch, where they farmed and lived about 19 years, then moved to farm near Riverbank, the old homestead, 16th of Peel Township, Wellington County, Queen's Bush. About 35 years later when his wife Abigail died, he went to Arthur, and lived with his daughter Rachel (Mrs. George Hudson), where he died at the age of 86, December 27 1891."

Further details of John's son George B Stephenson from an article for his wedding anniversary :

"On Monday, April 15, 1935, Mr. and Mrs. George B. Stephenson of Arthur, Ontario, will celebrate the 68th anniversary of their wedding. They were married in Drayton, Ontario, by the Rev. Ezra Adams, on the 15th of April, 1867, the same year in which the British North American Act was passed. Mrs. Stephenson was Miss Eliza Isaac, daughter of James Isaac of Alma, Ontario, a native of Aberdeen, Scotland, who emigrated to Canada in 1848. Mr. Stephenson in the son of John Stephenson, who came from Yorkshire, England in 1833 and settled first at Uxbridge, Ontario where he married Abigail Gould of Uxbridge and where eight children were born of which Mr. Stephenson is the only one now living. In 1851, they moved to Wellington County where in the Queen's Bush, on the 16th of Peel Township, they cleared some land and erected a log house, later replaced by a fine stone house which is still in good condition. It was to this homestead that Mr. G. B. Stephenson brought his bride in 1876 and where their family was born. After farming about twenty years, they moved to Arthur, where Mr. Stephenson bought a store and carried on a successful business for fifteen years, when he sold out to his son Alfred, who continued the business until the fall of 1934.

"The other members of the family are: John E., who died in Vancouver in 1933, Rev. George I. Stephenson of Limehouse, and Mrs. W.E.S. (Abbie) James of Arthur. There are nine grand-children and two great- grandchildren. Mr. Stephenson is now ninety-one, and Mrs. Stephenson, eighty-seven years of age, both of
whom are blessed with wonderful vitality and are enjoying many interests. We wish them every blessing during the remaining years of their lives."


Further details of Robert Stephenson (b.1825) from another article, published in 1907:

"Robert Stephenson, a native of Yorkshire, England, came to Peel in 1846, settling on Lot 17 con. 11 east half, the right to which cost him $100.00. This stalwart son of Merrie England has since lived on this homestead and is yet active in his 83rd year. His family: Wm. H. Mrs. Brimblecombe, Drayton, John and Wm. in Dakota, Mrs. John Bruce, Elora, Henry, Bruce Co. Joseph and Mrs. E. Boyle, Toronto, Mrs. John Smith, Alma."

Robert Stephenson died in 1915.

Robert had a son, Wilfrom Hilliard Stephenson (1868 - 1950). Wilfrom was born in Elmira, Ontario and married Mary Louise Anderson of Alma, Ontario. Wilfrom and Mary Stephenson left Elmira in 1909 and moved to Stenon, Saskatchewan to homestead. They had seven children (Reuben, Lorne, Mae, Gladys, Beatrice, Florence and Leslie). I know that Wilfrom had at eight siblings (John, Hannah, Henry, Joseph, Martha and George; and two other sisters . Wilfrom's mother was Susanna Hatter.


Robert and John's brother Henry Stephenson (b.1815) finally settled about three miles from Arkona, Ontario (Plympton?). He owned 100 acres and enjoyed stamp collecting.

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