Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hewgill Family History

Welcome to the Hugill/Hewgill Family History blog.

I am indebted to the late Ruby (Lois) Knight (nee Nielsen), daughter of Ruby Pearl Victoria Hewgill (daughter of Daniel Hewgill and Julia Ward) and Albert Nielsen, who researched the Hewgills for many years for the majority of this information.  All of her research, including her extensive collection of photographs is now in the Region of Peel Archives in Brampton.  Should you wish to view the material I suggest that you call them first to confirm that it is accessible.

The following is my family history down to my great great grandparents:

1. Richard HUGILL
m. ?
lived Hasty Bank Farm, Ingleby Greenhow, North Yorkshire
• Thomas (?)

2. Thomas HUGILL m. Catherine THOMPSON January 14, 1667 at Ingleby Greenhow, North Yorkshire
Lived Hasty Bank Farm, Ingleby Greenhow, North Yorkshire
• Stephen (?)
• Henry (?)
• Daniel (1684-?) m. 1. Maria, 2. Elicia TAYLOR, November 24, 1715
• Isaac (1687-?)
• Thomas

3. Daniel HUGILL ( 1684-?)
m. 1 Maria (Mary) (c 1684- d. January 6, 1714 buried Danby)
• Daniel (1709-?) m. Jane ELLERBY
• Thomas (1714-?) m. Elizabeth JACKSON on May 20, 1740
m. 2 Elicia TAYLOR, November 24, 1715 in Danby, North Yorkshire.
• Timothy (1716-1718)
• Alice (1719-1719)
• Catherine (1723-?) m. Thomas COVERDALE in 1748
• William (1726-?) m. Barbara NICHOLSON on December 25, 1749
• John (1730-?)
• Isaac (1735-1783) m. 1. Elizabeth JACKSON (1735-1773) in 1756 in Danby, m. 2. Eleanor TRINDALE (?-1802) in 1782

Elicia Hewgill was buried at Danby on Jan 16, 1765

4. Daniel HUGILL (1709-?)
m. Jane ELLERBY on June 14, 1744 in Danby, North Yorkshire
• Daniel (1751-1824) m. Ann May WATSON on May 17, 1778
• William (1756-?) . Jane SANDERSON on October 22, 1792

5. Daniel HUGILL (1751-1824)
m. Ann May WATSON on May 17, 1778 in Danby, North Yorkshire
• Ann (1780-1851) m. Ralph WILLEY on January 17, 1809 in Danby, North Yorkshire
• Jane (1781-1809), m. Tom ALLISON on November 24, 1806 at Scalby Near Scarborough, North Yorkshire
• William (1783-1873) m. Alice SLEIGHTHOLM on December 8, 1817
• Mary (1786-1847)
• Hannah (1790-1853) m. Edward KNAGGS on June 13, 1821 in Lythe, North Yorkshire

According to the parish records of the Chapelry of Glaisdale, Danby Parish, Daniel Hugill was a weaver from Fryup.  The baptisms of his daughters Ann in 1780 and Jane in 1781 list the family as being of "Fryup".  His son William indicated in his notebook that he was born in 1783 in Glaisdale so the family must have moved there sometime after 1781.  Daniel does not appear in the 1798 Land Tax Redemption Records for Glaisdale Township (or Danby either).  However if he had a small cottage and little land he would have been exempt from this tax; or he may have been subleasing a small cottage from a leaseholder in which case the leaseholder would be responsible for paying the tax.  Perhaps he was living with his family at Readman House?  I am not sure what type of weaving Daniel was involved in but the weaving of linen was an important industry in the the Esk River valley during the 18th and 19th centuries.  It was however fraught with potential problems due to fluctuations in the market.  Later in the 19th century with the onset of mechanization and the influx of cheap cotton materials the industry went into a steep decline.  Daniel Hugill of "Glaisdale" died and was buried at St. Thomas's Churchyard, Glaisdale on April 14, 1824, aged 72.  No will has been found.

6. William Hewgill (1783-1873)
m. Alice SLEIGHTHOLME of Goathland on December 8, 1817 in Danby, North Yorkshire.
• Elizabeth (1818 - 1840)
• William (1821- 1896) m. Jane Foster December 24, 1844 later moved to Grey County
• Daniel (1824 - 1895) m. Isabella Sanderson September 1857
• Ann (1829-1869) m. Matthew HARRISON

According to the baptismal record of their first child Elizabeth in 1818, William and Alice lived in Readman House located in the Township of Glaisdale, Danby Parish.  The barn still stands on the property but the house has been demolished.  Remnants of the house foundation still exist on the property today.  In the Egton Anglican Parish records William is described as a weaver.  William immigrated to Canada with his family in April 1832 aboard the Columbus from Whitby, North Yorkshire to Quebec.  Alice Sleightholme was the daughter of Leonard Sleightholme and Elizabeth Smallwood (1721-1817) (daughter of James Smallwood).  Alice Sleightholme's sister Elizabeth (1774-1840) married John James Middleton.  They were the parents of James Middleton who married Jane Harrison, Matthew Harrison's sister.

