Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My First Canadian Records

I've continued to look into the family of C. R. Viney who was a son-in-law of my 3x great grandfather, Guenther Werther. C. R. married Guenther's daughter, Augusta "Gussie" Werther. Yesterday I discovered that C. R., who was born in Canada, served on a steamboat in the Civil War. 

As I tried to learn more about C. R.'s story, my research at newspapers.com helped me to uncover several siblings. Through these siblings I was able to trace C. R. back to his roots in Canada using the 1851 and 1861 censuses. These records revealed his parents names, Joseph & Jane, and two more siblings.

C. R.'s father, Joseph, was born about 1808 in England and his mother, Jane, was born a few years later in Ireland. I show Joseph & Jane Viney had the following children: Joseph H (1832-1918), Charles R "C. R." (1839-1902), George A (1842-1931), Catharine "Kate" L (1847-1927), William (1848-1887), and Cecil E (1857-?, a female).


Royal Canadian Regiment cap badge
posted on Wikipedia

In the 1851 census, Joseph's occupation is listed as "RCR," the Royal Canadian Regiment, which I think is pretty neat! The family is living in St. George's Ward, Lincoln County, Ontario which is part of "Canada West" (though Canada isn't a country at this time).  This area is located on Lake Ontario near Niagara Falls.

"Fort Malden exhibits building and restored barracks"
posted by Dwight Burdette (his own work) at wikipedia
In 1861, the family is in Amherstburg, Essex County, Ontario which is just across the border from Detroit. Joseph, the father, is listed as a "pensioner." Interestingly, every adult on the page was born in either England, Scotland or Ireland and most of the men are listed as "pensioners." I decided to do a little digging...

First of all I discovered that Amherstburg was the site of Fort Malden which was abandoned by the British and Canadians to the Americans in 1813 during the War of 1812. Wikipedia also says that the fort lasted until 1851 when "it was garrisoned by members of The Royal Canadian Rifle Regiment until it was finally de-militarized." Perhaps that is both why there are so many "pensioners" living in the area and why they Viney family is living here, too. 

1851 Census (source at end of post)
Oldest son, Charles, born "Giberalres"? Possibly moved to Upper
Canada between birth of 13 year old Charles & 8 year old George (so, 1838-1843)
The Viney family must have moved to Canada around 1840 (see caption on census record above). I read a little about the "Great Migration to Canada." Wikipedia says over 800,000 people immigrated to Canada between 1815 and 1850, the time period when the Viney family arrived. The primary reason for the mass migration was the relatively low number of jobs available because of populaiton growth. That is probably why the Viney family moved from Ireland to England to Ontario. (Canada didn't become a country until 1867.)

I also found it interesting that the town of Amherstburg that they lived in, which was just across the border from Detroit, was a major terminal settlement in Canada for the Underground Railroad!

One more thing... on these Canadian censuses, the column where the names are listed is titled "names of inmates." Both The Legal Genealogist and I talked about the many uses of the term "inmate" just a couple of months ago!

Do we share common ancestors? I'd love to talk! Please leave a comment or email me at drleeds@sbcglobal.net

Sources:

1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, Niagara, Lincoln County, Canada West (Ontario): Schedule A; Roll C 11736: Page 63; Line 29; Joseph Viney household; digital image, Ancestry.com, http://www.ancestry.com (accessed 04 Nov 2014)

1861 Census of Canada West, Amherstburg, Essex County, Canada West (Ontario); page 37; line 29; Joseph Vinie household; digital image, Ancestry.com; http://www.ancestry.com (accessed 04 Nov 2014)

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