Saturday, 1 December 2012


George Lewis Faulkner was born in 1845 in Ireland, possibly Dublin.  He was the 2nd son of William Faulkner (1815 - ) and Annie Jane Crosby (1819 - 1876).  He died in Toronto, in the House of Industry in 1907.

As far as I can determine the William Faulkner family came to Canada between 1847 and 1849.  My great grandfather Ford Faulkner was born in Ontario, between the two dates.  The family was certainly living in Simcoe County by 1850 according to a baptism transcription.

George Lewis Faulkner married Mary Combs (1852 - ) in 1872 in Aurora, Ontario.  Mary's parents are listed as George and Phoebe Combs.  On the 1871 census, I found Mary living in Aurora with a Phoebe and  Robert P. Irwin.  I think Mary's father must have died and her mother re-married.  The witnesses to the marriage included an R.P. Irwin, who may have been Mary's step-father.  I haven't found George anywhere on the 1871 census.  He was not listed with his parents and I haven't come across a suitable candidate as yet.  However, there is a George L. Faulkner, Safemaker, listed in the 1871-1872 Toronto Directory, living on Queen Street East.

By the 1881 Census, George and Mary were living in Galt Ontario.  George is listed as a Safemaker and they have 4 children:

  • Matilda "Tillie"  born 1873 Toronto
  • Henry Lewis born 1875 Aurora
  • Robert Crosby born 1877 Toronto
  • Henrietta born 1881 Waterloo
By the 1891 Census, I had lost the family completely.  There was no family listed and I couldn't find the individual names either.  I assumed Mary Combs had died before 1896 as George married Jannett (Malcolm) Ling in 1896 in Galt Ontario.  Jannett was a widow, however George is listed as a bachelor.  I'm sure this is the right man he is listed as George L. Faulkner, parents William and Annie Faulkner, born in Ireland.  Well, I wonder what happened?

I dd some more research on Family Search and found that Henrietta and Henry Lewis Faulkner had died in the United States.

Henrietta married Christopher Reed Denham in Colorado in 1900.  Christopher Denham was born in Kentucky.  He lived in Colorado and the family moved to California.  Henrietta died in California in 1948.  According to the 1900 census Henrietta had emigrated  to the US in 1883.  Unfortunately, most of the 1890 US census was destroyed, so I haven't found where the family were located in 1890.

Another researcher on Ancestry has Matilda Faulkner marrying Charles Greely in Wisconsin in 1900.  I've discounted that for now as Matilda's parents are listed as John and Rosa Faulkner.

Henry Lewis Faulkner died in Washington State in 1924.  There was an interesting entry for the 1910 US Census.  I found a Harry L. living with with mother Mary  in Colorado.  I have no idea whether this is the same family, but it is interesting.  The age of Mary Faulkner and Harry L. Faulkner are consistent with the family I'm researching and they are both born in Canada and emigrated to the US in 1886.  I searched the 1900 US Census, but couldn't find Mary or Harry L. Faulkner.   Given that George Lewis Faulkner listed himself as a bachelor in 1896, it makes me wonder.

Further research for the 1901 Canada Census brought me more questions.  I haven't found George but I did find Jannet his second wife.  She is living in Galt with her parents, no George living with her.  She is listed as married.

George Lewis Faulkner died in 1907 in Toronto, in the Houses of Industry.  He is buried in the Necropolis Cemetery and his burial is listed as a Poor Adult Interment.

The questions remain did he take his family to the United States and then come back to Canada?  What happened to Mary Combs?  I haven't found a death certificate for her.  I haven't found any information on Robert Crosby Faulkner or Matilda Faulkner.  Did they go the the United States as well?

Monday, 5 November 2012


We happened to be in Amsterdam on May 4th this year, visting friends of my husband.  Our friends took us around Amsterdam and showed us the National Monument at Dam Square.  Later that night
Queen Beatrix would place a wreath to commemorate the war dead.  Our friends had invited their daughters and one of the girl's boyfriends for dinner that evening.  The young man was about 25 years old.  He knew we were from Canada and he told us:  Thank you for saving my Country , during the war.  I felt humbled.  He thinks Canadians are great people and he is thankful for something that happened over 40 years before he was born.  I wonder how many 25-somethings could say the same in Canada.

So thanks again to the soldiers in my family who served their Country.  I know it wasn't easy and I know all the scars are not visible.

Poppy on Bible.   40968 Stock Photo - 640275



 James Meehan was a private in the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps Service # B98340.  He enlisted on 19 January 1940 and was discharged on 15 February 1945.  He served in the United Kingdom and France as a cook and a driver.  He went to France in July 1944 and was hospitalised in October 1944 and evacuated back to a hospital in England in November 1944 due to "shell shock".  His official discharge was 15 February 1945.  He was awarded the 1939-45 Star, France & Germany Star, the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp (CVSM) 39-45. 

 George Meehan was a Pilot Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force, Special Reserve, Service # J41871.  He enlisted July 9, 1942 and was discharged in September 25, 1945.  He did not serve overseas.  He is listed as Aircrew from 1942 to 1944 and Pilot from 1944 to 1945.  He flew the Moth (Tiger & Menasco), the Harvard and the Yale aircraft.  In 1944 he was a Staff Pilot- Training Officer and from January 1945 to August 1945 he served as Flight Control Officer and Deputy Flight Commander.  He also served with the Royal Canadian Air Force from Oct 3, 1951 to Nov 10, 1952 in the Auxiliary Aircrew List Pilot Branch as a Flying Officer.

He was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) 1939-45 and a Pilot's Flying Badge.


Joseph  Down, was a Sergeant in WW 11, Service Number B-114182.  He was attached to The Royal Canadian Ordinance Corps as a Mechanic/Driver.  He saw action in Italy, France and Germany.  He enlisted on 9 June 1942 and was discharged on 4 Oct 1945.  He was awarded the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal & Clasp, 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, France & Germany Star.


Fergus O'Leary was a Corporal assigned to the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps, service # B/119600. He died July 28, 1946 at Chorley Park Military Hospital in Toronto. He is buried at Mount Hope Cemetery.


Charles Kennard was a career soldier with the Buffs, East Kent Regiment.    He joined the army in 1934 and served in Burma in  1936 and India 1936- 1938.   Between  1938 and 1943 he served in both Palestine and Egypt , where he suffered a concussion.  He was attached to the 2nd battalion and served in North Africa 1943- 1944.    He was a Quartermaster Sergeant Major.  While in England he was stationed at the Howe Barracks in Canterbury.    In 1947 he was stationed in French North Africa.  He was awarded the following medals:  General Services Medal, Clasp Palestine; African Star, War Medal 1939 - 1945, Defence Medal, Clasp Malalya and LS & GC Medal (Long Service and Good conduct).  Charles remained in the Army until 1956,  he then re-enlisted under Supplemental Services and remained there until 1961.

JOHN KENNARD 1922 – 2007

John Kennard enlisted in the British Army on Nov 21, 1941 where he was attached to the Royal Signals until December 14, 1943.  After that he was assigned to the Army Catering Corps from December 1943 until February 1947.  He received the 1939-1945 War Medal, Defence Medal, the 1939-1945 Star, the 1939-1945 African Star and the General Service Medial, South Arabia. 

 After WW11 he joined the reserves from 1947 to 1948.  On Oct 22, 1948 he enlisted in the regular army with the Army Catering Corps where he was a cook.  During this period he was stationed in the Far East, possibly Singapore and/or Hong Kong (1950-1952), Osnerboook, Germany (1956-1964) Aden, now Yeman (1964-1966) and then based in England, he was sent to Northern Ireland (1966-1967).  His discharge date was December 6, 1967 with the rank of Corporal.



