Brockville, Ontario, Canada
Early History and Settlement



Painting Source: National Gallery of Canada Painted by W. H. Bartlett, 1840 February 4, 2013 (added further credit for this painting) steel engraving on chine collé 27.1 x 34 cm; plate: 22.7 x 29.1 cm Purchased 1963 National Gallery of Canada (no. 15032) Brockville, Ontario, Canada in 1840 by W.H. Bartlett
Map Source: Extracted from the 1879 Map of Elizabethtown Township digitized by McGill University Brockville, Ontario, Canada in 1879
The book The Orangeman by Donald Akenson tells the story of Ogle Robert Gowan who arrived in Brockville in 1829 from County Wexford Ireland. The book is an interesting chronicle of early days in Brockville and the relationship between local members of the Family Compact, Loyalists (UEL), American immigrants and the Reformers led by William Lyon Mackenzie. Ogle Gowan was the founder of the Orange Lodge in Upper Canada and eventually became a member of Parliament in Toronto. He also became the head of the Orange Lodges in North America. I'm in the process of reading The Orangeman and will add more information to a new Ogle Gowan web page soon. ... Al
February 28, 2017: In his book, Surplus People, Jim Rees has described the program of assisted emigration that Lord Fitzwilliam initiated in the late 1840s to reduce the number of tenants on his estate in southwest Wicklow. Most of these emigrants sailed from New Ross to Quebec City, but few of them stayed in Quebec, where the population was for the most part French-speaking. Instead, they continued on up the St. Lawrence River to the province of Ontario (then called Upper Canada) and became part of Irish communities there. Source for above italicized text and the table below: A Story of Emigration: Southwest County Wicklow, Ireland, to Ontario, Canada by Anne Burgess
Name of Tenant From Settled In
BEDLOW, Richard and Sarah Coolattin Brockville, ON
BOWE, Sarah Coolattin Brockville, ON
BYRNE, Andrew and ROARKE, Catherine Hillbrooke Brockville, ON
BYRNE, Garret and PIERCE, Elizabeth Ballincorbeg Brockville, ON?; Rossie, NY
BYRNE, John and Mary Coolkenna Brockville, ON
BYRNE, Samuel and Ann; Mary Anne Rosbane Brockville, ON
CARR, Mary; George; John Ballykelly Brockville, ON
CLEARY, Simon and Ellen Farnees Brockville, ON
COLLINS, Patrick and Margaret Coolfancy Brockville, ON
DOYLE, James and ROARK, Mary Hillbrooke Brockville, ON
DOYLE, Michael; Thomas, Michael Jr., Mary, Ellen Coolroe Brockville, ON
FOSTER, Thomas; George; William Ballykelly Brockville, ON
FOX, Simon Coolboy Brockville, ON
GARRET / GARRETT, Thomas, Eliza and Bridget Coolnafinogue Brockville, ON
GILES, Miles and Sally Coolroe Brockville, ON
HICKEY, Patrick and Dolly Kilcavan Brockville, ON
HICKEY, Peter and family, including John HICKEY and wife Mary DORAN HICKEY, Peter and family, including John HICKEY and wife Mary DORAN BIRCH HICKEY, plus the BIRCH children Kilcavan Brockville, ON
JACKSON, Martha; Joshua; Samuel; John; Mary; Elizabeth; Joseph Hillbrooke Brockville, ON
KELLY, Thomas and Catherine Aghowle Brockville, ON
O'TOOLE, Thomas and Mary Gurteen Brockville, ON
PIERCE, Robert Coolattin Brockville, ON
RATHWELL / ROTHWELL, John Killaveny Brockville, ON
SHERIDAN, Nicholas and MULLINS, Eliza, and Eliza's father, Michael MULLEN Carnew Brockville, ON
SINGLETON, Eliza and Ally Ballykelly Brockville, ON
SINGLETON, John and Sally; William Jr. Ballynultagh Brockville, ON
SUMMERS, John and Ann Hillbrooke Brockville, ON

October 30, 2008: Hi Al, For your Brockville page I've come across another Wicklow body who settled in Brockville. You probably just want a single line on him, but here are the goods: #005879-80 Thomas DOYLE, 37, blacksmith, Wicklow Ireland, Brockville, s/o John DOYLE & Ellen BURRES (Burns), married Margaret Jane KELLY, 30, Bruckratte? (Brockville?) Canada, Brockville, d/o John KELLY & Maud Ann TAYLOR, witn: Michael Henry BURKE & Eliza BOLAND, both of Brockville, 23 Nov 1880 at Brockville (Thomas's mother's name is BURNS on the Ont. marriage registration.) Here he is in 1901, giving his year of immigration as 1856: Name: Thomas Doyle Gender: Male Marital Status: Married Age: 55 Birth Date: 8 Jun 1845 Birthplace: Irland Relation to Head of House: Head Spouse's Name: Margaret J Immigration Year: 1856 Racial or Tribal Origin: Irish Nationality: Canadian Religion: Roman Catholic Occupation: B Smith Province: Ontario District: Brockville (Town/Ville) District Number: 47 Sub-District: Brockville (Town/Ville) West/Ouest (Ward/Quartier) Sub-District Number: E-2 Family Number: 84 Page: 9 And here he is in 1881: Household: Name Marital Status Gender Ethnic Origin Age Birthplace Occupation Religion Mary A. KELLY W Female Irish 60 Ireland Catholic Margaret J. DOYLE M Female Irish 29 Ontario Catholic Thomas DOYLE M Male Irish 29 Ireland Blacksmith Catholic -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Source Information: Census Place West Ward, Brockville, Brockville, Ontario Family History Library Film 1375867 NA Film Number C-13231 District 109 Sub-district A Page Number 43 Household Number 219 ... Anne

