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Biographies of Co. Tyrone Born in Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada


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Biographies of Co. Tyrone Born
in Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada

Transcribed, Compiled and Submitted by Teena
From The History of Toronto and Co.York, Ontario:
Biographical notices by C.B. Robinson, 1885



Township of Etobicoke

John Dillon EVANS J.P. (Justice of the Peace), Islington, was born in the Township of Trafalgar, in the County of Halton, on July 19 1841. His father John EVANS, son of Richard and Isabella EVANS, (Mrs Evans maiden name was ANDERSON) of County Cavan, Ireland, came to Toronto in 1825. The city was then in its infancy and he used to tell that there were only five brick houses then in it. In 1834 he went to New York and on the 19th of April 1837, was married by the late Bishop Onderdenck to Eliza DILLON, daughter of Christopher and Elizabeth Nee DRUMMOND DILLON of Dublin, Ireland. John EVANS and wife, then settled on lot 3, concession 5, New Survey, Trafalgar, where he lived until his death in 1863. During the Rebellion of 1837 he turned out with the militia to do his duty, as a loyal citizen in quelling the Rebels. John Dillon EVANS came to Etobicoke in 1872, having purchased lot 5, in the first range of the township. He, at once, turned his attention to fruit growing, which he has since followed. In 1879 he removed to the Village of Islington, where he now resides. He was married on the 30th of January 1867, by the Rev. Canon Tremayne to Isabella BEATTY, third daughter of the late Joseph BEATTY, of Tyrone, Ireland, by whom he has three children. Mr EVANS was in 1876, appointed a Justice of the Peace. He has taken an active part in promoting the interests of the Etobicoke Agricultural Society, of which he has been a director about ten years and several times President. Mr EVANS was three years a Councillor, five years Deputy reeve, and is now the Reeve of the township.

Township of King

Reverend Thomas Graham SCOTT was born in Markham Township, June 30 1838. He is of Irish descent, being a native of Tyrone, Ireland. His mother was Annie GRAHAM, born in County Armagh, Ireland May 23 1815 and died in April 1882. Thomas Graham SCOTT's preliminary education was received at the Common Schools, supplemented by indefatigable home study. He afterwards went through a Primitive Methodist course of ministerial studies. He commenced life on the farm his father occupied, which he afterwards gave up, for the more responsible calling of a Methodist minister. He was married in Newmarket, on June 12 1872, his wife being Miss Bella HIRST, of Yorkshire, England, they have four children Lillian Hirst, Ernest Graham, Sarah Bella and Winifred Henry.

Town of Newmarket

J.B. CALDWELL, retired, was born in New York City in 1807 and emigrated to Canada, with his parents in 1819, where they rented a farm in Markham Township, York County, where his father was unfortunately killed by the falling of a tree, three months after their arrival. They subsequently removed to York Township and rented a farm belonging to Capt. D Haines, from which place Mr CALDWELL went to Whitchurch, in the fall of 1820, where he worked on a farm as hired boy. After a lapse of five years, he removed to Thornhill where he commenced to learn the trade of blacksmith, but by the end of the first month he gave up the prospect of being a blacksmith and moved to little York, where he learned chair-making with Erastus Wiman. After about six years spent in the Queen City, he again turned his face northward and locating in Newmarket, rented a house and shop of Mordecai Millard. After the lapse of three years he built a house, which took fire and burned down while he was in little York on business. His capital at this time, to use his own words, was a "York shilling". He followed the business of painting and chair making about fifty years, being burned out three times during that period and by industry and perseverance has been enabled to retire altogether from active life. He was married in Toronto in 1830, to Miss Rosina POTTER, a native of Ireland, by whom he has nine children living, six sons and three daughters. James CALDWELL, deceased was a U.E. Loyalist and emigrated from Tyrone, Ireland, to America in 1807. He subsequently drew two hundred acres of land from Government, in Albion Township, Peel County, on which the settlement duties were performed after his death.