Saturday, 3 November 2012


My grandfather Joseph Henry Down died in the Great War in 1915 at Ypres Belgium.  When I started researching my genealogy I didn't realise how many of my family had gone to war.  I felt sad that my grandmother had lost her husband to the war.  I felt even sadder when I realised her in-laws,  my great grandmother and great grandfather had lost 3 of their sons to the war.  Here is my list of my family and my husband's family from England who served in World War 1.  We appreciate your dedication to your country.  We wouldn't be here without you.

Picture of Remembrance day poppy - Free Pictures -


 As a general note for the Down family 4 brothers served in WW1 and only 1 son survived.

Joseph Henry Down was a Sapper in the Army.  He was assigned to the Canadian Engineers, 2nd Field Coy and died on April 24, 1915, killed in action by a bullet to the head.  He is commemorated on the Menin Gate (Ypres) Memorial, Belgium.  The following information is from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

The Menin Gate Memorial is situated in the Town of Ypres, now Ieper in the Province of West Flanders, on the road to Menin and Courtrai.  It bears the names of 55,000 men who were lost without trace during the defence of the Ypres Salient in the First World War. 

Carved in stone above the central arch are the words: 

Over the two staircases leading from the main Hall is the inscription:


The dead are remembered to this day in a simple ceremony that takes place every evening at 8:00pm.  All traffic through the gateway in either direction is halted and two buglers move to the centre of the Hall and sound the Last Post.  Two silver trumpets for use in the ceremony are a gift to the Ypres Last Post Committee by an officer of the Royal Canadian Artillery, who served with the 10th Battery, of St. Catharines, Ontario in Ypres in  April 1915.


Charles Otter Down was attached to the Quartermaster Service of the 12 Cavalry Field Ambulance during the first World War.  He died the 17th of June 1915 in Toronto.  He was diagnosed with tuberculosis and released from active service.

 William George Down was a Private in the Army.  He was assigned to the Canadian Army Service Corps, 4th Ammunition Sub. Park  Division.   He died on October 5, 1916 and is buried in the Puchevillers British Cemetery, Somme, France.  Sadly William was run over by an army vehicle in the lines and died from his injuries.

A newspaper article in the Toronto Star, described  him a strapping fellow:

PTE WM DOWN of the Mechanical Transport Division is the third son of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Down, 20 Bellefair Avenue to make the supreme sacrifice.  He died of wounds.  Two brothers, one older and one younger than himself, were previously killed in action.  The only remaining  brother, Pte. Richard E. Down, is on service at Moore Barracks, England.  Pte. William Down, a big, strapping fellow, who feared neither man nor devil, left Canada last May.  He was 28 years of age.  Before enlisting he was partner with his father in the cartage business at the corner of Queen east and Munro streets.

Toronto Star October 14, 1916.

 RICHARD EDWARD DOWN 1883 – 1957  

Richard  Edward Down, service # 34554, enlisted on Sept 23, 1914.  He was assigned to the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, 2nd Field Ambulance.  At the time of his brother Wlliam's death, in 1916, he was stationed at Moore Barracks Hospital, Shorncliffe, Kent, England.  He was the only one of the three brothers to return from the war. 


George Edward Newton was a Private in the Canadian Infantry, Manitoba Regiment, 52nd Battalion, service # 234581. He was killed in action October 28, 1917. He is buried at the Menin Gate, Ypres Belgium.
(See the entry for Joseph Henry Down, regarding the monument at Ypres)



Elmer Austin Rowe was a Lance Corporal in The Fort Garry Horse, Manitoba, serial # 117519. He was killed in action on March 23, 1918, in the vicinity of Faillouel France. He is buried in the Chauny Communal British Extension Cemetery, north of Chauny, France


Albert  Harold  "Jack" Legg enlisted in the Army on September 19, 1914 and was demobolised in March 1919, with the rank of Sergeant.  He was attached to the 2nd division of the 6th Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  He fought at the Somme, Ypres and St. Quentin.  He was awarded  the  British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914-1915 Star.  His decorations included One Gold Wound Strip and Four Blue Chevrons.  The Chevrons indicates that he was overseas for 4 years.

According to the WW1 Attestation form Charles Henry Kennard enlisted in The Buffs East Kent Regiment on 28 Oct 1915 and was discharged on 09 Oct 1916 due to health: "Irregular astigmatism and deafness not aggravated by service".  His regimental number was 8437.  He did not go overseas.


At the time of his marriage, in 1911 George Arthur Kennard was stationed in Simonstown South Africa.  He is listed as a Gunner in Company 17 and served with the Royal Garrison Artillery, Service No. 25551.  The marriage was recorded at Alderney, Channel Islands, while the marriage took place in Capetown, South Africa.


Tuesday, 30 October 2012


If you have been following my blog, I've been tracing the Robert Newton family recently.  I believe that Robert Newton (1821-1899) was the brother of  William, Henry, Maria and possibly George Newton.  I know from documentation that William, Henry and Maria are siblings, and their parents are Henry Newton and Mary Bryan(t).  Robert Newton was a witness to the marriage of George Newton in Simcoe County.  George may be a brother or a near relative.

My last post discussed Ester Ann Newton the oldest daughter of Robert Newton and Margaret Fallis (1827-1855).  Ester Ann (1849-1933) married Thomas Campbell and she died in Manitoba  in 1933.

My internet buddy, Heather is descended from Ester Ann and Thomas Campbell's family.  She was also researching the Newtons.  She had a scrapbook with newspaper articles that someone in her family had collected.  Unfortunately there were no dates or names of the publications attached to the articles.  Nevertheless, her family still lived in Huron County in Ontario so that is probably where the newspapers were published.  That was where Robert Newton and his family had lived before they went to Manitoba.

Heather had an article that recounted Ester Ann Campbell's death.  The article from a paper in Huron County was entitled:  Mrs. Thos. Campbell Passes - Mother of Mrs. J. Patterson, Fordwich was Last Survivor of Fire Tragedy in Fordwich in 1864.   The article seemed to be a reprint of the article in the The Recorder, Bossevain Manitoba (see this blog Newton Family - Part 5) with an added paragraph:

"The death  of Mrs. Campbell will recall to the minds of pioneer settlers in this district a tragic fire which occurred in Fordwich on January 12, 1864.  Mrs. Campbell was the last survivor of three persons rescued when a store, located just north of where Wm. Wade's stable now stands, was burned to the ground and in which five lives were lost.  The victims were William McAuly, 60 years of age; John Miller, 35 years; Michael Bloomly (sic), 18 years; Susan Newton, 11 years, all burned to death, while Lydia Newton died a few days later from effects of burns sustained.   The latter two were sisters of Mrs. Campbell who as at that time in her 16th year."

Michael Bloomily, Susan Newton, Lydia Newton were all names I had researched.  Susan Newton, age 11 was the missing Susan Newton (1853-1864) from the 1871 census.  She was a daughter of Robert Newton and Margaret Fallis.  There was another Susan listed on the 1871 born in 1864 to Robert and his second wife Isabella McKnight.

Michael Bloomily (abt 1843-1864) was the son of Lydia Hill (abt 1806-1864) and Michael Bloomily (1803-bef Mar 1862).  When  Michael Bloomily senior died, Lydia married Henry Newton.

I believe that last part of the article is incorrect. "The latter two were sisters of Mrs. Campbell..."  I think, Susan was the sister and Lydia was an aunt.

