Philemon WRIGHT and his pioneer settlers
from Woburn, Massachusetts, USA
First settler in the Ottawa / Hull / Gatineau Canada area (1800)
Text Image below is from Pioneers of the Upper Ottawa and Humors of the Valley, by Anson A. Gard, 1906,
Re-printed by Global Genealogy in 1999, ISBN 1-894378-28-8, page 355.
Photo Source: Where Rivers Meet: An Illustrated History of Ottawa
by Courtney C.J. Bond, page 24
Photo Source: Library and Archives, Canada, digital collection
Thanks to Mrs. Mary Wall for the following text, an excerpt
from a Wright family history, written by Mr. Grant Carr-Harris.
Mrs. Wall has also contributed some early photos -- see posting on this web page dated February 23, 2010.
July 29, 2008 (new map)
Map Source: Hurling Down the Pine, inside back cover
Surnames: Batson, Leamy, Brigham (Columbia Farm), Amelia Island, Chaudiere Falls
Text source: Ottawa, the Capital of Canada, by Shirley E. Woods, page 29.
The Wright family came from Woburn, ten miles from Boston, Massachusetts by sleigh during the winter
of 1800. His party settled on the north side of the Ottawa River. Wrightstown, now
part of the new city of Gatineau, was chosen as a better locale than the south
side of the Grand River (now the Ottawa River). The portage route past the Chaudiere
Falls was better on the north side, there was more sun, and a longer stretch
of favourable shoreline. Philemon Wright established a Utopian agricultural settlement.
His group were the first permanent settlers in the Ottawa area.
October 31, 2002:
"In a book called "The Ottawa County" by Courtney Claude J. Bond (1968), I
found the following information."
After his reconnaissance's and a period of preparation he set out in 1800
with his brother Thomas, Elijah Allen, Amos and Solomon Childs, Daniel
Wyman, Henry Kendrick, Harvey Parker, Ebenezer Hadley and Joel Adams, their
women and children and enough household goods and tools to take up life in
There has been some speculation that my ancestor Truman Waller, wife Martha
"Patty" Hitchcock and their children also came with Philemon Wright but I
haven't found any proof as yet.
... Norma Lavallee
Source: Posting to UOVGEN by Norma on October 31, 2002.
Also posted on October 31, 2002:
Thanks to Joan McEvoy Rooney for the following:
Also, one of the families that came with Philemon was the Wyman family, who were
his in-laws and cousins, since he married some degree of cousin. I'll check
for you about his burial. In the Ottawa Room of the Main Library there is a
full Wright genealogy.
Bye for now,
Joan McEvoy Rooney
Source: Posted to CAN-ONT-CARLETON-L@rootsweb.com on October 30, 2002
E-mail Norma Lavallee, Joan Rooney, Dorothy Morris, Nancy Leech, Sheila Ann Wood, Heather, Myrna Foley, Bruce Wright, Heather Fox, Edna Baker, Jean Waniandy, Cindy, Janet Peters, Robert Sheffield Pilot, Betty Biggs, Bob Moody, Will Dunlop, Wendy Brunet, Frank Latchford, Karen Prytula, Max Wright, Bruce Cowen, The Wright Team (Don), John, Mary Wall, Taylor Kennedy, Mary Quinn, Rick Henderson and Al Lewis
November 2, 2002:
... The reason I am interested is that one of my 4 x great maternal grandparent's
daughters - Hannah HILLMAN married- Jan 2, 1825 to Franklin WRIGHT, who was
son of John WRIGHT b. 1788 marr. to Sibel CUMMINGS in Hull. John WRIGHT was
son of Thomas WRIGHT b 1759, and Thomas WRIGHT was elder brother of Philemon
WRIGHT the founder of the Colony (Woburn, Mass) who came to Hull in 1800.
I have collected a little data over the past few years of my searching on my
maternal line re the WRIGHT's. I know there is an old cemetery - 1891 Cemetery
Old Chelsea Quebec (Protestant). There is a stone marker record of one of the
two earliest deaths in the National Capital Region, that of Thomas WRIGHT, in
1801 - older brother of Philemon, Founder of Hull. The other being that of
Nathaniel CHAMBERLAIN who also died in 180l, however, no marker has been
Appreciate help to view the above mentioned sites and also willing to share
any of my data that might be useful.
Dorothy E. Morris
also posted on November 2, 2002:
Do you mind if I add your posting (above) to the Philemon Wright page? I'd also
add your e-mail address as a contact.
I'm also planning on starting a new page for Isaac Firth. I think you
mentioned that you are related to some Firths who were here early. Isaac
Firth had an inn at Richmond Landing in downtown Ottawa before 1820. There's
a picture of the inn, drawn by Colonel By. There were also some intriguing
land deals between Lord Dalhousie, Livius Sherwood, John Lebreton, Colonel
By and Isaac Firth. I hope to write this up one of these days.
Also, there was a four-person drowning at Chaudiere Falls in 1815. It's
written up at www.bytown.net/chaudiere.htm
Do you know anything about this incident?
If you'd like me to include your Firth info on the new page, let me know (I
don't have your original posting).
... more for November 2, 2002:
From Nancy Meech:
Have you seen this booklet - "Up the Gatineau"? I found it in my father-in-law's
family tree papers after he died. I was mostly interested in the Meech family, and
didn't pay much attention to the other articles in the book. I now see that there is
an article entitled, "Philemon Wright Memorial". The first paragraphe reads:
"On Wednesday, June 18, 1980, at Winchester, Massachusetts, a bronze plaque, a gift
from Canada, was unveiled, commemorating the departure of a party of pioneers,under the
leadership of Philemon Wright, for a remote spot in the Canadian forested wilderness
where the purpose was to establish a community, later to become the City of Hull in the
Province of Quebec and part of what is now called the National Capital Region."
This article about Philemon Wright is about four pages long. It gives a lot of
information about the Wright family, and Philemon's efforts to establish a new settlement
in Canada. The difficult journey by Philemon and his group, including 25 men he had hired ,
as well as his brother Thomas and two of his brothers-in-law (Samuel Choate and John Allen),
and their families, was very interesting. They left Woburn, Mass., in February, to take
advantage of the frozen rivers where no roads existed.
"In time they reached Montreal where time was taken to complete the necessary paperwork
and to swear allegiance to the King. A document exists, listing by name and age the heads
of families, their wives and each of the children. Shortly after the journey resumed
westward along the Grand River (now the Ottawa River). Progress was slow as it was
necessary that men should go ahead with axes to try the strength of the river ice over
which the party would be travelling; the fear being that the loss of animals and a sleigh
with all its valuable load of humans and settlers' effects would be disastrous in the
Along the way they met an Indian who assumed leadership of the ice testing detail.
Eventually after six days of careful prodding they reached the site of their future
home - March 7th.
There is a lot more info about their trip and the trials and tribulations of setting
up their homes. The local Indians came around to see what was going on, and were
evidently concerned by the apparent rights of the settlers to cut trees and to establish
their camp. However, through an interpreter, they were pacified, and left in peace,
not, however, without adopting Wright as a brother chief!
The last two pages of this article concern the home which Philemon Wright left in Woburn,
Mass., and the efforts of the owner in 1981 to have this home recognized as a heritage
site - and also her efforts to have the Canadian government donate this placque which was
erected on the property.
This above article appeared in "Families", Vol. 19, No. 4, 1980, of The Ontario
I hope this information is of use to you. I've got to go rake leaves!
... Nancy Meech
Note: Nancy also sent along some history of the Reverend Asa Meech (Meech Lake).
More from Nancy on November 2, 2002:
Hi, again! I thought I had seen more information on Philemon in another book amongst
my father-in-law's papers, so went delving and came up with "Aylmer - Its Heritage".
Do you have this book?
The first section deals with Historical Highlights 1800 - 1921. In the second paragraph,
"Hull Township was surveyed by Joseph Bouchette in 1802. Land grants totalling 12,000
acres in all parts of the township were allotted to eleven men - Philemon Wright Sr.,
his three sons Philemon Jr., Tiberius and Ruggles Wright, James McConnell, Luther Colton,
Isaac Remic, Edmond Chamberlain, Harvey Parker and Daniel Wyman. Encouraged by the prospect
of inexpensive farm land, other settlers arrived soon after."