John WILSON, boot and shoe merchant, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland and emigrated to Canada in 1846. He came to Upper Canada and located in York County, taking up his residence in Newmarket. He opened a store near the old Post office, but was afterwards burned out, his loss exceeding $2,500. He took possession of his present store in the fall of 1884, where his attention to business promises a large custom, which is certainly deserved. Mr WILSON was married in 1849 to Miss Ellen TARDY, native of County Wexford, Ireland, by whom he had six children. Henry WILSON, is the fourth son, in order of the family of John WILSON, and is at present in business with his father. Their store, on the west side of Main Street, is one well known and both father and son have business qualifications of a high order.

Township of Scarboro

James HUMPHREY, lot 16, concession D, is the son of William and Elizabeth HUMPHREY and was born in the County of Tyrone, Ireland. His father was of English descent, his mother being from Scotland. James married before he left Ireland, Margaret, daughter of James RICHARDSON, of Derry, the latter coming with our subject to Canada in 1824. They came direct to York County and settled in Scarboro Township and purchased three hundred acres of Clergy Reserve Land. Mr HUMPHREY has been very successful and has been able to be of great assistance to his family. He is in religion a consistent and devoted adherent of the Church of England. His wife died in 1868, leaving a family of ten children. He has one son, Richardson, who lives at home on the farm.

Francis THOMPSON, lot 34, concession C, is the youngest son of William and Mary THOMPSON, who came from County Tyrone, Ireland, about the year 1802. His parents remained in the United States eleven years, after which time they came to Little York and settled east of the Don, removing afterwards to Scarboro Township, and settling on lot 34, concession C, where he remained until his death. Francis was brought up on his father's farm and assisted in clearing off the bush and became possessed of the homestead by purchase afterwards. He has been very successful and has been able to fairly start his sons in life and retire himself from active labour. He married Hellen, eldest daughter of John WALTON, by whom he had five children, William Wallace, Mary, David Walton, Hannah Janet, and Hellen Isabella, the latter lives at home with her parents. Although often solicited to accept municipal honours, he has always declined. He is a staunch Conservative in politics and a member of the Presbyterian Church.

City of Toronto

James ARMSTRONG, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, 1813, and came to Canada in 1832. During the voyage he had a terrible experience of the dreaded disease cholera, which broke out on the vessel and out of three hundred passengers, thirty one were committed to the deep. He was a farmer in Ireland and for some short time followed that occupation, here afterwards conducting a saw mill in Bear Creek, which he continued some years. During the Rebellion of '37, our subject was in 101 Company, commanded by Major Gurnett, and was on guard during the execution of Lount and Matthews. After this affair was over, Mr ARMSTRONG settled in Toronto. In 1840 he married Ann DURNAN, whose father had charge of the lighthouse until 1854. Mr ARMSTRONG retired from business about six years ago,. selling his farm for some property. He has two sons in Toronto. He is a member of the Conservative Party. and in religion belongs to the Presbyterian Church.

George CHEYNE, is a native of Tyrone, Ireland and came to Canada in 1830. On his arrival, he bought one hundred acres of land in the County of Peel and at once proceeded to farm it, having in early life been brought up to that occupation. He remained here about thirty years and after spending ten years in Orangeville, he came to Toronto, where he has since resided. He married in 1831, Miss WALKER, daughter of Robert WALKER of Toronto Township, by whom he had a family of six sons and three daughters, three sons and three daughters are living. Mr CHEYNE is a Conservative in politics, and in religion belongs to the Canada Methodist Church.

Samuel H. DEFRIES was born in Toronto, being the son of Robert DEFRIES, a native of Devonport, County of Devon, England, who came to Little York, now Toronto, in 1829. The latter was for thirty- six years Postmaster in the Legislative Assembly, and after Confederation, occupied the same position in the House of Commons till his death in 1871. He died at his residence on Old Mill Road and was buried by the York Pioneers, of which body he was a member. His wife was Susan FEALSTEAD daughter of George K. FEALSTEAD, from Tyrone, Ireland, by whom he had a family of six sons, viz, Richard, Robert, George, Samuel, John and Mark, the last named was shot at Ridgeway, during the Fenian Raid of 1866, being at that time Corporal, in No. 3 Company, Queen's Own Rifles. The subject of this sketch, Samuel H, at the age of fourteen went on a whaling voyage in the ship "Navigator" of Edgartown Mass. U.S., which occupation he followed seven years, then returned to Toronto and has since been in the employ of the Grand Trunk Railway Company. In 1859 he married Sophia ERNEST, daughter of George ERNEST, of Toronto, by whom he has one child, a daughter. The only other surviving member of the family of Robert DEFRIS, is Richard, the eldest son.

