Saturday, December 3, 2016

Abraham Hughson: A Late Loyalist

Hughson Family Cemetery, Amaranth, Dufferin, Ontario
West of Orangeville, Ontario, on the road that separates Amaranth and Mono Townships, is a plain cairn with six gravestones. No sign marks this cemetery, which is strange since one of the stones commemorates Abraham Hughson, the first settler in Dufferin Country.

Abraham was the son of James Hughson (1746-1806) and Anne Carr (1743-1830) of the Province of New York. During the American Revolution, James remained loyal to the British Crown. According to his 1795 New Brunswick Land Petition, he abandoned his home in Albany in 1776 and sought the protection of the British Army in New York City. He stated in his petition that he had served a year and an half under Thomas Ward1 in the construction of Fort DeLancey at Bergen Neck.

In 1783 the British commander, Sir Guy Carlton, received orders to withdraw from New York City. 29,000 Loyalist refugees were evacuated by ship. Many refugee families, including James and his family, were brought to the St John River valley in what is now New Brunswick. James settled his family on Belleisle Bay, a fjord-like branch of the Saint John River.

Abraham Hughson 1771-1862
A number of secondary sources place Abraham Hughson's birth in Brooklyn, New York in 1766. His gravestone, however, indicates that he was born around 1771. Census data from 1852 and 1861 supports an earlier date but in his 1824 Upper Canada Land Petition he states he is 54, which suggests 1769 or 1770 as his year of birth.

Based on the information in his father's petition, it seems unlikely that Abraham was born in Brooklyn. James had been born in Dutchess County, New York and had married Ann there in 1766. It is unclear when he moved to Albany.

Abraham is thought to have married Tamar Kelly (1776-1861) in New Brunswick about 1798. In his 1824 petition, Abraham states that he has six boys and two girls. It has been suggested that there were at least two more children who presumably died before 1824. Most sources claim that the four oldest children were born in New Brunswick, while the youngest were born in Upper Canada. Isaac Newton Hughson (1808-1897) and George Leonard Hughson (1811- ?) however, consistently stated in census records that they were born in the United States.

Upper Canada Land Petition
In his 1824 petition Abraham states that he came to Upper Canada in 1799, remained two years before returning to New Brunswick, then came back to Upper Canada in 1816. It is quite possible that Abraham spent a few of the intervening years in the United States, but choose to omit this information from his petition.

Abraham settled on Lot 3 Concession 1 in Amaranth Township in 1823 but may have been living there as early as 1819.

In the 1820s Amaranth Township was a "howling wilderness." According to family tradition it took Abraham, his son Thomas, and a team of oxen, fourteen days to travel from Niagara. It would take another eight years before more settlers arrived.

For most of the 20th century, the Hughson family cemetery was abandoned and forgotten. In 1991 six stones were located, stacked against a fencepost. The gravestones were removed from the site, and placed into storage. In 2001 the gravestones were returned and placed into a concrete cairn.


1Captain Thomas Ward (later Major) commanded the Loyal Refugee Volunteers. Formed in November 1779, the unit was tasked with cutting firewood on Bergen Neck in New Jersey for the British garrison of New York, and to make minor raids into rebel territory. It is interesting to note that the Loyal Refugee Volunteers included some Black Loyalists. Fort DeLancey was a blockhouse on Bergen Neck built after the battles at Fort Lee in 1781. The Loyal Refugee Volunteers withdrew from Bergen Neck in October 1782. Thomas Ward went on to become one of the first Loyalist settlers in Nova Scotia.

Monday, November 7, 2016


Winterbourne Presbyterian Cemetery, Woolwich, Waterloo, Ontario
Winterbourne Presbyterian Cemetery is a medium-sized cemetery located south of the village of Winterbourne in Woolwich Township east of Waterloo, Ontario. It contains a significant number of gravestones that date from the mid-19th century.

The land on which the Presbyterian Cemetery and the village lie has a convoluted and confusing history. It was part of the Haldimand Tract — the large plot of land to either side of the Grand River that was acquired by the British Crown from the Mississauga in 1784, and granted to the Joseph Brant and the Iroquois in recognition of their loyalty to the Crown during the American Revolution.

In 1797 Brant sold most of what is now the Townships of Woolwich and Pilkington to land speculator William Wallace. After the War of 1812, Wallace's land was seized by the Crown because Wallace had disappeared and was suspected of having supported the Americans. In 1821, the Crown sold 7048 acres east of the Grand River to William Crooks, who in turn sold it to William Allen. Eventually small parcels were sold off to various buyers, including Robert Douglas, who subsequently sold one acre of his land to the Trustees of the Presbyterian Church.

Gravestones at Winterbourne
Unfortunately, time and vandalism have taken their toll at Winterbourne Presbyterian. Many of the oldest stones are weathered, sunken, broken, obscured by shrubs, or leaning at a precipitous angle. Some stones lie face down on the ground. Scattered throughout the cemetery can also be found small piles of broken gravestones, often containing the remnants of two or three stones.

Anna Maria Cole
One such pile triggered an interesting chain of research. In this pile were two gravestones each broken into two pieces. After carefully lifting the uppermost stone, it was positioned it so that oblique sunlight would enhance readability of the inscription. The stone commemorates Anna Maria Cole who died on 18 Feb 1872 at the age of  one year, six months, and 23 days. A break in the stone obscures the names of her parents. A transcription of the cemetery, published by the Waterloo Branch of the OGS, apparently missed this gravestone. A check of the Ontario Death Registrations, however, confirmed her death and stated that her father was Isaac Cole, a blacksmith.

While Anna Maria Cole's birth registration has not been found, there is a marriage between Isaac Cole and Zipporah Woods in Woolwich Township on 17 Nov 1869. Zipporah was the daughter of John Woods (1798-1893) and Eleanor Hardy (1816-1877), and had been born in Wilmot Township, Waterloo County. Her parents had emigrated to Canada West from Norfolk County in England. Isaac was the son of Jeremiah Kohl and Hannah Hammacher, both of whom were born in Canada.

Mary Cole (1839-1869)
Isaac was ten years older that Zipporah, and even though the marriage registration states than he was a bachelor, Zipporah was his second wife. Elsewhere at Winterbourne is a gravestone for Mary, wife of Isaac Cole, who died in 1869 at the age of 30. Beside Mary's gravestone is the sunken stone of their son Alexander.

