What's New - December 23, 2012

Topics of Recent Genealogy Research


Contact from an old school chum who is part of the large Cole family in the Brighton area led me to do some serious brushing up on the trees for that name. The focus is Richard Cole who settled east of Orland but came from Big Island, part of Sophiasbugh Twp. just north of Demorestville.There is still a lot to do but the structure of the various Cole trees (there are several) are clearer now. Anyone who can add to the connections or make corrections, please let me know.


A question from someone asking about one William Henry Cornell got me going on a research jag which added some of that name to the database. There remains the broader connections but it's a start. Anyone who can assist, it would be appreciated.

What's New - November 9, 2012

First Settlers of Brighton

On October 27, 2012, I presented "First Settlers of Brighton" at The Gates as part of "October is Arts Month". We had a whole month of constant activity at The Gates which included many different and varied kinds of presentations and seminars. The Gates is a great venue for these events and we hope there will be lots more.

A handout was provided at the event and that document has been added to the History Section. Download the PDF and see what "First Settlers of Brighton" is all about.

The Breakaway in Watershed

If you haven't already done so, please check out the Fall 2012 issue of Watershed, a magazine that is available free at many stores and institutions around Northumberland County. Dale Carter, a friend of mine from the Brighton Library Board, wrote an article that was published in the latest Watershed regarding The Breakaway. I provided the research material and historical consulting and Dale did the rest. I love the article as well as the amazing Sidebar they provided for my work and this web site. Thanks Dale and the folks at Watershed.

Sense of Place - Jane Urquhart

On November 1, 2012, I attended an event called "Sense of Place" sponsored by Northumberland ACO and presented by Jane Urquhart, the renowned authour who lives in Colborne. Jane is involved with Friends of Trinity Anglican Church in Colborne, a group that is fighting to maintain the church in some capacity. It has been formally deconsecrated and negotiations are ongoing between the Municipality and the Diocese in Toronto re the fate of the building. In order to support this cause, I did some research into the people buried in the cemetery of Trinity Anglican Church in Colborne and provided Jane with the document now in the History Section. Also included is a piece on Enid Rogers, a well-known Colborne resident and benefactor of Trinity. Enid Rogers has connections back to the very early Hudson Bay Traders that have a presence in the Colborne area.

Topics of Recent Genealogy Research

I'm Still Working on Genealogy!!

Just not as much as before. I'm trying to make progress going through email in my InBox but I am involved in lots of other things here in Brighton these days so progress is slow. If I have not responded, drop another email and remind me - the squeaky wheel, you know. Thanks for your patience.

Weech & Drinkwalter

An email contact provided some great additional information for the Weech family of Toronto Twp., Peel Co., Ontario. The family is in my data because of a connection with the family of James Drinkwalter, one of the large group around Haldimand by that name. It seems that James Drinkwalter and wife Amy Turney moved to Toronto Township before 1911 and that's where their daughter Ina Naomi Drinkwalter married Charles Frampton Weech in 1921.

My records for Drinkwalter families, so I discovered, had not used a consistent spelling in regards to the "l" or no "l" problem. On further review, it seems the "l" should be there - at least for the folks in and around Haldimand Twp. Any insight into this question would be welcome.

Wilmot Taylor & Richard Cole

While following my nose around my database one day I saw that there should be some connection between the family of Wilmot Washington Taylor of Haldimand Twp. and Richard Cole of Lake Twp., Hastings Co. Several of Wilmot Taylor's kids appear in the 1891Census with Richard Cole. Then, in 1901, we see "Mrs. Richard Cole" in Lake Twp. with Arthur Taylor, shown as her grandson. Corinthia Cole, first wife of Wilmot W. Taylor, must then be an early daughter of Richard Cole - by Margaret Sopha? Mary Jane Sopha, Richard's second wife, is the "Mrs. Richard Cole" in the 1901 Census and would not likely be the mother of Corinthia. See what I mean? Something needs to be straightened out here. If anyone can shed any light on this, feel free.

What's New - September 24, 2012

Living Library

In "What's New" in May we introduced the idea of the Living Library. Since then, I have been checked out of the Brighton Public Library, presenting The Breakaway for the Community Women's Institute.

In the future, I expect to present The Breakaway again and we also hope to add other presentations from other people to the Living Library. It is a growing and "living" program.

Topics of Recent Genealogy Research


Contact from a researcher in the Tuck family of Cramahe and Haldimand Townships kicked off a flurry of work that resulted in some good additional information in the database for this name. Especially, the contact led me to the generation earlier than the folks I already had. This was important work since it resulted in much more and better information for an important early settler family in this area. Feel free to help with this if you can.


A local project that touches on The Old Percy Road led me to find out that Richard Ibbotson came from England and settled southeast of Codrington on a section of the Old Percy Road that has since fallen into disuse. What's interesting is that this family came here under the "Soldier Settlement Program" which purchased land and arranged for soldiers to farm on it in order get a good start in Canada. I had heard of this program but this is the first family I have found who participated in it directly. If anyone knows of more in this area, please let me know.

What's New - May 26, 2012

Living Library

I have been BAR CODED! The Brighton Public Library has created an item in their catalogue for "The Breakaway by Dan Buchanan". This item has received a standard bar code as do all items in the library. I need to wear mine at all times!

