Sunday, May 25, 2014

52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: #21 James Hardy Johnston

This is my twenty-first  posting for the 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks challenge.

This week's focus is my great-great-great grandfather, James Hardy Johnston. He was born in Annan, Scotland 22 November 1788. He married Margaret Byers 31 May 1815 in the Parish Church of Annan. They both are buried in St. Andrew's Scotch Kirk Cemetery, Quaker Hill, Uxbridge Township, Ontario.

In the birth record for son William in the Parish of Annan, his name is given as James Hardie Johnson. I searched in the census of 1801 for Annan, Dumfries Scotland and found a James as part of a family with John (contractor) as father and Margaret Dickson as mother. Was James daughter Margaret named for her? Other children in John and Margaret's family were (1801 census) James, Isabella, Jenet and Thomas (man.3). They were living on Murray? p. 13 #152. In 1811 there is a John listed with spouse, James, Isabell and Jenet. It is listed on page 50 #275 Windmill.   I was unable to locate James as a married man with family in the 1821 census for Annan, Scotland. The census records I viewed were transcripts. [GSU #990067]

The following information is from a work by Helen Johnston on the Johnston family.
James and Margaret came to Canada in 1833. They lived for a year and a half in Richmond Hill, Ontario before buying land in Uxbridge Township at Lot 35, Concession 5. They moved there in September 1834 but it was not until 2 March 1835 that the deal was registered in the land registry office in Whitby.
In 1839, an acre at the east centre frontage was sold for the purchase of building a church. The church was built in 1840 and was known as St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, Quaker Hill. On 4 March 1854, James sold the north half of the property to his son John. On 15 February 1864 the rest of the property was sold to John Stewart for $3,000.
The following information is from two letters found on file at the Markham Museum (April 2002). Both letters were written in 1981 by Mrs. R. E. (Helen) Johnston of R. R. #1 Queensville.

In the letter to John Lunau she outlined some family history.
James Hardy Johnston (1788-1872) married Margaret Byers (1793-1866) in 1815. The family immigrated to Canada from Annan, Dumfries, Scotland in 1833. They went first to Richmond Hill and stayed there for 1½  years and then in 1834 they went to their farm of 200 acres at Lot 35, Concession 5, Uxbridge Township. This farm remained in the family until 1916.
In a letter to the editor that appeared in the Economist Sun, she said that she was searching for family of David Johnston. She said that David Johnston was a sawmiller. David was actually a shoemaker. Unfortunately, by the time these items were added to the files at the Markham Museum, Helen Johnston had died.

I did find a copy of her handwritten family history at the Uxbridge-Scott Museum and Archives. She had quite a bit of information about James and his descendants but my line coming from David had very little information. It is such a shame that we never connected.
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