According to census data, Isaac and Zipporah did not remain in the Winterbourne area. At the time of the 1881 Census they were living in Somerville Township, in Victoria County north of Lindsay, Ontario. With them were four children, Charles, aged 23, Clarissa, aged 20, Isaac, aged 12, and Malcolm, aged 9. Charles and Clarissa were apparently children from Issac's first marriage. Isaac and Zipporah were still in Somerville Township twenty years later, however, by 1906 they had moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Zipporah died in 1909 and was buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Saskatoon. Isaac died seven years later in 1916.

Unfortunately, the name on the gravestone that lies underneath Anna Maria Cole's has weathered away. "Scotland" appears on the stone as does "died Sept. 28" and "Aged 68 Years." Neither the transcription nor the Ontario Death Registrations could help determine whose gravestone this was.

A significant number of gravestones at Winterborne Presbyterian record Aberdeenshire, Scotland as the place of origin. These gravestones are representative of the wave of Scottish settlers that came to Canada West (now Ontario) after the War of 1812. Encouraged by the British government, Scots from the Lowlands came to Canada in large numbers. While many immigrants were farmers, blacksmiths, masons and carpenters; there were also teachers and clergymen. Quite a few Scottish families, as well as English families, settled in the Winterbourne area in the 1830s.

Chalmers Church
For many years the cemetery was associated with Chalmers Church in the village of Winterbourne. But before 1876 the cemetery was the location of St Andrews Presbyterian — a frame church erected in 1838. Chalmers Church was the result of the 1844 split between the established Church of Scotland and the Free Presbyterian Church. The Free Presbyterians were barred from worshipping at St. Andrews. The Free Presbyterians build a frame church in the village, and in 1870 built the yellow bricked building which still stands today. In 1876, after the reunification of the Presbyterian Church in Canada, St. Andrews joined with Chalmers, and in 1878 the frame church on the cemetery site was sold and dismantled. Chalmers Church itself closed in 2011, but not before the building was designated a heritage structure.

The name Winterbourne dates to the construction of a dam, sawmill and gristmill on Cox Creek by William Henry Lanphier in 1854. Lanphier was born in Sunbury-on-Thames, England in 1809, the son of the Reverend Dr. William Henry Lanphier (1774-1823). Lanphier joined the Madras Army of the East India Company as a Cadet in 1826. He rose to the rank of Lieutenant but retired in 1839. He came to Canada in 1854 but returned to England the following year to pursue a career as a Church of England minister. He graduated from Cuddesdon College in 1856 and was ordained by the Bishop of Oxford in 1858. Lanphier was appointed Vicar of Long Compton in Warwickshire in 1861.

It is said that Lanphier named the village Winterbourne after his ancestral home in England. There is no record, however, of a Winterbourne in Sunbury-on-Thames. There are numerous Winterbournes elsewhere in England, but it likely that Lanphier just liked the name. Previous to 1855 the settlement had been known as Cox Creek, named after blacksmith Michael Cox who came to the area about 1840.

Presbyterian Manse, Winterbourne
The same year he built the mills, Lanphier also build a house which still exists and was used as the Presbyterian manse for many years. He died in St Leonards-on-Sea, Sussex in 1875, and was buried at Long Compton.

William Henry Lanphier's brother Thomas Halifax Lanphier (1811-1872) had settled in the Winterbourne area more than fifteen years earlier, and owned a farm east of where his brother built the mills. He married Jane Gordon (1806-1891) in 1840. Jane had been born in Aberdeenshire, and had come to Canada with her parents. John Gordon (1776-1862) and Elizabeth Davidson (1776-1862). According to his obituary Lanphier had served in the Royal Navy and came to Upper Canada after his discharge in 1835. The obituary states:

He was a man of large means and kind heart, and was never slow to aid the distressed, and many now comfortable homes can date their early prosperity to his helping hand. He leaves a widow and two daughters to mourn his loss. (Galt Reporter, November 29, 1872)
Thomas Smith 1768-1850
The earliest settler in the Winterbourne area, however, was Thomas Smith. Smith was born in Vermont in 1768 and came to Upper Canada in the 1790s. He married Mary Weaver (1778-1845) and settled in Woolwich about 1807, probably as a squatter. Thomas and Mary lived with their three children on the east bank of the Grand River opposite the mouth of the Conestoga. Their daughter Priscilla was born in 1808 and was likely the first white child born in Woolwich.

During the War of 1812, Smith was a Lieutenant in the 2nd York Militia, and was wounded in the knee at the Battle of Lundy's Lane. In 1835 he started a coach service from Winterbourne to Preston (Cambridge) via Berlin (Kitchener) than ran until 1850. Unlike most of his neighbours, Smith was a Methodist. He died at the age of 82 after suffering a stroke at a religious meeting, and was buried at Winterbourne's small Methodist cemetery.

Rachel Hewitt 1797-1846
Another early settler in the area was Elisha Hewitt. Hewitt was born in Cayuga, New York in 1800 and came to Upper Canada in 1819. In 1823 he settled in Woolwich Township and the same year married 26-year-old Rachel Cress. Elisha and Rachel had seven children, all of whom survived to adulthood. After Rachel's death in 1846, Elisha married Elspit Meldrum (1812-1860). Rachel's and Elspit's gravestones survive as does the gravestone of Elisha and Elspit's daughter Jane (1849-1853).

The earliest gravestone in the cemetery is that of George Wright who died at the age of 19 in 1841. The gravestone of George Mackie records an earlier death date of 1840, however, the stone was erected after the death of his wife Jean Forsyth in 1850. George Mackie was born in Aberdeenshire about 1758 and came to Canada in 1837 with the families of his adult children.

It is interesting to note that the Winterbourne area was also briefly home to a Black settlement known as Colbornesburg. In 1829 a group of freed slaves from Ohio, led by Paola Brown, convinced Lieutenant Governor Sir John Colborne to let them settle in Upper Canada. Brown chose the area north of Cox Creek for his settlement. By 1832, nine families totalling 34 individuals were living there, and a church and schoolhouse had been built. Thirty-four Blacks are known to have settled in the area but within a few years most had moved away, many to the Queen's Bush settlement further north.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

On the Trail of the Pittaways

Everett Cooke (1927-1987)
and Winifred Pittaway (1905-1937)

I never met my maternal grandmother. Winnie, as she was affectionately known, died two decades before I was born. She died shortly before my father's tenth birthday, far from her home in New Carlisle, Quebec, while undergoing treatment for cancer at St Mary's Hospital in Rochester, Minnesota.