The first 22 pages of this book are dedicated to the history of Aylmer with the remainder
of the 174 pages covering photos and write-ups of the buildings, etc.
The names of many settlers are mentioned.
December 29, 2002:
I am a great great (don't know how many greats) grandaughter of Philemon Wright.
My grandfather's name was Edward Tiberius Wright Davies and his mother's name was
Mary Jane Wright. There are several missing links that maybe you could lead me to
other websites. I know that a lot of the Wrights are buried at St. James Cemetary in
Hull Quebec. Philoman and Tiberius are marker #27.
Sheila Ann Wood
PS there is a family tree book out there. My uncle has it but he isn't sharing!!!
January 10, 2003:
FYI, Pat Evans, from outside Hull, Quebec, wrote an extensive geneology on
the Wright family. I believe he started with Thomas and Philemon's father,
Thomas, in Woburn. It's a huge book and goes right up to about the 1960's
with a later edition covering up to the 1990's. One interesting thing I
found from perusing this book is that I was related to just about anyone
whose family had lived in the Ottawa Valley area for over 100 years! There
may be a copy of this book in the National Archives in Ottawa.
January 20, 2003:
The book you mention is the same one that I talked about earlier. There is
more than 1 copy of it at the Ottawa Room of the Ottawa Public Library, Main
Branch on Metcalfe St. at Laurier Avenue.
Undoubtedly, there is also a copy at the NA, but the Public Library may be
easier for some people to use. There is actually a Wright descendant
working in the Ottawa Public Library.
January 30, 2003:
See also the CHAMBERLIN brothers who came to work with Philemon Wright in 1819.
May 13, 2003:
I just came across your website and wondered whether you could help me with
this interesting sidenote regarding the Wright family. My third grand uncle,
Theodore Davis, died at the home of Ruggles Wright in Hull, Quebec on March 16, 1841.
The death notice was posted in the Christian Guardian. He was 65 when he died.
It has always puzzled me who this Ruggles Wright was and why Theodore would have
travelled from his home in St. Andrews, Argenteuil, Quebec to Hull to visit Ruggles.
Were they longtime friends? Had they met through business?
I am wondering if you have ever heard of Theodore or any of the Davises; he had two
other brothers, Simeon (who I directly descend from) and Moses (who was very prominent
in St. Andrews, as was Theodore). We are unable to trace the parents of these
three brothers, but Theodore was a land surveyor in St. Andrews and there is
reason to believe he first went there in 1799, may have returned to either
New Hampshire or Massachusetts, and came back in 1800 with his two brothers
to take advantage of the free land being offered.
Theodore is buried in Hull but I have never had the opportunity to visit the
cemetery to see if there is a marker. If you have any information on him or
an idea why he may have been visiting Ruggles Wright, I would appreciate
hearing from you.
May 30, 2003:
Al, I just came across your website, it's loaded with some great
information, it must keep you busy.
I'm a g3 grandson of Philemon and Abigail (Wyman) Wright and in the process
of transcribing the Patrick Evans genealogical work on the Wrights into a
GEDCOM format. I am about a third of the way through so far and have
provided what I have to the Francis Wyman Association who have posted the
information within their geneological database. You can check out their
site at www.wyman.org.
Obviously I have a copy of Mr. Evans work and would be pleased to look up
any information that may be contained in it if you want to correspond with
me at the address below. I plan to digitally copy the book as well but that
will be likely some time down the road.
To: Sheila Ann Wood: I'm not sure if you got the information you were
looking for, but if not let me know, I could probably help you out.
June 22, 2003:
I've just come across your very interesting information on the web. I am a
descendant of Philemon Wright through my paternal grandfather, Percival Edward Wright,
b.1885, son of Edward Albert Wright and Eliza Ann Langford, grandson of Jonathan
Wyman and Mary (Smith) Wright. I am very interested in what material is available
on the family tree. I have one dating back to 1601 John Wright and Pricilla Byfield
going up to my son's generation, b. 1974, the info for which was provided in part by
Grant Carr-Harris, but I believe there have been updates or new ones done.
It is Bertha Wright, b.1863 d. 1949, my grandfather's sister, that I am particularly
interested in. A documentary film "Heroine of Hull" was made by Rev. Jim Collins,
about her very interesting and visionary life, and I am eager to learn all I can about
her. Our family tree shows her married to someone different than Rev. Collins found
in his research and I'm interested in finding out about that!
Anybody have suggestions or info that would help me in my search? I live in Victoria,
and we are having a family reunion this July, mainly with West Coast cousins, and
I'd love to have updated info. for that. Thank you so much in advance for your help.
July 15, 2003:
I have recently started to seek out my family tree. My grandmother's maiden name was
Edna Hazel Wright and my grandfather's name was Joseph Thivierage
it was spelled that way or this way Thivierge apparently he came from the Ottawa Valley
area sadly we did not get to know his side of the family and I would love any info
that you could provide me with.
September 4, 2003:
My name is Jean Wright Waniandy, Philemon Wright is my third great
I have been doing my family history for a few years now. I guess I should
tell you my line Philemon, Tiberius, Tiberous, Tiberous Percy, George Magnus, Me. I have
a photo copy of the book . And would like to hear from any of you . I live and was
born in Alberta and would like to hear all stories you have as I never know about this
family until a few years ago
Thanks, Jean Waniandy
September 21, 2003:
Hello Nancy Meech
I'm a descendant of Harriet Meech and John Hetherington. I'm trying to find info
on John's father Joseph Hetherington. According to my records The Lower Canada Land
Grants show that Joseph was given a 200 acre grant, Lot 19, Range 6 of the Township
of Hull in 1827. This was the result of a petition for land made by Philemon
Wright on behalf of some fifty settlers. Unfortunately Joseph's name was
misspelled as Harrington. (Harrington Lake). I was hoping I could somehow obtain
a copy of your information concerning Philemon's journey as well as the settlers
he brought with him. Can you help me? Joseph is my brick wall.
My research re Theodore Davis and his relationship with Philemon and Ruggles Wright
has turned up some French texts, which I have now translated. If anyone is interested
in receiving these translations, please let me know. They mainly concern the election
of Philemon and Theodore as deputies to the Legislative Assembly for Ottawa County 1830-1834.
December 18, 2003:
My name is Jean Waniandy. I had put in a query and omitted to include my address
being a decendant of Philemon Wright. I would like to hear from anyone out there.
I am the Alberta Branch
also posted on December 18, 2003:
"Until 1800, Elias Smith had been a Baptist Minister in Woburn, Massachusetts.
This was the year in which Thomas Jefferson was elected President, and for trivia buffs,
it was also the year in which Philemon Wright (an Episcopalian) left Woburn and became
the first settler in the Ottawa area. The year 1800 was also the approximate beginning
of the Second Great Revival, a religious fervour which swept the Christian world.
Philemon Wright established a utopian settlement in the Ottawa area -- one of his goals
may have been the avoidance of the democratization of the Protestant religion which
was taking place in the United States." (1)
(1) From a paper by Al Lewis on the Democratization of Christianity, Fall 2003,
April 12, 2004:
Just want to inform you of my new email address, now at:
... Dorothy Morris
June 8, 2004:
I am a descendant of Philemon Wright through his son Ruggles and grandson Edward Van Cortland,
my great grandfather was Ernest Howard and my Grandfather was Edgar Athol Wright Sr.
Recently I visited Hull and saw many interesting things as well as the statue of
Philemon Wright. I have the family tree book that was done on the Wrights by
Patrick M.O. Evans, very interesting.
Janet Peters (Wright)
July 5, 2004:
New WRIGHT family Web Site
(includes some great historical maps)
Just wanted to let you know that www.wrightfamily.ca has been launched
(still lots of work to be done). Any suggestions or comments on how to
improve and expand on the database and content will be appreciated.
Thanks and regards,
September 10, 2004:
I was particularly interested in Nancy Meech’s comments on this web site.
