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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

What The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record Has To Say About Richard Davis

The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record is an old and respected journal catering to researchers who are interested in former residents of New York State.  It's clear that the Davis family passed through New York on their way to Canada, and that at least three of them eventually returned.  I went to my local reference library today (it has a full run of the Record) and looked up all 26 volumes that had a Richard Davis indexed.  Most of them were other Richard Davises, but I did find a few articles with some good information.

I'm most excited about finding an abstract of Richard's will.  There are several databases of wills in New York state that I have checked to no avail, but now I know that Richard definitely did write a will, and I have the probate date.  One step closer to finding the will itself!

From Volume 57 (1926), p. 176, "Abstracts of Wills, Montgomery County, New York".

"RICHARD DAVIS of Charleston, will dated 1-2-1823, probated 6-2-1823, mentions--wife Mabel, sons, Henry, Joel, Hosea, Lyman, William, Joseph, Simeon, Andrew and Daniel;  daughters, Mary, Sally and Hannah.  Executors:  sons William, Daniel and Lyman.  Witnesses:  Frances Carey, Wright Davis, Wessn (?) Gage."

Richard died in 1823, so obviously he wrote this will shortly before his death.  Even the abstract gives us valuable information, most obviously which of his children were still alive in 1823.  Wright Davis was Richard's brother.

From Volume 59 (1928) p. 268 "Tombstone Inscriptions, Montgomery County, New York".

"Cemetery 3/4 mile North of Oak Ridge, Town of Charleston, Montgomery County, N.Y., Map No. 22...
Davis, Harry E., son of Henry and Mariah d. 2-19-1831, ae. 1-1-24.
Davis, David N., son of Henry and Mariah, d. 4-4-1839, ae. 4-8-13.
Davis, Mary C., dau. of Henry and Mariah, d. 12-15-1849, ae. 10-3-7.
Davis, Richard, d. 3-8-1823,  ae. 61-11-19.
Davis, Mabel, wife of Richard, d. 9-23-1846, ae. 79-206.
Davis, Infant son of  Hosea and Phebe, d. 12-14-1852 ae. 2 days.
Davis, Henry, d. 4-3-1876, ae. 69-9-3.
Davis, Maria, wife of Henry, d. 5-19-1861, ae. 54-5-15.
Davis, Lyman, d. 5-12-1878, ae. 79-8-10.
Davis, Catherine, wife of Lyman, d. 1-1-1858, ae. 54-9-   . 
Davis, Phebe Jane, dau. of Wright and Ursula, d. 9-27-1842, ae. 2-3-23.
Davis, Mary Jane, dau. of Wright and Ursula, d. 1-9-1851, ae. 4-10-15."

I had already known that Richard and Mabel were buried together at the Charleston Cemetery, but it's great to have a record of other family members buried in the same place.

From Volume 50 (1919) p. 276.  "Mohawk Valley Householders in 1800".

This article gives some interesting information about the geography of Charleson, which it refers to as "Charlestown".  It then lists Richard and Thadeus as residents in 1800.  I had thought that they were in Ontario at that time. 

"The town of Charlestown included in 1800 the modern towns of Charlestown, Glen, and a portion of Root, in Montgomery County.  At thje census of 1790 this area formed a part of the old town of Mohawk, distinct from the modern town of that name."

The Richard Davis household is listed as having 1 male under 10 years, 2 males between 10 and 16, 2 males from 16 to 26, and one male over 45.
The Thadeus Davis household is listed as having 1 male between 10 and 16, 1 male between 16 and 26, and 1 female between 26 and 45.  These two households are listed side by side. 

There is another entry which I think relates to earlier Davises in our line.

Volume 128 (1997) p. 176.  "A Proposed Family for Thomas Jones of Fairfield, Connecticut and Huntington, Long Island" by Frederick Hart, Jr.

"Children of Josiah and Joanna (--) Jones:...
3.  Thomas, b. 1719/20, d. Stamford 1769, m. 6 Dec. 1744 Mary Davis, b. 24 Feb 1727/8, daughter of Richard and Martha (--) Davis."

The Record appears to be a journal that I could explore further.  I'd like to see what it says about Thadeus, about Richard's siblings and children, and about the Norton family.  

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Davis family in Watervliet, New York

The 1790 United States census, which occured before the family of Thadeus Davis moved to Canada, locates several members of the Davis family in the town of Watervliet, Albany, New York.

