from London, England to Philadelphia, USA to Ottawa, Canada, c. 1825
ML# 349 on the McCabe List
October 15, 2002:
Reuben Traveller came from Marylebone, Middlesex, London England. In 1829 there were
seven people in his family, two males and five females. He was a well-known
person in Bytown and may have been the Town Crier. He worked in the Court House.
Lett's Bytown has a good write-up about him.
A brother named Fortunatus TRAVELLER is listed in some of the early
census returns for Nepean.
February 21, 2003:
Reuben Traveller is my gr. gr. grandfather. His family married into many
of the old families in the Ottawa area, including the Billings, Dow, Henry, Taylor
families and others.
The following is a summary of the family. I do have a fairly complete family tree
if anyone is interested.
The name Traveller was originally French (Travailier) probably Huguenot.
The first appearance of the name in England was in Cornwall and Devon.
Eventually they ended up in London. Thomas Traveller born about 1750 in
London, England married Sarah Lambath (Precious) Aug. 9, 1776 in Westminster,
St. George London. Their family consisted of at least six children, 2 girls
and 4 boys including Reuben born Feb 20 1788. A bible still in existence,
which was supposed to be ship wrecked was a gift to Thomas Traveller from
Captain McCartney dated 1783.
Reuben Traveller also went to sea as a young man and was alleged to have been
cabin boy or midshipman on Nelsonís flagship the Victory at the Battle of
Cape Trafalgar. His baptism, marriage and the baptisms of most of his children
occurred at St Marys, Marleybone Rd. London. We have not been able to locate the
church. He married Sarah Veal July 6 1807 and at least 7 children were born to
this union - Fortune, Fortunatus, Reuben, Sarah, Ruth, Archibald Brown, and Marianne.
About 1820 Reuben and Sarah and family sailed for America and landed in
Philadelphia where Sarah died and is buried in1821. Shortly after the family
moved to Bytown (Ottawa). Reuben became the court crier and served the courts
of Ottawa and Carleton County for many years. His will can be found in the
National Archives in Ottawa and is the story of his life, probably written by
himself. By this time about 1860 he had remarried at least once and probably
twice and there was one more daughter. His present spouse was to be well taken
care of as long as she remained in a state of widowhood. At that time according
to him his life was suspended on a slender thread, so he wasnít feeling too well
Before his death he had his gravestone prepared and it has an anchor at the top and
a poem describing the Battle of Trafalgar on the face. He was buried in the old
Sandy Hill Cemetery in Ottawa, which is now part of the campus of the University of
Ottawa. His stone was moved to St. James Cemetery in Hull Quebec where the next
generation of his family is buried.
.. Jim MacGregor
November 23, 2004:
Hi Folks: Saw your info on http://www.bytown.net/traveller.htm
Have been in contact with Jim Macgregor who is a distant relative of my
husband. We've been researching the Lee clan and found that
Jack's great g/mother is Emma Traveller, married to William F. Lee in
Nepean, on 31 Jan 1882. Emma was the daughter of Fortunatus and Mary
Traveller. I believe Jim Macgregor is related to one of Emma's sisters -
Matilda, I think.
Emma Lee (nee Traveller) died in Winnipeg on 4 March 1917 and is buried in
Elmwood Cemetery in Winnipeg. Emma and William had 2 children: William
Sanford Lee (Jack's g/father), b. 7 Sep 1887, Winnipeg, d. 15 March 1941,
Calgary; and Maude Dow Lee, b. 19 Jan 1883. William Sanford Lee married
Venice Vanlieu March on 7 Sept 1913 at Normal, Illinois, USA (she's American).
They had 5 children: Marjorie Dow Lee, Winnipeg; Sanford
Deane Lee, Chinook, Alberta, d. 29 Dec 1919; Jack Douglas Lee
Calgary, AB, d. 11 Oct 1996; William
Lester Lee,; Virginia Lee. Jack Douglas Lee
married Olga Zawasky on 27 Nov 1942.