I have a very faded copy of an article titled A landmark at Kinsgmere
by Gladys Blair. It features a home owned by The Edmund Ryan family,
the article is not dated. However, it mentions an ancestor of mine
Elisha Sheffield who married Polly Wright the daughter of Thomas Wright,
Philemon Wright’s brother. They married in 1806 the marriage certificate was
found in the home by the Ryans. Elisha Sheffield is mentioned as a Mill wright
who came to Hull with Philemon on the great migration from the U.S.
I am trying to find out more information about this union as it has been lost
to my family. Elisha Sheffield and Polly settled on this Land Grant of 100 acres.
There first house was log and the present one in the article was built about 1850.
There were two Elisha’s Father and Son. It states that one of the cherished
treasures in the Ryan house besides the marriage certificate signed by Thomas Sherwood
justice of the Peace who witnessed the ceremony between Polly Wright and Elisha
Sheffield in 1806 is an old letter dated March 28, 1840 asking how much he wants
for his cattle. Does this information fit with any that you may have.
Sincerely Robert Sheffield Pilot
October 21, 2004:
Harvey Parker was also a member of the Philemon Wright settlers
My ancestor Harvey Parker travelled with Philemon Wright.
I have the history of most of his ancestors after he came to
Quebec, but I am having a hard time with his mother and father
back in the U.S. I have made a few connections but can't cofirm them.
Can anyone help me?
November 1, 2004:
Truman Waller and Martin Ebert families
I am Bob Moody from Vancouver.
I am a descendant of Truman Waller and Martin Ebert families
through the marriage of Truman's daughter Roxanne and Martin Ebert.
These families settled in the Hull area around 1800 before they moved
a little father north into the Pontiac County area. I have been in touch
with people from Pontiac that have been doing genealogy research on
the the Waller and Ebert families as well as other related families.
They have provided me with a ton of information and I in return was able
to provide them with information on the branch of the family that moved
out to Vancouver in the 1880s.
I have done some research at the downtown Vancouver Library which
has a surprising amount of genealogy information. At the Vancouver library
I uncovered 2 items that I thought might be of interest to you. Both items
were from originals that were transcribed by Bruce Elliott. I did not know
who he was until I read about him on your web site. I have attached these
One is a militia list for Hull, Eardly and Onslow circa 1808. It lists
Tiberius Wright and Philemon Wright as well as Eliad Waller, Eder Waller
(both sons of Truman Waller) and Martin Ebert as well as others for a
total of 52.
The second is a census of Lower Canada showing the population return
for the Township of Hull York County. Truman Waller's family is shown on
this list but not the Ebert Family. However what I find curious about
this census is the information pertaining to the Wright families.
Philemon , Ruggles and Tiberius Wright are all listed but it is the
size and make up of the Ruggles and Tiberius Families that puzzles me.
The Tiberius Wright family is shown as a total of 55 individuals with 20
of them being single males between the ages 18 and 25, and another 25
being single males between the age of 25 and 40. The Ruggles Wright
family has 45 individuals with 23 of them being single males between the
age of 18 and 25 and 17 being single males between the ages of 25 and 40.
There is only one married male and female in each family. The Job Moors
family has a similar make up. It certainly doesn't appear to be the 25
families that are described as being led by Philemon to Ottawa around 1800.
Can you shed some light on this? Who were all these single men?
Statistics can be misleading.
I have another question as well. Do you know if the Waller Street in
Ottawa is named after the Truman Waller family?
The great number of young males associated with the early Wright families
were probably employees of the Wrights. The Wrights were involved in
many aspects of the local economy, including lumbering and construction.
For example,hey built the bridge and locks at Hog's Back for Colonel By.
Another contractor had tried and failed at this project before.
The material which Bob has sent are the 1808 militia list for Hull (Templeton),
Eardley and Onslow and an 1825 population (census) list for Hull Township.
I hope to post it here someday (pending permission from the Ottawa Branch
of the Ontario Genealogical Society).
November 2, 2004:
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. I am glad the info I sent
is of interest to you. I also read your second Email.
I obtained the information from a book at the Downtown Vancouver Library
however I did not write down all the details. I will be going down to the
library in the next week or so to do some other research and will obtain
more info for you (and myself) about the source of the information and
also look for other info that may be of interest.
Most of the information I have on Truman Waller was provided to me
by the researchers I met on line from Pontiac County and in the US.
(including a Family Tree Maker file that has over 12,500 names. I
honestly don't know if Truman was part of Philemon's group.
I do know that Truman is from Connecticut. He was born in Danbury Conn.
and lived in Litchfield Conn. Truman fought in the American
revolution on the American side. Later he moved his family up to the
Hull area and then up to Pontiac where I believe they founded
Litchfield Pontiac. Truman later went back to the US to obtain his
American Revolution Pension and died in Bennington Vermont. Most of
his family and their families remained in Pontiac where many of their
descendents live today. A person who is continuing to research Truman
ancestors and knows a lot more then I do is Barbara Anderson who can be
reached at email@example.com.
I know even less about Martin Ebert. It is thought he was born in
What I like about the 1808 militia records is it fits so nicely into the
family tree information I have received about the Waller family.
For example the info I was given shows Truman's daughter Eunice marrying
a Martin Moore. It also shows Martin Moores father as a Dudley Moore.
It also shows Dudley Moore having other sons with the names Dudley, Benjamin,
and Roger. All are on the 1808 list and all are listed at the right age as
per the data provided by the Pontiac genealogists. The same can be said for
Trumans 2 sons Eliad and Eder and for Martin Ebert. I think Truman was not
on the militia list as he was probably too old about 48 in 1808.
Dudley had other sons but they were under the age of 18 and therefore not
part of the militia.
Another connection between the Moore family and the Wallers shows
Eliad Waller marrying Abigail Moore a daughter of Dudley Moore Senior.
My information also shows that Sarah 'sally' Moore daughter of
Dudley Moore Sr. married William McConnel / McConnell who is also on
the 1808 list.
There maybe other connections between these early settlers of Ottawa/Hull
I just haven't had time to look at them all.
That's all for now.
The article by Bruce Elliott which I mentioned is called
"'The Famous Township of Hull': Image and Aspirations of a Pioneer Quebec
Community", Histoire sociale/Social History XII, No. 24 (November l979),
February 14, 2005:
Thanks to Dorothy E. Morris for the following:
Lumbering on the Ottawa River
The following are some excerpts from a book I now have called,
Lochaber Bay, My Well Loved Country Home , in memory of Angus Campbell
MacLachlan, (1909-1990)- published by his family. It is a wonderful story of
early settlers, circa 1800 onward, their families and other topics of interest
of the times.
Page 22 - Transportation
With the arrival of Philemon Wright there were soon changes and rapid expansion
in the use of the (?) river.
The great fur traders canoes and the explorers and the native people continued
in its use as before; but with the coming of the settlers and the beginning of
farms, the need of tools, farm implements, goods and chattels moved a good deal
of the transportion into public hands.
The most immediate change was made by the timber and lumber industry opening up.
In 1807 Philemon Wright of Hull assembled rafts of square timber at the mouth of
the Gatineau River. This was the first timber from the Ottawa.
They went by the north channel around the Island of Montreal and arrived at
Quebec City after much labour in 35 days.
Taking a raft of square timber to Quebec was no easy matter. There was much
hard work and hazards on the way, the rapids and by wind storms, blowing the
rafts on shore and breaking them up. The worst place for this was Lake St. Peter
where winds from all quarters had full play.
James Campbell, a brother of Archie Campbell, lost his life going down on one
of these rafts. He was swept off the raft at the beginning of the rapids,
but swam nearly four miles after the raft. Some of the men on the raft threw
a long heavy oar for him to cling to when it struck his head causing him to sink.
There was a good deal of rivalvry on the river nearly every raft feeling it
had the right of way.
Andrew Wilson, a retired Navy Captain and once acting as Magisrate, had seized
by force a large raft belonging to Philemon Wright.
There were 50 men in the raft crew (and two small cannons).
"The action was not without bloodshed." Tiberius Wright captained the raft.
