Essex County Irish Part 1

Because this is St. Patrick’s Day weekend, I thought it would be a good idea to locate as many Irish family names from the County as I can.

I’ve been working for a couple of hours and am not yet halfway through the list, but I will continue until I think I’ve found them all. (Which isn’t too likely .. more and more names will pop up but at least I can get started).

The source for list is the Commemorative biographical record of the county of Essex, Ontario : containing biographical sketches of prominent and representative citizens and many of the early settled families. It’s a great resource for information on local pioneer families (though I do have to wonder what the criteria for inclusion in this book was .. there are some families who are missing.)

So here are the names I’ve found so far:

McHugh – from County Cavan, Ireland. Came to Maidstone in 1840.

Wilkinson – County Tyrone, originally, then Virginia. Came to Malden in 1801. (likely a loyalist)

Cleary – County Fermanagh – came to Montreal first, then to Windsor in 1841.

Cowan – Northern Ireland, County unknown – came to Mersea about 1842

Curry – Northern Ireland – came to Windsor in 1838.

Burke – Mary Ann (came from Montreal and married John LaMarsh).

McNamara – Mary – born in 1822 in Ireland — Married Leonard Scratch (Kratz) of Gosfield.

Mooney – came to Sandwich South in 1836 after 15 years living in Valcartier Quebec. Home county in Ireland unknown.

Hanna – first came to Lanark County from Ireland in 1820. Came to Essex County in 1884.

McKeough – from Ballymackeough, Tipperary. Came to Paris Ontario in 1829, settled in Chatham sometime thereafter (the source book includes some Kent county settlers too so I will include them here)

Catherwood – first came to Peel County, then bought land in Colchester North in 1887.

McCarthy – County Cork. Came to Sandwich South about 1839.

Atkin – originally English but fled to Ireland during the time of Cromwell. Came to Essex County in 1840 from County Wexford.

Osborn – Jane – Dublin – married to Walter Atkin, came with him in 1840.

Askin – came to Sandwich in the late 1700s

Brien – Fermanagh, Ireland. Came to Essex in 1846.

Kenning – came to Canada in 1834, didn’t move to Essex County until 1887.

Miller – Louise – married into the Vermette family.

Gardiner – came from Ireland in the early 1800s and originally settled in New York State. Son James Gardiner moved to Canada, eventually settling in Chatham in 1870.

Beacom – County Fermanagh. Came to Mersea Township in 1853 after several years in Quebec (the family arrived in Canada in 1841)

McCormick – County Down and Belfast. Originally the McCormicks came to the British American colonies back in the early 1700s. Came to Colchester South in 1795. There have also been McCormicks on Pelee Island.

Hincks (Rev. John Perrot Hincks) – Dublin and Belfast. Came to Canada in 1860 and to Windsor in 1880 as rector of All Saints Anglican.

Golden – County Sligo, Ireland. The Goldens of Ireland were originally English but were forced to flee to Ireland during the time of Cromwell. Came to Anderdon in approximately 1850.

Henderson – Ernest – came to Canada in 1883 from Ireland where he worked for the Great Northern Railroad of Ireland.

O’Connor – originally came to Boston in 1824, settling up in Canada in Maidstone in the 1830s.

To be continued .. I’m only on page 146 of the Commemorative Biographical Record and I haven’t even started looking at The Irish Settlement in Maidstone. Nor have I written about the Tottens and the Irwins, my Irish ancestors. Interesting note: None of the Irish I have written about are Potato Famine Irish. They all arrived in Essex County quite a while before the famine.


Posted on March 18, 2012, in Essex County Families and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.

  1. Debra Honor UE

    Hi Victoria, I really like reading your site. I am related through Edward Hazel and his daughter, Mary Jane Hazel Wilkinson. The Wilkinson family came too late to be considered Loyalists though they fought bravely on the British side during the War of 1812. Edward Hazel is a Loyalist who fought in the American Revolution and the War of 1812. He was with Tecumseh on Oct. 4, 1813 when the Natives burned McGregor’s Mills in Chatham. That was the day before Tecumseh died.
    Keep up the great job! You have a really wonderful way of writing a story.
    Debra Honor UE

    • Hello, long lost cousin. Thanks for the info about Edward Hazel. The unusual thing about it is that his daughter Julia (my great great great grandfather) married Jean Baptiste Delaurier who fought for the Americans at Detroit during the war of 1812. I wonder what kind of conversations Jean Baptiste had with his in laws? That is really fascinating that our mutual ggggg (how many greats?) grandfather fought with Chief Tecumseh. Love to read any other info you have on the Hazels .. and thanks for the compliment about my website.