Winnie and Dorothy
with their mother Rose
Winifred Ellis Pittaway was born in Caversham, Oxford in 1905, the eldest of two daughters of Arthur and Rose Pittaway. In 1907, shortly before Winnie's second birthday, the family emigrated to Canada, arriving at Montreal aboard the Tunisian in May 1907. The family headed west by railway to Calgary. After Winnie's sister Dorothy was born in 1909, Arthur moved his family further west to Castlegar.

Castlegar, in the interior of British Columbia, was a newly minted settlement. The first schoolhouse and the first hotel had only been built in 1908. Census data shows that Arthur had established himself as a farmer by 1911.

Winnie and Alfred Cooke
Arthur remained in Castlegar for the next 16 years, and it was there that Winnie met a young lumberman from the Gaspe region of Quebec named Alfred Harris Cooke. Winnie and Freddie were married at Castlegar in the spring of 1926. The same year, Freddie was asked by his father to take over the family farm in New Carlisle. Freddie brought his new bride east to the Gaspe, and my father was born the following year.

Arthur, Rose and Dorothy moved to the larger community of Trail, British Columbia where Rose died in 1934. Arthur remarried in 1940 and moved to Vancouver. I remember meeting him around 1965 when he was in his eighties. He died in 1970 and was buried beside Rose at the Mountain View Cemetery in Trail.

When I first started researching my Pittaway ancestors I had some difficulty discovering Arthur's origins. I knew that he had been born in England in 1878, and I knew from a note on the back of a blurry photograph that his mother's name was Margaret. The 1881 Census showed numerous Pittaway families in the West Midlands, but no Arthur and Margaret. Finally, I found several Pittaway families living in Watchet, Somerset, a harbour on the Bristol Channel.

Arthur Pittaway
Arthur Ellis Pittaway was the oldest of the three children of Joseph and Margaret Pittaway. Although his father was a mariner, Arthur trained as a carpenter, and by 1901 had left Watchet for Portsmouth, Hampshire. Also in Portsmouth in 1901, was Rose Broom Smith, a shopkeeper's assistant from Greenwich who was living with her uncle, a retired Royal Navy carpenter. Arthur and Rose married in Portsmouth in 1902. Rose was 12 years older than Arthur.

Arthur's father, Joseph Snow Pittaway was born in Watchet in 1852, the son of Frederick Pittaway and Ellen Burge. His wife, Margaret Mock, had been born in Braunton, Devon. Margaret's brother Joseph Mock (1835-1868) had married Martha Pittaway (1834-1889), Joseph Snow Pittaway's aunt. It was likely through them that Joseph and Margaret met.

Joseph Snow Pittaway began his nautical career in 1863 as a boy on the ketch Tom. His uncle, Joseph Pittaway, was the master. In 1871, he was mate aboard the Thomas & Sarah. The following year he was mate on the schooner Kelso. He became master of the Fortitude in 1873, followed by the Ann in 1876, and the Kelso in 1877.
Joseph was master of the Kelso for five years.

The Kelso was owned by the Beasley family of Watchet, and frequently carried iron ore from the Brendon Hills in West Somerset to Newport in Wales, and returning with a load of coal. A portrait of the Kelso hangs in the Watchet Market House Museum.

The Topsail Schooner Kelso by Thomas Chidgey (1855-1926)
In 1887, Joseph became Master of the Telegraph, owned by William Stoate of Watchet. He was Master of the Electric, also owned by William Stoate, from 1892 until 1903. The Telegraph and the Electric were ketches, sailing vessels with two masts ideally suited for moving cargo along the coast and across the Bristol Channel. A ketch is distinguished by having a forward mast (mainmast) larger than the after mast (mizzen).

Joseph afterwards sailed trows on the Severn River estuary, frequently carrying salt from Gloucester to Bristol. A trow is a small vessel. The only surviving Severn trow, Spry, built in 1894 is just under 22 metres in length with a beam of 5 1/2 metres.

When regattas became popular in the late 19th century Joseph took up the sport of yachting. He almost drowned in 1905 when his yacht capsized during a race at Minehead.

In the 1914 Kelly's Directory, Joseph is listed as a Master Mariner, however, the 1911 census shows him as a worker at the Wansbrough Paper Mill.

Margaret died in 1910. Joseph died in 1927.

Watchet Harbour by Thomas Chidgey (1855-1926)
Joseph's father Frederick Pittaway was born in Watchet in 1826. In 1849 he married Ellen Burge, the illegitimate daughter of Grace Burge (1792-1839), and the mother of five-year-old John Burge. Frederick and Ellen had ten children. Their oldest died at the age of eighteen months. Joseph Snow Pittaway was their second child.

Frederick was a mariner, however, he contracted measles in 1855 and became blind. The 1871 Census records Frederick Pittaway as a "late mariner" and "blind from measles." The 1861 Census indicates that he been blind for six years. His blindness, however, didn't stop him from getting in trouble with the law. An 1864 article from the Taunton Courier reported that Frederick, his brother Joseph, and several others were fined £2 each for assaulting a police constable. One the magistrates described the group as "a riotous bad lot of fellows." Frederick died in 1878.

James  Pittaway and Margaret Mock
Frederick's father James was the patriarch of the Pittaway family of Watchet. He was born in Penryn, Cornwall in 1798 and died in Watchet in 1879. He is likely the "eldest of the family" pictured with Margaret Mock. James worked at the paper mill in Watchet which later became the Wansbrough Paper Mill. It is not known when and why he came to Watchet, but in 1825 he married Jane Webber (1803-1876).

Joseph Pittaway (1830-1904)
James and Jane had eight children. Frederick was the oldest. Their second son, became a Master Mariner but drowned in the 1860 when the Medora sank off the coast of Wales. Their third son, Joseph, was also a Master Mariner. He and Ellen Wilkins had a large family including Charlotte who was the last Pittaway living in Watchet when she died in 1961. Joseph and Ellen's gravestone at St Decumans, Watchet is quite distinctive.

Alfred Pittaway was the fourth child of James and Jane. He was living with his parents in 1841 but afterwards disappears from the records. Martha was the first daughter of James and Jane. Her husband Joseph Mock was mate on the schooner Trial when it sank with the loss of all hands during a heavy gale in the Bristol Channel.

James and Jane's fifth son, Robert, stayed away from the sea and became a coachman in Leckhampton, Gloucester. His sister Elizabeth died in infancy. James and Jane's youngest child, Wentworth Pittaway (1842-1899) emigrated to South Africa.

