Archive for the ‘Brickwalls’ Category

Brickwalls: Seeking info on Sophia Thompson – of Markham Township, Ontario and Huron County, Michigan

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Sophia Thompson is my brick wall. I have been unable to find her parents or siblings. Sophia was born in Canada in 1820. She was likely born in Ontario with an outside possibility of New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. Sophia’s middle name may have been Wheelock. She married John Tomlinson in 1839 in Markham, Ontario. The marriage record listed her residence as Markham. John Tomlinson was the son of Joseph Tomlinson. Joseph Tomlinson was located at Con 8 Lot 5 in Markham Township in the 1837 Toronto and Home District Directory. The Tomlinson family was at Box Grove only a mile or two from Markham Village, they were also close to Pickering and Scarborough Townships. The 1837 Directory listed 2 Thomson families in Markham Township, Alexander at Con 6 Lot 18 and John at Con 3 Lot 12, 2 more Thomson families were in neighboring Pickering Township and 16 in Scarborough.

Sophia is not found in the 1851 census. Alexander Thomson is at Con 6 Lot 19 in 1851 with his second wife Susan and children George, Mary Archibald and Alexander. All were born in Canada. John Thomson is at Con 2 Lot 26 in 1851 with wife Hannah and children Mary, David, Stephen, Thomas, Joseph, Hannah, Elizabeth and George. It appears they left England about 1830. John and Sophia and family lived for a brief time and owned land in Adjala Township, Simcoe County. In 1861 Sophia is with her husband and family in Markham Township. Later in 1861 she is widowed. Her husband is buried in the Buttonville cemetery. The Buttonville Cemetery is 7 miles from Markham. Why wasn’t he buried with the other Tomlinson’s in the Box Grove Cemetery? Thomas Thomson (1835-1896), his wife Sarah Sutton and family are buried in Buttonville. Are they related to Sophia? This Thomas is likely the son of the above John and Hannah.

In 1871 and 1881 Sophia is in Markham Township with various of her 11 children. Her origin is listed as German in one census and Scotch in the other. The German reference could be to the Tomlinson family. Religion was given as Wesleyan Methodist, Congregational, Methodist, or Methodist Episcopal. Her 11 children, in order of birth, were Charlotte, Joseph W, Edmund, Edna, Simeon, William, John William, James, Thomas, Walter Scott and Elizabeth Ann. Charlotte, Edward, Edna, Thomas and Walter Scott do not appear to be Tomlinson names. Naming patterns would suggest that Sophia is more likely a child of John than Alexander but if she was born in Canada that would eliminate John as her father.

In the early 1880s Sophia moved to Huron County, Michigan following numerous of her children. In 1884 she married John Sibley. Sibley was born in Nova Scotia in 1802. I have been unable to find a death record for john Sibley. Sophia Tomlinson died in Huron Township, Huron County, Michigan in 1892. The death record listed her parents as unknown. No obituary has been found in the local newspaper or the Markham Economist.

If you think you can help Karl with his Brickwall, he may be reached at:karlkincade<at>

Brickwalls: Seeking info on Bridget Mulligan and Margaret Sharon

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

I have brick walls re: 2 women:

My gg grandmother: Bridget Mulligan married John Reynolds
This family lived in Renfrew county, both in Bromley and Burdenell. Bridget appears in the 1851 to 1871 censuses, all of which indicate she was born in Canada in the late 1820s. The earliest record I have is their 1849 marriage. I can’t find a birth or baptism record and hence don’t know who her parents might have been.

And another gg grandmother, Margaret Sharon married Abner Mapes in 1854. <>
She was probably born in Ireland in the mid 1820s, but I have even less info about her than I do about Bridget. I have census records and the info from her tombstone. The surname could be a variant of Sheeran.

More information about these two mystery women is available at the links above. They are frustrating, as their parents are the only ggg grandparents I haven’t been able to find.

To contact me please use my email address as shown on the webpages cited above.

Many thanks,
Sharon Haggerty

Reminder: New Blog Category – Brickwalls

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Welcome to a new category for the OGS Blog: Brickwalls. The intent behind this is to offer the genealogical community a place to seek and offer assistance to those who have hit that inevitable and much dreaded brickwall. Please keep in mind that this is not intended – nor can it – function as a research service. If you require the services of a professional genealogist, your best bet is to visit the website for the Association of Professional Genealogists: The APG also has an Ontario chapter:

Here’s how it works – aka, The House Rules:

  • If you have hit a brickwall, you may send a detailed, but brief, i.e. no more than 4 paragraphs, query to: blog<at> – please use Brickwall Query in the subject line of your message.
  • Once your query has been posted, anyone who believes they can offer assistance may contact you in one of two ways:
    • Indicate and Include contact information in your query – Keep in mind though – this is a public site!!
    • Not comfortable with putting your info out there? No problem – folks can simply leave any info they may have in the comments sections of your post – you just have to remember to check the blog regularly to see if any comments have been left for you.