Dorothy E. Morris
It is a wonderful book and covers many early settlers of the Lochaber area and
including some that moved to Ottawa.
Some of my maternal lines listed in this book are; McDole / Dole, Grant, Wilcox,
Cooke, Wright to name a few.
Yes, I am the one who requested a Cemetery look up for the following:
Elizabeth McGREGOR, spouse of ? WOTLEY
buried - Bethany United Church, Ramsayville,
Carleton Co., Gloucester Twp, Reel MS 451- # 1
Conc 6 Lot 18.
March 18, 2005:
Were Hiram W. Chamberlain and Elizabeth Minerva Hayes related to the settlers
in the Wright colony?
July 23, 2005:
I wrote to your website a couple of years ago and have since found out a few
more details about my family. I just wanted to let people know how to contact me
via email. It's firstname.lastname@example.org. My grandfather was Edward Tiberius Wright Davies,
his mum was Mary Jane Wright...her dad was TIberius Wright...his dad was Tiberius
Wright...and his dad was Philemon and so it goes. So Philemon is my great great great
great grandfather and great he was!!!!
I probably have relatives all over this planet that I hope that I can get to know,
even just a little.
New E-mail address: email@example.com
January 11, 2006:
I am tardy reading your Sept.'04 posting regarding Elisha Sheffield. The little info.
I have follows.
Catherine Dunlap, daughter of Gabriel and Catherine Dunlap of the Meech Creek Valley,
b.1810 - d. Mar.20, 1899 married an Elisha Sheffield Jr. b. Oct.29, 1818 - d. 1907.
Their children included Jefferson (b.1849/50 - d.1900), Elisha III (b.1846 - d.1905)
and Harriet (no dates). In turn, that Elisha had a son, Elisha IV (no dates).
Thats all I have but I hope it helps. - Will Dunlop
November 14, 2006:
Here is an exerpt from the PIONEERS OF THE UPPER OTTAWA and THE HUMORS OF THE VALLEY
by Anson A. Gard (no date) published by The Emerson Press, Ottawa, Canada page. 50:
“Parker, Harvey, came with Philemon Wright, in 1800 so far as can be learned.
He remained in the country but a short time until he came to where is now Aylmer
and took up land adjoining that of Charles Symmes, on which Symmes land is the
most of the village. He married Azenath the daughter of Nathaniel Chamberlain,
early in 1805. children: Marietta, born in 1805, m. the Rollins who first
owned the Edward Rainboth farm on the Aylmer Road. When Gideon Olmstead refused
him burial rights in Bellview cemetery, he sold out to surveyor Snow, and went
to the States. He said: “I will never live in a land where I can’t die – and be
buried beside my friends.”
Timothy, born in 1806, m. Almira Heath; Polly, or Mary, born in 1805, died
young; Mehitable, born in 1810, m. Andrew Thompson; Emeline, 1812, was the first
wife of Richard McConnell, Harvey, 1814, m. (1) Helen Lafurgy, (2) Sarah Leggo,
sister of the well known Ottawa dentist; Ephraim, 1817, unm.; Harriet, 1819,
The widow of Harvey jr. is still living on the old homestead. The descendants of
this old pioneer are scattered from Canada to Los Angeles, California, where is
residing a son of Harvey, jr.
Notes; Harvey, the pioneer, was born in 1770 and died in 1858. Asenath, his
wife was born in 1785, and died in 1821.
Harvey, jr. was active in municipal affairs. He was Aylmer’s third Mayor, being
in the office from 1862 to 1866. He took great interest in church and school
matters. It was during his incumbency as mayor that the side-walks of the
village were laid. See the irony of fate. He gave the village walks and yet
his own family had to wait till long after his death to get a side-walk on to
their home at the edge of town – it having only recently been laid.”
... Wendy (Parker) Brunet
(Decendant of Timothy Parker 1806)
March 30, 2007:
James Culhane LATCHFORD
Superintendent, Ruggles Wright Farm 1850-1870
I'm just going through some old family papers which made reference to
my great great grandfather being manager of the Ruggles Wright estate for
20 years, 1845-1865. His son F.R. Latchford 1854-1938 born on the farm in
1854 went on to become Minister of Public works in Ross government, Attorney General
for Ontario and Chief Justice of Ontario. Several names mentioned on this
web site are referred to in a family narrative about the early days on the North
shore of the Ottawa River.
Good morning, Mr. Latchford:
Thanks for your e-mail regarding your ancestors in the Hull / Ottawa area.
No doubt, you are related to many of them as the Wright Settlement was
the first area to be settled in our region.
I would like to add your e-mail to our Philemon Wright page as a
contact for other researchers. Please let me know if this would be OK with you.
St. James Anglican Church in Hull, which I believe was built by Philemon Wright,
was recently deconsecrated and is up for sale as there were only eight
regular parishioners. Thankfully, it is designated as a Heritage Property
and so will be maintained in the future.
Thanks again for this.
... Al Lewis
April 5, 2007:
Frank Latchford has contributed more information and a photo of James Culhane Latchford.
He has the diaries of James Culhane Latchford -- a fascinating source
for early life in the Ottawa and Hull areas. The Latchford Papers are also
available at the National Archives.
In 1857, a construction accident occurred at Britannia Farm on the Aylmer Road.
July 9, 2007:
In 1931, the Honourable Francis Latchford, gave a speech to the Women's Canadian
Historical Society of Ottawa. Frank Latchford has a copy of this rare 15 page document.
The subject of this speech is the early settlement of Hull by Philemon Wright ( PW ).
November 3, 2007:
An Amazing Document from Karen Prytula
The following is some very interesting research by Karen Prytula. It documents
the recruiting in England in 1816 of c. 35 persons by Ruggles Wright. These persons
would join the settlement in Hull, Quebec, founded by Philemon Write in 1800.
Thanks for this, Karen !
"This email is intended for Maureen Jamieson....and for anyone else who may
find it of interest to them....
I saw your email on bytown.net website regarding the couple in the subject line.
You stated in your email that you have 'quite a bit of information' on this family.
I was wondering if you knew what ship George Routliffe left
England on, when he made his voyage to Canada? I have reason to believe that my great
grandfather x5 John Snow traveled on the same ship, but I don't know the name of it,
I was at the Library and Archives flipping through original letters written between
Philemon Wright and his son Ruggles. Ruggles was in England recruiting labourers and
one of them was George Routliffe and one of the 35 other men was John Snow.
Library and Archives would not let me photocopy these letters.
Apparently George was granted land on Range 4, lot 16. This farm of his bordered
the property of John Allen. John Allen had a daughter named Barbara who grew up to
marry John Snow I mentioned above.
George's daughter Mary married my great granduncle x4 Ruggles Allen. He was the sister
to Barbara mentioned above, who married John Snow.
George and Lydia's son Richard Routliffe married Phoebe Badham. Phoebe's dad was
Joseph Badham. I have reason to believe that Joseph Badham was another of the men
that traveled from England to here with George Routliffe and John Snow.
The letter which I mentioned above was dated March 25, 1816. It was from a John
Woodward to Ruggles Wright. It sounds like Ruggles had asked John Woodward to
recruit some men for him. The letter was mailed from Westleigh, England, and addressed
to Ruggles Wright at Thread Needle Street, England. The Library and Archives marked it #637.
George's surname has been spelled Ratliffe. But I know this is him because I was able
to find mention of him in "Pioneers of the Upper Ottawa, and Humours of the Valley" by
Anson Gard, 1906. pp. 18, 38, 55, 62, 293, 294, 315, 344 and 367.
Other Routliffe's are mentioned on at least a dozen other pages. Luckily I had my laptop with me
and was able to transcribe the letter. I have included it below.
Letter # 637 from Westleigh March 25, 1816 Sir, Upon the receipt of yours of 20th inst.