Thought you might like to add this info to your collection :-)
January 22, 2008:
Thanks to Martha Grenzeback for the following:
I am a descendant of Reuben Traveller, about whom others on this site have posted,
and am hoping to find out more about a man who seems to have been a pretty interesting
guy. He was born on 20 Feb 1788 in London, England and married Sarah Veal on 6 Jul 1807
in Parish Church of St. Marylebone, St. Marylebone Rd., London, Middlesex Co. I wonít
repeat all that Jim McGregor has written about him, but he was apparently an energetic,
enterprising sort of person. In Philadelphia, USA, where the family lived for a few
years after leaving England around 1820 and before moving on to Canada around 1825,
he apparently managed a tavern called "The Traveller's Rest" in Broad St., between
Chestnut and Walnut Streets. In old Bytown he was at various times a notary public,
a sheriffís bailiff, the town crier, and the town clerk. In addition, he was something
of a writer. In his will he bequeathed to his daughter Georgeana "my manuscripts,
Commonplace Books, Scrap books, and my other writings," and in 1854 a poem of his was
published in The Anglo American Magazine. Another poem, entitled "A Poem
Descriptive of a Cruize in the Channel, and the Last Voyage of Mongo Park to Africa, with
the Ships Return to England," published in 1814, was cataloged in the British Museum.
A poem about the Battle of Trafalgar, presumably by him, is inscribed on his tombstone,
which he had prepared himself before his death.
After the death of his first wife, Sarah, in Philadelphia in the 1820s (still
looking for more info on that), he married again, according to Jim McGregor, to a
widow named Rose Ann Cunningham Farrell; and in 1851 he was living with a third wife,
Emily (born about 1817, in England), with whom he had a daughter (when he was 61!),
Georgiana, born about 1849. I am eager to find out what happened to Emily and Georgiana
after Reubenís death in 1861. I believe that Emily may have remarried around 1880, to
an Irish laborer named Thomas Smith, who died about 1882. I canít find Georgiana,
unless she might be the widowed Georgina Fleming living with Reubenís good friend and
executor, John Sweetman (sexton of Christ Church), in 1881.
Anyway, here is a brief and incomplete sketch of Reubenís children (first seven by
Sarah Veal, last by Emily --?--):
1. Fortune, born on 21 Feb 1809, baptized 24 Mar 1809 in St. Marylebone Parish Church,
London, d. 15 July 1894, Victoria.
Married John Grant (marriage bond posted 9 Dec 1829 in Bytown, District of Bathurst,
Married (2nd) Peter McGregor (Jim McGregor has good info on this family).
2. Fortunatus, born on 12 Aug 1810, baptized 8 Aug. 1810 in St. Marylebone Parish
Church, London, d. 29 Jan 1865, probably Nepean, Carleton Co., Ontario.
Fortunatus Traveller married Mary Dow.
3. Reuben, born on 18 Aug 1812, baptized 6 Sept. 1812 in St. Marylebone Parish Church,
London, d. 31 Aug 1898, Nepean.
Reuben Traveller married Henrietta Dow on 2 Jul 1835.
4. Sarah, born on 13 Feb 1814, baptized 15 Mar 1815 in St. Marylebone Parish Church,
London, d. 23 Oct. 1903, London, Ontario.
Married William Henry.
5. Ruth Priscilla, born on 2 July 1816, baptized 18 Aug. 1816 in St. Marylebone Parish
Church, London, d. 27 Nov 1904 in Douglas, Renfrew Co., Ontario.
Ruth Priscilla Traveller married a logger named John McLaren circa 1836, and was
widowed within the year. I am descended from their son, John Reuben McLaren. She and
young John lived for some years with her father, Reuben, in Bytown. She then married
John McGregor on 15 Jul 1853 in the home of John's father, Peter McGregor (who had
married her sister Fortune).
6. Archibald Brown was born on 6 Jul 1818, baptized 14 Mar 1819 in St. Marylebone
Parish Church, London. Iíd like to find out what happened to him≠I suspect he may have
7. Marianne was born on 23 Jan 1820, baptized 16 April 1820 in St. Marylebone Parish
Church, London, d. 29 May 1871, Nepean. Mary Anne Traveller married Daniel McEwen on 11
8. Georgiana was born about 1849 and was definitely still alive in 1871 (when she was
working as a clerk).