Silas JAMES, Provincial Land Surveyor, was born in the Township of York, in 1834. His father was William JAMES, who was born in the County of Tyrone Ireland, in 1801, his mother was born in the Township of York, and was a daughter of Thomas JOHNSON a U.E. Loyalist/ They had ten children, Silas being the fourth. William JAMES was a Justice of the Peace and a member of the District Council, in politics he was a Reformer and in religion, a Methodist, he died in 1874, his wife having died many years previous (1855). Silas JAMES came to Toronto in 1854 and began a course of study with Dennison & Bolton, with whom he remained four years. For the next five years he was in British Columbia engaged in the milling and mining business, then he returned to Toronto. From 1867 till 1874 he was County Engineer, he also had charge of the York Roads. From 1874 until 1880 he was a director of the Toronto House Building Association, he is a member of the York Pioneer Society. In 1867, Mr JAMES married the fourth daughter of Richard SULLY, of London Ont. formerly of Nottinghamshire, England.

James HERSON, provision dealer, was born in the County of Tyrone, Ireland, in 1831, and when only three months old, was brought to Canada, by his parents John and Mary Ann MacDONALD HERSON. He was the youngest in a family of five sons and four daughters. His father located in Little York and being a carpenter, carried on that trade, but only for a few months however, for, before a year had elapsed, he died from sunstroke; three of his sons, also were carpenters. When he attained the age of fifteen he entered the employ of Andrew Heron, who owned several steamers. He ran on the old "City of Toronto", "the Chief justice Robinson", "the American", "the Eclipse" and the "Peerless", on which he was steward, owned by Mr Heron and Captain Dick ,it ran between Toronto and Niagara ,and made two trips a day. Mr HERSON was on "the Rescue" that ran on Lake Superior, between Collingwood and Fort William, and had the honor of assorting the first mail that passed through Canadian territory, After leaving the steamer "Rescue" he went fur trading among the Indians on the North Shore of Lake Superior, where he lived four years, during that time undergoing great hardships, and having no nearer white neighbor than within a distance of eighty miles. He subsequently left that part of the country and engaged in blockade running, until the close of the American War. This event over, he went into business as a provision dealer, in St Lawrence Market, of this city, where he has since remained. He has 2 sisters living in Toronto and 1 in Dresden Ont. Mr HERSON married a daughter of George LENNON. Our subject does not take much interest in municipal affairs, but has been a member of the Separate School Board.

Alexander McCLELLAND, retired, is a native of Ireland, having been born in County Tyrone, in 1819. He came to Canada in 1844 and landed in Toronto, where he first engaged in school teaching, following that occupation for twenty- two years, after which he held the office of receiver for the Street Railway Company for several years. He next kept a grocery, flour and feed store. etc at 253 King Street East [Toronto], from which, he retired in 1873. He held the office of city assessor for three years. In 1844, he married Miss E McCLELLAND by whom, he has a family of two sons and two daughters. The Rev. Thomas J. McCLELLAND is pastor of the First Reformed Presbyterian Church, at Brooklyn NY, the Rev. Alexander McCLELLAND is located at Duncanville Ont.

Andrew Taylor McCORD junr. was born in Toronto on the 14th April 1848. His father, Andrew Taylor McCORD, was born in Cookstown, in the North of Ireland, on the 12th July 1808. He emigrated to Canada, with his father Andrew McCORD, who died in Toronto in the year 1851. Three of Mr McCORD's sisters are still alive, viz Mrs Peter FREELAND, Miss McCORD and Mrs John RAINS. He held the office of city treasurer for forty-five years, having been appointed in 1834. He was four years President of the Irish Protestant Benevolent Society, which society chiefly owes its existence to Mr McCORD, who was one of the originators. He was for thirty years one of the Vice- Presidents of the Tract and Bible Society, and also acted as its Secretary, for many years. He was also connected with the Home for Incurables, House of Industry, Newsboys Home, as a director, or otherwise. Mr McCORD organized the first Baptist church here; it was situated on March Street, now Lombard Street [Toronto]. He was a Justice of the Peace, appointed to that position by the Mowat administration, in politics he was a Reformer. For nearly thirty years he lived at the north-east corner of Church and Gloucester Streets, when he died September 5th 1881, leaving a wife, six daughters and one son. Mrs McCORD, the wife of our subject, is the daughter of the late Andrew TAYLOR, of Dublin, Ireland, a large ship owner. He ran the first line of steamers between Dublin and Glasgow. She was born on the 17th of March 1814 and resides with her son Mr A.T. McCORD junr. at the old family residence, on the corner of Gloucester and Church Streets [Toronto].