I immediately set about executing your commission, and I hope to your satisfaction;
but the notice is so very short that I fear I shall not have it in my power to procure
the people wanted for Mr. Racey and Davidson as there is but one small tract in this
part of the country where the cultivation of Hops is understood, and also it is
difficult to persuade a woman to venture out. For you I have engaged as follows:
Calvin Radmore aged 22 as Joiner & Carpenter
William Jones aged 24 Blacksmith
John Snow aged 23 Wheelwright
William Warnacott aged 25 Tailor
These 4 engage for 2 years, at 45 pounds per annum.
John beals? Aged 26 as Farm Labourers
William Cooke aged 21
George Ratcliffe (Routliffe)
James Webby - you engaged yourself when here
William Longman - and can do mason work
William Tracey - gardener
Thomas Clatworthy aged 25 Labour - can make brick
Mary Clatworty his wife engages as Dairy Woman, no wages fixed but whatever is
usually given in the country.
All the above Laborers and gardeners engage for two years at 35 pounds per annum
and of both them and the Tradesmen I have received from their late masters very
good characters but as their masters in general are as great strangers to me as
the men I can vouch no further.
For. Mr. Campbell, I have engaged also for 2 years John Moore as gardener aged 20
he is recommended to me as gardener in which capacity he was for some years but
latterly he has learned the Trade of Joiner and Carpenter in which situations he
wished to go with you but I had before engaged Calvin Radmore. His wages 36 pds.
I cannot get a man and wife but for the other man for Mr. Campbell viz to manager a
Farm. If the wife is not absolutely necessary, they leave strongly to recommend
Alexander Copp, aged 32 as a fit person for the place, he will pay his own passage
but his wife cannot at present go with him being large with child. He is Son of a
respectable farmer who is reduced by mis-fortune. His brother James also I believe
goes with him to take his chance of employ he is also a very proper man a good
husband man and master. If neither of these young men suit you or Mr. Campbell they
may some of your Friend.
To you I recommend Benjamin Simmonds who also will pay his own passage but wishes to
go into your employ but would not now engage himself for a certain term. He has been
my Head Servant for three years, is honest , Sober, Careful and Industrious and very
fit to manage a Farm. He is a superior workman, I am sorry to lose him and had engaged
him for the next year but as he seemed so bent on going I gave him leave. I believe
several intend going out passengers in the same vessel, but I know nothing of —.
I have given Alexander Copp and Benjamin Simmons each a letter of the commendation to
you and I sincerely hope that all those you employ will answer your expectations and
be a credit to themselves and their country.
As to any security they can give you I can devise none but from their characters and
their own interest to go into your employ , for as they are mostly strangers...----
They would not hear being bound one for another. You need not keep them at Quebec
longer than possible and keep them on board as much as you can. I cannot think of
making any charge to you as the actual expence has been so very trifling. From John
From this letter you can see that George was hired as a labourer for two years at the
rate of 35 pounds per annum. He was working for Philemon Wright and Sons.
In other letters Ruggles explained to his father that he has chartered the Brig
Liberality to sail from England in April, to bring over these men and other
implements required at the time...rum, cattle, farm and household items. The
Liberality was to dock at Quebec City, and then they would take another boat to
Montreal. Ruggles asked of his father to please meet them at Montreal with some
other boats that will take them and their freight up the Ottawa to the Hull settlement.
I have not been able to find a passenger list of the Liberality that sailed from
England to Canada in 1816. I have been in touch with everyone in England, and
the only place that was able to send me any info was the Whitby Literary and
Philosophical Society, in North Yorkshire, England, founded in 1823.
They have sent me a manifest of what was on the ship but they don't have a passenger
I have read in "Hurling Down the Pine", by Courtney C.J. Bond, that it was 35 men
that Ruggles recruited. Thanks to Gard's book mentioned above I have been able to
find information on most of these men but not the name of the ship they traveled on.
I'm hoping someone in your family has left you a piece of information stating the name
of the ship. (for it might say who else was on the ship).
I am looking for info on John Snow. I know he came from England, but I don't know
from where. If I could find out from where he hailed then I might be able to find out
if he had siblings or parents ....and I might have relatives over there. You see,
John Snow drowned at Chats Falls, Ottawa River in the early or mid 1820's. I don't
know if his family in England was ever informed.....because I don't know who his
family in England was. Perhaps John Snow hailed from the same place in England that
George Routliffe did??
So my questions to you are:
Do you know from where in England George Routliffe came from?
Do you know the name of the ship he traveled upon to get Canada?
... Karen Prytula
Sorry for being so lengthy.
Al, you may post this on your site if you wish.
... Karen Prytula
February 16, 2011:
Al: I found the following Karen Prytula blog reference that you could add:
HTH, Bob Mackett
December 31, 2007:
More fascinating research from Karen Prytula:
A Voyage by Ruggles Wright from Bristol, England to Quebec / Hull-Ottawa in 1816
You may remember that last month I wrote the list about a letter I came across at
the LAC. It was written in the spring of 1816 from Ruggles Wright while he was in
England, to his father Philemon Wright in Hull explaining the men he was about to bring
back as labourers.
In addition to that letter I have found Ruggles account of his trip at which time
he wrote the letter, in a book by Bertha Wright Carr-Harris, called White Chief of
the Ottawa. It was printed in 1903, and I have an original copy.
September 10, 2012:
Note: This book is rare. However, there is a version on CD, created by Archive CD Books,
ISBN 978-1-897405-13-0. This CD is searchable and can be found in the OGS Library.
Bertha was Philemon Wright's great grand daughter, and my 3rd cousin 4x removed :)
Bertha was born Hannah Bertha Wright to Edward Van Cortland Wright and Frances Adelia Marsten. She married Robert Carr-Harris in 1896 and died in 1949.
I have condensed the data, for to type it all would make this email 10x as long.
Some of you may have read the book already, but for those of you who haven't, I make
this available to you:
1816 - "Philemon was in Quebec with Hannah and Abbie awaiting the arrival of Rug,
who had been sent by his father to the Mother Land to dispose of two cargoes of timber.
It was an unusually cold evening in June. Snow had been falling all day. The
neighbouring hills were covered with large feathery crystals, which, however, soon
melted as the sun appeared for a moment before sinking behind the gray walls of the
Castle St. Louis. Just as the evening gun was fired, news had reached the Union Hotel
that a vessel had been sighted near the Island of Orleans. It was ascertained that
it was the Dorris, in command of Captain French, and that Rug was on board (1)
Hannah burst into a paroxysm of tears when she caught sight of her long-lost lover,
who had been compelled to leave only a few weeks after their marriage. He looked 20
years older, and appeared careworn, haggard and ill. As they were seated round the
table he gave an account of his travels.
"When I received your letter," he said, addressing his father, "I chartered two vessels
and persuaded Archie and Jonathan Campbell to go with me for a pleasure trip. We were
nearly three months tossing about at the mercy of wind and wave when a hurricane swept
the deck of the vessel, carrying with it the main-mast and sails. Water began to pour
in at an alarming rate, and after a desperate struggle at the pumps the captain ordered
all hands on deck. we felt that we had to prepare for the worst. The sailors had
abandoned the pumps from exhaustion, and Jonathan and I took their places and worked
until we , too, were exhausted, and as others took our places we retired to the stern,
where we found Archie in a sheltered nook, seated upon a coil of rope, playing his violin,
apparently oblivious of our perilous condition.
For two days the work at the pumps was a matter of life and death, and when at last the
wind subsided we drifted about helplessly until a passing vessel saw our signals of
distress and towed us from the Bay of Biscay to Bristol, where the necessary repairs
were made to enable us to proceed to Liverpool! We soon disposed of the timber a good
profit, and Jonathan, Archie and I took the stage-coach to London, where we had the
honor of being presented at Court to gay Prince Geordie, who is acting as Regent, owing
to his father's mental derangement. I wish you could have seen the Carleton House," he
said turning to Hannah. "He built it at a cost of 250,000 pounds sterling, and had to
sell his stud of race-horses and discharge most of his servants to meet the demands of
the creditors, for he had led such a wild, dissipated life that the King and Parliament
refused for a long time to help him out of his difficulties.
"We visited many places of interest in London and the old farm in Kent, which we found
bordered on that of General Wolfe."