Unfortunately, as with all early census records, the 1790 census does not record the names of each household member, just the heads of families.  It also doesn't give exact ages--there are three columns, one for females of any age, one for males over 16 and one for males under 16.  The William Davis family has two males under 16, one male over 16 and three females.  The Thadeus Davis family has three males under 16, two males over 16 and four females.    The Richard Davis family has four males under 16, one male over 16 and one female.  Cornelius Vandenburgh, the husband of Lois Davis, is also living in Watervliet, with a total household of three people, two females and one male over 16.   It's possible that other Davis family members were living in other parts of New York;  I see some possibilities, but don't have enough information to confirm anything.

I don't know much about Watervliet, but here's what Wikipedia can tell us:  the town of Watervliet was officially created in 1788 when New York divided all of its lands into towns rather than districts. At the time of the 1790 census, the population of Watervliet was 7,419 people.    The original settlers of the area (who were there well before Watervliet was created) were Dutch, and the original name of the settlement was the Manor of Rensselaerswyck (Watervliet only covered the Western part of this formerly larger area).   I'm guessing that a few of the Davis spouses--the Ostrander brothers, Cornelius Vandenburgh, and Johannes Van Patter--came from a Dutch background.  Since 1790 the town of Watervliet has been separated into smaller towns, but a Watervliet still exists in New York.

Interestingly, Watervliet is known for its Shaker community (the Shakers were a religious group also known as "Shaking Quakers" who believed in abstinence, a simple lifestyle, and gender equality).  I'd be surprised if any of our Davis family joined the Shakers--they're all pretty firm Baptists when they reach Ontario!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Davis Family Photographs from the Elgin County Archives Website

The newly revamped Elgin County Archives website features many more photographs from their collection.  The William Davis and Adoniram Davis families lived in Elgin, and here are some photos I found there. 

David F. Davis, son of William Davis and brother to our ancestor Adoniram Davis, served on the Elgin County Council in 1874.  He was the deputy reeve for Malahide. He is the back row, 6th from the left, with the big bushy beard.

Here's David separated out:

And here he is as an older man, circa 1912:


There is some confusion about his name.  The Elgin archives identify him as David Franklin Davis, which I have seen on some documentation.  However, other documents refer to him as David Flint Davis.  This is what the archives say about him:

"David Franklin Davis (1822-1912) was the son of Deacon William Davis (d.1865) and Mary Sibley Davis. He was the father of Polly (Mrs. Dr. Peter McLay) and Phebe (Mrs. Albert White)."

Remember, Polly Davis and Dr. Peter McLay were the couple whose marriage the congregation objected to?  Here are two almost identical pictures of Polly, her son Homer McLay, and Mary Davis, who was David F. Davis' wife.  The archives refers to this as "Two colour photographs of three generations: Polly Davis McLay, Homer McLay and Mary Davis."


Finally, the archives has a picture of Phebe Davis and family. Phebe is another granddaughter of William Davis:

"Mrs. Mary Davis, wife of David F. Davis died in 1898. Her great grandson Harley White was born in 1888.Two colour photographs of four generations: Phebe Ursula Davis White, Charles White, Harley White and Mary Davis."

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Josiah Elliot in "The Bankrupt Directory"

Josiah Elliot was Robert Elliot's brother, and William Elliot's uncle.  He seems to have taken over the "Adam and Eve" public house after his father Charles' death.  He declared bankruptcy before he and Robert brought their families to Canada.  His name is listed in The Bankrupt Directory, a publication which seems to be aimed at the business community in London.   

Josiah is listed on page 131:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Biography of John Galloway Scott in "The Canadian Men and Women of the Time..."

Found while exploring the Canadiana Portal.

The Canadian Men and Women of the Time:  A Handbook of Canadian Biography.  Morgan, Henry James, ed.  Toronto:  W. Briggs, 1898.  Page 920.

Obituary of Sarah (Hawley) Scott

From the Ontario Evangelist, Vol 1, Number 12, April 1887, Guelph, Ontario:

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thomas Chalmers Scott's Toronto Property

In his will, Thomas Chalmers Scott left four adjacent pieces of property to his children;  three with houses built on them, and one lot which was being used as a garden.  Scott refers to this property as being on Shuter Street.  I have also found references in his obituary to property he owned on Pembroke Street. (Pembroke and Shuter are both in the same area, close to Allan Gardens in Toronto.)  What was this area like when the Scott family were living there?   I have found an interesting online publication which gives us an idea of the development of the area which the Scott family would have seen.  It's called A Storied Past:  The History of 103 Pembroke Street and it was produced by Caerwent House Stories.