      • Debra Honor UE

        Hi Victoria,
        I have been researching Edward Hazel for about four years. I didn’t know about him until I retired. Now I have a whole file on him and his escapades. I’m in touch with some of your cousins on the DeLaurier side and knew that Jean Baptiste fought on the wrong side. LOL
        Edward Hazel died sometime in 1821. So I don’t know how much he would have known Jean Baptiste. I think its great that Jean Baptiste could get his pension and his wife could still get her land as a DUE. Have you read her petition? She is the only daughter who does not mention her husband’s loyality to the British Government. LOL

    • Do either of you have any more information on the Wilkinson family. My father is a Wilkinson (3rd great grandson of Thomas) I am a war of 1812 reenactor and just discovered this family link as I am not close to my fathers side of the family. I am currently trying to find more out about Thomas and his brother Alexander. Debra Honor, I have had the pleasure of meeting you through a mutual friend Shaymus(Seamus) Gunn. I am with the Provincial Marine in Amherstburg

      • Jason, I haven’t read the entire blog because of a lack of time. So if I repeat things you already know forgive me.

        I am the third great grandson of Jean Baptiste DeLaurier and Edward Hazel’s daughter Julienne. To correct some errors I glanced at in the above blog … Jean and Julienne were not squatters on Point Pelee. The Point Pelee homestead was established by Hyacinthe DeLaurier (brother of Jean Baptiste) and his son Oliver. Oliver is buried on Point Pelee in a well-marked grave. I suspect that a much older, unmarked grave is that of Hyacinthe. The entire story must be viewed by a visit to the DeLaurier trail. The graveyard is hard to find but worth the trip.

        Jean Baptiste fought in the War of 1812 for the Americans – notably in the Battle of Detroit. He was taken as a POW by the British. I have copies of documents showing his inclusion in a POW swap. Jean and Julienne were granted property in the Mersea area because Julienne was Edward’s daughter. At the same time, Jean was granted a pension by the USA for his service in the War of 1812.

        Good Luck in your search. You are welcome to any information in my files. I have several photos of ancestral headstones from the Leamington and Point Pelee area, as well as some documents concerning property ownership. There are much better sources of information about Edward Hazel than me! By the way, I haven’t found Jean Baptiste’s grave or that of Julienne. If you know where they are buried, let me know.

        One thing I would like to have the energy to research … Edward Hazel’s wife was a Hicks. My impression is that the Hicks came to the New World very early in the history of North America. Relatives of Sir Walter Raleigh were early explorers and leaders in early settlements. Some Hicks are known to have married into the family of explorers (see Humphrey Gilbert’s history) back in England …. whew! My question is ‘Did Agnes Hicks ancestors make it to America because of a family connection to Sir Walter Raleigh?’

        Gary Butson

      • Dian (Wilkinson) Haskell

        Hello Jason, If your dad is Steven Wilkinson and his dad is Art Wilkinson, I have information for you

  2. Gary Butson, PhD, PE, Lt Col (retd), USAF

    Hi Victoria, My name is Gary Butson. Edward Hazel is my 4x-Great Grandfather. His great-granddaughter Anna DeLaurier married Thomas Butson in 1894. I’ve only been researching the family for a few years, and I am anxious to find out more about the Butsons, the DeLauriers, and the Hazels in Ontario.

    As a retired USAF officer, I, of course, am pleased to know that Jean Baptiste fought for his adopted country in the War of 1812. With his French Canadian roots, I’m not surprised he took up arms against the British and their native american allies. Are you aware that Jean Baptiste was captured by the British in Detroit?

    I am anxious to visit Ontario. I was there several times in my youth since I lived outside Detroit, but was not aware of family connections in the Essex area. (My Uncle Alvin Butson recalls going to DeLaurier family reunions when he was young.) I am especially interested in the Oliver DeLaurier homestead in Pelee. I suspect he was a nephew of Jean Baptiste but I have no proof.

    By the way, Thomas’ mother, Mary Ann (Irwin) Wilson, was of Irish ancestry. Her marriage to Henry Butson, in Reach Township, Ontario, was her second marriage.


    • More fascinating information. If you ever get the chance to visit Essex County, let me know and I’ll suggest a really interesting historical tour. By the way, I am surprised to see the name Irwin come up in your comment above. My great grandmother was an Irwin from Leamington (her family was Northern Irish from County Armagh – staunch Orangemen). The Delauriers are my mom’s side, the Irwins are my dad’s. So cool if we’re related on both sides of the family. (I have a theory that all families in Essex County before 1900 are related to each other. Maybe not a lot of French/English crossover, but there was some of that too.)