"If we had arrived on the scene only a few months sooner we might have seen how Napoleon
turned Louis XVIII from the kingom, or we might have seen the great battle of Waterloo;
but Napoleon is now safe at St. Helena, where he was sent last October."
"...I have the greatest admiration for Napoleon Bonaparte(2)," said Rug.
"Philemon said, "He was a man of no conscience, no heart, and one of the most
uncompromising enemies of constitutional liberty that the world has ever seen. I am
amazed that a born Republican like you Rug, could see anything to admire in despotism
"Did you see anything of poor Josephine (Bonaparte's wife) ?" asked Abbie.
"No," he said. "The Empress Queen Dowager died two years ago, but we saw her beautiful
home, 'Malmaison' while we were in Paris."
"If one may judge from appearances, it will take many years for France to recoer from
the effects of the Reign of Terror. My object, however, in visiting France and England
was that I might see something of their progressive developments in agriculture and
commerce, so that we might adopt the newest and best methods in building up our own
little colony. I have brought with me, " he continued, "the latest novelties in the way
of general merchandise; I have brought the newest inventions in agricultural and milling
machinery; I have Herefordshire and Devon cattle, of most renowned ancestors, who have
not ceased to protest against a sea voyage from the time they left Liverpool.
"Nor is this all", he said; "I have something better still on board for the new
settlement, namely twenty-five English families, who are going to take up land in the
township and pay for it in work."(4)
"And who nearly turned mutineers"
"How was that?" asked Philemon.
"When we boarded the vessel at Liverpool", replied Rug, "some were bright and cheerful,
but most of them were in tears, which showed that they did not leave the Old Land without
a struggle. We soon weighed anchor and were under sail with a fair wind, but it came
round to the east and blew fresher, so tht we were forced to come to anchor not far from
the place we left. The ship, as you may see, was fitted up for the timber trade, and has
only a small cabin or quarter-deck. On each side are ranged two tiers of berths for
passengers providing their own bedding. Along the open space in the middle we placed
two rows of large chests which were used sometimes as tables, sometimes as seats - all
of which I shall show you presently. There was much noise and confusion before all
found berths; crying children, swearing sailors, scolding women, who had not been able
to secure the beds they wanted, produced a chorus of a very melancholy nature. The
disagreeableness of it was heightened by the darkness of the night and the rolling and
tossing of the ship. After breakfast, as usual, all began to be sick. I took the advice
of the sailors and drank some salt water, which acted as an emetic, and I soon felt better.
"Unfortunately, while we were still at anchor, boats came from the shore with friends
of the sailors, who smuggled a lot of liquor on board, and before the captain discovered
it the whole crew was drunk. We were awakened at an early hour next morning by the
violent motion of the ship, for there was a perfect gale blowing from the north-west.
The sea was roaring and foaming around us. The passengers were all sick. Things grew
worse and worse. Consternation and alarm were in every face. Children wre crying,
women wringing their hands, and I could see by the angry looks of the men that they
would like to have thrown me overboard. The ship had little ballast, and it mounted
the waves like a feather. Sometimes a hard sea would break over her with a shock
that would make everyone stagger. After a sleepless night, in which I received many
a bruise and uttered many a groan, the captain informed us that the squall had carried
away our mainyard and rigging, and that we were on our way back to Bristol to refit!!
At one time, when the ship was on her side, several chests, though strongly lashed to
the deck, broke from their moorings, and in their progress downwards carried destruction
to everything on which they happened to fall.
"What a site the deck presented! Clothes, spoons, shoes, hats, bottles, dishes, were
strewn about in endless confusion. The next day the captain returned with the mainyard
dragging behind his boat, but owing to a strong head wind we could not prepare nor rig
it till the following day, when all the men on board who could get round it assisted at
the work, and we were soon speeding along at the rate of six miles an hour with a fine
"The next day we made 100 miles in 12 hours. I cannot describe what took place after
that for I was too ill. It was well that I was ill, for the indignation of the men and
the fury of the women were almost unbounded as they thought of having consented to leave
their comfortable cottages to follow me to what I had represented was a new and better
"As we neared the banks of Newfoundland a most extraordinary phenomenon was produced by
the dashing of the salt water against the bow of the ship in the evening. The water
seemed on fire and produced a very fine effect. The next day a mass of ice appeared
about 200 yards distant. It was almost half a mile in length, and was moving south-east.
Soon after we found the channel between Cape Breton and Cape Ray, and got into the ice.
The captain sent eight men to the bow with fenders. One piece knocked splinters off
the bow and threw us all down. About five days later we reached the Island of Anticosti,
but I was too ill to see it. We saw porpoises in shoals plunging about the ship, while
the sailors tried to harpoon them beneath the bow. About two hundred and eighty miles
below Quebec the pilot came on board. His number was painted in large characters on his
sail as well as on his boat. He had a cask of fresh water and some maple sugar, which
he sold at an extortionate price to the passengers.
"Near Bic Island we saw whales spouting water at a great height, and a habitant came out
in a boat with a large basket of eggs, which he disposed of at a shilling per dozen, and
so we continued on until the domes and towers of Quebec came in sight and I began to
realize the inexpressible joy of being at home once more".(5)
"The rare, practical, common sense shown in the expenditure of twelve thousand dollars in
the Mother Land inspired Philemon with such confidence in his son that when, a few years
later, he appealed for funds for the construction of the timber slides at the Chaudiere
and the Chats(6), of which he was the inventor, his father had no hesitation in entrusting
him with over $100,000. "
(1) In the letter Ruggles did not mention the Dorris, only the Liberality and the Union...
I believe. also, It was Nicholas Sparks that arrived on the Dorris in 1818...I believe.
(2) Was Ruggles so enthralled with Napoleon that he thought to name TWO of his children
(3) After all, Philemon, Abbie (Ruggles sister), Ruggles and Hannah were all Americans.
(4) families were not mentioned in the letter, but I guess one should assume the men would
bring their families.
(5) Diary of Rev. Robert Bell and letters of R. Wright.
(6) John Snow my gr. grandfather x5 drowned at the Chats c1825 while under the Wright's
employ, and was supposed to be coming to Canada on this trip from England. All I want to
know is if his body was ever recovered.
Al, you may post this on your site if you like.
April 30, 2008:
I have been working on the Wrights genealogy for the last twenty years and have over
900 names on the LIBERTY *85 family tree. I sent this to Salt Lake City Mormans 5
years ago they somehow lost it. I have sent them a new addition this week hope it works
because it further the family to canada which the Americans did not do. SO are start with
Philemon and right through to my great gand children.
My father was the son of james who farmed in LANARK CO. I HAVE 9 PHILEMONS DOWN TO MY
UNCLE WHO I FOUND TO BE THE LAST OF THE PHILEMONS AND HE DIED IN PERTH ONT OR LANARK IN
1975, HE WAS A HALF BROTHER OF MY DAD. I EVEN HAVE A COUSIN HERE who
is a direct descendant of Ruggles and her mother left her family tree in the Archives
in Ottawa, I never recovered these because they take 3 days to get them and i just
haven't had the time. I know they are there, maybe some one in ottawa can drag them out.
I would love to see them. i enjoyed this site and had read most of the history.
... Max Wright
my e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org
February 3, 2009:
John ALLEN and Lavina WYMAN
I'm looking for the birth date of a John Allen who married a Lavina Wyman. I've searched
your site and it's not there. I'm writing you because I know there are Wyman and Allen
descendants on your site, and I'm hoping one of them will pick up on this request.
John Allen and Lavina Wyman were my 5th great grandparents. I have been told that John
was born in 1773, but I don't have the exact date, and I don't know who his parents were.
John and Lavina traveled up here from Massachusetts with Philemon Wright, and settled on
what became known as the Allen Farm on (Hwy 148 I think, Quebec side).
If any of your readers see this maybe they can help me with John's actual birthdate and
I will gladly help out anyone researching the Wyman and Allen lines.
... Karen P.
February 22, 2009:
I am hoping one of you might be able to help me with a couple of questions I have about a
Hannah Allen (1879-1941). She would be my 2nd cousin 4x removed, and that would probably
make me related in some way to many of you. I am trying to find out if she married, and if
so, when and to whom. Information on children she might have had would also be appreciated
as what I am trying to do is trace down her line to present day descendants.