Search Billions of Names at Ancestry.ca
April 6, 2009: And here's an example, from Anne Burgess, of how the New York State newspapers of the 1800's can be used for historical research of Ontario persons who had connections to Ogdensburg, New York: Anne has been studying the emigrants from the Coolatin Estate (Lord Fitzwilliam) from southern County Wicklow, Ireland between 1847 and 1854. Many of these families settled in the Ontario hinterland of the St. Lawrence River. Here is a cross-border family of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Burns: I noted your link to the NY newspapers, Al, and when I used the keyword "Wicklow" it came up with these two pieces on children of Arthur Byrne and Eliza Kehoe, a FW family. The children were Edward Byrne and Mrs. Anne Byrne Kinch. ... Anne Burgess
Annivisary of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Burns of Brockville
This article was reported in the St. Lawrence Republican (1910-1913)from the above database. The family was connected to Ogdensburg, New York, the Perth Road in Ontario and finally they retired in Brockville, Ontario. ... Al
January 12, 2011: Ogle Robert Gowan immigrated from County Wexford, Ireland in 1829. He became the North American Grand Master of the Orange Lodge and held a lot of influence over the Irish Protestants in Upper Canada.
Photograph Source: The Orangeman: The Life and Times of Ogle Gowan by Donald Akenson, inside front cover page Ogle

March 1, 2017: During the Great Famine (Black '47), Irish families were sent from Grosse Isle, Quebec to Montreal and then on to local communities which were either on a canal system or where industrialization was taking place and jobs were opening up. In Brockville, Ontario there was an already established Irish community to assist the new arrivals to integrate into life in Canada. Some of the famine emigrants stayed here in Brockville and others moved, up the St. Lawrence River or north to Carleton County or to the Ottawa and Gatineau Valleys. Here are names of some folks who came from Montreal to Brockville between 1845 and 1847. Most of these folks came with their families: Here are names of some immigrants who specifically stated their destination as Brockville, Ontario. They likely had friends or relatives already there: Daniel Foley, Biddy / Bridget McGuirk / McGurk, Benjamin Jones, William McKelvy, Samuel Lang, wife & 5 children, John Philips, wife & 2 children, John McDonald, wife and child, were 8 weeks in hospital and are going to relations in Brockville, George Husten / Houston / Heuston, Bridget Jackson, Daniel Young. Source: Names of Emigrants from the 1845-1847 records of James Allison, Emigrant Agent at Montreal, Irish Research Group of the Ottawa Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society, publication number 94-2, 1994, ISBN 1-55116-72-8. This publication (112 pages) is now available from Global Genealogy in either hardcopy format or as a download in .pdf format. Note: This book covers only the years 1845-47 and therefore does not include the later famine immigrants -- for example, those who came from the Fitzwilliam Estate in County Wicklow to Brockville as late as 1854 and are documented above under date of February 28, 2017. ... Al Lewis.
New March 19, 2017: Hello Allan, Thank you for your response. When I was a child my father, Herbert Walford used to tell me how his grandfather, Henry Walford had come to Canada from England to help build the Grand Trunk Railroad in the Lyn Ontario, area. Near Brockville. I went looking for proof of his tales and at least 45 years ago acquired a copy of the deed that shows that Henry Walford bought land in Elizabethtown township, Parts of Lots 24 and 35. In Concessions 2 and 3Aug 12th, 1856. Years ago we visited the house and met the then owner. Henry sold his property on Set 10th, 1863 to move to Prescott presumably because his work had moved to some other area. My father told me that his grandfather, Henry Walford had been recruited by a company for whom he had worked in England, to come to Canada to work for them on the Grand Trunk Railroad.. We believe that would have been the famous Peto, Brassey, Jackson and Betts Company. So far I have no proof of this. He also said that Henry continued to work on various railroad projects in the area after the GTR was completed in the Lyn area.. Henry Walford’s property straddled the GTR tracks and had a lane from the railroad to the back door of his house. The lane was still there when we visited at the house. Father told us that his grandfather would, in modern parlance, borrow the company vehicle, either a jigger or a handcar to drive from work in Brockville to home and back. He would set the rig off the tracks at his lane and walk to the house and put it back on the tracks for the return trip the next morning. When I read the article about the Brockville tunnel and saw the dates I wondered if Henry Walford would have worked on that job. He was always listed on the census and elsewhere as a "Contractor". At present I can not find the listing of Henry’s mortgages that I have had, and repayments that were with his property deed. About 1858/9 he borrowed $11,000, a huge sum. Was he financing a major contract at the time? We were in Brockville about 15 years ago, or more, and went to the archives there. They were very friendly and gave me 2 banker’s boxes of Tunnel info to sort through. I was looking to see if by chance Henry Walford’s name would appear in the papers, as a contractor, but no luck. Would you know anyone who has delved deeper into the history of the tunnel and who might know if there are any records of the contractors who worked on the project? I have spent a lot of time looking for this info. Sincerely, Austin & Margaret Clipperton

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