In his will James describes himself as a "Paper Maker" and bequeathed his estate to his daughter Martha, the widow of Joseph Mock.

According to census data, James was born in Cornwall about 1798. I have not be able to find a baptism for him, but there is a marriage recorded for James Pittaway of the Worcestershire Militia and Ann Snow of Penryn at St Gluvias on 25 Oct 1795. But there the Pittaway trail ends.
St Decuman's Church and Watchet Paper Mills
by British School

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Mystery of Alfred Cooke

Soo Depot and Elevators, Anamoose, McHenry, North Dakota, 1928
When I first started researching my family history sixteen years ago, all I knew about James Alfred Cooke (1853-1937), brother of my great-grandfather Arthur Cooke )1867-1936), was that he had married a girl from Boston. Slowly, over the years, more details have emerged, but mystery still surrounds him.

Alfred was born in New Carlisle, Quebec in 1853, the son of William Cooke (1825-1901) and Judith Chatterton (1828-1912). On December 12, 1878, Alfred married Albertina Olson in Boston, Massachusetts. Albertina had been born in Sweden about 1851, and had emigrated to the United States in 1875.

According to Massachusetts birth records, Alfred and Albertina had five children born in Boston beginning in 1881: Frank (1881-1881), William (1883- ?), Emma (1884-?), Helena (1886-1944), and Edna (1891-1894).

A sixth child, Rose, was likely born before Alfred and Albertina were married. At the time of the 1880 US Census, the young family were living in Boston. Alfred lists his occupation as carpenter. Strangely, Alfred also appears in the 1881 Canadian Census living with his parents in New Carlisle.

The real mystery, however, is what happened to James Alfred Cooke after the birth of his daughter Edna in 1891. The 1900 Census records that Albertina was living with her three surviving daughters in Boston. Alfred is nowhere to be found. Albertina lists her marital status as widowed.

In 1910 Albertina was still living in Boston with her three daughters, and still claiming to be widowed. Meanwhile, Alfred has reappeared in Anamoose, McHenry, North Dakota. He is married to woman named Lena, has a daughter Frieda, and a son Frank.

Did Alfred and Albertina divorce? Or did Alfred abandon his family? If Alfred did not divorce Albertina, then his marriage to Lena implies that he was a bigamist.

Fifteen years ago a second cousin of mine was able to make contact with Frank's children. Frank was born in 1907 and died in 1956. Their mother Violet (1912-1991) met their father when he served in England during the Second World War. Unfortunately, they knew very little about their grandparents other than Lena's maiden name was Behr. Apparently Violet was a very private person who destroyed most of the family papers before she died because "it was none of their business."

Census data indicated that Lena was born in Mississippi about 1876. It took numerous attempts over the years to find her, but I think I have finally succeeded. In the 1880 Census there is a Lena Behr, aged 4, living in Beauregard, Copiah, Mississippi. Her father was Alfred Ernest Bahr (1835-1902), a general merchant who had emigrated from Pomerania. Her mother was a local girl named Martha Jane "Mattie" Benton (1856-1939).

Further research uncovered Alfred and Mattie's marriage in 1875, that Albert was a private in Stockdale's Battalion, Mississippi Calvary during the Civil War, and that their gravestones are in the Beauregard Memorial Cemetery.

On her death certificate, Lena's date of birth was recorded as 24 Jul 1879. In view of the 1880 Census data her date of birth was more likely 24 Jul 1876.

Alfred and Lena's daughter Frieda was killed by a tornado on 3 July 1916. The Ward County Independent reported on her death:

Freda Cook, aged eleven years, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Cook of Anamoose, and Anna, the nine-year old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Ludwig Huber, residing five miles north of that city, were instantly killed in a cyclone which visited that section of the state at six o'clock Monday evening, leaving death and ruin in its wake.... The little Cook girl was killed by flying debris from the wrecked hen house. Her mother was in the building at the time it was destroyed, but escaped unharmed, being left on the floor. The flying timbers struck the little girl, killing her almost instantly.
Alfred remained in Anamoose for the rest of his life.

In 1920, Albertina was living in Boston with her married daughter Helena. I have not found a record of Albertina's death.

Alfred and Albertina's daughter Rose married twice. In 1910 she married Arvid Daniel Skonberg. He died of tuberculosis in 1914 at the age of 38. Five years later she married Samuel Victor Walters. Samuel had been born in Bath, Somerset, England in 1885, and died before the 1930 Census.

Brattleboro Retreat, Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont
Rose's death certificate records that she was born on 13 Aug 1877 in Boston, and was the daughter of Fred Cooke and Albertina Olson. She died of chronic myocarditis at the Brattleboro Retreat in Brattleboro, Windham, Vermont on 7 Feb 1946. Brattleboro is a mental health and addictions hospital founded in 1834. Her death certificate notes that she suffered from "manic depressive psychosis" and the 1940 Census shows that Rose was a patient at Brattleboro.

James Alfred Cooke died in Anamoose on 27 Oct 1937. Lena Behr died in Wells County North Dakota on 4 Sep 1940.

Research continues. If Albert and Albertina did divorce, then a court record should exist, however, a trip to Boston might be required. There is also a collection of 28 photos, called the "Alfred Cook Family Photograph Collection," at the State Historical Society of North Dakota Archives in Bismark, North Dakota. Included in the collection is a "photo of the Cook family in front of their home."

Friday, July 8, 2016

The Lost Hamlet of Mimosa

Mimosa Union Cemetery, Erin, Wellington, Ontario
Mimosa usually refers to an alcoholic drink combining equal parts of champagne and orange juice. Mimosa is also the genus of the sensitive plant, native to South America but cultivated as a houseplant. Why a lost hamlet in Wellington County northeast of Guelph, Ontario was also given this name is not known.

Mimosa officially came into being in 1860 when inhabitants in the northwest corner of Erin Township, first settled in the 1820s, successfully lobbied for a post office. The establishment of a post office attracted other businesses to the area including a general store, hotel, blacksmith, and a shoemaker. In 1862 a Methodist Church was erected, followed by a Disciples of Christ Church in 1863, and a Presbyterian Church in 1864. In 1872 a school house was built between the Methodist and Disciples Church.

S.S. No. 14 Erin
"Mimosa School"
Mimosa's success, however, was short-lived. When the Credit Valley Railway opened their Elora-Cataract branch in 1879, the nearest station to Mimosa was five kilometres away. Business was soon drawn to the railway location, which was named Orton when a post office opened in 1882.