William REID was born in the County of Tyrone, Ireland, in 1844, being the youngest of nine children, born to Samuel and Sarah LACKIE REID. He came to Canada in 1847 with his parents, who located on the lot where Mr REID now resides, 147 Elizabeth Street, Toronto. In 1882 he entered the Toronto Custom House, where he is employed in the examining warehouse. In 1865 he married Margaret, second daughter, of James SPENCE, an old resident of Toronto, by whom he has seven children, four sons and three daughters.

Township of Vaughan

James ADAMS, lot 26, concession 7, is a native of Ireland, having been born in County Tyrone, in the year 1807. He emigrated to Canada in 1832 and immediately purchased the one hundred acres of land where he now lives. The country around him was then quite wild and he had very few neighbours. He was a member of the first Township Council. Mr ADAMS was married in the year 1834, to Sarah IRWIN,the issue of the union being seven children. He has one son, Mr William ADAMS in Toronto. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church and his political views are in accordance with those of the Conservative Party.

Michael HARVEY lot 26, concession 6, is a native of County Tyrone, where he was born in 1829. His father being dead, he accompanied by his mother and other members of the family, came to Canada in 1850. They came direct to Vaughan and settled on the adjoining lot on which he now lives. He moved on to the present lot in 1862, which he continues to cultivate.

William HEMPHILL lot 33, concession 9, was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in the year 1831. He emigrated to Canada in company with his parents, in 1841. They came direct to York County and almost immediately took up their abode in Vaughan Township, on the same farm now occupied by William. He is the second son in his father's family, his paternal parent Joseph HEMPHILL, died in Vaughan in 1878, at the ripe old age of eighty four years. Mr William HEMPHILL, since the family first located there, has always lived on the homestead, which was at first, all bush. He was married in the year 1865 to Jane HAMILTON, sister of Mr Gavin HAMILTON, of this township, by whom he has eight children. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church and is a Conservative in politics.

Robert IRWIN, lot 28, concession 6, was born in the County Tyrone, in 1811 and emigrated to Canada in 1832. He first settled in concession 7 of Vaughan, after coming direct to York County, where he remained about 5 years. He then sold that farm and located at Hogg's Hollow for 2 years after, which he bought the farm where he now resides. The only office he has held since his residence here is that of Returning Officer, which he filled for one year. His connection with the Presbyterian Church has been marked by the earnest attention he has given to all matters relative to its welfare, he having been an elder for several years. Mr IRWIN was married in 1858 to Eleanor WALLACE. He is a Conservative in politics.

Edward MILLER, lot 27, concession 6, is a native of County Tyrone, Ireland where he was born in the year 1800. He was a weaver by trade, which occupation he followed, previous to his emigration to Canada in 1827. He came direct to York County and located in Vaughan Township and about 6 years after his arrival, purchased the farm on which he now resides. Mr MILLER married in Ireland, Rebecca NOBLE, by whom he had a family of ten children, six sons and four daughters, four being dead. He belongs to the Presbyterian Church and is a Conservative in politics. From his long residence in the township, Mr MILLER can bear testimony to the vast improvements made in the section, since first he entered it, and the fact that he can remember the time when neither roads, churches, or schools existed, speaks eloquently on behalf of the settlers, whose enterprise, and energy, have contributed to the present satisfactory state of things.

Township of Whitchurch

James DALEY, Stouffville, was born in St. John's Newfoundland, in 1832 and settled in Stouffville in 1854 and engaged in the manufacture of boots and shoes, the management of the business being now in the hands of his son R.J. DALEY. He was married in 1855. to Rosanna RAFFERTY, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1833, she died in 1873. They had seven children R.J., Mary A, Francis, Susan, James, Josephine and Margaret Jane.