Except for Archibald and Georgiana (the mysteries), I know that all have left numerous
descendants in Canada and elsewhere. I would love to share further information.
If I remember correctly, the Ottawa Citizen published an article about Reuben Traveller,
about three years ago. A photograph accompanying the article showed the grave
marker of Mr. Traveller -- it was in the shape of a large ship's anchor.
Does anyone have a copy of that newspaper article and photograph?
Here's the record for Reuben's second marriage to Rose Anna Cunningham Farrell:
1 Jul 1832
Marriage of Reuben Traveller to Rose Anna Cunningham, widow of James Farrell
Witnesses: Owen Cameron and Eliza Kennedy
Source: ancestry.ca, Drouin Records for Notre Dame Church, Ottawa (now Cathedral)
more from Martha:
I recently transcribed Reuben's will and would be happy to post it--it's entertaining.
Last Will and Testament of Reuben Traveller
Will of Reuben Traveller, Surrogate Court Register Books, Vol. A (1840-1860), Carleton
Co., Ontario, Canada, pp. 237-240. Transcribed from FHL microfilm #0594695.
(FHL is the Family History Library of the Mormon Church ... Al)
In the name of God Amen.
The Tenth day of May one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight Reuben Traveller of
the City of Ottawa in the County of Carleton in the Province of Canada being in
health of body and of Sound mind "Thanks be to God" Do make and order in this my last
Will and Testament making void all other former Wills and Testaments at any time
heretofore made and first I direct that my Body be decently intered [sic] in the
Episcopal Burying Ground of the City of Ottawa in an oaken Coffin within the space
chosen by me and for which I have a Deed registered in the Books of Christs Church,
and now in the possession of the minister of the said church for the time being and
that a Head and Foot stone now prepared with a suitable inscription be put up as soon
as possible and that once in each year and every year I request that the Stones so
placed at the head & foot of my Grave may [?] be brushed once [?] with Linseed Oil and
that the said head and foot stones be occasionally be [sic] looked to with an eye to
their being Kept in order and if a visit could be made annually on the anniversary of
my death by those who xxxxx me who are living it would serve to keep alive many pleasing
recollections of the past. And as to such worldly Estate it has pleased God to intrust
me with, I dispose of the same as follows., First I direct that all lawful debts be
paid as soon as possible out of the first monies that shall come into the hands of my
Executors from any portion of my estate real or personal. Secondly, that the whole of
my wearing apparel be equally distributed between my two surviving sons, Fortunatus &
Reubin, my Patent Lever Watch and Silver Watch chain and key I hereby give and bequeath
the same to my eldest son Fortunatus, and that the Gold Spectacles with the Silver case
which were given to me as a mark of respect and esteem by the Gentlemen of the Bar of
the City of Ottawa for faithful and efficient Services rendered. I hereby give and
bequeath the Same to my Second Son Reubin as an heir Loom of the family and from him
I must request they will be given to his eldest son Thomas Traveller, faithfully,
and then to the elder branch of the Travellers in due Succession. Also I direct that
a fair appraisement be made by two or three disinterested neighbours of all my Estate
including my Household Furniture and after being signed with their names that a copy
of the same shall be given by them to each of my Executors and at a reasonable time
after my decease my dead & live stock be sold by Public Auction for good amount money
of the Province of Canada in such a manner as is usual in such cases insuring the
full and perfect payment thereof and to effect this my intention I do hereby vest
in my Executors full power and Authority to dispose of my real estate at a time best
suited in their estimation for the realizing of a fair value for the same or if it
should be more to the wishes of my dear wife to continue and reside upon the Homestead
I recommend that a few necessary articles be reserved from the Sale and removed to a
smaller portion of the Building so that an increased rental may be obtained. Two rooms
sparingly furnished for herself and my Georgiana Traveller she will find most most
[sic] to the purpose of my wishes and her own Comfort. Otherwise I do hereby vest in
my Executors full power and authority to dispose of my real estate in fee simple in
as full and large a manner in every respect, as I could myself do if living. That
any promissory notes Book accounts or other Securities be realized as soon as
possible -?- assignments Five shares in the Bytown Gas Company a policy in the
Canada Life Assurance Company with the profits from the Commencement together with
the Rents with economy and a little industry will secure to my dear Wife and child
a decent livelihood. My Interest in the Two Shares in the Building Society upon
which Ten Shillings per month is required to be paid I give and bequeath to my dear
Georgeana and my manuscripts, Commonplace Books, Scrap books and my other writings
which I think will be highly valued and treasured up for my sake by my dear Georgeana.