Mimosa lost its post office in 1914. The general store closed in the early 1920s and was briefly a residence before fire destroyed the building in 1928. In 1922 the wood frame schoolhouse was replaced by a brick structure. The school finally closed in 1965 and the building was converted into a home.

John Small
Mimosa Union Cemetery dates from 1860 when John Small sold a quarter acre to the Methodists. A frame church was build in 1862 but was replaced in 1885 with a brick structure. This in turn was replaced by another brick building after a fire in February 1905. In 1925 the congregation joined with the Mimosa Presbyterian Church and services ceased. The building was demolished in 1938.

It is interesting to note that John Small, on whose property the cemetery was located, died in 1904 at the age of 104. John was born in County Antrim, Ireland and had arrived in Canada in the early 1840s. His wife, Elizabeth McLaren, who died in 1901, was 23 years younger.

According to his gravestone, Henry Reed (1795-1870) was born in Suffolk, England, enlisted in the 68th Regiment in 1815, and served for 14 years.

Henry Reed
The 68th (Durham) Regiment of Foot (Light Infantry) was stationed in Ireland from 1814 to 1818. The regiment embarked for Canada in May 1818, and remained there for eleven years, returning to England in October 1829.

According to his British Army discharge, Henry served from 25 Mar 1815 until 24 Apr 1827. He was "sent home from Canada in 1825 for Epileptic Fits and Ulcerated Leg." Henry appears on a December 1815 pay list when the regiment was stationed in Belfast, and Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner records show that he was admitted as a out-pensioner on 25 Apr 1827.

Henry, the son of Robert Reed and Margaret Kemp, was baptised at Framlingham, Suffolk, England on 19 Jul 17975. He married Ann Holmes (1805-1882) at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Quebec on 10 Jul 1824. Henry and Ann had 12 children. There oldest, James Reed, was baptised in Stoke Dameral, Devon, England on 30 Apr 1826. The remaining children were all born in Upper Canada, beginning with Henry in 1828.

Henry brought his family to Erin Township in 1855, having previously lived in Nassagaweya Township east of Guelph. Two of his daughters were buried at the Ebenezer Cemetery in Nassagaweya in 1838. Henry was appointed Mimosa's first postmaster in 1860. 

Francis Awrey (1855-1856)
A number of stones commemorate the Awrey family. John Awrey (1790-1861) was a blacksmith who was born in New Jersey but came with his parents to Upper Canada (now Ontario) as a child. He purchased 500 acres in Erin Township in 1827, and was one of the first settlers in the area. A schoolhouse known as Awrey's School was built on his land in 1840. The schoolhouse was also used as a church by the Methodists. A small graveyard, known as Awrey's Cemetery, was located beside the schoolhouse. 

When Mimosa Union cemetery opened in 1860, the seven bodies that had been buried at Awrey's Cemetery were re-interred. A few of the older gravestones, including that of Francis Awrey (1855-1856), grandson of John Awrey, likely came from Awrey's Cemetery. Most of the monuments at Mimosa Union, however, date from the late 19th to early 20th century. The cemetery is still active although burials are infrequent.

Mimosa Disciple Cemetery, Erin, Wellington, Ontario
The Mimosa Disciple Cemetery dates from 1863 when Henry Reed (1828-1883), son of Henry Reed (1795-1870) donated land for a church to the Disciples of Christ. During the late 19th century, the Disciples of Christ were very active in Erin and neighbouring Eramosa townships. Regular services church continued at the Church until 1939 when the congregation joined with Hillsburgh Disciple Church. The brick church building, dedicated in 1890, was demolished in 1951.

One of the earliest gravestones at Mimosa Disciple is that of David Westover, infant son of Jacob and Mary Westover, who died in 1867. Another early gravestone is that of John Cawthra who was born about 1790 and died in 1868.

Both Mimosa Union and Mimosa Disciple were vandalized in 1977, however, restoration work was undertaken by two local monument companies.


Hutchinson, Jean, The History of Wellington Country, Landsborough Press, 1998.

Bowley, Steve, Guelph and Wellington County Cemeteries and Burial Sites, Ontario Genealogical Society, 2015.

McMillan, C. J., Early History of the Township of Erin, Boston Mills Press, 1974.


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Cemetery Crawling 3

Huttonville Cemetery, Chinguacousy, Peel, Ontario
Huttonville Cemetery

Winter is not the usual time for photographing gravestones, but this was an unusual winter in Southern Ontario with very little snow. As a result, I finished photographing gravestones in a number of cemeteries that I had started last year. One of these is the Huttonville Cemetery, located on the west side of Brampton, Ontario.

Huttonville was a hamlet that grew up around a grist mill on the Credit River two kilometres south-east of the cemetery. The hamlet was named after James P. Hutton who bought the grist mill in 1855, and later added a woollen mill.

Joseph McKay Leflar
Huttonville Cemetery was formerly known as Springbrook Methodist Episcopal Cemetery. The graveyard is located on land granted to John Frank in 1819, but acquired in 1831 by Joseph Leflar. Shortly after purchasing the land, Leflar deeded one acre to the Methodist Episcopal Church for the use of a cemetery. A church stood on the site until at least 1877, and possibly as late as 1886 when the Springbrook congregation merged with the Page congregation and moved to a new building in Huttonville.

A square monument near the front of the cemetery commemorates Joseph Leflar and two of his daughters. Joseph Mckay Leflar was born in Upper Canada on 29 Mar 1806, a son of John Leflar (1776-1856) and Elizabeth Mckay (1777-1854). Joseph married Eliza Ann Biggar (1809-1897) in 1835. Their children were Adaline (1838-1848), Eliza Ann (1840-1842) and Elizabeth Ann (1843- ?). Although Joseph Leflar died on November 16, 1858, his widow continued living on the property until 1875. Also living in the area was Joseph's brother Hiram (1809-1884). Three of Hiram's children are buried at Huttonville, as is a daughter-in-law and a granddaughter.

Leflar Plank House in 2004
Joseph Leflar's original house was located north of the cemetery, and was constructed using a unique method known as "plank on plank" construction. Rough cut planks were stacked horizontally to form the outside walls and were then covered with roughcast plaster. The Leflar Plank House had a fieldstone foundation, and a centre door flanked by two windows, typical of the early 19th century Georgian Revival style. Unfortunately, the house was inadvertently demolished in 2011.