William Allan, a Scottish immigrant who became Toronto's first postmaster and customs collector, became wealthy through various business ventures and in 1819 bought a hundred acre property, covered in original pine forest, in the area which includes both Pembroke and Shuter Streets.  On this land he built an estate called Moss Park, after his childhood home in Scotland, Moss Farm.   William Allan had only one child who survived to adulthood, George William Allan.  William gave his son half of the family property when George William married, and George William inherited the entire estate upon his father's death in 1854, and in 1854 he began to subdivide and sell off land.

Moss Park, Home of the Hon. G.W. Allan and family, circa 1898.  The home no longer exists. 

From the Toronto Public Library website:

1854. "Villa Lots for Sale on the Moss Park Estate Toronto the Property of G.W. Allan Esq." 

From A Storied Past:  The History of 103 Pembroke Street:

"It was in 1855, the year of his election as Mayor, that George W. Allan officially registered the subdivision in which Pembroke St. was located. At that time, perhaps due to the fact that he was now holding office, George Allan began to sell off the 64 lots he had created within Plan 150. Two of those lots, Lots 43 and 44, were sold in 1855 to one Thomas Chalmers Scott, who was perhaps a friend of Allan’s father. Like William Allan before him, Thomas C. Scott was a customs official, his official title was that of Surveyor of Customs. Thomas C. Scott bought the two properties in 1855 and by the early 1860's had built a substantial two-storey brick house on the property which was designated as 99 Pembroke St. He lived there with his family, which at the time of his death in 1876 
included one daughter and two sons. Thomas Scott was a devoted Baptist, and according 
to his obituary, held regulars religious meetings at his home (Appendix 1). In 1876, 
Thomas Scott died and at that time his heirs sold the south part of Lot 43, Plan 150 to Frederick J.A. Stewart."

Thomas Chalmers Scott would probably spin in his grave to hear himself described as a Baptist;  he was a Disciple of Christ.  I am not at all sure that he held religious meetings in his home--his obituary says that he "erected a meeting-house on Pembroke Street", which to me implies that this was a separate building.  The address given, 99 Pembroke Street, is in fact closer to Allan Gardens than to Shuter Street.  Thomas Chalmer Scott's wife Ann Galloway had died in 1854, a year before Scott bought this property; he would move in with  his second wife Sarah Hawley.  I'm not sure his children ever lived there.  His son John Galloway Scott was married by the 1860s and living with the Elliot family, right next door to his father and stepmother, according to the 1861 census.

1861 Census, St. David's Ward. Thomas Scott's family is living in a 2 storey brick house on King Street East, north side.
 In the 1871 census, he is still in St. David's ward.  It's hard to tell if he is in the same dwelling, but he has different neighbours.

"Originally or by 1858, there were approximately three large houses with perhaps a few adjacent 
carriage houses, etc. on this subdivision... Further south, there were more houses; however, the street was still not heavily developed. In the years from 1858 to the end of the 1870's the street’s popularity grew, eventually becoming one of the city's most prestigious addresses, which become home for many of Toronto's wealthiest manufacturers, judges, lawyers, and the like. For instance, during 
the late 1860's Paul Kane – the well known Canadian painter who lived from 1810 to 1871 
– owned property on Pembroke St. During the period up until the 1870's, the street was 
not fully developed and was fairly rustic...During the later part of the 18th century, Pembroke St. continued its position as a premier address. In 1878 a pavilion modeled after London’s famous Crystal Palace was erected, and 1885 the grounds were beautified, adding to the prestige to the 

I find it exciting to know that that Thomas Chalmers and his wife lived in the same neighbourhood as Paul Kane.  I wonder how well they knew him?  

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Wedding Announcement of Jocelyn Rutherford and Stewart Fyfe

My mother-in-law very kindly sent me the text of her wedding announcement.  The announcement ran in the Montreal Gazette, page 19,  June 20, 1953.

"The marriage of Jocelyn Scott daughter of the late J. Bulmer Rutherford to Mr. Stewart Fyfe of Kingston son of Mr. and Mrs. C.T. Fyfe of Regina, Sask. and Kingston is taking place this afternoon at four o'clock in the Margaret Roger Memorial Presbyterian Church, Lachute Que.  The Rev. W. Harold Reid D.D. officiating, Dr. H.L. Tracy will play the wedding music and white gladioli will be used to decorate.

