Descendants of Robert SAUNDERS & Jane WYNNE

Robert SAUNDERS emigrated from Ireland to Canada in 1823. It is believed he came with his parents and sisters. He was the only son in the family and had several sisters who went to London, Ont., area at later dates and were married in the London area.
Bessie LAIDLAW-BUTCHART has the following to say regarding Robert SAUNDERS, sisters and parents: "They had come from Antrim, North Ireland, and we have learned from Ada HUTCHESON (now deceased), of Oshawa, that she was told by her mother that the SAUNDERS were driven off their land during one of the uprisings, made their hurried way to the seaport, losing packages of silver and other household effects on the way when fording some river, emigrated to Canada, settled, first near Perth, Ont." In 1842, Robert, Jane and their family were living on Lot 21, Con. 3E, Beckwith Twp., Lanark Co. They had 200 acres of land and this is not far from Perth, Ont.
In 1842, Robert's mother was living with them as she also was in 1851 and she was 75 years of age in 1851. We do not have a record of when she passed away. They lived in a 1 1/2 story log house. They raised the usual crops of oats, barley, wheat and peas on their farm.
In 1854, there was a big land sale of Crown lands in Bruce Co. Sept. 27th and thereafter for several days. The surveying of Greenock Twp. had been completed in 1852 and much property in this township was to be sold at ten shillings per acre with nine years to pay. Robert SAUNDERS, his son-in-law, John KEYES and his next-door neighbour from Beckwith Twp., James KEYES, all purchased property in Greenock Twp. and moved there from Beckwith in 1855. We do not know their reason for leaving Beckwith Twp., but Greenock Twp. was thought to be good land. Robert SAUNDERS was 52 years of age and James KEYES was 68 years of age when they purchased this land.
Robert SAUNDERS had purchased Lot 6, Con. 16, Greenock Twp., while John KEYES purchased Lot 8, Con. 16 and James KEYES purchased Lot 5, Con. 17. There were very few roads in Bruce County in 1855 and the roads they did have would be little better than trails through the bush. The same conditions probably were true the greater part of the way from Bruce to Lanark County. It is difficult to imagine how these pioneers were going to move their families, household goods, farm implements, cattle, hogs. etc., over this 550 mile route from Beckwith Twp. to Greenock Twp. and then build a house and barn and start clearing the land at their new home. But they did it. Robert and Jane sold their farm to their son, Samuel, and his wife, Elizabeth, in 1869.


Written by Mary KEYES-YOUNG and Burton KEYES in 1973
James SAUNDERS was born in March 1839, at Lot 21, Con. 3E, Beckwith Twp., close to the village of Franktown, Lanark Co., Ontario. His parents were Robert SAUNDERS 1802-1872 and the former Jane WYNNE 1812-1897. He was married to Mary Ann ROWE of Paisley, Ontario, in 1862.

Mary Ann was born July 9, 1844, near Durham, Grey Co., Ont. Her parents were Samuel Thomas ROWE and the former Mary
VOLLETT. Mary VOLLETT came to Canada with her parents when they emigrated from Truro, Cornwall, England, about 1839 and settled on a farm near Durham. Having known Mary VOLLETT in England, Samuel T. ROWE followed the VOLLETT family to Durham and married Mary soon after finding her about 1842. Mary died after their first child, Mary Ann, was born and Mary Ann was cared for by her VOLLETT grandparents. Mary Ann was about ten years of age when her father took her from Durham to Paisley which was three years after he and his friend, Simon ORCHARD, had founded the Village of Paisley.

It appears there may have been an epidemic of some disease such as diphtheria which struck the James SAUNDERS' home and caused the death of four of the youngest children within a short period. Whatever the cause may have been, this was a terrible tragedy to befall the family.

James moved from Beckwith Twp. to Greenock Twp., Bruce Co., Ont. in 1855 which was the same year in which his parents, brothers and sisters made the same move. Without a doubt, we believe he helped his parents to build a house and barn and carve out a farm from the bush. The 1861 census records show him to be staying at the home of his parents. The 1867 Bruce County Directory shows James owned a 100 acre farm known as Lot 15, Con. 13, Greenock Twp., which was across the sideroad from James' brother-in-law and sister, William and Mary

James began his teaching career in the Village of Paisley in 1862. Mrs. Bessie
LAIDLAW BUTCHART has seen the teaching Certificate issued to James SAUNDERS and it was personally signed by Egerton RYERSON. He started teaching in a log school. Due to overcrowding, a brick school was being erected in 1866 and was opened in 1867. Another teacher was hired and James became principal. See the History of Bruce County , by Norman ROBERTSON, pages 388 and 389.

James became the first Reeve of Paisley when it was incorporated in 1874. He was re-elected in 1875-6-7-8-9, 1880 and 1882. He passed away in 1883. Paisley post-office was first opened in 1856 with Thomas
ORCHARD as postmaster. James SAUNDERS became postmaster a few years later. After James' death, his wife, Mary Ann, took over as postmistress and it remained in her name until her death in 1917. Each member of their family worked in the post-office as soon as they could help and up to the time of their marriage. Mary Ann's son-in-law, James LAIDLAW, passed up other business opportunities and helped by becoming Ass't. Postmaster during her later years.
James SAUNDERS passed away in 1883. His wife, Mary Ann, passed away in July 1917. Both rest in a Paisley cemetery.

Burton T. KEYES (1903-1991) and Mary Lolita KEYES YOUNG compiled a genealogy, The Robert SAUNDERS Family of Ireland & Canada in 1973 and thanks to them much of thishistory has been preserved. Both Mary and Durton are direct descendants of the captioned couple.
See Burton's Pedigree Chart. Other Ancestral Families connected to Burton are; COOMANS; SAUNDERS; WYNNE; NEEDHAM & STRINGER.

Mary Lolita's granddaughter, Ruth Ann NEIL is a direct descendant of the captioned couple, see her Pedigree Chart.
Other Ancestral Families connected to Rith Ann are; REID; STEWART/ NEIL; GLASS; YOUNG; HODGINS; KEYES; NEEDHAM & STRINGER.

Bessie LAIDLAW BUTCHART is a direct descendant of the captioned couple. See her daughter Betty BUTCHART's Pedigree Chart.
Other Ancestral Families connected to Betty BUTCHART are;McKECHNIE; ROSS; SAUNDERS; WYNNE; ROWE & VOLLETT.

Margaret MOONEY-McCLURE who currently lives in Paisley is a direct descendant. See her Pedigree Chart Other Ancestral Families connected to Margaret are; THOMPSON; KEYES; SAUNDERS; MOFFATT; PETRIE; RITCHIE*/ KELLY.

Surname with asteriisk (*) denotes connection to our Ancestors on our Home Page.

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Please note: The majority of the data has been compiled from many different sources on the internet and the information is only as good as what has been input. Information is corroborated where possible.

Latest Revision March 20, 2016

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