Originally the gravestones at Huttonville were in regular rows, but when the cemetery was turned over to the City of Brampton in 1983, many of the gravestones were placed in a cairn.  The earliest gravestone in the cairn is dated 1842 and commemorates four children of Abraham and Susannah Scott. When Mississauga Road was widened several years ago, an 1844 gravestone for William Whetham was discovered and placed at the head of the cairn. The gravestone also records the death of his son Benjamin in 1838. The last burial at Huttonville occurred in 1929.

A transcription of the cemetery was made in the 1930s by local historian John Perkins Bull. He describes the graveyard as, "badly grown up with small trees and brush, some of which is ten to twelve feet in height. In the summer most of the monuments would be entirely obscured by foliage and at present the snow has drifted deep." The Ontario Genealogical Society's transcription is dated 1981 and remains accurate even though it was completed before the cairn was built. As expected, the Perkins Bull transcription lists a number of gravestones that were not found in 1981, while the OGS transcription records gravestones not found by Perkins Bull.

Page Cemetery, Chinguacousy, Peel, Ontario
Page Cemetery

Page Cemetery is located about two kilometres south of Huttonville Cemetery. It was established in 1845 when Aaron Page sold part of his land to the Methodist Episcopal Church. The graveyard is also known as Ostrander's Cemetery, since there are over 20 burials for the Ostrander family at this site.

The earliest gravestone is that of George Warner who died in 1849 at the age of 18 months. Also buried here is the thirteen-year-old Henrietta Page, daughter of Aaron, one of only two Page burials in the cemetery. The other is Henrietta's five-month-old cousin Thomas Edward Page. Both died in 1852.

A church was built at the northeast corner of the site. In 1886, the congregation of this church and the church at Springbrook merged and moved to a new location in Huttonville. The new church was called Huttonville Methodist Church until 1925 when it became Huttonville United Church.

The City of Brampton took control of the cemetery in 1983. Some of the older stones were placed into a cairn, and in front of the cairn was placed a 1961 plaque dedicated to the memory of the pioneers of Huttonville.  The cemetery is still active with buriald occurring as recently as 2003.

Jane Ostrander 1761-1865
Perhaps the most interesting gravestone is that for Jane, the widow of Andrew Ostrander. Jane died in 1865 at the remarkable age of 104. Jane was the daughter of Thadeus Davis (1738-1824) and Deborah Hall (? -1818). Thadeus was a United Empire Loyalist who had spent several years in captivity during the American Revolution before coming to Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1796.

Jane was born in Milford, Fairfield, Connecticut in 1761. She married Andrew Ostrander (1758-1831) in 1785. Andrew Ostrander was born near Albany, New York. Andrew and Jane moved to Canada after the birth of their first child, Deborah, in 1785, and settled in Niagara Township near the hamlet of St David's. In 1795 Andrew successfully petitioned the government of Upper Canada for a grant of 200 acres in addition to the 100 acres he already owned.

In 1797, and again in 1810, Lucy petitioned for a grant of 200 acres as the daughter of an United Empire Loyalist. In her 1797 petition she gave evidence that Andrew Ostrander had served in Brant's Volunteers during the American Revolution, and had twice been taken prisoner. While this petition was rejected, her later petition was accepted.

Thirty years later, Lucy petitioned the United States government for a Revolutionary War Pension, claiming her late husband had been a soldier in the Revolutionary Army. This petition was rejected as there was no record of Andrew's service.

Lucy and Andrew's sons, Loyal Ostrander (1801-1889) and James Ostrander (1792-1880) settled in Chinguacousy Township. Loyal Ostrander is buried at Page as are a number of his descendants.

St John's Anglican Cemetery

St John's Anglican Cemetery, Esquesing, Halton, Ontario
St John's Anglican Cemetery is located at the top of a hill in the hamlet of Stewarttown southwest of Georgetown, Ontario. The cemetery is not easy to find as it is invisible from the road and can only be accessed via a steep stairway. The land may have been used as a cemetery as early as 1819, the year the Township of Esquesing was opened for settlement.

St John's Anglican Church traces its history back to 1834. Plans originally were to build a church beside the cemetery but members of the congregation objected to the relative inaccessibility. It appears that a log church may have later been built on other site. In 1883 the Anglicans purchased the Wesleyan Methodist church building that was located a few hundred metres south-east of the cemetery.

Ann Thompson
While St John's Anglican Church is still in use today, the last burial at the cemetery was in 1934. Many of the oldest gravestones have been gathered into a cairn. Most of these stones date from the mid-1800s.

Many of the early gravestones belong to members of the Thompson family. The oldest is for Ann, the wife of William Thompson, who died in 1838. Hannah "Ann" Cooke was born in County Leitrim, Ireland in 1791. She married William Thompson (1789-1854) in 1814. Their three oldest children were born in Ireland.

Upon his arrival in Canada, William purchased the west half of Lot 15 Concession 7 Esquesing. He later purchased the west half of Lot 16 Concession 7. William also requested a grant of land from the government. In his Upper Canada Land Petition, dated 2 Mar 1824, William states that he:
"is a Native of the County of Longford, Ireland, from whence he emigrated to Quebec in July 1822 — has a wife a 3 children, has taken the Oath of Allegiance ... that he served 14 Years in the Irish Yeomanry..."
With the petition were two letters of recommendation attesting to William's good character. The one letter describes him as "a good farmer" while the other shows that William emigrated at the same time as his brother George Thompson (1799-1881). George married Mary Cooke (1801-1883), sister of Ann Cooke. George and Mary are also buried at St John's Anglican.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Notes on the Cooke Family of Tawstock

St Peter's, Tawstock, Devon in 1906
As far as I know, there is no connection between Thomas Cooke (1741-1802) of Tawstock, Devon, and my ancestor, George Cooke (1742-1821) of nearby Langley Barton in High Bickington. But while exploring the possiblility of a connection, I uncovered a number of fascinating stories about Thomas Cooke's descendants, in particular, his grandchildren Charity Cooke and John Lovering Cooke.

Charity Cooke

Charity Cooke, was baptised at Tawstock on 6 Oct 1816. Her father George Cooke (1789-1873) was an agricultural labourer. In 1815, George married Jane Lovering (1797-1868) of Georgeham, Devon. Charity was the first of 13 children.

Thomas Cooke (1770-1841)
George's parents were Thomas Cooke (1741-1802) and Charity Richards (1738-1833). George's father had been appointed sexton of St. Peter's, Tawstock in 1785. A sexton's primary task was the digging of graves, although he was also responsible for cleaning the church and maintaining the churchyard.

