Descendants of James WATSON & Jane HIFE

The following is a history, in genealogy format, of the descendants of James WATSON and Janet HIFE as far as I have been able to compile to date. It starts with James WATSON (1796 - abt.1875) and his wife Janet HIFE (1801 - abt.1865), born and married in County Armagh, Ireland, . Their son William John seems to have emigrated from Ireland in 1849 but all records indicate that James and Janet along with John, Rebecca and Robert Henry came to Upper Canada sometime during the early 1850's. This Journal encompasses at least seven generations to date.


Farm scene above is on the original William WATSON (James' son) Farm, Lot 2, Con B Elderslie Township.
This farm is currently owned by Case & Kathy (WATSON) VANDERPLAS

I first encountered James's son William John in the 1851 Census of Vaughan Twp., York County in Upper Canada , living in with William WATSON and his wife Jane RITCHIE (our direct ancestors) on Lot 22, Con V, as a laborer. Although I have no proof of his relationship, several family members, now passed on, have stated that the two Williams were first cousins. Based on this information, both Williams would have a common ancestor, and therefore I have pursued this family in the hope of establishing proof of this link.

Research to date implies that three connected WATSON families found their way from County Armagh, Ireland to Bruce County, Ontario. Brothers, James (the subject of this Journal) and Andrew (see Andrew WATSON), and their nephew William (our direct ancestor).

William John (1832 - 1918) set out from York County in 1854, accompanying his cousin William
WATSON and his family, to the Queen's Bush, now known as Bruce County, in search of land of his own. He settled on Lot 2, Concession B, of Elderslie Township , this 100 acres fronted on the Elora Road and had the Teeswater River running through the middle. The first log house was built in 1860 and he received his title on May 11, 1867 . James and Janet came to live with their sons in Elderslie where they must have died sometime after 1871. William John WATSON and Jane RICHARDSON were married in 1860 and raised a family of nine. Ann Jane married Joe LYON ; James Thomas moved to Chicago Illinois and married Mary Ellen GILBERT ; William John Jr. also moved to Chicago, Illinois; Robert Hopper was a veterinarian and died in Waco, Texas; Isabella married Chas. WELSFORD ; Rebecca married Sam THOMPSON ; David married Elizabeth LINTICK; Hanna married Tom ALEXANDER , they lived in Eramosa Township, Wellington County near Guelph, Ontario, and Sarah who married Robert SLOAN.

John WATSON born 1840 in Armagh, Ireland and worked as a shoemaker in Brant Twp, Bruce County from abt 1860 until at least 1881. John married Elizabeth
JONES in 1877. She was a sister to Robert's wife Isabel JONES, I cannot trace this couple after the 1881 Census.

Rebecca WATSON(1842-1881) & William
ALEXANDER were married in 1860 and farmed on Lot 31, Con A, Brant Twp, Bruce County near Eden Grove. They raised a family of eleven; Elizabeth married John BUTCHART ; James married Martha THOMPSON ; John married Frances COLBURNE ; Robert married Elizabeth MAJURY, and after her death in 1908 he married Ann GREGG ; Janey married Tom THOMPSON ; William married Elizabeth ELPHICK ; George married Minnie ELPHICK ; Janet married Andy WATSON ; Andrew; Tom married Margaret ELPHICK and Rebecca married John ROUMEY.

Robert Henry (1851 - 1902) married Isabel
JONES in 1879 and they had a family of four; William James, who married Lily NORQUAY ; Robert Henry Jr. married Abigail STAUFFER ; Janet married Martin CASSIDY and Martha who married George NORQUAY . Robert and Isabel seem to have spent all their lives living in Brant Township, Bruce County. Lily and George were both cousins to The Honourable John NORQUAY, first Premier of Manitoba.

This genealogy is by no means complete and ultimately, as stated earlier, I hope to identify James's father and thereby establish the link between the two Williams. Meanwhile I would be very pleased to hear from all those reading these pages who recognize errors and/or omissions or those who have additional information that would either help make this narrative more complete or more interesting to those reading it in the future.

Table of Contents

  Descendants of James WATSON
  Surname List
  Index of Names
  Sources (Bibliography)

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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 February 2, 2014

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