What's New - June 2021

Genealaogy Stuff

Thomas Allan of Fogorig in Scotland and Seymour

A pile of research resulted from a request to participate in a project related to Seymour Township history. The project is connected to an anniversary celebration planned for Campbellford High School in 2023. My friend, Florence Chatten, grew up on a farm called Fogorig, near Brunbrae in Seymour Twp., east of Campbellford. Her farm and the fascinating old stone buildings still standing there, harken back to Thomas Allan who obtained land grants there in the 1830s and built mills to support the growing settlement in the area. He was an ex-navy paymaster and the eldest son of a prosperous property owner and farmer in Berwickshire, Scotland. In 1836 he obtained grants of land in Seymour. A major part of his land can be seen in the Belden County Atlas Map for Seymour Township, at Conc 2 and 3, Lots 21 and 22. The lots are labelled "Estate of Thos. Allen". There is a burial record in the Brunbrae Cemetery archive showing Thomas Allan died in 1865, and this timing is support by the atlas map in 1878. Oddly, we see no other documentation for Thomas Allan in Seymour Township. He is in Berwickshire, Scotland for the 1841, 1851 and 1861 Census. It is apparent that he came to Seymour for a time in 1836 or there-abouts, to set up his mills and farm, calling it Fogorig after the family farm back home in Scotland. It is less clear if he actually came to live in Seymour for any length of time. The burial record suggests he was here in August 1865 but we need to remember that he was in Scotland for the 1861 Census. The only member of the Allan family that came to Seymour and stayed was a much younger step-brother named David. It is unclear when David Allan came to Seymour but my theory is that he came with Thomas in 1836 as an 18-year-old, and was put to work managing the estate for Thomas when his older brother headed back to Scotland. Later, David Allan would move to Rylestone, on the Crowe River, much farther north in Seymour, and build the first millls and bridge at that location. However, his earlier work may have been the development of the Fogorg farm and maybe even the building of the mills in the early 1850s. There is still some uncertainly about whether Thomas Allan and David Allan were in Seymour Township in the 1830s and/or 1840s, but that should get a boost when we can look at the early Seymour census records which are not yet available online. In any case, the many Scottish families who came to this southern part of Seymour Twp. the 1830s and 1840s are much better represented in my data after this project. There is always more to find, so please feel free to comment on the above and provide info if posible.

Ryckman in Murray Twp.

While responding to an email contact, I happened to come across the name Ryckman in Murray Township in the early 1800s. I noticed that I had some of them in my data but they were not connected or organized, so I had a job to do.The best known member of this Ryckman clan, at least from the standpoint of UEL history, was Johannes Ryckman (1738-1784) who married Susannah Brown. He worked with the British during the war, apparently as a spy or messenger. Johannes took his family to Sorel, Quebec during the war and he died at Cataraqui (Kingston) in 1784, leaving a wife and family of young kids. His son, Tobias, submitted a Loyalist Claim in 1788 and both he and his brother, Edward, obtained grants of land in Sophiasburgh. A brother of Johannes Ryckman was Philippus Ryckman who married Rebecca Nagel (c1782) and came to Canada around 1791, settling in Sophiasburgh Twp. with relatives. Philippus got several land grants, both in Murray Twp. and Sophiasburgh Twp. and acquired considerable property by the time he died in 1847. Two sons of Philippus Ryckman, Tobias P. and Jacob, lived on their father's land in Murray, at Conc 2, Lot 10 & 11, and later in Conc 3, Lot 7. They received parts of the Murray land before their father died in 1847. Tobias P. Ryckman was an obvious presence at Conc 2, Lot 10 & 11, Murray Twp. from the 18-teens until he sold the land in 1853. There is no information about his first wife, but there is a record to show he married Elizabeth Campbell in 1852, when he was age 69. A son of Tobias P. Ryckman was Munson Ryckman, who obtained the land from his father and raised a family on Conc 2, Lot 10 until his death in 1860. His wife was Fidelia Gainforth, a sister of James and Thomas Gainforth, who were well known early settlers a bit farther north in Murray. Munson Ryckman died in Murray in 1860 and was buried at McPhail's Cemetery with his wife. In fact, his daughter Harriet married Hugh McPhail. It seems that there was a son George, born c. 1816 in Murray, but there is no mention of him after the 1848 census. Many of the Ryckman family left the area and ended up in Michigan or Oregon. I have no more info for this George. Several other children that are obvious from the census records during the 18-teens and 1820s indicate that there are more people to track down. At this point, I represent them with ? because we do not know their names yet. Another son of Philippus Ryckman and Rebecca Nagel was Jacob who married Adrianna Harriet Van Houten in 1808. Except for a few early children that may have died, this family is much more complete in terms of knowing the names of the children. Daughter Rebecca married James Alley, daughter Permilla married James Chatterson and daughter Harriet married Samuel Birdsall. A Tobias Ryckman married Jane ?Spencer?; he seems to fit in with this family as well, although info is scant. James Albert Ryckman, the youngest son of Jacob, moved to western Ontario, married Mary Westover and ended up in Lapeer Co., Michigan. Albert, another son of Philippus Ryckman and Rebecca Nagel, married Charity Warren and settled in Sophiasburgh Twp. His son Edward would be a presence at Conc 1, Lot 27, SW of Green Point into the early 1900s. Another son of Albert, Philip Ryckman, married Sarah McTaggart and, along with others of the McTaggart clan, moved to Usborne Twp., Huron Co. where they established homesteads and a long-standing presence.