The fire started in a store owned by Henry Newton.  Further investigation revealed another article in the Huron and Bruce Advertiser - Semi-weekly Signal newspaper that it was a two-storey house and store owned by Henry Newton.  This article indicates that indeed Susan Newton is a niece of Henry and Lydia Newton and Ester Ann Newton is described as a "relative".  Apparently Ester Ann Newton escaped by leaping through a window while the others perished in the house.   How sad.  It was thought the fire had been set deliberately.

And there was my link.  Susan Newton, age 11 is the daughter of  Robert Newton and Margaret Fallis.  She is listed as the niece of Henry and Lydia Newton.  That makes Henry Newton her paternal uncle which makes Robert and Henry et al siblings.

I now feel confident adding Robert's parents as Henry Newton (senior) and Mary Bryan(t).

Monday, 22 October 2012


There was quite a lot of genealogy information on Robert Newton (1821 - 1895) and his first wife Margaret Fallis  (1827- 1855).  They had at least 5 children:  Ester Ann, Mary, William Henry, Susan and Margaret.  When I started my research I didn't follow up with the first marriage as I didn't think of them as direct descendants.  Then I thought of my mother's sister Aunt Marjory.  She was from my grandmother's first marriage; after her husband died my grandmother married my grandfather.  My mother never referred to Aunt Marjory as her half sister and she took umbrage with anyone who did.

As I thought of that I decided to follow the Robert and Margaret Newton line just as vigorously as my Robert and Isabella Mcknight Newton line.  I'm glad I made that decision because it gave me what I think is the link to Robert, Henry, Williiam and Maria Newton.

Ester Ann Newton (1849 - 1933) married Thomas Campbell (1841 - 1927).  Ester was the first child born to Robert and Margaret Newton and was born in Ontario, probably Peel County.  Thomas Campbell was born in Ireland.  They married in 1865 in Peel and lived in Huron County for some time.  Robert Newton had moved to Manitoba by 1881 per the Census and Ester Ann  and Thomas Campbell stayed in Howick until at least 1891.  By the 1901 Census they had moved to Brandon Manitoba where Thomas Campbell was a farmer.

The Manitoba Legislative Library will copy obituaries from the Manitoba newspapers for a small fee for around $5.00 to $10.00.  The last time I used the service 2 years ago the  e-mail address was:  .

Unfortunately they didn't find any obits for Robert and Isabella Newton, but they did find obits for Ester Ann Newton and Thomas Campbell.

Thomas Campbell died 16 December 1927.  According to an obituary in the Winnipeg Free Press, he was born in the county of Tyrone Ireland and came to Canada in 1857.  He lived in Tottenham and then Fordwich in Ontario.  He married Ester Newton, in 1865 and  his parents were listed as Edward and Mary Ann Campbell.  The family moved to  the Minto area of Manitoba in 1888.

Ester Ann Newton Campbell died 15 November 1933.  Her obituary appeared in The Recorder, Boissevain, Manitoba.  The article states that Ester Ann Campbell was living with her daughter Mrs. Rice in Brandon, Manitoba at the time of her death.  The article also lists her children and where they are living:
  • Mrs. J. Patterson, Fordwich Ontario
  • Liskum Campbell, Minto
  • Mrs. C. D. Sparrow, Russell
  • Mrs. R. E. Rice, Brandon
  • Mrs. L. Sparrow, Silverton
  • John Campbell, Froud, Saskatchewan
  • Edward Campbell, Vancouver
  • Mrs. Mackie, Minto
  • Russell Campbell, deceased
  • Mrs. E. Cunningham, deceased
There is also a sister mentioned a Mrs. R. Armstrong of Harriston, Ontario.  The burial services was from the First Presbyterian Church and Ester Ann Campbell was buried at the Brandon Cemetery.

There was certainly a lot of information in the obituary and lots of names for me to check out.  It's often hard to find the married names of daughters in families, but this article listed not only the names but also their residence towns as of 1933.

About this time a lady named Heather contacted me about Ester Ann Newton and Thomas Campbell.  She was a descendant of this family.  We were sharing information that we had found from our research.  Someone in her family had started a scrapbook and had pasted various articles about the family in the book.  Unfortunately, Heather didn't know where the articles came from or when they had been published.  As I had just received the 2 obituaries around this time I asked Heather if she needed a copy.  She didn't have a copy of Thomas Campbell's obituary and she wasn't sure about Ester Ann Newton's obituary.

She asked me this simple question: " Is it the obituary that mentions the fire, because I have that one?"

Fire, what fire?


Friday, 12 October 2012


As I started my research into Robert Newton (1821 - 1895) and Isabella McKnight's (1839 - 1913) children,  I sent out various e-mails and added my information to genealogy message boards.

One of my contacts Carol, lived in the USA and was following the family history of Edward  George Newton (1858 - 1939) and his wife  Mary Harriett Everett (1872 - 1947) .  Edward was the 2nd son of Robert and Isabella Newton.   Carol's ancestors were on the Everett  side of the family.   We shared information back and forth and commiserated on our lack of progress.  We first "met" on the  forum.  There are lots of people on this site that share their ideas and some who go the extra mile and dig into the research. 

One of the posters came up with this gem from the Our Roots website:   Edward Newton family
The book is called the Furrow to the Future and it was published by the Oxbow-Glen Ewen History Book Committee in Saskatchewan.    Edward had moved from Huron County in Ontario to Saskatchewan or the Assiniboia Territories as it was known then.  He moved between the 1881 and 1891 Census.  According to  Furrow to the Future, he worked for the CPR railway as a brakeman and was in Portage La Prairie, Winnipeg Manitoba and latterly in British Columbia before settling in Saskatchewan in 1887.  There are some nice photos on this site of the Edward Newton family.

Robert and Isabella Newton had moved to Manitoba by the 1881 Census and were living Lisgar Manitoba at the time with most of his children.  Their son Stewart (1863 -)   had also moved to the Assiniboia Territories by 1891.  He married Victoria Adelaide Everett (1877 - ).  Victoria was the sister of Mary Harriett Everett.

This was a nice side diversion, but I still needed to get back to the research on Robert Newton.  Was he related to the other Newtons:  Henry, William, Maria and possibly George?

Wednesday, 3 October 2012


I have several pictures of the Faulkner family.  The picture below was in my grandmother's possession and we know it is a picture of  at least some Faulkners.  The question is who?   Here's my working theory, still to be proven.

Top row:  Sarah Ann Newton, mother,  ?Ford  Faulkner, father
Middle row:  Baby Faulkner
Bottom row: Mary Smith great grandmother, Isabella Mcknight Newton, grandmother

It looks like it is 5 pictures that have been placed in one frame.   I've been working on assumption that the man and women in the top row are the parents of the baby.  Of course, the question remains, who is the baby.  It could be my grandmother Isabel May Faulkner Meehan (1885-1959).  And does that make the other two ladies the grandmothers?

I believe the lady on the top left is Sarah Ann Newton (1860-1933). I've based that assumption on this picture:

This is a picture of my grandmother's family. In the front from left to right: Isabel Faulkner, her parents Ford Faulkner, Sarah Ann Newton Faulkner.  The back row from left to right: her brothers  William Robert* Faulkner, Stewart Faulkner, Ford Crosby* Faulkner and Clifford Faulkner. (* I'm not sure if I have these 2 brothers in the right order).

Comparing the two photos I think I see a resemblance in Sarah Newton.  I'm not so sure about Ford Faulkner, the nose and cheeks look different.

Then I found this picture on the Internet.  It is a picture of George Mcknight (1807-1884) and  Mary Smith (1821-1909).  They are the grandparents of Sarah Ann Newton

As you can see its not very clear.  Its a copy of a copy.  I've been told it is a daguerreotype and it is printed backwards.  It looks to me that Mary Smith is the lady wearing the hat in the first picture.  Maybe its just the hat, but I think I see a resemblance.