After his father's death, George's older brother Thomas Cooke (1770-1841) became sexton. Thomas's gravestone is located in a prominent position near the south porch of the church and records that he was sexton for forty years, had two wives, and 14 children.

At the age of nine, Charity Cooke was bound as an apprentice to George Lovering of Tawstock. George was a recently married yeoman farmer living at Fishley Barton. He later moved to nearby Chapelton. Despite having the same surname, there does not appear to be a connection between George and Charity's mother, Jane Lovering. Charity was bound until her 21st birthday, so it is likely that Charity worked for George Lovering until 1837.

Charity Cooke's Apprenticeship Indenture
Until the passage of the Poor Law Amendment Act in 1834, individual parishes were responsible for the relief of the poor. The English Poor Laws, dating back to the reign of Elizabeth I,  allowed for children "whose parents shall not ... be thought able to keep and maintain their children" to be apprenticed to a master or mistress by parish officials, subject to the consent of two justices of the peace. Doing so removed the child as a financial burden to the parish, since the master or mistress became responsible for the child's board and lodging. In return the child worked as an unpaid servant. Children as young as nine could be indentured, and girls were bound until the age of 21, or marriage. When a parish wanted to bind a poor child, the parishioner they had chosen as master or mistress had to take the child or pay a fine.

Chapelton, Tawstock, Devon
In addition to Charity Cooke, two other child were bound as apprentices to George Lovering in 1825: Mary Brimble, aged 12, and Richard Madge, aged 9.

Apprenticed children had little protection from ill-treatment or overwork, and were, in effect, a cheap supply of labour for farmers who needed agricultural workers. How they were treated depended on the master.

So what kind of master was George Lovering? There are three clues. The first is a short article from the North Devon Journal reporting on the Petty Sessions held at Barnstaple on March 19, 1829:
Mr. Lovering appeared to answer the complaint of John Jones, shoemaker of Tawstock. Complainant stated, that his daughter had been in service to Mr. Lovering, at the commencement of whose servitude, her mother made an agreement with Mrs. Lovering, for one shilling a week, but that she replied she though that too much, and that thirty shillings a year would be the full value of her services; and that she had at two different periods, paid her mother 7s. 6d. each time, as a quarter's wages for her daughter's services. Mr. Lovering was ordered to pay her wages at the rate of thirty shillings a year, to the time the girl quitted his service.
The second is his obituary that appeared in the North Devon Journal in 1866:
DEATH OF MR. GEORGE LOVERING.—It is with deep regret we announce the death of the above much-respected gentleman, which took place at his residence, Chappletown, Tawstock, on Saturday morning last. Deceased was well known in the neighbourhood as a diligent, consistent, and zealous preacher of the gospel. His style was clear, plain, and impressive; a style which the uneducated could well understand, while the educated could not carp at it. As a "good minister," he was very useful in his day and generation, visiting and relieving the sick and the poor, enlightening the ignorant, strengthening the weak, comforting the afflicted, and warning the impenitent and unruly. In him every sect and denomination of Christians found a faithful and warm-hearted friend, and his house was ever open to receive and entertain them. As a neighbour, he so demeaned himself as to gain the respect, honour, love, and esteem of all classes. His death will be deeply deplored, especially in his locality where, some years since, he built a neat and commodious chapel (with a burying ground attached), of which he was pastor. A school-room was added by his munificence and a neat cottage and garden purchased by him for the residence of a master and mistress. His attachments to the place was strong and unwavering, and he leaves a satisfactory testimony that for him to die was gain.
The final clue is contained in a book about the life of Robert Cleaver Chapman. Robert Cleaver Chapman (1803-1902) was a pastor, teacher, and evangelist with the Plymouth Brethren.
One of the places in Pugsley’s neighbourhood was called Tawstock. Here the Wreys, a distinguished family with an ancient baronetcy, have a beautiful estate. The antique church, nestling beneath Tawstock Court, is full of well-preserved monuments to the ancestors of the Wreys. Sometimes members of the family have been rectors of the parish. It therefore caused widespread comment when one of the members of this family—a daughter of the rector himself—was baptized by Mr. Chapman. This happened within twelve months of his arrival in Barnstaple. His culture and gracious bearing commended him to people of all classes. He never sought the patronage of the wealthy or influential, but he did seek to bring them to a knowledge of salvation. With Pugsley living in the neighbourhood of the Wrey estate, contact with the family had been made possible, and Miss Wrey had seen her position as a sinner before God. Trusting Christ in simple faith for salvation, she had experienced the new birth and, in consequence, though she knew that her decision would set tongues wagging and make her father’s position difficult, she had felt bound to ask for baptism.

It was a remarkable scene that was enacted on the day of her baptism. She stood on the banks of the river, side by side with a farmer’s son who was to be baptized on the same occasion. As she stood there she could look up over the woods and pastures of the Wrey estate, and she was conscious of the curious eyes on either bank, for many had come to see the rector’s daughter baptized. When the simple service was over, Chapman went back to Barnstaple convinced that the work of God in Mr. Pugsley’s neighbourhood had been helped forward by the events of that day. And undoubtedly they were, for Miss Wrey’s conversion made many think seriously, whilst the farmer’s son—George Lovering—carried on Christian work for over thirty years in North Devon, founding chapels at Swim-bridge, Atherington, and Little Hill.
Chapman's cousin Susan Chapman had married Thomas Pugsley of Barnstaple, Devon and in April 1832, Chapman moved to Barnstaple. George's baptism likely occurred later than year.

Charity married Robert Vodden of Alverdiscott in 1839. Robert was a carpenter, and he and Charity lived first in Tawstock and later in Atherington, Devon. They had five children. Robert died in 1874. Charity continued living in Atherington until her death in 1903.

John Lovering Cooke

While Charity's life was rather ordinary, the same cannot be said for her brother, John Lovering Cooke. Not content with becoming an agricultural labourer, John joined the Royal Artillery, and served in India during the Indian Rebellion of 1857, also known as the Sepoy Mutiny. In 1873, Rev. Charles Henry H. Wright wrote and published John's memoir.

John Lovering Cooke was born on April 30, 1834. Unlike his sister, he was able to attend school, although was frequently truant. Despite this he learned to read and write well enough to later keep a journal. John left school at the age of 11 to work as an agricultural labourer. Although Wright does not name John's first employer, he is described as "a farmer and also a Baptist preacher." This suggests George Lovering. In February 1854, after working as a railway navvie for a year, he enlisted in the Royal Artillery.