Robert GRAY, lot 21, concession 7, was born in the County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1830, and settled in Whitchurch in 1847. His father, William GRAY, was a soldier in the British Army and served through the Peninsular War, and was also present at the Battle of Waterloo. He came to Canada in 1849 and died in 1873, at the age of 96 years. Robert's mother was Jane FOLYARD, who was born in 1787, and died in 1879. The family consisted of eight children John, Jane, David, Robert, Sarah, Edward, Mary, and Jane. Robert married in 1857 Sarah E TEED a native of Lincolnshire, England, by whom he has six children, George H,. Robert F., Minnie E., Wesley H., Edgar H., and Ida S.

Robert HILL, merchant, Ballantrae P.O. was born in Whitchurch Twp in 1833, being the son of Alexander HILL, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, in 1800, and came to Canada in 1831 and died in 1872. Robert followed the trade of carpenter until 1870, when he established himself in business at Ballantrae and keeps a general store. He is also a Postmaster. He was married in 1860 to Eliza DAFOE, a native of Markham Twp. by whom he has three children William A, Mary Ann and Newton A.

John IRWiN, lot 23, concession 8, whose birth place was Markham Township, located on his present farm in this section at an early day. He was born in 1825 and in 1847, was married to Sarah MACKLEN, the fruit of this union being the following children, Margaret, Ann, Martha, George, Jane and John. Mr IRWIN's father, Samuel IRWIN was born in County Tyrone, in 1794 and came to Canada at an early day, he died in Whitchurch in 1853. His mother's maiden name was Elizabeth DAVIS, who died in 1869. Mr IRWIN cultivates one hundred and thirty acres of land, and also takes considerable interest in Municipal affairs, having been a member of the Township Council for the past seven years.

Township of York West

George JACKSON, lot 13, concession 4, was born upon the farm, which is at present in his occupancy. On commencing life for himself, he settled on an adjacent farm where he resided seventeen years, and in 1879 took possession of the old homestead, since which time he has rebuilt the home and made other important improvements. He owns in all, about four hundred and twenty three acres of land in concessions 3 and 4. Mr JACKSON was in the Township Council in 1868- 69. In 1862 he married Sarah JAMES, daughter of the late John JAMES, a native of Tyrone Ireland, and a pioneer of York County. They have two sons and one daughter.

Frederick R JAMES, lot 22, concession 2, is the son of Joseph JAMES, a native of County Tyrone Ireland, who came to America with his people in 1818. They settled first in Pennsylvania, and came to Canada in 1820. After a period spent in East Gwillimbury Township, they removed to West York, later on the grandfather taking up the farm, now in the occupancy of Frederick, where he resided until his death in 1872, at the venerable age ninety-four years. The father, Joseph JAMES, died in 1876, and the mother, whose maiden name was Frances REESOR, followed two years later. The surviving family consists of four sons and five daughters, all of whom are living in this county.

Michael WARD, Davenport, is a native of County Cavan, Ireland and came to Toronto in 1842. He was first engaged carrying the mail, before the railway went through. He then carried on business for himself about eight years, subsequently engaging in the milk business, which he continued for five or six years. In 1873 he commenced farming on the Davenport Road and in the spring of 1884, moved to his present location. He married in 1862, Elizabeth MURPHY. a native of County Tyrone, Ireland; they have three sons and one daughter living.

A.W. YOUNG, proprietor of greenhouses and market garden, Roncesvalles Avenue, is a native of Tyrone Ireland and came to America in 1848. He spent about ten years in the States previous to settling in Toronto in 1858: on his advent he was engaged in a wholesale boot and shoe house eleven years. He then removed to the neighbourhood of Yorkville. on a lot he had purchased in 1866. where he conducted a dairy business for seven years. The tragic occurrence in High Park, in July 1882, in which a boy was killed by a police officer, under distressing circumstances, will not easily be forgotten by this family, seeing that the unfortunate youth was a son of the subject of this notice. In the winter of 1882, Mr YOUNG bought nine acres of land at the above location, where he erected a handsome residence and greenhouses, the latter being 65 x 18 feet. Mr YOUNG married in 1853 Eliza KILFARICK ,a native of County Tyrone Ireland, by whom he has one son and four daughters living.




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