If it is Mary Smith in the picture, could that mean that the lady on the bottom left of the picture is Isabella Mcknight Newton (1839-1913), the grandmother of the baby?

So the question remains:  who are these Faulkners?  My cousin who shared these pictures with me isn't sure.  We've come up with our assumptions but no definitive proof.  We know they belong in the family, but it's just another piece of the puzzle for now.


Tuesday, 18 September 2012


As I continued my search for Robert Newton's parents I spent quite a bit of time researching the other Newtons in the area.  My research into William, Maria and Henry Newton took a lot of digging and at some points I wondered if I was just spinning my wheels.  Sometimes my husband asks me how the family "shrub" is progressing, as my research seems to spread sideways like a shrub instead of vertically like the tree it is supposed resemble.

Here's what I knew for sure:
  • Henry, William and Maria were brothers and sister.
  • George Newton was also a possible relative.
  • They were born in Ireland about the same time as Robert.
  • They were Protestant.
  • They were farmers.
  • They lived in the same geographical area of Ontario.
  • Their parents were Henry Newton and Mary Bryan(t) or a variation.
Question:  Were they related to Robert Newton born about 1820, in Ireland, a protestant who lived in Albion, Peel County, Wallace, Perth County, Howick, Huron County and Manitoba?

I started my search using Ancestry and Family Search to see what information was available.  I had already  found the marriage registrations for Henry Newton , who had been married twice.  It was his  marriage that gave me his parents names.

Henry Newton born about 1828 married Lydia Hill in 1862 in Waterloo.  It turned out that Lydia had been married before to a Michael Bloomily and they had a son Michael Bloomily.  Lydia died in 1864 and Henry remarried in 1865.  He married Susan Ghent in Wellington County. Susan Ghent had also been married before to a Daniel Sutherland who died in 1862.  Henry and Susan had a daughter in Fordwich, Huron County in 1868.

Willliam Newton born about 1826 married Eleanor Holt about 1855 in Waterloo County and they had at least 8 children born in the Waterloo area.

Maria Newton born about 1828 married Thomas Holt about 1847, possibly in Toronto.  They had at least 12 children born in Welllington County.  Eleanor Holt and Thomas Holt were brother and sister as were Maria Newton and William Newton.

George Newton born about 1821 married Letitia Eason in Simcoe County, Robert Newton was a witness.

I contacted several researchers through Ancestry who had trees on the website.  They were researching the Holt family and had little information on the Newtons.  However one researcher indicated that Henry Newton senior had died when Maria Newton was a teenager around 13 years old and her mother Mary Bryan(t) had died before that.  This information was from family knowledge and I have not found any concrete proof of this information.  However if Henry Newton senior died about 1841, it would explain why he was not listed in an 1851 census Peel County.

At this point I decided to turn my attention to Robert Newton's children.  Some moved to Manitoba and some children stayed in Ontario.  I was hoping perhaps by researching these children, I might uncover some further information to help me.  If you have been following this blog and the Newton family you might remember that Robert Newton was the father of at least 16 children.  Oh, boy.

Monday, 27 August 2012


When I was researching Robert Newton (1821 - 1895) I thought I would look to see if there were other Newtons in the area that might be related.  All I knew was that he was Irish, he was a Protestant and he was a farmer.  He was in Ontario in 1851 according the the Census and he was living in Peel County.  By 1861 his first wife Margaret Fallis had died and he had remarried Isabella McKnight and he had moved to Wallace, Perth County.

It was rather a slow start.   The Toronto Family History Centre  has a weekly newsletter and there is an opportunity to have your  question published with (hopefully) a solution provided, either by the volunteers or another newsletter recipient.   Several years ago I sent in my question asking how I could find out when and where Robert Newton married Isabella McKnight.  Robert's first wife Margaret died in 1855 in Wallace Perth County and Isabella and Robert's first son Robert T. was born about 1857.  It looked like I had a two year window and a possible location of Wallace.

The answer came back that records for that period and that location were very scarce and it would be difficult to find out.  Great I thought, I'd already figured that part out, that was why I was asking where I could start my search.  My goal always to find out the parents names of Robert.

The next week however I received this reply from genealogist Fawne Stratford-Devai:

Fawne Stratford-Devai writes:
“Regarding the question for the Perth County marriage records pre-1869, we are very fortunate that the returns to the clerk of the peace were found and transcribed by Dan Walker and myself some years ago. The full transcription with index is available from Global Genealogy at:
Perth County Baptism, Marriage & Burial Register, 1852-1859
Compiled by Dan Walker & Fawne Stratford-Devai
[Also available at the Toronto Reference Library and North York Public Library]
When I checked the transcriptions, I found the following entries for Newton/McKnight:
Marriages by Rev’d John Armstrong Wesleyan Methodist Minister
Robert NEWTON, to Isabella McKNIGHT. 11 Jan. 1857, Wallace, by Licence. Rev. ARMSTRONG. Wit. William McBRIDE and S. ARMSTRONG

Hooray for the internet.  A source for the marriage and where I could locate the source.  Not the complete answer I was looking for but it did confirm the marriage date between Robert and Isabella.

I decided to go back to the Census and see if I could find any other Newtons in the general area that were Irish, Protestant and possibly farmers.

Here's what I found on the 1851 Census:

William Newton born about 1826 in Ireland living in Waterloo County
George Newton born about 1821 in Ireland living in Waterloo County
Maria Newton Holt born about 1828 in Ireland living in Waterloo County
Henry Newton born about 1828 in Ireland living in Peel County

There was also a Henry Newton listed in the City of Toronto and Home District Directory and Register 1837.  He was listed at Albion Township, Peel County, Concession 1 Lot 27.

Could these be relatives of Robert?  The Henry that owned land in Albion, was probably not the same Henry in the 1851 Census.  That Henry would be just 9 years old in 1837. 

I did some more digging and found that William, Maria and Henry Newton (1828) were related.  Following their marriage registrations the parents for all three were listed as Henry Newton and Mary Bryan or Bryant.  I also found that when George Newton was married Robert Newton and William Fallis were the witnesses.  Fallis is the maiden name of Robert's first wife.

George married a Leitia Eason and  on the 1851 Census there is a William  Newton (1828)  living with the family in Waterloo.  Henry (1828) is also living quite nearby as well. Perhaps George is related to the other 3 Newtons.

A very helpful volunteer a the Peel Region Ontario Genealogical Society looked up some information for me as well.  She reported that a Henry Newton age 21 and a Maria Newton age 16 appeared on the Index for Baptismal Register for the Mission Chinguacousy,  Gore of Toronto and parts adjacent.  They had been confirmed 28 October 1844 in Albion, Peel, living at Lot 20 Concession 2.
Now that is not the same Concession and Lot where the other Henry was living but it was in Albion.

Also according to the Peel Region volunteer, the original land for Henry Newton - Lot 27, Concession 1 had been owned by an A.J. Fallis, by 1859.  Once again the Fallis name appears.

Now all I had to do was connect these Newtons to Robert.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012


I received a comment from a descendant of the William J. Faulkner family about the information from the North Ontario Vintage Postcards website that Lily Faulkner was the daughter of William J. Faulkner and Saphonia Garbutt.  I have updated this blog to clarify the information.

John Crosby Faulkner, is the oldest son of William Faulkner and Annie Jane (Hanna) Crosby. John Crosby Faulkner was born in Dublin Ireland around 1844 and died in Sundridge Ontario in 1932. He was a photographer working in Toronto and later in Sundridge.