The bride who will be given away by her uncle Mr. Andrew S. Rutherford will be in a gown of embroidered Swiss organdy over taffeta with a fitted bodice having a picture neckline.  Her long veil of tuille illusion will be held by a coronet of orange blossoms, and she will carry a bouquet of gladioli blossoms and stephinotis.

Mrs. Peter C. Wang, of Brockville, Ont., and Mrs. William J. Stauble, as attendants for their sister, will be in gowns of shot blue organza, with tucked bodices having picture necklines, and circular skirts.  They will wear coronets of yellow pompoms to match the flowers in their bouquets.

Little Miss Susan Wang, of Brockville, Ont., niece of the bride, as flower girl, will be in a frock of white swiss organdy over yellow. She will wear of bandeau of yellow flowers and carry a nosegay of the same flowers.

Mr. John G. Chance, of Kingston, will act as best man for Mr. Fyfe and the ushers will be Mr. John Fyfe, brother of the bridegroom, and Dr. William A. Young, of Kingston.

Mrs. Rutherford, the bride's mother, will be gowned in grey blue crepe and lace and will wear a blue feather hat and a corsage bouquet of pink freesia.

Mrs. Fife (sic), mother of the bridegroom, will wear a gown of navy blue sheer with a navy blue hat, trimmed with lighter blue, and will have a spray of cornflowers and Sweetheart roses fastened to her handbag. 

Mrs. William Rutherford, grandmother of the bride, will be in a gown of grey and black silk print and will wear a dusty pink hat, trimmed with burgundy velvet.

The reception will be held at Headfoulds, Lachute, the summer residence of the bride's mother, where peonies, syringa, and summer flowers will be used as decorations, the bride's table, centred with the wedding cake, being arranged with yellow roses.

Later, Mr. and Mrs. Fyfe will leave by motor for the New England states, the bride travelling in a light blue ensemble and wearing a white ribbon hat and a corsage bouquet of shaded pink and yellow carnations.  They will reside in Kingston."      

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Davis Family in "1816-1991: A History Scrapbook, Aylmer Baptist Church"

The Davis family of Aylmer were pioneers in the area and staunch Baptists.  The Aylmer Baptist Church's "History Scrapbook" mentions several members of the family briefly.  William Davis, father of Adoniram Davis and our ancestor, was one of the church's first deacons, a title which appears on his gravestone.

"Among the first acts of the infant church was to name William Teeple and William Davis to the office of Deacon....These men bore the title of deacon as a signal honour and were known by it throughout the community.  The Elgin County Atlas refers to both men in this style."

In 1868, Adoniram and his father William were on a committee to raise funds for a larger building:

"The congregation had already recognized that they had outgrown the old chapel.  Seats were not available for all who wanted to come, and so at the annual business meeting on April 6, 1868, members accepted a recommendation put forward by Dr. Davidson to begin planning immediately for expanded accomodation....The fund raising committee consisted of Dr. Davidson, Dr. G.F. Clark...Deacon Clutton, Deacon Davis, A.J. Davis and Elias Adams." (p. 16).

The Davis family is mentioned in the chapter entitled "Pillars of the Church by George Lemon".  Jehial Davis is a brother of Deacon William Davis.

"There were around the middle period of this history of the church a number of families I deem worthy of mention.  There were the Clarks, the Davis--of the latter there were five families.  The Beemers, the Teeples and the VanPatters...I will make a special mention of the Jehial Davis family. Mr. and Mrs. Davis could always be depended upon in all matters relating to the churches best interests.  They were regular in attendance at the services and liberal contributors to all financial demands of the church.  He was treasurer of the church for many years.  He paid all accounts in cash--not by cheque as nowadays.  If there were an account due for payment and there were not funds enough on hand to meet it he would pay it out of his own purse and wait for the church to reimburse him, which the church would do at no distant date.  He was practically the churches private banker.  He was a thrifty farmer and his record of the church's finances were always found correct.  Of his two daughters--Mrs. Wm. Coll Sinclair and Mrs. Dr. Baker.  The former was a fine singer and was previous to her [marriage] and some time afterwards was a member of the choirs and for all told at least twenty years, and also the secretary of the mission circle for fifteen years.  The latter previous to her marriage the organist of the church for twelve years and now and then was a supply.  Her salary then was seventy five dollars a year payable quarterly.  She was also the organist at the mid-week prayer and praise services and in the sunday school room of the church.  The organ there was a cabinet organ.  She was a willing worker and always ready either as a pianist or oganist.  Dr. Chas. Sinclair a grandson of Jehiel Davis is now and has been for several years the financial secretary of the church and is one of the most capable officers the church has ever had." (p. 28-29).