The Hannah Allen I'm looking for was born to William Allen (1840- ) and Edith Lenora Moore.
William Allen was a son of Ruggles Allen (1811 - ) and Mary Routliffe.
1 ) Ruggles Allen was the son of John Allen and Lavina Wyman (1770-1847), who came up
here with Philemon Wright party.
The reason I want to trace Hannah Allen's line down to present day descendants is because
I am desperately trying to find out someone who may be searching their Allen genealogy,
and might know the parents of John Allen mentioned mentioned in paragraph 1) above. I am
ready to turn to the telephone book. From my years of research, John Allen was born in
Woburn, Massachusetts. I have had people from New England try to help me, I have read the
old Census', I don't know what stone to turn over next. John Allen would be my great
grandfather x5. I descend through his daughter Barbara Allen.
I don't know if John Allen had siblings, I have not been successful in finding that out
either, I only know of him. I know he was Barbara's dad, thanks to my great aunt Orietta
Snow. I have oodles of information to share about his life in Canada, but I know nothing
about his life in Woburn, Mass.
If you are related to any one of the people mentioned above, perhaps you can explain to me
how, so I can add that info to my family tree.
So , I'm looking to find out if Hannah Allen married, and if so, to whom.
I would be very happy to know.
Thank you for your time.
Thanks to Joan Rooney for the following !
This is from a public One World Tree on Ancestry.com. The husband is Thomas Albert Stott
m. 1909 Aylmer, Hull, Quebec. It also gives their two children. this should get you a bit
the Children are:
Thomas Allen Stott Born: 6 Mar 1918
Ottawa, [county], Ontario, Canada
Edith Lenore Stott F 1910
Hannah Edith Allen
Spouse: Thomas Albert Stott
Name: Hannah Edith Allen
Birth: 9 Mar 1879 - Hull, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Death: 1941 - Aylmer, Hull Cty, Quebec, Canada
Marriage: 1909 - Aylmer, Hull Cty, Quebec, Canada
Hannah Edith Allen Thomas Albert Stott William Allen Leonore Edith Moore
F: William Allen
M: Leonore Edith Moore
Birth: 9 Mar 1879 - Hull, Gatineau, Quebec, Canada
Death: 1941 - Aylmer, Hull Cty, Quebec, Canada
... Joan Rooney
February 26, 2009:
It turns we are related. My mother's maiden name is McGoey. We have a common direct
ancestry in Thomas McGoey (b abt 1725 in Ireland). My direct line goes thru a different
son of Thomas than yours.
Another famous ancestor of yours is Philemon Wright - the famous lumber baron who 'started'
the lumber trade in 1806 in the Ottawa area.
Here is an 1835 record of Pamela Wright from Notre Dame Cathedral on Sussex Drive.
3 March 1835
Marriage of Laurence Burke and Catherine Leamy (Leamy Lake)
Godparents: William Hennessey & Pamela Wright
(Pamela Wright, wife of Thomas McGoey and daughter of Philemon Wright)
Source: Drouin Collection at ancestry.ca
... Bruce Cowen
May 26, 2009:
Just happen to be looking for the 7 page soft copy of "Account of the First Settlement of
the Township of Hull" by P. Wright Esq., Delivered to the House of Assembly on Dec 16th, 1820.
Found a hard copy while doing a little cleaning files.
I came across all this recent activity.
Just a quick update from our side-
My brother and sister- David (in Woodstock ON) and Susan in Mississauga ON.) Linda (wife)
and I as you can see -now in Mexico.
Father- Cordner Cunningham Wright- born in Ottawa
His Father- George Wright- descendents of Philemon.
Have not really done much on this for the past few years but am interested as is the rest
of the family.
Our better email is: email@example.com
Is there a blog of this info.?
The Wright Team
Don & Linda
Certainly- feel free to add our email. We received a reply from Myrna Foley this morning
saying that they just returned to Canada from Ajijic Mexico (where we live) and has been
wintering here for some years. We will meet when they return in November.
How small the world !
May 27, 2009:
This message is actually for Don Wright, but also to anyone interested in the Wright genealogy
of the Hull / Ottawa area.
I am not a direct descendant of Philemon Wright. He was actually a cousin, and then he married
my aunt and became my uncle!
My name is Karen Prytula and Philemon Wright's grandfather James Wright is my great grandfatherx8.
James Wright (1677-1734) had 9 children. that I know of. One of them was Thomas(1709-1795)
from whom Philemon descends, and another one of them was Joseph Wright (1707-1787) from whom
I descend from several generations later.
Philemon being a cousin, married Abigail Wyman (1762-1829), who was already my aunt and so the
marriage made him an uncle of mine as well.
Your email comes to me in a timely fashion as I was just filing away papers about a Philemon
Wright descendant, one Hannah Bertha Wright (1864-1949). She was the daughter of Edward Van
Cortland Wright (1835-1915) and Frances Adelia Marsten. She (Hannah) would be a 3rd cousin
4x removed to me. She was also one of 12 children (that I know of) born to Edward Van
Courtland Wright. I was filing away a pic of her headstone and some newspaper clippings.
She was an author of mostly poetry, and married a Robert Carr-Harris in 1896.
But what I've really wanted to comment on was the 7 pg. soft-cover copy you have "Account
of the First Settlement of the Township of Hull" by P. Wright Esq., Delivered to the House
of Assembly on Dec 16th, 1820. Found a hard copy while doing a little cleaning files.
I too, have this information, and I must say it is more than 7 pages. It is 14 pages maybe
typed bigger than what font you have in your source. I had Library and Archives send me a
copy of what they had. Mine is typed.
It's titled as such "AN ACCOUNT OF THE FIRST SETTLEMENT OF THE TOWNSHIP OF HULL, ON THE OTTAWA
RIVER, LOWER CANADA by PHILEMON WRIGHT , ESQUIRE (Delivered to the Committee of the House of
Assembly, appointed to take into consideration that part of His Excellency, the
Governor-in-Chief's Speech, of the 16th December, 1820, relative to the Settlement of Crown
Lands in Lower Canada)
The first paragraph on the first page is as such:
"My parents were of the county of Kent, England, and were brought up to the farming and
grazing business. They emigrated to the province of Massachusetts, in New England, where I
was born, in the year 1860; and there I lived until I was thirty-six years of age, in the
occupation of farmering and grazing."
The first paragraph on the second page is as such:
"This part of the country has immense resources in fine timber not only merchantable, but for
making ashes, sufficient to furnish great supplies for any foreign market, even to load a
thousand vessels. This part of the country was unknown or unthought of to the inhabitants of
Montreal, except the North-West Company, whose interest it appeared to be to keep the said
country in the then uninhabited state, and consequently not feeling a desire to recommend a
settlement in this part of Canada. However, not wishing to give up my intentions of
establishing a settlement, I hired two respectable men in Massachusetts, for the purpose of
going with me to the Ottawa, and after having viewed the country we returned home, and they
made a report to the public nearly as follows......."
A paragraph on page 14 says "1815 - During the year 1815 we continued to clear and improve
this farm, and employed about twenty men during the summer, and about seven during the winter;
the others, which were not wanted, were employed in preparing timber for the Quebec market;
some employed in taking out the small stumps and roots, and levelling the roughet of the
places, as the roots began to decay, according to the size of the stumps. Beech and rock
maple stumps are with much more ease taken out after the seventh year; pine, hemlock , elm ,
basswood are less liable to rot, and therefore require about fifteen years before they can be
taken out, especially those of the largest size. Every season I set apart a certain number of
chains, which are fastened round the stumps and drawn up, collected together into piles and
burnt upon the ground, and level the places from which they were drawn. This work is done
mostly in our mowing and tillage ground; but those of the largest kind we omit until a future
time, as every year we are obliged to spend some time opening of ditches for draining the land,
and also being very particular, upon the first fall of snow, to sow my grass seed upon the
lands intended for mowing or pasturage, and also to have a quantity of wood land under brushed,
and the under brush piled for the better accommodation of cutting our fire-wood, so as to have
easy access for the wood, if the snow should hapen to be deep. This land in the spring is
then burnt, and sown with spring wheat or other seeds, which is a great saving to the farmer."