John married Jennie Stewart in 1874 in Toronto at St. James Cathedral. Her parents were John and Frances Stewart. Jennie Faulkner died in 1918 in Sundridge. Both John and Jennie Faulkner are buried in the Strong Cemetery in Sundridge.

John and Jennie had no children, but adopted a girl Lily Agnes Faulkner born about 1888 who was also a photographer in Sundridge. According to Northern Ontario Vintage Postcards site,
Lily was the daughter of John's younger brother William.   However to date there is no proof of this.
The 1891 Census shows the 3 children of William Joseph Faulkner and Saphonia Garbutt Faulkner as Louis aged 10, Henrietta, aged 5 and William, aged 2.   Perhaps the idea that Lilllian was William's daughter evolved by misreading the child's name William for Lillian on this census.  A tombstone indicates Lillian was born in 1888, while William was born 10 January 1889 and died 28 July 1970, in Vernon, B.C.  It is believed that Lillian died in 1986 in Sundridge, Ontario.  If anyone knows Lillian's parents names, please leave a comment below.

John Crosby Faulkner is listed in the book The Ontario Photographers List by Glen C. Phillips.

  • Faulkner, J. C., photographer 1887 - 1892 - Toronto
  • Faulkner, J. C., photographer 1892 - 1900 - Sundridge
The Dun & Bradstreet Commercial Directory also lists him as a photographer.

  • Faulkner, J. C. 1901 - 1907 Sundridge
  • Faulkner, John C. 1914 - 1920 Sundridge

In 1881 John & Jennie Faulkner are listed as living in the St. David's Ward, in Toronto. By 1891 the Census shows the couple living in Joly Strong - Sundridge, in the Muskoka and Parry Sound area of Ontario. John's address on the 1911 Census is 5 Main Street, Sundridge.

The photograph used in this blog was taken by John Crosby Faulkner. It is a picture of his brother Ford Faulkner, his wife and children. It was taken around 1910 in Toronto.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012


This bible represents my starting point in researching my genealogy.  I knew that my paternal grandmother's maiden name was Faulkner, but that was all I knew.  This gave me dates, names and places to commence my journey.

Bible presented to Sarah Ann Faulkner by her father R. Newton 1884
Holy Bonds of Matrimony Ford Faulkner & Sarah A. Newton June 25, 1879, Fordwich, Ontario

Robert Newton is my great-great grandfather.  He was born about 1821 in Ireland and came to Canada before 1849.  He lived in Peel County, Perth County and  Huron County in Ontario and then in Manitoba and was a farmer.  Robert married twice.  His first wife was Margaret Fallis she was born in 1827 in County Fermanagh in Ireland.  It's not clear where Robert and Margaret married, but possibly in Ontario.   Sadly she died in 1855 in Wallace, Perth County, Ontario, probably shortly after giving birth to her daughter Margaret.  Margaret Fallis' parents were James Fallis and Esther Spence.

Robert and Margaret had at least 5 children born in Ontario:
  • Ester Ann  1849 - 1933
  • Mary           1850 - 1937
  • William Henry 1851 -
  • Susan          1853 - 1864
  • Margaret     1855 - 1912
On the 1851 Census Robert and Margaret Newton were living in Albion, Peel County.  According to The Christian Guardian, Margaret died 24 February 1855, in Wallace Township, Perth County.  Therefore the family must have moved between 1851 and 1855.

In 1857 Robert Newton married a second time.  His wife was named Isabella McKnight.  They married in Wallace, Perth County.  Isabella was the daughter of George Mcknight and Mary Smith of Fermanagh Ireland.  Isabella was born in about 1839 in Palmerston, Minto Township, Ontario.

Robert and Isabella had at least 11 children:

  • Edward George  1856 - 1939
  • Robert T.   1857 - 1927?
  • Sarah Ann   1860 - 1933   - My direct line - great-grandmother
  • Simon A.    1861 - before 1881?
  • Stewart A.   1863 -
  • Susan  1864 - 1892
  • Mary Matilda   1868 -
  • Anna Maria 1870 - 1915
  • Elizabeth Jane   1874 -
  • Christina  1875 -
  • Thomas John  1876 -
On the 1861 Census, the family was living in Wallace Township, Perth County, Lot 37, Concession 8.  Margaret Newton, born 1855 to Robert & Margaret Newton was living with her grandparents James and Esther Fallis in Albion.  By the 1871 Census, the family had moved once again, this time to Huron County.  They are listed in Howick, the  North Huron District of Huron County.  Robert Newton  owned 50 acres of  property on Lot 24, Concession 2.

The family moved to Manitoba between 1871 and 1881, as the 1881 Census shows the family living at St. Clement, Lisgar, Manitoba.  The children included in the census were: Robert, Stewart A., Maria, Christine, Elizabeth and Thomas, ranging in age from 22 to 6. 

My great grandmother Sarah Ann had married Ford Faulkner in 1879  and they stayed in Howick, Huron County along with her brother Edward who was staying with them.  Edward was to move to Manitoba later to join his family.

Ester Ann married Thomas Campbell in 1865; she and her husband stayed in Howick until the 1901 Census indicated they had moved to Brandon, Manitoba .

Mary Newton married Robert Armstrong and they stayed in Ontario.  William Henry Newton married Louisa Ann Mosier, in 1879  and by 1911 they had moved to Saskatchewan. Margaret Newton (1855) didn't live with her father, first she was living with her grandparents James and Esther Fallis and by 1871 she was living with her uncle Robert Fallis and his family in Peel County.  In 1880 she married Samuel Cornish Saunders .

Sarah Ann and Ford Faulkner eventually moved to Toronto between the 1881 and 1891 Census.

At this point in my research I had now "lost" both of the Susan Newtons I had recorded.  The first Susan born to Robert and Margaret was born in 1853 and the second Susan born 1864 to Robert and Isabella.  I assumed the Susan born 1853, must have died before 1864 as another Susan was born in 1864.  That detail was to become very important to my research later on.  Susan, born 1864 was not with the family in 1881 in Manitoba.

Robert Newton (1821) died in RM N. Cypress, Manitoba, 11 November 1895.  His parents were not listed, but his birthplace is listed as Queen's County Ireland.  Isabella McKnight Newton died 15 May 1913, in Elton Manitoba.  Her birth date is listed as 6 April 1839 and she was born in Palmerston, Minto Township, Ontario according the the death certificate.

Now, I don't know if you have been keeping count, but Robert Newton and his two wives, produced 16 children, that I am aware of.  I can only hope he was as productive as a farmer as he was as a husband.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


George Howson (1790-1879) was listed as a victualler in 1817, living at West St. Helen's in Abingdon, Berkshire.  A victualler is described as either a supplier of  provisions or an innkeeper.  I have no idea which category George Howson fell into to.  I do know when he lived in Thurlow Township, in Ontario he was described as a market gardener.

I thought I would check out the pubs and taverns of Abingdon.  I tried a search for George as a licensed victualler on the National Archives at Kew but didn't find his name.

There is a wonderful website that records historical information about Pubs in England.  Here is the link Dead Pubs in England  There were over 100 pubs listed for Abingdon, must have been a thirsty crowd that lived there.  There were even several listed on West St. Helen's,  no joy there either.

When George Howson died in the Belleville area in 1879, he left a will.  There were 3 executors:  Thomas Cox, Michael O'Neill and Michael Graham.  I think Michael O'Neill may have been a relative of  George's daughter-in-law, Bridget as her maiden name was O'Neill.  There are several Michael O'Neill's listed in the 1881 Census for Belleville, so I'm not sure which is the correct Michael.