  3. Hi Gary, if you come to Canada I’d love to share with you what I have found on Edward Hazel. I live in Amherstburg and my husband use to work at Fort Malden (which use to be where Edward Hazel lived before the government turned it into a fort.) We run a B&B called Honor’s Country House and my husband gives historical walking tours in Amherstburg.
    We would live to tell you the other side of the story. LOL
    Please look us up on the internet.

    Debbie Honor UE
    Past Chair of Essex Branch of the Ontario Genealogical Society

    • Hi Debbie … I”m a little bit puzzled since Edward Hazel, my great X5 grandfather was from Leamington. That’s where his daughter Julia was born in 1800. So did the family move from Amherstburg? Or might there have been two Edward Hazels? I have to dig out my grandmother’s books again to verify what it is I’m seeing on Ancestry. I find it’s really helpful to cross compare her records … if it says the same thing as Ancestry, pretty sure it’s accurate. These electronic records are great but community memory is really important too.

      On an other note, do you know where I can get information on the Malden Insane Asylum? I’m working on a documentary .. I’ve been to the provincial archives, the University of Windsor and the Marsh Collection and it doesn’t seem to be well documented … any leads would be appreciated.

      • Hi Victoria,
        During the American Revolution time period Edward Hazel lived in Detroit. There was no one living in the Leamington area at that time. After the war, a group of men,Loyalists, were given a gift of land from the naitves in what we now call Malden Township, a part of Amherstburg. At the northern end of that grant was the property given to Capt. Bird who became Edward Hazel’s brother-in-law through marrying two sisters. Capt. Bird returned to England bacause he inherited land in Wales. He rented the Amherstburg property to his two other sisters-in-law, Agnes Hazel and Judith Ramsey. In 1796, Detroit was handed over to the Americans because the border was settled going through the Great Lakes and the British decided to build Fort Amherstburg on Capt Bird’s property. So they kicked Edward Hazel off. He was compensated for his crops though. Capt. Bird got nothing for the land.
        Edward Hazel and Alexander Wilkinson (who married daughter Ann Hazel) were also living on Matthew Elliott’s land in Malden Township during the War of 1812. If you read the story of Alexander’s cabin being burnt in the Essex Biographical book, that is the location. I have a map from the 1960’s made by David Botsford, former Curator of Fort Malden, that shows the location. Edward Hazel was part of the Indian Department and Matthew Elliot was basically his boss. It would have been difficult to do his job if he just lived on his property in the Leamington area. So I’m thinking his cabin at Elliot’s house was a place to stay when he was working. Hazel was the British government’s contact person with the Wyandotte Indians and he often went on raids with the Wyandottes before the War of 1812 to show the British support.
        Edward Hazel, as a Loyalist also had a track of land given to him in Colchester in the New Settlement, Lot 77. He was later granted Lot 6 Concession 1 in Mersea Township where my ancestor, Mary Jane Hazel was born. That is where Seacliffe Park and up to Oak Street is today. I have found a reference to him getting land at Point Pelee but I’m not sure if this last piece of property would be considered part of Point Pelee in those days.
        I have lots more on Edward Hazel if you ever want to get together. I’m more than willing to share. You should see what I have found about Edward Hazel during the American Revolution! Did you know he fought in Georgia and Florida for about two years?


      • Wow Debbie. Thanks so much for that. It fills in so many gaps. And really fun that we’re cousins way way back. Julia was Mary Jane’s sister. She’s the one who married Jean Baptiste Delaurier and established the homestead on Point Pelee (which is now the Delaurier House Museum). Forgive me if I’m repeated things I’ve already said .. the hard part about a blog is remembering what I already wrote about.

        My grandmother, who was a Delaurier, says Jean Baptiste and Julia were squatters … which probably wasn’t as bad as that sounds in contemporary terms. There was land that nobody appeared to be living on so they just moved there. So, in our family history (or mythology), there were no land grants involved in the Point Pelee property.

        And thanks for the invitation to get together to talk to you. I am sensing an interesting book or documentary about our common ancestor (in our family books, he is referred to as Red Hazel — is he also called Red in your family history? And I also read somewhere that he was with Chief Tecumseh the day before the Chief was killed) I would love to meet you. I live in Hamilton but my sister still lives in Essex, so I do come down a few times a year. And I am doing research on my Essex County documentary about my great great grandmother and have a million questions about what life was like in the middle of the County (Ruscomb, Comber and Woodslee) from 1850-1870. I’ll bet you could paint me a good word picture. Thanks again.

      • Oh, right. Debbie, you were the one who wrote to me that he was with Chief Tecumseh ….