On April 18, 1857, John's company was sent to Hong Kong on board the Moorsfoot. They arrived in Hong Kong on August 8, having rounded Cape Hope in early June and surviving several storms crossing the Indian Ocean. Three days after their arrival in Hong Kong, they were ordered to Calcutta.

After their arrival in Calcutta on September 17, John's unit proceeded upriver by steamer to Allahabad. At Allahabad they were armed with mortars and attached to the forces proceeding to the relief of Lucknow.

The Relief of Lucknow by Thomas Jones Barker
National Portrait Gallery
The Seige of Lucknow was a key event during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. From the end of June until mid-November, rebels forces besieged the garrison of British and Indian soldiers. The defence was centred on the Residency. With the garrison were over one thousand British civilians, mostly women and children. 

In September, a first attempt to break the siege failed to evacuate the Residency. The relief force joined the garrison and the siege continued. A second relief force, commanded by Sir Colin Campbell, and including John's company, successfully evacuated the Residency.

John's unit departed Allahabad on November 4 and arrived at Cawnpore six days later. Four months earlier Cawnpore had been the location of another key event of the Indian Rebellion. In June, forces of the East India Company surrendered to the rebels after a siege of three weeks. As the British withdrew to Allahabad under a promise of safe passage, they were attacked and massacred at the Satichaura Ghat. The surviving British woman and children were taken into captivity and moved to the Bibighar, a villa in Cawnpore, where they were later joined by other captured refugees. In total 206 woman and children were kept prisoner in the Bibighar.

When East India Company forces retook Cawnpore in July, they discovered the Bibighar empty and blood-splattered. The captured woman and children had been hacked to death with meat cleavers, and their stripped and mutilated bodies thrown down a dry well.

The British troops were horrified and enraged. At Cawnpore, captured rebels were forced to lick the bloodstained floor of the Bibighar before they were hanged. Other rebel prisoners were "blown from cannons" a method of execution described by George Carter Stent of the 14th (King's Light) Dragoons, in Scraps from My Sabretasche:
The prisoner is generally tied to a gun with the upper part of the small of his back resting against the muzzle. When the gun is fired, his head is seen to go straight up into the air some forty or fifty feet; the arms fly off right and left, high up in the air, and fall at, perhaps, a hundred yards distance; the legs drop to the ground beneath the muzzle of the gun; and the body is literally blown away altogether, not a vestige being seen.
There is no evidence that John witnessed this form of execution, or indeed any executions, however, "Remember Cawnpore!" became a war cry for the British soldiers for the rest of the conflict.

Aftermath of the Siege of Lucknow
Imperial War Museum
John's unit departed Cawnpore and joined up with Campbell's main force near Lucknow. They began shelling the enemy the evening of the 15th. On the 17th, Campbell's forces reached the beleaguered Residency and began evacuating the non-combatants. A few days later Campbell began to withdraw his own forces.

Meanwhile, rebel forces were again threatening Cawnpore. Campbell moved to reinforce Cawnpore with his cavalry and artillery. John "manned the guns" during the opening stages of the Second Battle of Cawnpore. Unfortunately he contracted dysentery and was admitted to hospital on December 5th, and thus missed the decisive British victory on December 6th.

John was released from hospital a month later and rejoined his unit. Later that month John was charged with insubordination when he lost his temper with one of the officers. He was sentenced to three months hard labour. John remained with his unit but was tasked with unpleasant duties such as burying dead bullocks and camels.

Once John had served his sentence he participated in a number of minor actions against the rebels before going into garrison near Lucknow.

While at Lucknow, John began attending Methodist prayer meetings, and soon became a fervent Wesleyan Methodist—a process which Wright describes in detail. On April 30, 1861, John wrote:

This is my birthday. I am twenty-seven years old. Twenty-five years I served the devil, only two out of twenty-seven have been given to my God.
John was in India for eight years. Most of this time was spent in garrison near Lucknow, then Futtehgurh, and finally Mohar. John was frequently in hospital while at Mohar and was invalided on November 17, 1865. Two months later he left India.

After a "tedious and uneventful" voyage, John disembarked at Netley on the Thames on July 1, 1866.

While in India, John had began a correspondence with Emma Plumridge of West Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the niece of a friend. At first the letters were written on his illiterate friend's behalf to Emma, who was writing on her uncle's behalf. Eventually John began to write letters directly to Emma. This continued for the next six years. After John was discharged on August 14, 1866 he hastened to West Wycombe where he and Emma were married less than a month later.

After a visit home to his parents in Devon and a brief period of employment as an agricultural labourer, John obtained employment with the London Metropolitan Police force. His first child, Wilfred, was born in 1867.

Emma, Wilfred, and John Lovering Cooke
While a police officer, John also volunteered as a lay preacher and temperance missionary. He found police work "irksome" and the "opportunities for doing good limited." In March 1869, John was offered the post of lay agent at the British Sailors' Institute in Boulogne-sur-Mer, France.

British Sailor's Institute
The British Sailor's Institute had been established the previous year, "for the purpose of providing English seamen in that port with a place where they could read the newspapers and hold social intercourse with one another, without the debasing associations of the public-house." A few months later John also became caretaker of the Wesleyan chapel in Boulogne-sur-Mer.

The British Sailors' Institute in Boulogne-sur-Mer later became the parsonage for Holy Trinity Anglican Church. It was destroyed during World War II but was rebuilt afterwards.

In the spring of 1871, John and Emma lost their second child, Francis, who had been born the previous year. Six months later Emma passed away. She was 28.

The following year John began suffering headaches and severe ear pain. He travelled to London to consult a specialist, but began to have difficulty breathing as well. Rev. Wright, having been acquainted with John since he was a police officer, visited him on his death bed, and was entrusted with his journals. John Lovering Cooke died on 26 Dec 1873.

John's surviving son Wilfrid was raised in an orphanage in Bristol, spend several years in Cardiff, emigrated to Canada in 1910, and settled in Toronto where he died in 1930.


North Devon Journal
, 26 Mar 1829

North Devon Journal, 8 Feb 1866

Frank Holmes, Brother Indeed: The Life of Robert Cleaver Chapman, 1956

Charles H. H. Wright, Memoir of John Lovering Cooke, with a sketch of the Indian mutiny of 1857-58, 1873