My mother in law tells me that Minnie Davis and Arthur Scott met in the choir of the Aylmer Baptist church.

Finally, William Davis was involved with setting up the Aylmer Baptist Church's Sunday School:

"In 1849 Anna Beemer, encouraged by her success in day school teaching (she established the first public school in Aylmer) organized a Sunday School with corresponding success.  Deacon P. Clayton was appointed superintendant, Reuben Crandall was appointed Secretary-Treasurer and the following four brethren formed a committee:  A. Beemer, William Davis, James Lindsay and Reuben Crandall." (p. 41).

One slightly mysterious entry in the book regards an entry in the church minute book of 1853 by Dr. Davidson, the church minister:

"Su Sep 12--A great bustle in the Village.  The marriage of Dr. McLay & Polly Davis in the New Chapel--Many objecting to it."

The "Scrapbook" goes on to say that "Objections to the wedding were raised at prayer meeting, but Dr. Davidson gave his consent and the wedding took place before the new building was dedicated." (p. 18).

Polly was the daughter of David F. Davis, Adoniram's brother, so she would have been his niece and William Davis' granddaughter.  I have no idea what the objections were about.
Aylmer Baptist Church, 1902. 

This is what the Aylmer Baptist church website has to say about its early history:

"The congregation of Aylmer Baptist has been a witness to the community of Aylmer...for nearly 200 years.  Founded in 1816, we are one of the oldest churches in the area.  The church was founded by Rev. Reuben Crandall, the first Baptist minister to be ordained in Upper Canada....When he left us, the congregation numbered 30 members.   In the early days, services were held in homes and barns near Orwell at Roger's Corner.  It was also in this area of early meeting where our pioneer cemetery can be found.  We continued to worship here unitl 1843 when a new chapel was built at the corner of Pine Street and John Street, in Aylmer.  

Our present structure was not built until 1870-1871.  It was built under the pastorship of Rev. Dr. T.L. Davidson.  The estimated cost of the church building was $16,000 which included a $1,000 organ and a $400 bell.

One highpoint over our years was reached between 1901 and 1903, under a great preaching pastor, named Rev. Dr. J. Vining, who built up the congregation to 1,100 people in a building built to accomodate 750..." 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

The Will of Adoniram J. Davis

Adoniram J. Davis (1830-1903) was the son of William Davis and Mary Sibley of Elgin, Ontario.  He was the husband of Louisa Norton of New York and the father of Mary/Minnie (Davis) Scott (who married Arthur Herbert Scott) and Dr. William Norton Scott, who later moved to Spokane, Washington.

"I Adoniram Judson Davis of the Town of Aylmer in the County of Elgin yeoman do make publish and declare this and this only to be my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills and testaments or documents of such nature and kind by me heretofore made.

1.  I direct that my just debts and funeral and testamentary expenses be paid by my soon as conveniently may be after my decease.

2.  I decree and bequeath to my beloved wife the use, income and profits of all my Estate real and personal so long as she shall live and after her decease my executors are to realize and convert my Estate into money and subject to the pregoing provisions I devise and bequeath one fifth of my estate to my Grand daughter Lousia Clark, now of Three Rivers in the State of Michigan to be paid over to her at the expiration of one year after the decease (of my said wife?) if she has attained the age of twenty eight years (line illegible) during such year, but if she has not attained such age then my said Grandchild is to receive annually the income accruing on such one fifth until she attains such age and until said one-fifth is paid over to her.

3.  I devise and bequeath to (my son?)  William Norton Davis, M.D. of Waterford in the County of Norfolk subject to the foregoing two fifths of my estate absolutely and I devise to my daughter Minnie Louisa Scott of Montreal in the Province of Quebec subject to the foregoing two fifths of my estate absolutely and freed from the management or control of her husband or any other person whatsoever. 

4.  My executors are to have full power and authority to sell and convert any or all of my estate and keep the proceeds invested in Mortgages or Real Estate Bank Stocks or such other securities as they decree advisable except Chattel Mortgages and Promissary notes but the Income to be paid to my wife as long as she shall live.    

5.  And I nominate constitute and appoint my said wife Louisa Adelia Davis and my said son and daughter William Norton Davis and Minnie Louisa Scott Executors of this my will. 