There is one other family of Ryckmans who lived in Murray in those early decades that evades definition, at least for now. We see a John Ryckman in Murray Twp. very near Tobias and Jacob Ryckman. The census records show that this family lived on Conc 3, Lot 12 and 13 until he sold the land in 1848 and moved away. I found nothing to indicate who his parents were or even the name of his wife, let alone several kids. For now, I have placed him as a son of Tobias Ryckman and Susannah Brown but that is just a guess to get him into the database. Initially I thought this was the John Ryckman mentioned as the youngest of the three sons of Johannes Ryckman who had died at Kingston in 1784. He lived near Jacob and Tobias, so it makes sense he might be either a brother or a first cousin. However, John Ryckman, born 1774, is shown in several trees in ancestry.ca to be married to a Sarah Carpenter and living his life in New York state. There are no documents provided to support this but it has been repeated in many trees, so it may be true. Until documents are provided, I have reflected this info in my data with references to trees that contain this family. As I mention in the info, I am skeptical. In any case, there is a complete family that lived in Murray Township, including at least 6 children, that remains totally undefined - except for the father, John Ryckman. The records suggest that they left the area before 1850 and I expect they may have moved to Michigan or Oregon or someplace, along with several other Ryckmans, However, I did not find anything further about them during this bout of research. Help needed here!!

John Taylor of Thurlow

An experienced researcher sent me information regarding John Taylor (1759-1829) who was one of the first settlers in the place that would become Belleville. The interesting info included circumstances around the arrival of John Taylor and others on a site at the bend in the river which would later be Cannifton. This links with other work done regarding the McKenzie, McArthur, Singleton and Chisholm families who were part of the first settlement groups. You can now see lots more detail re these groups, and, in particular, John Taylor and his desendents. I was very interested in this for another reason. Brighton history includes John Singleton, the son of George Singleton, and the details about John Taylor help to paint the picture of George Singleton's early presence in this place, his untimely death in 1789, the subsequent marriage of his widow, Nancy (McArthur) Singleton to Alexander Chisholm, and her role in the early development of Brighton. Even closer to my own family trees, Daniel McKenzie, who was part of the Thurlow group, was the second husband of Emma King, a daughter of George King and younger sister of the notorious Dr. William Henry King who poisoned his wife in Brighton and was hanged in Cobourg in June 1859. Love to see those connections!

I was also very interested in further documenting the early use of land at the mouth of the Moira River and the subsequent development in that area. A year ago or so I had done a project on William Bell who was one of the first merchants to the west of there, then right in the town. He became a major mover-and-shaker in Belleville in those early decades. John Taylor established himself just to the east of the mouth of the river soon after coming to the area and that property would be in Taylor hands for many decades. The Taylor Burying Grounds Cemetery was established there to host the early Taylor settlers, but was moved when the Belleville Cemetery was established.

John Clarke and Andrew Johnson

A researcher sent me info re two families in the area of Alnwick Township and the town of Hastings. John Clarke (1808-1875) came from Ireland and raised a family in Alnwick Township, including youngest daughter Margaret who married James Lyons Johnston. The main issue with both families was the proper spelling of the surname. The info I received along with subsequent documentation I found makes it very clear that the proper spelling for this family is Clarke. The other name is less clear. It is obvious that James Lyons Johnston insisted on using the "t" spelling of his surname. The documents are totally consistent in supporting this, including a letter he wrote himself in the late 1880s. It continues right up to his memorial in Scarborough Lawn Cemetery in 1929. The documents are also very consistent in showing that his father was Andrew Johnson, including his memorial. Besides that, most of the documentation for James' siblings maintain the Johnson spelling. In my genealogy travels there have been many situations re surname spelling and this one is a perfect example of disagreements or just different preferences among siblings of a famly, resulting in confusion for researchers. It was great to clear up these two families in one project. Thanks to the researcher for passing on the info.