Please note: Submissions may be edited for length and the protection of personal information.

All comments are moderated before being made public

Brickwalls: Seeking Information for Cameron John Campbell and Elizabeth McLauchlan of Scotland

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

I am searching for records for Cameron John Campbell in Scotland and for Elizabeth’s parents.
Cameron John Campbell b. April 18, 1832 in Scotland, married Elizabeth McLauchlan b. September 10, 1832. I cannot find a marriage record. They had children John Cameron, Duncan, Jessie, Archibald, Marwood and Euphemia. I found a birth record for John Cameron Campbell b. September 19, 1832 to Captain Moses Campbell’ Achendale and Jessy Cameron at Kilmonivaig. I do not know if this is the correct person because I cannot find any other records. Finding the correct record for a Campbell in Scotland is a daunting process.
I know that Elizabeth McLauchlan Campbell’s father was John and her mother may have been Euphemia. All of them lived in Mosa Township and Ekfrid Township in the mid 1800′s according to the census. The McLauchlans apparently were born in Scotland but I cannot find any records for them either.
Any help that you can give me would be appreciated.
Shirley Crampton

Brickwalls: Seeking Information on Mary Ann Murphy of Dundas and Hamilton, Ontario

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

I have hit a brick wall trying to find my Great Grandmother Mary Ann MURPHY’S family. Mary Ann was a Roman Catholic and everything points to her being born in Canada. Maybe someone reading this will be able to help me. As we all know this is a very common name. I have found the names of (3) three different sets of parents for her in the registration records.
My great grandmother, Mary Ann MURPHY, was born possibly in Dundas, ON, or Dundas County, Ontario sometime between 1857 and 1862. Of course this is too early to find a birth record. I tried sending for the marriage certificate, but was told that it was unavailable. Marriage: Ontario Registration gives this information: Married 24 August 1874 in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario, Mary Ann MURPHY age 17, to William Norris WORRON, age 23. Mary Ann’s parents are listed as William & Mary Ann MURPHY. Married by Rev. Wm HERRIDGE, (the Church of England) Witnesses: William AUSTIN & Emma PENNELL. I have been told that the Ontario registration information is not the original, but copied. It was William and Mary Ann who were getting married so I’m thinking maybe the person copying the information made an error in the names. It also says she was born in Canada.
Death: Ontario Registration gives this information- Died the 20th July 1920 age 58 in Hamilton, parents listed as Michael MURPHY and Bridget DEMPSEY, both born in Ireland. When Mary Ann died her son Jas. WORRON, filled out the papers, so he could have made an error on her parents names. I also have the Obituary from the Hamilton Spectator, but it gives no clue as to her parents. Another family contact suggested that her parents were Jeremiah MURPHY & Bridget DEMPSEY. This family member found these names in an old family Bible and they could be the next generation even. Another thought that I had while writing this is that these names could be Jeremiah & Bridget DEMPSEY? This is the message I received from him, “Here are some other names to go by: Maryann MURPHY Born 1857, Michael MURPHY, Jeremiah MURPHY, Ellen MURPHY, and Johanna MURPHY, children of Jeremiah MURPHY Sr. and his wife ?? DEMPSEY, Hastings Ont, this appears in our family Bible. “ Mary Ann MURPHY Married: William Norris WORRON, who was born 22 July 1851 in Chatham, Kent, England, he came to Canada 1870. William died in the house of Refuge in Hamilton, January 8, 1931. I have his birth Certificate, death registration and Obituary from the Hamilton Spectator.
Mary Ann & William WORRON had 10 Children-All born in Hamilton, Wentworth, Ontario:

  1. Mary Ann 1875-1939- M: Joseph JACKSON & John P. KELLY
  2. Silas James 1876-1968 – M: Mary T. O’NEIL
  3. Ellen 1878-1879
  4. William 1881-1953 – M: Isabella HILL
  5. Frederick J. 1883-?
  6. Estelle 1884-1934 – M: James H. GRICE
  7. Edmund 1888-1888
  8. Catharine (Twin to Edward) 1888-1958 – M: John J. MCSWEENEY
  9. Charlotte 1890-1939 – M: Felix A. MCSWEENEY
  10. Joseph M. 1896-1980 – M:Lillian V. HILL


Brickwalls: Seeking Information on John Heard of Angus, Ontario and Reginald Lorenzo Heard

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Brickwall #1 -

John Heard/Hurd b abt 1921 England (parents listed on marriage certificate Thomas & Sarah Heard) with possible middle name of Freeman. Have never found arrival date or origins of birth in England. Heard is too common a name. Marr #1 Sarah Jane Thompson 18 Oct 1875 parsonage Barrie = 15 children. Marr #2 Rebecca Harvey born USA 2 Mar 1847 Whitby Ontario = 6 children. John Heard died 30 Dec 1895 Angus Ontario, will probated 1898 and on son William’s death 1933 it says father born Plymouth, mother born Ogdensburg New York (have traced this family) but can find no proof of John Heard & Plymouth. Anyone know which way to go on this one?