In witness whereof I have duly signed .... sixteenth day of September A.D. 1898.
(signed) A.J. Davis

T.H. Backhouse
Barrister at Law
Aylmer, Ont
May Weisbood
Aylmer, Ont. 

Adoniram's grandchild Louisa Clark is the child of Ursula Davis, who married Dr. Whitman Clark of Three Rivers, Michigan on May 13, 1874.  Whitman's passport application, filled out in 1910, says he was born in Ingersoll Ontario and moved to the United States in 1871.  It also states that his daughter Louisa Clark was born in Centreville, Michigan, on May 16, 1876.  The Michigan Deaths and Burial Index on Ancestry reports that Ursula died at the age of 23 on September 28, 1878 in Three Rivers, Michigan.  The cause of death is not stated.

Ursula (Davis) Clark is buried in the Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, Michigan, beside her husband.

Ursula's memorial stone, Riverside Cemetery, Three Rivers, Michigan.

In fact, I have never attempted to track all of Adoniram and Louisa's children.  In the 1851 census, Adoniram and Louisa are newlyweds living in with Adoniram's family, and they do not appear to have any children. In the 1861 census Adoniram and Louisa have three children:  Amarillas, aged 9, Ursula, aged 7, and William, aged 1.  In the 1871 census (which has several strange mistakes--Louisa is written as Laura and the family is marked down as being of German origin) Adoniram and Louisa are living with 18-year-old Anna (probably Amarillas), 16-year-old Ursula, 10-year-old William and 7-month-old Mary.  In the 1891 census, Adoniram and Louisa (now 51 and 54, respectively) are living with only one child, Minnie (the family nickname for Mary), now aged 10.  We know that Minnie and William survived their father, and Ursula probably died before 1880, leaving one child.  What happened to Amarillas?

The family tombstone in the Orwell Cemetery in Yarmouth Township memorializes two more of Adoniram and Louisa's children, Judson and Wallace.  Wallace does not appear on the 1860 census, so he probably died before the age of 5.

The Will of John Galloway Scott

John  Galloway Scott (1836-1928) was the husband of Mary (Elliot) Scott (the daughter of William Elliot and Mary Oliphant).  He was the father of  Thomas E. Scott, who died at the age of 4, Arthur Herbert Scott (from whom our line descends), and Helen Scott, wife of Ruggles George.  His will is at the Archives of Ontario, microfilm MS584 Reel 128, number 59751.

1.  I John Galloway Scott of the City of Toronto formerly Master of Titles do hereby make my last will and testament. 

I appoint the Toronto General Trusts Corporation and my son Arthur Herbert Scott to be my executors of this my will,  and I give and devise to my said executors all the real and personal property whereof I may die possessed or entitled to, whether in this province or elsewhere, and any real estate which I may prior to my death have agreed to sell, together with the contracts of sale and any moneys payable or to become payable thereunder, with full authority to convey any such property to any purchaser or his or her assigns or to cancil [sic] the contract of sale and resell or otherwise deal with any contract as my said executors may think fit;  with full power to sell and convey any lands or other property as my said executors may think fit.

2.  It is however my desire that the said corporation shall take upon itself the trusts arising under this will but that my said son shall act in an advisory capacity without incurring the responsibility of collecting for, managing, caring for and administering my estate and the trusts whereof shall ? in the said corporation, but my son shall be allowed all reasonable travelling and other disbursements incurred by him in respect of the premises. 

3.  My life Assurance held under two policies entered into by the British Empire Mutual Life Assurance Company and since assumed by the ? Assurance Company does not belong to my Estate, but I have, by law, a power of apportionment in respect thereof, and I direct that the amount thereof including the profits which have accured on the policies or been allotted thereto, shall be divided and apportioned as follows, or in the following proportions in case the amount received is not sufficient to pay the same in full or is more than sufficient,  that is to say:  I direct and apportion the same to be paid as follows, to my son Arthur Herbert Scott, two thousand dollars;  to my daughter Helen Elliot George two thousand five hundred dollars;  to my grand daughter Norton Fry the daughter of my son Arthur four thousand five hundred dollars;  and to my wife one thousand dollars.

 3a.  I hereby authorize my Executors to pay out of my general  estate all necessary duties payable or chargeable in respect of my estate as soon after my death as they may think fitting and whether the same are or are not immediately payable.