However it started me thinking that perhaps the other executors may be related.  I started a Google search using the names of "Howson" and "Cox".  I found  a genealogy forum that mentioned the surnames Abraham, Howson and Cox and Berkshire England.  It appears that a Catherine Abraham born 1756 married a William Howson.  From that family tree there was also a Phillip Cox who married an Ann Abraham.

Here's where it gets interesting.  Phillip Cox had a son also called Phillip.  This Phillip married a Mary Ward and they emigrated to Belleville Ontario about 1832.  Now this is about the time that George Howson and his wife Jane Lay and their 2 sons are reported to have come to the Belleville area as well.  Thomas Cox, the executor, is the son of Phillip and Mary Cox.

I was in contact with a lady who has done quite a bit of research on the Phillip Cox family.  We tried to find a connection but it remains elusive.   She also told me that Mary Ward's father James  married a Teresa Howson as his second wife.  According to this researcher, the Cox family were Roman Catholics and came to Canada to escape religious persecution.  I contacted the Catholic Library in England to see if I could find any information about my Howson and Lay families.  No Howson or Lay names were found.

The Cox and Howson families seems to have been close.  George Howson (1820-1856) and his wife Bridget O'Neill were the sponsors at the baptism of one of Phillip Cox's children at St. Michael's church in Belleville.  Then just to add to the mix with the Meehan side of the family, Ellen Meehan 's (1845-1901) husband Thomas Bolger (1850 - 1910) was the witness at a wedding that connects with the Cox family as well.

I have found some other Howsons in the Oxfordshire area, so for now my search continues.

Saturday, 23 June 2012


When I took my first genealogy research class, I remember the instructor stressing that we must be flexible when searching for our ancestors' surnames.  This was due to many factors.  Back in the day, a lot of people could not read or write and so the concept of how their name was spelled was not a big issue.  In most cases for farm workers or labourers this did not impact their day to day life.

Emigration played a large part of this name game as well.  An English, Scottish or Irish accent changed how the name sounded to the North American ear and therefore how it was written down.  Another factor to be considered is that when the census were taken, the person taking down the information may have misheard the information given and basically guessed at what they thought they heard.

Therefore I thought I was ready to search and try out variations on a name.  I started with my Meehan surname and tried to think of all the different variations I could.  When I started thinking about it there were quite a few:  Meehan, Mehan, Mechan, Meecham, Meighen, Meaghan, Meaghen, Meagher, etc.

Other names such as Howson, had similar variations:  Howson, Hawson, Honson, Houston (this being the most popular), Howard.  The Faulkner surname became, Falconer, Falkner, pretty close to the original.  The easiest name so far to search has been Newton, it seems to have escaped the many and varied spellings that happened to my other surname searches, although I did find a Hewton.

Then there is the added fact that when these census or vital statistics documents are indexed there is another layer of human intervention that can lead to a completely different surname altogether.  So what we have is potentially a name that is taken down incorrectly in the first place being transcribed incorrectly as well.  It's the written equivalent of playing broken telephone.

When I was researching my Meehan family, I was looking for the marriage for Teresa Meehan and Norman Dunne O'Leary on the Ancestry website.  What I came up with was Teresa Mechan and Roman Dunne Breaw.  That one stumped for a while and I did have difficulty finding the marriage record until I took out most of the information in the search box and just left the parents names.  Even then George Meehan was recorded as George Mechan and his wife Emma Howson became Emma Teresa Danson Mechan.  Not too far off for the Meehan surname, but how in the world can you transcribe Breaw for O'Leary?  The only part of Norman Dunne O'Leary's name that was correct was the middle name Dunne.

My latest search for George Howson is even more bizarre.  I knew that George Howson died, at the age of 85 years, in March 1879 in Belleville, Ontario, as I had his burial record from St. Michael's Church in Belleville.  I realised I didn't have his death certificate recorded.  Easy peasy I thought and went to Ancestry to do a search.  No George Howson appeared.  I then tried New Family Search and  I found him.  Unfortunately New Family Search does not have images.  But it does have the certificate number.  So I went back to Ancestry and searched in the Belleville deaths for 1879 and found the certificate number I was looking for.  George Howson's  name was recorded as Genya Snorton, aged 0.  Of course how silly of me!

Now I'm wondering how many more Roman Breaws and Genya Snortons are out there waiting for me to find them?

Monday, 18 June 2012


George Howson is my 3x great grandfather and was born about 1790 - 1795 in England.  I think he came from the County of Oxfordshire, but this is still a work in progress.  He married Jane Lay in October 1816 in Abingdon, Berkshire.  The county boundaries have changed since then and Abingdon is now considered part of Oxfordshire. Jane was also born about 1790 - 1795 in England.

The Oxfordshire reference comes from a book "Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of York" (Canada) published in circa 1905.  There is paragraph  about George Plant who married Georgianna Adelaide Howson (granddaughter of George Howson)   " ...George Howson, who was born in Oxford, England where he married Jane Lay. In 1832 they came to Canada settling at Belleville, where Mr. Howson was a market gardener...."

I contacted the Oxfordshire Family History Society (FHS)  to see if I could find any more  information.  They found a few things for me:
  • George Howson and Jane Lay married in Abingdon, St. Helen 20 October 1816
  • Thomas Howson baptised in Abingdon, St. Helen 15 June 1817
  • Thomas Howson  buried in Abingdon, St. Helen 17 June 1817
George and Jane are listed as living on West St. Helen's Street and George's occupation is victualler.

I know that George and Jane had 2 other sons namely :
  • Thomas Howson born abt 1818  England
  • George Howson born abt 1820  England
These 2 sons came to Canada with their parents around 1832.  Unfortunately, their baptism records were not located within the Oxfordshire FHS records.  There was no record of George Howson (1790) being baptised in that area either.

I had a little more luck with Jane Lay.  According to the Oxfordshire FHS there were 3 Jane Lays baptised around that time period:
  • Jane Lay baptised 1795 Eynsham, Oxfordshire, parents Thomas & Christian
  • Jane Lay baptised 1796 Appleton, Oxfordshire, parents Daniel & Mary
  • Jane Ley baptised 1799 Abingdon, St. Helen, parents Dr. Hugh & Mrs. Eliza
Now the question is which (if any) is the correct Jane Lay/Ley?  I had high hopes for the Abingdon family, as that is where the marriage took place and it is often in the bride's home parish.    The family forenames also seemed to fit in with the information I had on the Howson family.   After researching this family I found that Jane Ley married some one else named Whitmore Smart  in Cornwall.  There was quite a bit of information on this family as there was a disputed will and land distribution involved.

George and Jane settled in Thurlow Township, Hastings, Ontario which is now part of Belleville Ontario.  The 1861 Census shows them on Concession 2 Lot 9 and George is listed as a Gardener.  Their older son Thomas was a tinsmith.  He  married Rebecca Reynolds and they eventually settled in Morrisburg, Ontario.  George (1820) married Bridget O'Neill and they lived in the Belleville area.  Sadly, George died quite young at the age of about 36 years, in 1856 in Belleville. 

Jane Lay died in Thurlow Township in 1876 and George Howson  senior died in 1879.  They are both buried in St. Michael's Cemetery in Belleville.

Wednesday, 13 June 2012


During the  1950's  the O'Leary sisters was a popular Country & Western singing duo.  The duo consisted of Mae O'Leary and her sister Theresa.  Mae played acoustic guitar and Theresa played the double bass and they both sang.  It should be noted that Theresa was quite short and the bass was about a foot taller than she was.