Brickwall #2 -

Heard, Reginald Lorenzo born 5 Nov 1913 Essa Twp. Registered 8 Jan 1914 (my copy dated 28 Apr 1982) no
parents named but genealogy of the family – his parents were Wilfred Charles Heard and Ida May Alexander
of Simcoe County. Reginald married Edith Elizabeth M. M. Barker (7 Sept 1912-28 Apr 1975) on 2 Jan 1937 in
Oshawa, Ontario = 3 children lived, twins died at birth. Reginald had no siblings.

Have a card re: War Service Badge GS 1070441 for Heard, Reginald Lorenzo with rank & serial numbers
issued June 26, 1985. For years city directories listed him as soldier, and for some he lived with his
mother Ida May Heard in Oshawa.

Family information from late daughters – Reg married Elizabeth Mae DeAmbroise using name Reginald
Larribee Hurd 9 Oct 1943 & had 3 children.

From copy of marriage certificate Reg then married Jean Murray Stover as Reginald John Heard 8 Aug 1964
in village of Sombra County Lambton by license as a divorcee. Here is the questioning part – statement says his
parents were Wesley Duncan Heard and Mary Alice Lander both born Texas as was he ? (He had an uncle named Duncan Wesley).

Reg died 11 March 1983 Edmonton Alberta not long after his daughters found him. So who was this man really?
I could find no connections on Ancestry & Family Search to this American family. Any suggestions?

If you think you can help Marie-Jeanne, she may be reached directly at:

Brickwalls: Seeking Information on John Farrell and Mary O’Gara – Kingston, Ontario

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

I am seeking birth and/or death records for John FARRELL b abt 1821, probably in Co Donegal. He was married to my 3x gr-grandmother Mary O’GARA at St Mary’s Cathedral in Kingston for a very short time, then disappeared.

Mary O’Gara’s marriage and remarriage is a puzzle. She was about 16 when she married John FARRELL on 18 Nov 1845. He was shown as 24 when he signed an abjuration the day before their marriage, where John denounced his Protestant faith. They had a child — my 2x gr-grandfather John Joseph Farrell — born 22 Oct 1848. That is the only child I found for them. Seems odd that only one child is shown, considering Mary’s fertile young age. Then six years later, on 2 Jan 1851, Mary O’Gara is shown marrying Jeremiah Crowley (also at St Mary’s).

I found no death for John Farrell on the pages of the register from 1848 to 1851 or anywhere else. Perhaps he died in another location. Perhaps he just left. I have scoured the digitized records at St Mary’s Register and have found almost all the baptisms, marriages, confirmations and interments for the Crowleys, but nothing more about John Farrell. In the register, John Farrell’s parents are shown as Abraham Farrell and Jane Clarke of Drumhome, Co Donegal.

That is all I know of John Farrell. I have found no records of his birth, even though I found some information about his parents and some of his siblings by process of elimination using

  • Abraham Farrell 1792-1876 – Remained in Ballybulgan, Drumhone
  • Jane Clarke 1797- 1864 – Remained in Ballybulgan, Drumhome

Children who show one or both names as Abraham Farrell and Jane Clarke are:

  • Jane Farrell bc 1820, m Oswald Stewart. They appear to have remained in Ballybulgan
  • Margaret Farrell bc 1821, in Drumhome, Co Donegal
  • William Farrell 1825-1909, m Fanny Freeborn and lived in Waterloo and Huron Counties, CAN
  • Andrew Farrell 1837-1930(?), m Mary Griffith and stayed in Drumhome, Co Donegal

Until I can find a birth or death for John Farrell, I can never be certain of my true paternal line.

If you can offer any ideas, I can be reached at sharoncconnor[@]

Brickwalls: Seeking Information on John MacGregor, UEL – Charlottenburg, Glengarry County, Ontario

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

I am searching for information about John MacGregor, born in Scotland in 1727, although this date is uncertain. May have been in Canada by 1757-1763. He was a UE Loyalist who ultimately settled in Charlottenburgh, Glengarry County. He may have married Anne MacGilvray in 1797, possibly his second marriage. He had several children including Donald, born about 1800 in Charlottenburg as well as John, William, Elizabeth, Nancy and Malcom.

Donald was my great great grandfather, and his birth year is fairly well documented. He had a son, William Harvey, born in 1850, and a daughter, Anne. Anne was known after her marriage as Annie Wilson. William Harvey emigrated to the US, Massachusetts, in about 1871, and married Ella Jane Sprague, a Mayflower descendant, in Vermont in 1873. Their marriage certificate lists Donald MacGregor as William Harvey MacGregor’s father and Catharine McKay as his mother.