4.  I give the Upper Canada Bible Society the sum of one thousand dollars and to the Toronto Jewish Mission of whose Board I was a member for a number of years five hundred dollars.   
5.  I direct that the residue of my estate shall be divided into three parts, one part to consist of three fifths of such residue and the other two parts to consist of one fifth thereof, and I direct that the income derived from the said three fifths shall be paid to my wife during her life;  and I bequeath to my son the income of one fifth part during his life;  one half thereof for his own use, and the other in trust for and for the use of his said daughter Norton;  and I bequeath to my daughter Helen Elliot George the other of the said fifth parts for her own use absolutely--upon Arthur's death the fifth part of which he and Norton are given the income shall go to Norton absolutely, and upon my wife's death the share in which she takes a life interest shall be equally divided and the income which is derived from one half thereof shall go to my son Arthur for his life, one half of such income to be for his own use and the other half thereof to be in trust for his daughter Norton.  Upon his death the whole of such income shall go to Norton.  The other half of the said three fifths part in which my wife takes a life interest I give, on my wife's death, to my daughter Helen for her own use. 

7.  In case of the death of my son or daughter, in my life time, leaving a child or children they shall take his or her or their parent's share.

8.  To make any division required during the administration of any trust or duty arising from my will it shall not be necessary to turn into money all or any of the property belonging to my estate, the officers of the corporation of their own knowledge or with such assistance as they consider requisite may value any asset and such valuation shall conclusively establish the value thereof;  and may apportion the assets.

9.  In case any minor becomes Entitled to any share under this my will my executors or trustees may pay any income to which such minor is entitled to the father or mother of such minor, or to any person standing in loco parentis to such minor and may apply the interest or any part of the principal of such minors share towards his or her maintenance or education and where there are several brothers or sisters so entitled, the executors or trustees need not keep a separate account of the amount extended in respect of each child but the property coming through a common parent shall until division be deemed a common fund for the benefit of all the children Entitled under such parent.

10.  My executors or trustees in addition to other investments authorized for Trustees may invest any trust money under their charge in the shares or debentures of any loan companies which invest the major part of their funds in mortgages or real estate and may reclaim for any length of time they think fit any shares, land, stock, security, mortgage or other investment or property which at the time of my death belong to my estate without being answerable for any loss occuring thereby whether any shares or stock so retained are paid up in full or not. They may also if they deem it expedient subscribe for any stock or share allotted to them or my estate on account of being as such executors or holders of the share or stock, but not unless there are or will be shortly funds available from which any liability which could be incurred by such subscriptions can be defrayed. 

11. It is my intention that Arthur and Helen shall each upon my death take a vested interest in the three-fifths share of which their mother my wife gets the income for her life.

12.  I have had conveyed to my daughter Helen Lot 52 and the east eighteen feet of Lot 51 on Knockmore Avenue on Plan 1860, Registry Office of East- and West-York.  These lands are held by her in trust for me but she may at any time within two years after my death discharge such trust--by filing with my executors a declaration that she elects to hold the said lands as portion of her share of my estate, and in that case she shall, on the first anniversary of my death thereafter, be charged with the sum of two thousand seven hundred and twenty dollars with simple interest thereon from 1st January 1923 and the taxes charged upon the said land from the last mentioned date with interest as aforesaid as portion of her share of my estate.  I deem it advisable that my executors should not require the said land to be conveyed to them until the time for election by Helen has passed--as the legal title is in her it will save considerable expense for my executors to simply release their claim with a brief recital of the circumstances if Helen elects to take the property.  If she elects not to take it she will of course convey as my executors shall direct in the administration of my estate.  The foregoing provision is not to deter Helen from purchasing the property from my executors at any price she and Arthur may agree upon in case she decides not to exercise the right given to her above.

13.  In case of the death of my son or daughter in my life time without leaving any child surviving at my death, but leaving other issue, such issue shall take their ancestors share per stirpes. 
(signed) J.G. Scott

Signed published and declared by the above named John Galloway Scott this 22nd day of August 1927 as and per his last will and testament, in the presence of us who in his presence and at his request and in the presence of each other subscribe our names as witnesses.
(signed) C.J. Elliot
? R. Hood
Florence H. Watson