It means that anyone can borrow this item from the library. Through the borrowing system, you contact me and we can arrange to have me speak at your meeting or event. I would even come to your home, if that would work. In effect, you can borrow me to present The Breakaway story to you.

The Living Library is a new concept we are trying to build in Brighton. It started in Europe in 2000 and is spreading into Canada now. The idea is to identify people in the community who can speak on certain topics of interest and provide a way for groups and individuals in the community to make contact with them.

Our hope is that more speakers will come forward and be part of the Living Library. Certainly, I will do more stories of local history but there are others in the community who can do something similar. For example, veterans may want to use this process to speak about their war experiences. All are welcome!

Stay tuned. More to come on this!

The Breakaway - A Smashing Success

On the night of Saturday, April 21, 2012, 130 people gathered at The Hilton Township Hall to enjoy a presentation of local history. The old hall was bursting at the seams with chatter and smiles and lots of good vibes. I never imagined so many would come to the event. It was wonderful to see.

We had good weather and the Municipal folks did a great job of providing facilities. That truck load of chairs was critical, as it turned out! Thanks lots!!

The Brighton Arts Council (BAC) participated in the event and helped make it a memorable affair. Bill Murtha set up the sound system, which worked great, and he gave us lovely background music which added class and comfort to the evening. Tom Groot did a terrific design for the poster we passed all around the countryside leading up to the event - so the crowd is partly his doing!!

Ron Waddling provided strong organizational skills in producing this event and I really appreciated his advice. It all fit together wonderfully.

A special thanks goes to Leslie Simla of Friends of Brighton Public Library, who acted as Master of Ceremonies. She did a delightful introduction of the speaker which was amusing and very pertinent. She treated me as a book, looking under my jacket to open the front cover... you get the idea. I did not know what was coming or where it was going at the time but it worked beautifully and got a lot of comments afterward. Thanks so much Leslie!

Topics of Recent Genealogy Research

Research per The Breakaway Story

The process of preparing to present The Breakaway included more in-depth work on several of the families directly involved in the event. Details are too extensive for this medium but I can say that there is more information available now for the following families: John Herrington, (who died that night) and his wife Louisa; John W. Simpson who owned the second mill down the creek; George Montgomery who survived the flood; Joseph Adams who survived by switching places with John Herrington; the Fennell's who owned the house just south of the lake; the Thorne's who owned land the creek ran through.

Goslee - Colborne

Some new research came about as a result of the closing of the Trinity Anglican Church in Colborne. I did some reseach about the people buried in the churchyard cemetery. One of the names involved was Goslee which is well known in Colborne and area. There is more to do here but this was a great boost since I only had a few by this name in the database. Feel free to send me info re this name.

Historically, there is an interesting connection to this Goslee family. Matthew Goslee, who was the original UEL settler, married Maria Schuyler, a neice of Philip Schuyler, one of George Washington's most respected generals during the War of Independence. Matthew Goslee was a prisoner when he met Maria and they were married after the war and came to Canada.


Francis Brockell Spilsbury is another name on a memorial in the Trinity Anglican Church Cemetery in Colborne. His father was Captain Francis Brockell Spilsbury who was in the British Navy, stationed in Kingston, Ontario, during the War of 1812. I will add more re this family going forward. Help if you can.

Cuthbert Cumming - Hudson Bay Trader

Several memorials in the Trintiy Anglican Church Cemetery relate to people who worked in the fur trade during the 1800's with The Hudson Bay Company. Curthbert Cumming is the primary example as he began his long career as a trader in 1804, spending many years in posts in The North West Territories (mostly present day Manitoba) as well as Lake Superior and Quebec. He retired from The HBC in the early 1840's and chose Colborne as his retirement home.

Another memorial connected to Cuthbert Cumming in the same cemetery is an unusual one for "Mary, daughter of Thos. McMurray, HBC Treader, and wife of John Mathews of Murray". This Mary McMurray was a sister of Jane McMurray who was the second wife of Curthburt Cumming. Thomas McMurray was a contemporary of Cuthbert Cumming and the HBC Archive records show that they worked together at several posts over the years. We also see the McTavish family in Colborne. Daniel McTavish was also an HBC trader. More to come on these.

What's New - April 5, 2012

The Breakaway

Those waiting to hear back from me may be mollified a bit to know that I have been very much occupied recently in preparation for a history presentation planned for April 21, 2012 at the Hilton Township Hall (north of Brighton, east on Chatten Road at Hilton). Along with much support from The Brighton Arts Council, I will be presenting the story of The Breakaway, when a small lake broke through its banks and raced down the valley, destroying two mills and killing two men. It happened a long time ago (160 years to the day of this event) but it remains an important event in local history. The Women's Institute staged a play about it at Codrington when I was a kid. We are bringing the story up-to-date and adding some family history info for the folks who were involved (Genealogy has multiple uses, don't you know!). Being a history geek, there will also be some historical context which I expect most area residents don't know. We hope to have a crowd at the old Hall - half a mile away from where The Breakaway happened.

Topics of Recent Genealogy Research


Good information for a researcher allowed me to straighten up and enhance a lot of Roblin information. This had to do with Owen Roblin Jr. and Owen Roblin Sr. and connected families. This name is huge in the Prince Edward, Hastings and Northumberland County areas and work will continue to make the info better. Help if you can.


A researcher asked about one Harry Gunyo and this sparked a bunch or research that got into local history around Brighton as much as Gunyo family history. Check it out and assist if you can.