Sunday, April 12, 2015

Benjamin Hemingway - What happened to his family after his death? Part 2

Benjamin Hemingway died when he was about 30 having not written a will. He had six children. His second wife Harriet applied for guardianship. The guardianship documents provide a wealth of information that act as a springboard for more research.

William, Heir at Law.
William was the eldest son of Benjamin. He was born about 1843. His step-mother, Harriett worried that he would not be fairly treated. 

The financial accounts mention William several times.
June 12 1856 sent by mail to Mrs. Bostwick the sum of 12 pounds 10 shilling 0 pence,  paid to Mrs. Bostwick six pounds five for Williams board, Oct 30 Went to Duffins Creek to see about William Board, Jan 1 1859 Went down down to Duffins Creek to See Mrs. Bostwick, Feb 26 1861 Went down to Duffins Creek to see William [1]

In the 1871 census, it looks like William is living with Rachel Webb. He is 27 years old. The census indicates William is unable to read and write and he is of unsound mind. [2]

In the 1881 census, William is still shown with Rachel Webb who is 80 years old. The census indicates that William is deaf and dumb.  William is 37 years old. [3]

Going back to 1861 to see who was living with Rachel Webb, we find Parnele Webb who is the head of the household, Elsie Webb 25, Hannah Webb 20, and William Webb, 18. No William Hemingway. The interesting thing is the census shows William as Blind. Was the stroke in the right column? Could this actually be William Hemingway but his surname was entered as Webb? [4] There is no William Webb in the 1851 census household of Parnele and Rachel Webb.[5]

William died when he was 45 years old on 26 January 1889 in Pickering Township. The death registration states: "General weakness, had been helpless and speechless for 38 years, had been sinking for 3 months previous to death." The informant was Rev. G. M. Brown. [6]

More questions that might not have answers:
What happened to William when he was about seven years old? In the guardianship petition William is listed as eight years old. There is no indication that he had a disability only his step-mother's concern that he would be treated fairly.
Who was the Mrs. Bostwick he was boarding with at Duffin's Creek?

To be continued

[1] Benjamin Hemingway Estate File, H-9 RG 22, Series 6-2, (21 September 1851), York County Surrogate Court, microfilm MS 638 York County, Reel 84, Archives of Ontario, Toronto - The date on the outside of the packet must  be incorrect as Benjamin did not die until December.

[2] 1871 Census of Canada, Ontario, Ontario South (district 47), Pickering Township (sub-district a), Division 1, p. 27, family 97, Rachel Webb household; digital image, ( : accessed 11 April 2015), citing microfilm C-9973, Library & Archives Canada, Ottawa.

[3]1881 Census of Canada, Ontario, Ontario South (district 132), Pickering Township (sub-district A), Division 1, p. 19, family 95, Rachel Webb household; digital image, ( : accessed 10 April 2015), citing microfilm C-13244, Library & Archives Canada, Ottawa.

[4]1861 Census of Canada West, Ontario County, Pickering Township, enumeration district 5, p. 80, line 46, Parnele Webb household; digital image, ( : accessed 3 April 2015), citing microfilm C-1057, Library & Archives Canada, Ottawa. 

[5]1851 Census of Canada West, Ontario County (district 26), Pickering Township (sub-district 245), p. 29, line 6, household of Parnele Webb; digital image, ( : 10 April 2015), citing microfilm C-11742, Library & Archives Canada, Ottawa.

[6] William Hemingway Ontario death registration #012534 (12 February 1889); digital image, ( : accessed 15 March 2015), citing microfilm MS 935 Reel 55, Archives of Ontario, Toronto.

© 2015 Janet Iles Print

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