They appeared on a weekly radio programme called the Hayloft Hoedown on CKEY radio in Toronto.  The actor Lorne Greene was a radio announcer at the station and took quite a shine to the sisters, especially Mae.   They performed on WWVA radio in Wheeling, West Virginia on  the Wheeling Jamboree. They also performed in Chicago on the National Barn Dance. They were offered a 15 minute weekly radio program in Chicago and were told the next stop would be Nashville, but they turned it down.  Here's a recording of Mae and Theresa as the O'leary Sisters

My father James Meehan used to brag that he was related to the O'Leary Sisters.   His aunt had married an O'Leary and he claimed the O'Leary's as kith and kin.

My great  aunt Theresa Brigid Meehan (1886 - 1946) was born in Belleville Ontario. The family moved to Toronto between 1896 and 1901. She is recorded on the 1901 Census living with her parents George Meehan and Emma (Howson) Meehan at 373 Queen Street East.

Theresa married Norman Dunn(e) O'Leary in Toronto in 1909. Norman's parents were John O'Leary and Maria Dunn(e).   Norman was born in Lindsay, Ontario in 1886.

In the 1960's we moved to Silverbirch Avenue and guess who also lived on the street?  The O'Leary Sisters plus some of the rest of the family.  The sisters came from a large family, I believe there were 12  brothers and sisters.  I became friends with 2 of their nieces as we were all the same age.

We've tried to find a connection to the O'Leary's but we can find none so far.  The parents of the O'Leary Sisters were John Joseph O'Leary born 1890 in Toronto and Charlotte Lawrence.  They lived in the east end of Toronto as did Norman and Theresa O'Leary.  The families were both Roman Catholic and at some point both lived on Caroline Avenue in Toronto.  But that's as close as we've come to connecting the families.  My two friends and I still jokingly refer to us being related.

I think the connection is tenuous at best.  Once we moved to Silverbirch Avenue, I didn't hear my dad mention the connection again.

Monday, 4 June 2012


Belvie Meehan was my aunt.  She died of dyptheria when she was just 18 years old, in 1926.   I never knew the details of her death until a few years ago.  But I did know it cast a shadow on the family for many many years.

A couple of years ago, my cousin mentioned that Belvie had been in an ice boat and the boat hit open water. Belvie and her friends fell in the icy water.  She contracted dyptheria and died a month after the accident.

I decided to do some research and see if I could find her obituary and any details that might have been published at the time.  The story was reported in both the Toronto Star and Globe & Mail Newspapers.  It was front page news.

The headline from the Toronto Star, Front Page on Thursday February 18, 1926 reads:


According to the article 2 young men and 2 young ladies borrowed a friend's ice-boat and went sailing on Toronto Bay.  They made a semi circle around the bay looking for "fast" ice, but they hit open water instead.  The boat tipped over and they all went into the frigid February water of Lake Ontario.  One of the men Reginald Helston drowned.  The other man Carl Crockett got the two girls, Belvie Meehan and Mabel Hescott back in the boat.    They shouted for help, but there was no one to hear them.  Carl Crockett then got himself on solid ice and went for help.  Land was about a mile away.  He managed to get to the Dominion Sugar warehouse at the foot of Bay Street to get help.  Police and ambulance services were then called.

This took well over 45 minutes before the girls could be rescued and a search for Reginald Helston could be started.

Belvie and the other 2 were taken to hospital.  The two girls were released and Mr. Crockett was kept for several days with pneumonia.

Belvie developed dyptheria and never recovered, she died March 19, 1926.  There was a private funeral and she is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery, in Toronto.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

MEEHAN & COMPANY - Men's Clothing Store

In my last post I mentioned that my grandfather George Meehan (1882-1960) worked in the haberdashery trade.  He is listed in various census and directories as: salesman, merchant, owner, of "men's furnishings".

In the 1913 Toronto Directory he is listed twice, once at 257-259 Yonge Street and 415 1/2 Yonge Street.  I'm not sure which address is his business.

I also found an Edward J. Meehan in the directory, living at 191 Avenue Road.  He is listed as a salesman for the Meehan & Co. men's clothing store.  At this point I thought I had found a match  to  my Meehan family starting with great-great grandfather Patrick Meehan (1806-1886), born in Donegal Ireland.

The directory also listed several other Meehans living at 191 Avenue Road:  Mary ( widow of Francis), Mary and Frank J.  This information started me on a search for this family, hoping that there was a relationship. 

 Here's what I found from the 1901 Census, Toronto City, Ward 3:

  • Francis Meehan, born Ontario abt 1855, occupation Motorman
  • Mary Elizabeth McGuiness, wife,  born Ontario abt 1858
  • Edward John Meehan, son, born Ontario abt 1889
  • Ann Mary Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1891
  • Frank Joseph Meehan, son, born Ontario abt 1893
  • Mary Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1895
  • Teresa Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1897
  • Helen Meehan, daughter, born Ontario abt 1901
Further research on this family led me back another generation to Francis Meehan's parents, Dennis and Mary Harvey/Garvey, both born Ireland.  According to the IGI on Family Search, Francis' parents were married in Newmarket, Ontario on 23 April 1853.  I eagerly searched for other Meehans and to try and find a connection. 

Alas, I didn't find any connection.  However, Edward and Frank are about the same age as my grandfather George.  Could he have hired family members to work at his store?  I know that my father worked in his father's store in the late 1930's.  Perhaps Edward and Frank are cousins.  It seems too much of a coincidence that they would have the same surname and not be related. 

My research came to a stand-still at Dennis Meehan.  For now they will remain the "other" Meehan family.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


George Meehan was my grandfather but I don't remember meeting him, even though he died after I was born.  He was born in Belleville, Ontario in 1882 and died in Toronto in 1960.  He married Isabel Faulkner in Toronto in 1907 in Toronto.  Isabel Faulkner was born  in 1885 in Galt, Ontario and died in Toronto in 1959.

They seemed to have married twice.  They married in Toronto in November 1907, but on two of the birth registrations of their children Isobel and George, Buffalo is listed as their place of marriage.  On Isobel's registration the date of May 1907 is listed.

George and Isabel had  6 children:
  • Mary "Belvie"  1908 - 1926
  • Dorothy  1909 -1910
  • Isobel Theresa  1910 - 1973
  • George Faulkner 1912 - 1985
  • James Arthur  1914  1969
  • Lenore Patricia  1923 - 2007
George Meehan had moved to Toronto sometime after 1896 with his family.   On the 1911 Census George and Isabel and 2 children were living together with Isabel's mother, Sarah Ann; father, Ford; and brother Carlyle.  They lived at 34 Caroline Street, in Toronto East.  

George Meehan was a merchant, salesman and  store owner in men's clothing.  The 1911 Toronto directory shows George Meehan as the owner of Meehan & Co. a haberdashery store located at 34 Caroline Avenue.  By 1913 the store is listed as George Meehan & Co., with 257-259 Yonge Street as the address.  Other directories list him as a salesman for men's clothing.

I don't think it was a happy marriage and the couple lived separately for many years, but did not divorce. My grandmother Isabel is listed several times in the Toronto City directory as: Mrs G. Meehan, widow. I think this was very common when divorce was not an every day occurrence.  George and Isabel are buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Thornhill, Ontario.

Wednesday, 9 May 2012


 Ford Faulkner was my great grandfather he was born about 1847 in Ontario.  According to his death certificate he was born in Toronto, Ontario.  There is a written notation in the family bible that suggests he may have been born in 1849.  The family were Methodists but to date I have only found one Methodist baptism record.  Unfortunately not for Ford, but for his brother William Joseph who was born 01 July 1850 in Tecumseth, Simcoe County and baptised in Bradford, Ontario.