I am particularly interested in verifying the information I have about John MacGregor’s birth and marriage, and would like also to verify his birthplace in Scotland. One document I have seen says he was born in Little Dunkeld parish in Perthshire, Scotland, but I can find no information to support that. Any information that anyone could provide would be most helpful.
Margaret McGregor Castle

Brickwalls: Seeking Information on John Urquhart from Fife, Scotland to Brantford, Ontario

Sunday, May 18th, 2014

The story is quite interesting. My Great Grandfather, David Smith Urquhart’s brother, a John Urquhart was the first Pupil Teacher at Collinsburgh School in Fife ( fact ). My historic family come from the immediate area in Kilconquhar Fife Scotland and had links with Dunfermline. In 1873, the pupils of Collinsburgh School presented John Urquhart with an inscribed Chest on his leaving.

The Inscription on the Chest reads -:

To John Urquhart from the Scholars of Colinsburgh School
A token of their regret at his departure and of their earnest wishes for his future welfare
December 25, 1873

On May 1st, unknown to myself, a Kay Urquhart, from Brantford sadly passed away at the age of 93 and last week, a friend of hers contacted me through a posting I originally placed on Genuki 16 years ago saying he had inherited the said Chest from Kay and could it be the same John Urquhart I was researching. As a result of this I believe there to be a strong possibility that the John Urquhart in question is my ancestor but am seeking to prove this. As you know in geneology 2+2 does not always equal 4. I have been told that Kay had been the last living member of the Line in Canada.

Interestingly, three generations of the family appear to be buried in Mount Hope cemetery at Brantford but not, it seems, the original John Urquhart who the chest was given to and is believed to have emigrated in 1873 ?

Can you assist Stuart Urquhart with his query? If so, you may contact him directly at:

Brickwalls: Seeking Information on Henry Cowan and Margaret Rogers/Rodgers

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Henry Cowan was born in Ireland about 1811.  His arrival in Canada in unknown.  He married Margaret Rogers/Rodgers, b 1817, in Corlagan, Ballymacormick, Longford, the daughter of William Rogers and Frances Morgan. She died in 1897.  Both belonged to Church ofIreland/England. Henry was a shoemaker, and settled originally on Lot 5, Con 5 E, Toronto Tp, Peel Co.  He acquired Lot 5, Conc 10, Garafraxa, Wellington Co, about 1848 and settled there after 1851 Census.  Henry died, reputedly in an accident, on 16 Apr 1866 and was buried at McKee Cemetery.  The family lost the farm a few years later.  Margaret and the remaining children settled in Belwood, just east-ish of Fergus.

No obit has been found to date for Henryor Margaretand no detailed obits (just death notices) for his children. None of the death certificates of children note the father’s origin other than “Ireland.” There is a record of marriage for Henry and Margaret at St. James Cathedral in Toronto.  Were they previously unmarried?  Or needed a record of marriage for their land purchase?  No marriage record found in Ireland.  A note in a history of Fergus says that the eldest was born of a couple newly arrived from Cork.  Given the documentation, this suggest Cork was only the place of embarkment.

Many cousins, most descendants of Elizabeth Frances, have been searching for Henry’s origins (my own connection is through the  youngest child to survive to adulthood, Richard).  All of the children who had children of their own named a son William Henry, butthese menalways went by Henry.  According to typical patternHenry’s father’s name should be David. 

There are families with very similar names in Lingwick, QC and Gloucester, ON, but no connection known.

Anyone with information can contact me at jahayman(at)shaw(dot)ca.

All of their children were born in Canada:

Anna Maria, b Jan 1843 m John Templin, lived Fergus, ON, d Jan 1924, 5 children

Mary Jane, b Feb 1845 m Nathaniel Demman, lived Wellington Co, d Jun 1914, no children

Margaret, b Aug 1846, dabt1847

Elizabeth Frances, b Jul 1847, m Hamilton Reilly, lived Wellington Co, d May 1927, 10 children

David Cowan, b Feb 1849, m Catherine McArthur livedWellington Co, d Oct 1922, 10 children

William Henry,, b 1851, m Caroline Demmans, lived Wellington, then Weyburn, SK, d 1936, 4 children

Margaret Louise, b 1850, m Alexander Burnett, lived Wellington, d 1885, 9 children

George Edward, b Mar 1853, m Margaret Rodgers (cousin), lived Wellington & Grey, d 1916, 6 children

Richard John, b Oct 1856, m Annie Moon, lived in Garafraxa and Amaranth, d 1925, 7 children

Robert J , b 1857, d 1860

Joseph Samuel, b 1860, d 1881.