      • Hi Victoria, I forgot to answer your question on the Malden Insane Asylum. The Asylum was moved to London, Ontario. Maybe there is a way to get information out of the hospital in London. Fort malden may have some information but it is expensive to talk to them and they have been badly cut by the government. So there are very few staff members now.
        Check the University of Western Ontario. they may have some documents.

  4. Hi Victoria, I wish I was lucky enough to have your access to family tradition on Edward Hazel. I didn’t know until 2008 that he was a relative. I would love to compare your family tradition with the documents I have found on him. I have his date of death as 1821 not 1857. I am going by the daughters’ land petitions as daughters of a Loyalist. In one petition, Edward the father is stated as living and in the next petition for another daughter, Edward is listed as dead. When Julia did her petition she did not mention her husband and his loyality to the King as her sisters petition did. We know why. LOL
    I have a 4 inch binder full of documents on Edward Hazel. His daughter, Mary Jane’s obituary stated that her parents were from Virginia. And Elizabeth Hicks who married Capt Bird wrote her family’s story about being captured by the Indians and being sold in Detroit. It’s a fascinating piece of history.

    • Victoria, I would love to find out how much Debbie Honor knows about the Hicks family in Virginia. A line of the Hicks family married into the Butsons (Note: Anna DeLaurier married my great grandfather Thomas Butson) in the mid-17th century. Another line of the Hicks family was closely related to Raleigh Gilbert who, with 7 others, was granted permission to establish 2 colonies in America … Jamestown, Va and the other in Maine. The Maine colony failed … but could Hicks, an associate and, later, family of Gilbert, have sailed with the Jamestown group?? Both of these Hicks lines were from an area close to Cornwall where the Butson clan lived. By the way, I am a direct descendant of Jean Baptiste DeLaurier through Anna, but the DeLaurier clan also married into my paternal grandmother’s family. Judson DeLarier’s daughter, Hily Viveon, married my grandmother’s brother. My uncle Alvin Butson used to attend the DeLaurier family reunions as a guest of his Aunt Vivian nee DeLaurier, never knowing that his grandmother was a DeLaurier. Gary Butson,

      Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2013 17:56:30 +0000 To:

      • I’ve passed on your email directly to Debbie, Gary. If you could both keep me in the loop about what you find out about the Hicks, I’d like to do a blog entry on them too. And I found your Great Grandfather and Grandmother’s marriage certificate online. Turns out that Annie, your great grandmother, was the brother of my great grandfather Fred Delaurier. They were both children of Gilbert Delaurier and Huldah Draper (she was from Newmarket Ontario) Huldah was Great Grandma Delaurier #1. Great Grandma Delaurier #2 (our step great grandmother), Mary Minna, was very wealthy and lived in Grosse Point. They moved over there, and my grandmother Madeline Delaurier has told me about going over to their very grand house. Gilbert and Mary had a whole bunch more kids, so our branch of the Delaurier family is very large indeed, on both sides of the border.

  5. All this is interesting news to me too, Debbie. I didn’t know much about the Hazels before you and I started corresponding. So I would love to see your binders on Edward. I am wondering about where Julia lived after she got married … It has always been my understanding that she and her husband Jean Baptiste Delaurier lived at the Point but my aunt said she thinks that was another Delaurier, and Julia and JB got a land grant in Mersea. But that doesn’t make sense either because Julia likely wouldn’t be eligible for her own land (being a woman), and Jean Baptiste fought for the AMERICANS in the War of 1812. So I can’t see the British giving him land either. (He must have had some really interesting discussions with father in law Edward about American/British politics! My storytelling imagination has a good scene evolving where they’re discussing politics at the Christmas dinnertable). If you have any information about Edward’s land grant, and whether he gave some of it to Julia, it would help clear up whether she and her husband lived at the Point or whether they stayed in Mersea, as my aunt says. This is a great story.

    And I would love to read Mary Jane’s obituary. Would you mind sending it to me? I’ll post it on my blog if you’re good with that.

    • Both sons and daughters of Loyalists received land from the government. It didn’t just go to the men. Julia’s petition was accepted. She got land. That’s why she didn’t mention her husband. A child of a Loyalist had to wait to apply until they reached the age of 21. Here is Judith and John Delorier in the 1852 Census.

      Mersea, Essex County, Canada West (Ontario). Schedule: A, roll C_11720, Page: 1, Line: 27. Con. 1 part Lot 3 100 acres
      Delorier Judith Farmer born – Canada Methodist age 52 Female
      John Farmer born – U. States Catholic age 65 Male residence if outside of limits – U. States
      Lally Susan born- Canada Methodist age 28 Female widow
      Delorier Agnes born- Canada Methodist age 25 Female
      John Labourer born- Canada Methodist age 23 Male
      Wm. Labourer born- Canada Methodist age 22 Male
      Edward Labourer born- Canada Methodist age 19 Male
      Richard Labourer born- Canada Methodist age 17 Male
      Gilbert Labourer born- Canada Methodist age 11 Male
      Abbot John W. born- Canada Methodist age 4 Male

      Here is Mary Jane Wilkinson’s obituary.

