The following is a history, in genealogy format, of the descendants of William WATSON and Jane RITCHIE as far as I have been able to compile to date. Although it starts with William and Jane being born in Ireland , in 1815 and 1827 respectively, you will soon see this narrative has no beginning and no end.
William was born in County Tyrone , Ireland in 1815, how he arrived in Upper Canada is not evident but my first encounter with him was in the 1851 Census of Vaughan Township, York County , and at the time he was married and had a two-year-old son. I believe he was married in Upper Canada , but have seen no record of this and arrived here approx. 1848 or earlier. At this time he was renting 50 acres on Lot 22, Concession 5 of Vaughan Township. This farm was located just west of Maple, north of Major MacKenzie Drive on the east side of Weston Road . The census also confirms that William's cousin William James WATSON was living in with them.
Jane RITCHIE , also born in County Tyrone in 1827, came to Canada with her parents, William RITCHIE and Jane ELLIOTT during the same period and apparently married William in York County circa 1849. The RITCHIE Family eventually settled in Garafraxa Township , Grey County , just north of the town of Durham , Ontario .
After the birth of their second son, Andrew, William, along with his cousin William J. trekked north to the Queen's bush to find land of their own. William chose lot 4 on the Elora Road located just south of the Town of Paisley where the Teeswater River flowed through the farm. Housekeeping was set up in a shanty left behind by an earlier squatter and their first log cabin was completed in 1855. After clearing the required acreage he received official title to 200 acres on November 25, 1859 , consisting of Lots 3 & 4, Concession B, of Elderslie Township . William J. took possession of Lot 2, Con B. The descendants of William John WATSON can be found on the James & Janet WATSON Family, James being William John's father.
The present buildings, latterly owned by Chester TEEPLE, were those originally built by William and the house was one of the first brick homes on the Elora, north of Walkerton. Jane and William raised a family of nine on this farm.
The eldest son Bill (William John) (1851-1948) was commonly known as Squinty Billy . He farmed most of his life on the home farm, Lot 4, Con B of Elderslie. Bill never married and retired to live in Paisley in 1906.
Andy (Andrew) (1853-1936) married Eliza Jane McKEE
in 1879 and they farmed Lot 47 on the 20 th of Greenock . There were eleven children in this family, William, Robert, Jim, Albert, Alfred, Mary, Mattie, Frank, Mabel (Mrs. Joe ROWLEY ), Alice and Howard.
In 1877 Eliza Jane (1856-1936) married Edward MAJURY
and lived on Lot 2, Con. A of Elderslie Twp. Eliza and Edward's family were Margaret Jane (Mrs. Jim ALEXANDER
), Elizabeth Ann (Mrs. Geo. GREGG
and later Mrs. Bob ALEXANDER
), Nancy Ellen (Mrs. Ed MAXWELL ), William Robert, John Henry, Edward, Minnie (Mrs. Lionel PARROTT ), Clifford, Lawson and Leslie.
James (1858-1925) married MargaretLEDGERWOOD
in April of 1880 and they raised four children, Elizabeth, Mabel (Mrs. Jim CRUICKSHANK, see the LAMB
Family ), Olive (Mrs. Gordon SUTHERLAND ) and Wilbert. They farmed on Lot 32, Con A of Brant Twp. just north of Eden Grove.
Sarah Ann (1858-1922) never married and kept house for her brother Bill on the home farm and moved into Paisley with him when he retired in 1906.
Bob (Robert Alexander) (1864-1944) took over the fifty acres south of the home farm and built a house there. In 1887 he married Elizabeth DAVISON
and they raised three boys, Fred, Marshall and Mel.
Rebecca (1864-1944) married Alfred BLOUGH and the lived on Lot 6, Con A of Elderslie, a mile north of the home farm on the Elora Road . When Alfred passed away in 1913 Rebecca moved into Paisley. They never had a family.
Margaret (1866-1911) married Dave DAVISON
in 1885. Dave was a brother to Bob's wife Elizabeth. In 1891 Margaret and Dave moved to Prescott, Michigan along with their two young sons, Matthew and Harc (James Harcourt). The following five children where born in Michigan, Annie (Mrs. Geo. SMITH ), Orville, William Floyd (died in his first year), Mabel (Mrs. Percy KINNISH ) and William.
The youngest son David (1869-1947) married Ellen DALGARNO
in 1890. They took over the home farm after the passing of his parents and moved into Paisley in 1933. They had a son Ellsworth and a daughter Nellie who married Chester TEEPLE . Nellie and Chester lived on the home farm and Chester bought the farm after Nellie died.
As I said in the first paragraph, this genealogy has no beginning and no end, and will never be complete. My current goal is to uncover more information on William's parents and how William and Jane arrived in Canada. Meanwhile I would be pleased to hear from all of those reading these pages that recognize errors and omissions or have additional information that could be used to update this family history.
Katherine WATSON-VANDERPLAS is a direct descendant of this family See Pedigree Chart