John Galloway Scott made three codicils to his will within the next year.  None of them alter the substance of the will much, except that he specifies that if Norton should predecease her own father Arthur and leave issue, her children should inherit her portion of his estate.  What I find interesting about the codicils are the signatures of the witnesses. The will itself is witnessed by Cynthia Jane Elliot, John's sister-in-law (Mary Elliot's sister), and Florence Watson, the daughter of Sophia Watt Elliot and James Watson and the niece of John G. Scott through his wife.  (I don't know who Mr. or Ms. Hood is, but I do know that the Hood family was related to the Elliot family through Sophia Watt Elliot and James Watson's daughter Clara, who married Dr. Frederick Collin Hood.)  The first codicil is witnessed again by C.J. (Cynthia Jane) Elliot and by Violet Elliot, another of Mary (Elliot) Scott's sisters.  The second codicil is witnessed by Florence Watson and Harriet R. Stayner, wife of T. Sutherland Stayner and yet another of Mary's sisters.  The third is witnessed by Florence Watson and Cynthia Elliot.  I believe that Cynthia, a spinster, was at this point living with John and Mary, so I suppose she was a natural choice to witness legal documents.  
The value of John Galloway Scott's estate was calculated to be $162,790.00 in investments and $8,658.00 in real estate.  Their home on Dunvegan Avenue is not mentioned in this will;  my husband thinks it may have been owned by John's wife Mary Elliot, in which case she must have left a will as well.  I'll look for it on my next visit.

Who Were The Parents of Ann Galloway?

Ann (Galloway) Scott is the wife of Thomas Chalmers Scott, and the mother of John Galloway Scott, David Scott and Catherine Ann (Scott) Elliot.  Who were her parents?

We have a birth year of 1802 for Ann, based on her tombstone, which says that she was 52 years old at her death on September 1, 1854.  We also have the record of her marriage to Thomas;  they were married in Dundee, Scotland on December 12, 1833.  The record names Ann's father as John Galloway, but does not give an occupation.  Thomas was working as a draper at this time.  Thomas and Ann were both of the Dundee parish.  Ann would have been 31 years old in 1833, and Thomas would have been 27.  Unfortunately this time period is too early to be covered by census records.

David Oliphant's Christian Banner ran an obituary for Ann but mentioned nothing about her birth place or family.

According to, there was an Ann Galloway born on October 16, 1802 to a John Galloway and his wife Margaret Harly.  The birthplace is Clackmannan, Scotland.  The year and the name fits but more research is needed before we can definitively state that John and Margaret are indeed the parents of Ann (Galloway) Scott.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Will of David Oliphant Sr., Dundas, Ontario.

Today I took my first trip to the Ontario Archives.  I've been meaning to visit for a long time now, but it's so inconveniently situated, in about the furthest outskirts of the city possible.  It was worth the trip;  it's a lovely building and I was able to find the wills of four family members.  Each one had an interesting story to tell.

I'll start with the will of David Oliphant, father of Mary (Oliphant) Elliot (William Elliot's wife).  He died in 1841.  His will is on microfilm MS638, Reel 6.  There were no probate papers attached to these, so I was unable to ascertain the extent and value of his property.

"I David Oliphant, late of St. Andrews in that part of the United Kingdom called Scotland now of Dundas in the county of Halton & District of Gore in Upper Canada, shoemaker being of sound and disposing mind memory and understanding do on this twenty-third day of September Eighteen hundred and twenty-eight, make and publish this my last will and testament in manner following that is to say First I desire to be decently buried in the burying ground belonging to the village of Dundas without any funeral pomp or unnecessary expense.

Secondly I will & direct that, after my just debts shall have been paid the remainder the whole remainder [sic] of my property whether real or personal estate of what name or kind soever or wherever lying or being, be in the possession and wholly at the disposal of my dear wife Sophia, for her use & benefit during her natural life--and that after her decease the same shall be divided... among my then surviving children. 

Thirdly I hereby nominate and appoint Henry Head--late shoemaker in Dundas, John Lesslie Merch. Dundas James Lesslie of York sole executors of this my last will & Testament--hereby revoking all others by me at any time heretofore made.

In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand & seal the day and year above written.

(signed) David Oliphant
Witnesses:  James ?
Thomas Hilton
Edward Hilton

A few things about this will strike me immediately.  One is that he refers to himself as a shoemaker.  I had known that he was a shoemaker in Scotland but I hadn't known whether or not he had maintained that trade in Canada.  I think the fact that he names the trade of shoemaker in his will means that he has continued his practice.  I think the way he phrases his wishes about his funeral--he wants to be buried "decently" but "without funeral pomp or unnecessary expense" is a glimpse into his character--he seems sober and frugal.  I also find it interesting that he names two members of the Lesslie family as his executors.  The Lesslies are connected not just with the Oliphant family but also with the Scotts and the Elliots.  The fact that David trusts them in this role is an indication of the strength of connection between them.