If it should be agreed between my wife and my Executors to sell the property left
my desire is that the proceeds may be so invested in trust to by Executors so as
to bring forth the best return that is possible compatible with the double Security.
The whole of the property herein enumerated and whatever other property I may die
poss'ed of I hereby give and bequeath to my dear Wife Emily for and during her life
to be in lieu of her Dower in Common law if she so elects and especially under the
condition of her remaining in the state of Widowhood, and I do also appoint that
my wife shall have the guardianship of my daughter Georgiana so that she attend
strictly to her moral and religious training and that in case of my wife's death
or marriage during her minority then I appoint my much esteemed friend and Executor
John Sweetman who shall have the care of bringing her up and see that proper persons
are entrusted with her interlectual [sic] progress. Should she be permitted to live
long the greatest portion of her happiness will depend upon her early instructions
under the blessing of God which must be daily prayed for. God may still preserve my
life to see her arrive at Womanhood although it now hangs on as it were upon a
slender thread. My desire, however, that she do not unite herself in marriage with
a Roman Catholic whose religion is a religion of form and ceremonies, nor with a
Methodist for theirs is only a religion of tempory xxxxx which produce loud whining
and precise speeches and unfathomable duplicity, the life of God in the soul of man
is found in but few of them. I request also that the payments on Policy of insurance
No. xxxx dated February seventh one thousand eight hundred and fifty-three on the life
of my wife Emily which has been regularly paid by me with the profits accruing be
continued and paid half yearly out of the funds I may leave for that purpose and that
the interest on such policy I give and bequeath to my daughter Georgeana. My Executors
will see to the payment being regularly made so as to insure the desired end, and in
the case of my wife's death or marriage I desire then that the property left for her
support may be given absolutely and is hereby given to my two eldest sons share and
share alike subject to the payment of the monthly Subscriptions due and that may
become due till the whole be paid up and in the case of death or deaths to the next
eldest of their respective children. My dear wife Emily has been a good wife to me
and I earnestly desire her future happiness, but I also hold that if she resolves to
alter her condition in in [sic] life in this respect and ---?--- that the man she
may choose for her future husband furnish her with a dove Cote and the materials for
building a nest , and provision for the remainder of her days. And I do hereby make
and ordain my eldest son Furtunatus Traveller and John Sweetman Executors of this
my last Will and Testament. I also direct that in the event of my Wifes marriage or
death that the expence of education, clothing, and every necessary outlay in the
bringing up of my daughter Georgeana be paid out of my estate to my Executor John
Sweetman for that purpose.
In witness whereof I Reubin Traveller of the City of Ottawa in the County of Carleton
and Province of Canada the Testator have this twenty first day of May in the year
of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifty eight set my hand and seal the
whole being written on one sheet.
The above having been read over to me I have hereunto affixed my hand and seal.
(Signed) Emily Traveller
Signed sealed and delivered in the presence of us and acknowledged in the presence
of each other this twenty first day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand
eight hundred and fifty eight.
(Signed) John Sweetman
May 26, 2008:
You were kind enough to post some info on Reuben Traveller on your
site for me. In the meantime, I've made a website about this family,at
Could you add that link to the Traveller info on your site? I have
also put a link to Bytown or Bust in the Useful Links section of my
site--is that all right?
February 24, 2010:
Source: Bytown Gazette Archives, May 9, 1844
Methodology to search early Ottawa newspapers
E-mail Jim McGregor, Margaret Lee, Martha Grenzeback and Al Lewis
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area