St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery, Wildfield
© Michael Harrison 2009
There is no evidence of the exact relationship between George Harrison and William Harrison Sr. other than a mention in the Harrison family file in the Perkins Bull Collection that he was the brother of William Harrison Jr, son of William Harrison and Mary Hutchison. The information in the Perkins Bull Collection was obtained through research and interviews in the 1930s. Given his birth date of circa 1809 he could certainly be the son of William Harrison and Mary Hutchinson (as they were married in 1804). Mary Harrison (nee Hutchinson) was the sponsor at the baptism of George's daughter Mary in 1833 (along with Matthew Hutchinson) which suggests that this is so, but if it was, why is George not mentioned in William Harrison Sr.'s will of 1836?
George HARRISON (1809-1855) married Faith –later Mary- LINTON (bap June 17, 1804, Goathland, North Yorkshire, England - January 1884) on December 15, 1829, in Goathland (Parish of Pickering) (Church of England), North Yorkshire, England. Esther Linton, Faith's sister was the witnesses. Faith changed her name to Mary when she made her "profession of faith" and converted to Catholicism on June 17, 1837. Faith was the daugher of Thomas LINTON and Mary LOWNSBROUGH. Her brothers Brian and Moses also immigrated to Canada. Faith's brother Isaac married William Harrison's sister Hannah (Ann) at Egton in April 1829.
They had the following children:
• Thomas (1830 – May 9, 1907) b in North Yorkshire, England. A baptism of Thomas has not been found in either the Anglican or Roman Catholic records in England. According to his death registration, Thomas died on May 9, 1907, aged 77 years, of “old age”. At the time he was living on Humber Lot 15, Concession 9, Etobicoke Township, York County. The St. Patrick’s Death Register records him as living in Claireville and “very poor”. He was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Toronto Gore Township, Peel County in Wildfield on May 10, 1907.
• Mary (1832-?) married James ? – Mary was the subject of the first family entry in Father Gordon's register from St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County, when she was baptized on March 17, 1833 at the age of 5 months. The sponsors were Matthew Hutchinson and Mary Harrison. Faith Linton did not convert to Catholicism and change her name to Mary until 1837 so the Mary Harrison listed as the sponsor is most likely Mary Hutchinson, wife of William Harrison. I lose track of Mary early and can only find one later entry for her in the St. Patrick's baptismal register when her son George b. 1849 was baptized in January 1850. Unfortunately the name of the father is written into the present binding of the book and not possible to read. Sponsors were George Harrison and Mary Harrison. This seems likely to be her parents.
• Margaret (1835-?) She last appears in the 1861 census living with her mother and brothers. Is she the "Mary" Harrison, daughter of George and Mary Harrison who married Frederick Trane, son of John and Maria, b. New Orleans, USA (circa 1839) on July 19, 1861 in King Township as recorded in the County Marriage Register? They appear to have lived in King Township for some time after but "Mary" is referred to as Margaret on the census records. Perhaps this is correct and her name in the Marriage Register is wrong?
• William (1836-?) He last appears in the 1881 census living with his mother and brothers Thomas and George.
• Alice (1838 - 1912) In 1857 she married Patrick Burns and had the following children: James (b. 1859), Nicolas (b. 1861), Mary (b. 1863), George (b. 1866), Patrick (b. 1869), John (b. 1870), Ellen (b. 1875), Martha (b. 1876), Thomas (b. 1879) and William (b. 1882). She died of senility in the Insane Asylum in Toronto in 1912.
• John (1840-1856) – never married – buried St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Wildfield, Toronto Gore Township, Peel County.
• Esther (1842-1914) married James STUBBS (1840-1931), son of James and Ann Stubbs on March 5, 1863 according to the County Marriage Register
They had the following children:
o Albert m. Ida BOOTH – 7 children – Albert, Mabel, Frank, Ida, Sarah, William and Ethel
o John W. (May 23, 1874 - July 20, 1931) m. Elizabeth GRAHAM
o Joseph W. m. Alice BIRCH – 8 children – Fred, Mamie, Lily, Gilbert, Donald, John, Grant
o Edward – went to Orillia
o Sam m. Maud HEELS – 2 children – Margaret and Lloyd
o James T. m. Annie Adeline NORRIS (1869-1931) – no children
o William (1868- Dec 20, 1917) m. Alvia TAYLOR (d. 1927) – 1 daughter in Alberta
o Sarah (Dec 5, 1865 - Oct 9, 1928) m. Albert J. FULLER
o Minnie m. Thomas PHILLIPS
o Annie m. Alfred EWART
o Fred m. Lorne GROZELLE – 1 son - Howard
• George (1845-1897) married Ann Elizabeth MIDDLETON, daughter of John MIDDLETON of Pickering. The marriage took place September 18, 1884 at Bolton, Ontario and is recorded in the Palgrave Pastoral Charge (Methodist) marriage register. The groom was living in Claireville. The witnesses were Henry PHILLIPS of Columbia and Harriet WIESMORE of Woodbridge (this would be George's niece most likely) . The register indicates that George's father was John but all other indicators show that he was in fact the son of George. George and Elizabeth immigrated to Bay City, Michigan, USA in 1885. George died there on December 30, 1897. Elizabeth Middleton remarried Frank Westbrook on November 24, 1904 in Traverse City, Leelanau, Michigan. Frank Westbrook was the son of N. Westbrook and Lucy Freeman. They lived in Bay City, Michigan with her children.