Ford married Sarah Ann Newton in Fordwich, Huron County in 1879.  Sarah Ann's parents were Robert Newton and Isabella McKnight.  Sarah was born in 1860 in Wallace, Perth Ontario.

By 1851 Ford Faulkner's family were living in Simcoe County.  At some point before 1879, he and some of his family moved to Huron County.   The 1881 Census shows the family living in Howick, Huron County along with Sarah's brother Edward Newton.  At this time some of the other Newton family had moved to Manitoba, where Edward was to join them.  

The 1891 census shows the now growing family had moved to Toronto, St. Thomas Ward.  They are listed as lodgers with a Joseph and Ellen Kearney.  In 1901 they are living at 50 Blair Avenue in Toronto.

Ford and Sarah Ann had at least 8 children:

    • William Robert  1880-1938
    • Ford Crosby  1882 - 1920
    • Bella May "Isabel"  1885 - 1959
    • Stewart Clement  1887 -
    • Edna (Twin)  1893 - 1893
    • Gilbert (Twin)  1893 - 1893
    • Herbert Russell  1894 - 1895
    • Clifford Carlyle  1900 - 1942
Now back to the Family bible, the book that really got me interested in genealogy.  My paternal grandmother Isabel Faulkner Meehan gave the bible to my mother in the 1950's.  Isabel Faulkner had been raised in a strict Methodist family.  When she married George Meehan she became a Roman Catholic.  The bible had belonged to Isabel's mother Sarah Ann Newton.  It was presented to Sarah Ann by her father Robert Newton in 1884.   My mother didn't know at the time why she was given the bible and it remains a mystery to this day.  Perhaps, because it was a Protestant bible and my mother was a Protestant?

There are many names and dates in the bible, which have been very helpful in my research. I'm not sure whose hand writing appears in the book or if the dates were written as they occurred or after the fact.  Never the less, it's a wonderful artifact.

Ford Faulkner died in 1929  and Sara Ann died in 1933.  They are buried in St. John's Norway Cemetery in Toronto.

Saturday, 14 April 2012


My great grandfather George Thomas Meehan was born in Kingston, Ontario in 1851 and died in Toronto in 1919.  He is the son of Patrick Meehan of Donegal Ireland and Elizabeth  "Bessie"  Magee also of Ireland.  Between 1851 and 1861 the family moved from Kingston to Belleville.

George married Emma Teresa Howson in 1874 in Belleville.  Emma is the daughter of George Howson of England and Bridget O'Neill of Ireland.  Emma was baptised at St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, Belleville in 1851.  Emma died in Toronto in 1913.  Both George and Emma are buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Toronto.

George and Emma had at least 7 children all born in Belleville:

  • Bessie  (1874 - 1876)
  • Margaret Jane  (1876 - 1953)
  • Mary Ann  (1878 -  )
  • James   (1880 - 1950)
  • George  (1882 - 1960)
  • Teresa Brigid  (1886 -  1946)
  • John Thomas  (1891 - 1894?)
An 1896  Belleville directory  lists George as a piler for the C.P. Holton Company.  C. P. Holton was in the timber and milling industry.  In later years he was listed as a marble polisher.  By 1901 the family had moved to Toronto and were living at 373 Queen Street East.  The family had moved to 103 Bond Street by 1910.  The 1918 Toronto directory shows the family living at 159 Gerrard Street East, along with Robert Closs who was a son in law.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012


John Crosby Faulkner, is the oldest son of William Faulkner and Annie Jane (Hanna) Crosby.  John Crosby Faulkner was born in Dublin Ireland around 1844 and died in Sundridge Ontario in 1932.  He was a photographer working in Toronto and later in Sundridge.

John married Jennie Stewart in 1874 in Toronto at St. James Cathedral.  Her parents were John  and Frances Stewart.  Jennie Faulkner died in 1918 in Sundridge.  Both John and Jennie Faulkner are buried in the Strong Cemetery in Sundridge.

John  and Jennie had no children, but adopted a girl Lily Agnes Faulkner born about 1888 who was also a photographer in Sundridge.  According to  Northern Ontario Vintage Postcards site,
Lily was the daughter of John's younger brother William.  However to date there is no proof of this.

  John Crosby Faulkner is listed in the book The Ontario Photographers List by Glen C. Phillips.
  • Faulkner, J. C., photographer 1887 - 1892 - Toronto
  • Faulkner, J. C., photographer 1892 - 1900 - Sundridge
The Dun & Bradstreet Commercial Directory also lists him as a photographer.

  • Faulkner, J. C.            1901 - 1907  Sundridge
  • Faulkner, John C.       1914 - 1920  Sundridge

In 1881 John & Jennie Faulkner are listed as living in the St. David's Ward, in Toronto.  By 1891 the Census shows the couple living in Joly Strong - Sundridge, in the Muskoka and Parry Sound area of Ontario.  John's address on the 1911 Census is 5 Main Street, Sundridge.

The photograph used in this blog was taken by John Crosby Faulkner.  It is a picture of his brother Ford Faulkner, his wife and children.  It was taken around 1910 in Toronto.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012


William Faulkner was born about 1815 in Ireland, possibly in Dublin.  He married his wife, Annie Jane Crosby in Ireland before 1844.  William was a tailor and they settled in Simcoe County in Ontario.

According to the book Governor Simcoe Slept Here , published by the Bradford West Gwillimbury Local Historical Association, William was the first tailor in the village of Newton Robinson.   Newton Robinson was a village in the township of Tecumseh, County Simcoe about 20 miles south of Barrie and 50 miles north of Toronto.  I believe the village is now part of Bradford.  In 1852,  he occupied a  building as a tailor shop and a dwelling  in the village.  He sold his tailor business in 1868 to John Merrick.

Before emigrating to Canada, William and Annie Jane or Hannah as she is sometimes recorded, had at least 2 children:

  •  John Crosby Faulkner born about 1844 in Dublin, Ireland
  • George Lewis Faulkner born about 1845 in Ireland
After they arrived in Ontario, they had at least 5 more children:

  • Ford Faulkner born 1847-1849  in Ontario, possibly Toronto
  • William Joseph Faulkner born in 1850 in Tecumseh, Simcoe, Ontario
  • Mary Jane Faulkner born about 1852 in Simcoe, Ontario
  • Henrietta Faulkner born about 1853 in Simcoe, Ontario
  • Annie Margaret Faulkner born about 1855 in Simcoe, Ontario

The forenames of Crosby, Ford and Lewis are used quite a bit in this Faulkner family.  I know that Annie Jane's maiden name was Crosby and so that is often used as a second name.  I've been wondering if Ford was also a family name.  There was a Jane Crosby born in Dublin, Ireland around 1829.  She came to Ontario and married a John Southeran/Southern/Sotheran.  According to some research on the Southeran family, Jane Crosby lived in Simcoe County and then moved to Huron County with her husband John.  On her death certificate her father is listed as Ford Crosby.  This branch of the Southeran family also uses Crosby and Ford as surnames.  I have no proof, but I think this Jane Crosby is somehow related to Annie Jane/Hannah Crosby.

Annie Jane died in 1876 and after that William Faulkner lived with his children.  On the 1881 Canada Census he was living with his daughter in Howick, Huron County.  By 1891, he was living in Muskoka, Parry Sound, living next door to his son William.  I don't know when he died.  I have not found him on the 1901 census.  So I have been assuming that he died between 1891 and 1901.

However, another researcher who is a descendant of William Faulkner, has his  eye glasses and glass case.  I'm wondering if William went to live with his daughter Annie Margaret in North Dakota.  Is a pair of glasses something you would leave in a will?  Or possibly it is just a family memento to remember a father?