      Amherstburg Echo March 25 1898 page 6 Column 2 (obituary)
      There passed to the silent Majority Monday night of last week, one of the oldest residents of this vicinity. This was Mary T. Wilkinson, relict of the late Thos. Wilkinson, who predeceased her by about 30 years. Mrs. Wilkinson died at the home of Ben Noble, 2nd Con., Mersea, where she had been living during the past five weeks. Deceased was born on the Peter Conover farm, Lot 6, Mersea at the time of her death was in her 94th year nearly a quarter of a century beyond the allotted span of human life. Her paternal name was Hazel, and her parents were native of Virginia. She leaves behind to mourn the loss of an affectionate mother, five children – three daughters and two sons. The daughters are: – Mrs. Polette Goyeau, Con D., Mersea; Mrs. Jos. Goyeau, Leamington; Mrs Crank, Leamington. The sons are Jas. T. Wilkinson, Michigan; and John T. Wilkinson, Leamington. The funeral took place on Wednesday of last week to Lakeview Cemetery.

      Amherstburg Echo March 25, 1898 page 5 Column 6 (death notice)
      Wilkinson – In Mersea, on Monday, March 14th, at the home of B. Noble. Mary T. Wilkinson, relict of the late Thomas Wilkinson, aged 93 years, 1 month and 14 days.

      I have shared my information with a local storyteller, Doug Robinson. He asked to portray our ancestor at events for the War of 1812. It’s great to see him and another fellow who portrays Chief Tecumseh talk together.


  6. Hello all – should you decide to convene a meeting of the descendants of Edward Hazel, please remember to count me in? Thanks!

    • That would be an interesting gathering … the Delauriers alone would fill a very large room. There sure are a lot of us. Thanks for the link to your family tree. Which of Jean Baptiste and Julia’s children is your ancestor? Are you a Delaurier from Point Pelee, perchance? Still trying to figure out how that branch of the family got there … must have been one of JB and Julia’s children but I haven’t figured out who it was. I did think it was their homestead but now it looks like they stayed in what is now Leamington …

      I’m glad you found my blog. Thanks for the compliment.

  7. Such an interesting blog and the comments too. While I am not related – I am researching the family of Kathryn Smith Ripley (families: Smith, Wilkinson, Monk & Ribble) – I have done a lot of poking around in the old records, especially the early Wilkinsons in western PA before coming to Essex. I would like to point out that Virginia had claimed lands in today what are the US states of PA, West Virginia & Ohio. I have found records for those areas in VA, especially land sales, as VA charged less than PA. These were contested areas between the two states.
    I am also beginning to suspect that the Whiskey Rebellion was the “nudge factor” for the Wilkinson’s family exodus to Canada. From what I have read, the most violence took place in their township.

    • David Wilkinson

      Just read these notes tonight. Love reading about families in our area. Some of the information here refers to the Wilkinson family. I am doing my family tree on the Wilkinson family .Leamington was started by a Alexander Wilkinson who owned property in Mersea Township. This Alexander I believe came from Malden Township originally. THE FOUNDING OF LEAMINGTON
      Parts of Mersea Township were surveyed in the 1790’s, but it was not until 1833 that Alexander Wilkinson, who had acquired land elsewhere in the township by 1810, obtained his patent for a lot now located in the heart of Leamington. A settlement known as Wilkinson’s Corners developed and, on June 1, 1854, a post-office called Leamington was opened. A saw and grist-mill was in operation the following year. By 1860 the community comprised 75 persons and stagecoach communication with Windsor was established. Leamington, with over 750 inhabitants, was incorporated as a Village by an Essex County by-law of November 26, 1874. The first election, however, was not held until December 27, 1875, and the first Village Council took office on January 1, 1876. I am wanting to find out if this Alexander is the same one as was referred to in these earlier articles. I was told by my grandpa John Scott Wilkinson that we originally came from either PA or VA. If anyone could shed some light on this for me I would appreciate it very much. A little information on myself is that my father was Clifford and we farmed just north of town on the 5th concession. I was the former mayor of Leamington from 1997 to 2003.
      Thanks Dave Wilkinson
      PS I believe the fellow that came from the US was a John Wilkinson who originally come from Ireland (I think). Thanks again.

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