They had the following children:
- John born in 1885.
- Marie (b. 1893) was first married to John MARRY on July 8, 1907. He died and she remarried Peter DUGAY on September 25, 1919 in Bay City, Michigan and died in Bay City, Michigan, USA. In the 1920 US census they are living in Bay City, Michigan. His brother-in-law John Middleton, Frank Westbrook step-father-in-law and Elizabeth Westbook (Middleton) mother-in-law are all living with them. Elizabeth Middleton indicated that she emigrated to the US in 1885.
- Ethel married Delbert LEWIS in Essexville, Michigan on March 17, 1909.
- Myrtle born in Bay City Michigan in circa 1893. She was married to Norman STANLEY on November 19, 1911 in Bay City, Michigan.
- George born in 1901.
• Ann Jane (1847-?) married Charles WIESMORE (1844 - September 24, 1844 - Oct 21, 1899) on August 23, 1869. Charles was born in 1844 in New York. Charles enlisted as a Private on 6 August 1862 at the age of 18 in Company E, 122nd Infantry Regiment New York on August 6, 1862. He deserted on July 26, 1864 while in Washington DC. He moved to Canada and settled in Clairville, Etobicoke Township, York County. On August 23, 1869 he married Ann Jane Harrison. In the 1871 census they are living in Clairville next door to Ann Jane's mother and brothers. Charles' occupation is listed as Painter. In 1881 they are living in Vaughan Township, York County with 4 children (Harriett Ann, James Henry, Carrie May and Thomas Ambrose). Interestingly the 1881 census indicates that Charles was born "at sea". In 1888 they moved to the United States and lived in Buffalo. They had the following children: Harriet Ann (1870-?), James Henry (1873-1950), Carrie Mae (1876-1900), Thomas Ambrose (1880-1938), Charles H (1883-1900) and Nicholas Wilfred (1885-1948). Charles died on October 21, 1899 in Buffalo. Ann Jane remained in Buffalo and died sometime after 1920.
George appears to have set up his own farm and household in 1835 when he began renting 50 acres (NW ¼) of Lot No 12 in the 10th Concession of the Township of Toronto Gore, Peel County from Patrick Bulger. He purchased these lands by private sale on October 29, 1839 as recorded in the Upper Canada Land Book 1839-1841. On September 5, 1844 he sold the property to John Murphy for £150.
In the 1852 Census we find George and his family living on 79 acres of land on Lots 18 and 19, Concession 12, in the Township of King, York County. Living with him were his wife Mary and children Margaret, age 18. William age 16, Alice, age 14, John, age 12, Esther, age 10, George, age 8 and Ann Jane, age 6. The agricultural portion of the census indicates that of the 79 acres, 25 acres were under cultivation (15 with crops and 10 under pasture); with 54 acres still under forest cover. Of the 15 acres under crops 5 acres were planted with wheat, producing 100 bushels; 5 planted with peas producing 75 bushels; and 5 planted with oats producing 100 bushels. For livestock they had 2 milch cows, one calf, 5 sheep and 2 pigs. For produce they had 50 pounds of butter and 3 barrels of pork. George was renting this land as he is not listed as the owner in the land abstract books for this property.
Thomas, George’s eldest son is living with the family of Mary Harrison (nee O’Connor) and her sons on Lot 8, Concession 9, Toronto Gore Township, Peel County.
After George’s death in 1855 his eldest son Thomas became the head of the family.
The 1861 Census finds them on Lot 32, 11th Concession in King Township, York County. Again they were renting as they do not appear on the land abstract for this property. Along with Thomas, age 31 was his mother Mary and his brothers and sisters Margaret age 25, William age 23, George, age 15, Esther, age 19 and Ann Jane, age 14. They are living in a log cabin. In addition there is Mark Linton visiting from Pickering. This would be Mark Linton (1833-1882) son of Moses Linton and Jane Robinson. Moses was the son of John Linton of Goathland. Most likely a brother of Thomas Linton, Faith's (Mary) father. As such Mark Linton would have been Mary's (Faith) first cousin.
In 1871 we find the family living in Etobicoke Township, York County. Mary, age 68 years, is living with her sons Thomas and William. Wilson Linton, possibly her brother and his family live nearby. Her daughter Ann Jane, married to Charles Wiesmore, is living next door.
In 1881 we find the family living in Etobicoke Township, York County. Mary, age 81 years, is living with her sons Thomas, George and William. All three sons list their occupation as labourer.
There is a death registration for a Mary Harrison of Etobicoke Township, York County, registered in January 1884 which is most likely the mother of Thomas, George and William. The registration contains little identifying information and was submitted by her physician as opposed to one of the children.
In 1891 Thomas is living with the family of George Robinson in Toronto Gore Township, Peel County where he is listed as a farm labourer. Not sure what happened to his brother William. His brother George married Elizabeth Middleton in 1884.
In 1901 we find Thomas living with the Wiley Family on Lot 2, Concession 8, Toronto Gore Township, Peel County. Unfortunately he did not respond to the question of when he emigrated to Canada (or it was not recorded) in the census. The census indicates that he was employed for 10 months as a domestic at an annual salary of $129.