Don, does your document read like that above? If not, I'd be willing to trade documents with
George Cunningham Wright (1861-1936) would be a 3rd cousin 4x removed of mine....would this
be your grandfather, or maybe great grandfather....? And would this same man be the father
Cordner Cunningham Wright?
I look forward to hearing back from you.
Al, you may put this info on your website.
Hi Karen and All,
Yep- 13 (maybe 14) pages - not 7. A few comments in red - below.
I congratulate you on keeping track of # of cousins, GFs etc. - Yes - I think Philemon was
my Gx3 GF.
Linda said she will ( in time) type the 13 pages. When done I will send it out. (If someone
finds it first please let us know. It would take me forever to type it.
October 13, 2009:
I was reading the info from Karen P. looking for data on John Allen that
married Lavine Wyman on 29 Nov 1794.
I have Lavine Wyman's younger sister Abigail Wyman born Woburn, Mass.
Lavine Wyman's parents were Johnatan Wyman B. 7 Oct.1734- D. 18 Nov. 1774
married to Abigail Wright.
I show they had 8 children The youngest boy born abt 1769 died 7 April in
October 18, 2009:
John has also contributed the names of some of the early Hull pioneers who are buried in the Bellevue Cemetery on the Aylmer Road.
February 23, 2010:
My name is Mary Wall. I am the granddaughter of Bertha Wright
Carr-Harris, a descendent of Philemon Wright. I have a copy of the book she
wrote. "The White Chief of the Ottawa" I was fortunate enough to
meet her briefly before she died sometime in the early 50s in Ottawa.
I had been Born in India and came to Canada later. I also had an uncle
Grant Carr-Harris who put together much of my family
history in Canada including most of the Wright geneology.
I have 2 charming old photographs of her, one when she was a young successful author.
Incidentally she was married to my grandfather at 24 Sussex Drive which belonged at the
time to her family. The other photo is of her in old age.
By the way, have you come across the " 'Account of the first Settlement of the Township of Hull"
given by Philemon Wright in his own words in front of a committee of the House, of Assembly of Lower
Canada in his own words on Dec. 16 1824? This Account was subsequently published in Canadian Magazine
vol. 3, Sept.. 1824. I wonder if this article still exists?!!!
Please get in touch with me at the above e-mail address if I can be of any further help.
Thanks to Mrs. Mary Wall for the following wonderful photos.
On the left is Hannah Bertha Wright, a successful young author, c. 1890.
On the right was the home of Mr. Edward Wright, grandson of Philemon Wright and was part of "Britannia Farm".
It is now on the site of the Royal Ottawa Golf Club.
New e-mail address for Mary Wall is firstname.lastname@example.org -- incorporated in the list below.
May 7, 2014:
Came across this article from the Colonial Advocate in 1824, thought you'd like it.
Key word: Duke of Richmond
August 8, 2016:
Thanks to Mary Quinn for this list of records at Library and Archives Canada. It shows the men who received employment
contracts from Philemon Wright, the first settler in Hull / Ottawa starting in 1800. For many people, this will
show the earliest dates of the arrival of many of the families to the Ottawa area and Eastern Ontario.
Here is Mary's e-mail:
Was hunting around the internet and found this document which details employment contracts that were issued by
Philemon Wright in the early 1800's. Some very early Ottawa/Hull people are listed here.
... Mary Quinn
August 14, 2016:
I believe that the early Barber family may have been connected to Philemon Wright's settlement.
October 16, 2016:
My name is Richard Henderson. I am a 4x G-Grandson of Philemon Wright, through his son Phil Jr. (as the family called him)
and Sally, through Erexina (their daughter) and Andrew Leamy. I am author of the book
Walking in the Footsteps of Philemon Wright, a book which results from a lifetime of hearing family
stories and 20 + years of research.
(Note: Mr. Henderson's book is now in its second printing and will be available soon ... Al)
I was drawn to research the family history for many reasons but one great motivator was that I wanted to see if I could
find some reconciliation of the differences I found in the many accounts and histories written about Wright's settlement -
some of which distort things through their political or modern perspectives - and the family history.
One such distortion concerns the name of the Gatineau River, as described in the first paragraph of your page (http://www.bytown.net/gatineau.htm?). Your page gives only one of the two accounts of the origins of its name and it is -
probably because of the QC govt.'s account from its own toponymie commission - a distinctly Euro-centric explanation
that puts the greatest weight on the story that the river derives its name from the trapper son of a man named
Nicholas Gastineau (note the spelling).
There are so many problems, though, with accepting this story as the origin of the name:
1. The man and his sons were named Gastineau, NOT Gatineau.
2. Nicholas Gastineau had 3 sons, one of which was named Nicholas. The river was certainly not named after
the father who had absolutely nothing to do with the river, so one must ask why Nicholas, just one of the
3 trapper sons, lends his name to the River & the City ? Except for a legend that Nicholas drowned in the River,
there are no other accounts to substantiate his importance nor differentiate him from his brothers.
3. It is from an account by Raymond Douville, a 20th century historian from Trois-Rivieres, that we get the
story that people began to call it "la riviere a Gastineau" during the 18th century, because, he writes, the 3
Gastineau brothers MAY have had a fur trading post or relay station in an area near the mouth of the river.
4. The Gastineau brothers left absolutely nothing of note to attach their names to the area; no buildings, no descendants.
5. The name Gatineau (or Gastineau) does not appear on any maps of the area before the 19th century. The only name given
to the river before Wright's settlement is found in a 1783 report by a Col. Jones and that name is 'Lettinoe'.
The second account, however, has to do with a real name given to the river, a name that was uttered by human lips for
centuries, perhaps for millennia; a name that would have been spoken to the explorers passing through and the settlers
who stayed. The name is Te Nagadeno Zibi, translated from Algonquin, it is 'The river that stops (ones journey)'.
The name is, of course, a phonetic English spelling of an Algonquin word. It is known that the English phonetic spellings
approach the sounds used in most Aboriginal languages but are not identical. For instance, phonetic spellings often use
either the G and K, interchangeably, because they both approximate the actual sound. In other words, the explorers
could hear Te Nagadeno Zibi or Deyna Gatino Sipi or any combination thereof. The word Zibi or Sipi means 'River' in
English. So, at its root, the name given to the river by the Algonquin people was Gatino. Undoubtedly, that is the name
(written Gatteno, Gateno and Gatino) used by Philemon Wright and later by Colonel By in their own handwritten accounts,
reports and maps. Local historian, Raymond Ouimet, has written extensively about this second account.
We read in the first-hand account of Wright, himself, and the account from his Granddaughter, Bertha (Hannah) Wright
Carr-Harris, that the first people that Wright encountered in the area were, of course, natives. He no doubt heard
the names of rivers from the local natives, in their own language, from their lips: Kitchi Zibi (the Grand River),
Te Nagadeno Zibi and Pasapkedjinawong (The River that passes between the rocks; Champlain called it the Rideau).
My own take on how the river goes from Gatteno, as both Wright and Colonel By knew it, to Gatineau, is that the French
spelling was adopted as more and more documents, reports and maps were produced by officials in Lower Canada; just as,
today, you can only find Outaouais and Rideau used in French Quebec, despite the fact that there are names far older
than those that are attached to those two rivers.
Now, I understand that places adopt the names that settlers or majority populations choose but at least, we still
remember all of the names, using them in other places and including them in our history. Names like Kitchesippi,
Grand River, Asticou, Quyon are all names we know and still can see in the area. It's important that we get the
history right, and endeavor to have the complete history of our home and not just one piece; not just a questionable
history, based more on chauvinism than fact, that may serve only to satisfy the imperatives of a dominant culture.
Please feel free to post this on your site if you wish (you may remove the biographic data from the 1st two paragraphs).
Back to Bytown or Bust - History and Genealogy in the Ottawa area
Bytown or Bust is also on