7.  Ann HEWGILL (August 9, 1829-July 17, 1869) (converted to Catholicism June 17, 1869)
Matthew HARRISON (1822-January 5, 1887) on May 29, 1849 in St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County. They were married a second time by a Wesleyan Minister on July 1, 1849 no doubt at the insistence of her father who was a Methodist lay preacher.  Ann Hewgill died from tuberculosis and was buried on the Harrison farm on Lot 9, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township along with one child. The cemetery has been protected and preserved as part of the residential development of the property. It is a bit of a  mystery why she was buried here but I speculate that there was a tug-of-war over her body after her death. Given that she only converted to Catholicism one month before her death I am guessing that Matthew Harrison wanted her buried at St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cemetery in Wildfield and her father William Hewgill wanted her buried at the Hilltop Gore Methodist Cemetery. Burial on the farm seems to have been a compromise for all concerned. The cemetery can be viewed here. Ann Hewgill's white marble tombstone lying flat on the ground can be easily seen under the tree in the centre - part of the original apple orchard.  The cemetery has been designated under the Ontario Heritage Act.  The report can be downloaded here.

• Mary Elizabeth (1850-1904) m. Martin BRYNE, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County, Canada - 11 children
• William (1854-1923)
• John Francis (1857-1858)
• Anne Jane (1860-1943) m. Thomas O’BRIEN, February 6, 1883, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County, Canada - 6 children
• Unnamed child (1869-1869), buried on Lot 9, Concession 10, Toronto Gore Township with Ann HEWGILL

Matthew HARRISON m. 2 Winnifred BULGER, Nov 7, 1869
in St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County
• Alice Josephine (1870-1937) m. John James KEHOE, February 29, 1892, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Canada - 7 children (including 2 priests and1 nun)
• Theresa (1872-?) m. William DAVIS, January 31, 1894, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County, Canada - 6 children by 1911 Census
• Agnes Loretto (1873-1963) - never married
• John Francis (1875-1954) m. Mary ROBINSON, May 6, 1895, St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church, Wildfield, Peel County, Canada - 7 children
• Charles Augustus (1878-1898) - never married
• Emanuel (1879-?) m. Mary HORAN, St. John’s Roman Catholic Church, Albion Township, Peel County, Canada ? - ?
• Mary Helena (1882-?) m. Bernard CAMPBELL, January 16, 1907, - ?
• still born male child - twin of Mary Helena (1882-1882)

I would be interested in hearing from anyone researching my family. Please contact me at kikoamoki at

All information and photographs on this site are copyrighted and may not be used without my permission. No use for commercial purposes is permitted. Use for personal research is permitted. © Copyright Michael Harrison 2009.  All rights reserved.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

William Hewgill's Notebook

The following is taken from the notebook of William HEWGILL (1784-1874) my great great great grandfather:

William Hewgill son of Daniel and Ann Hewgill born in the parish of Glazedale North Riding of Yorkshire 10 miles south west of Whitby on the 15th of September 1783. Married to Alice Sleightholme of Goathland on the 8th day of December 1817. Elizabeth their daughter born October 23rd 1818. William born August 26th 1821. Daniel born September 1, 1824. Ann born August 9th 1829.

Sailed from Whitby with the above family on board the Columbus new ship of 750 ton further having on board 245 passengers for Quebec on Monday at 4 Clock, in the afternoon on the 16th day of April 1832.

Passed Pentland forth on the 18th at 5 Oclock afternoon - Lost sight of land on the 19th and entered the Western Ocean - Saw land again on the (blank) of May being part of Newfoundland a mountainous barren coast - Arrived Quebec on Sunday the (blank) of May - Left Quebec on the Chambly Steamer for Montreal reached that place on the (blank) of May [the Chambly arrived in Montreal on June 1, 1832] - Left it the same day for York, on the (blank) in the Great Britain steamer their was 800 persons on board, went the following day to Gore of Toronto.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Mr. John Dixon's Letter from America (Canada)

In a further letter Mr. John Dixon describes the journey from Quebec to the Town of York (Toronto) in 1832 with William Hewgill (Hugill), my great great great grandfather, and then mentions William Harrison of the Gore of Toronto, my great great great grandfather.
To Mr. George Dixon, Darlington

Whit Church, Sept. 30th, 1832.

No doubt you are anxious to know where we are, and how we are doing ; we arrived at Quebec on Sunday, May 27th, but could not get on shore until we were examined by the doctor. Quebec is, I think, more than as large again as Whitby. Many of the inhabitants are French and Irish. There is the finest Catholic Church I ever saw. They would not take our farthings for half-penny, nor would they take two for a copper, which they call a half-penny, so I hammered them out, and they then paid for a copper. We got our things on board a steam-packet the following Wednesday afternoon, and at midnight started for Montreal, 180 miles from Quebec. We arrived on Friday, it looked like a very fine town, but we were not on shore more than a few minutes, and that only on the quay, for a Durham boat was soon along side to take us to Prescot, which is 127 miles. On getting on board this vessel, in the midst of hurry and bustle, we either left, or had stolen from us, a box which contained our hats, &c., also a cask of pots. The boat was like one of the Whitby fishing boats, but much longer. The passage is extremely difficult. The water was, in many places, very shallow, those who were able had often to get out and walk for miles; at other times they had to hire horses, and at times had even to drag the boat along. She was so very much laden, that we scarce had room to sit, even on deck. At nights we brought up in some creek, where we had to seek lodgings; if an old barn could be found to lodge in, it was thought a grand place for us, a few of us, two or three nights, got lodgings at inns,

We arrived at Prescot in six days. We landed our goods on the quay. Your mother, Jane, and Breckon, got lodgings at a private house. John and myself had to lodge with our goods. To our joy we met with Timothy Dowson, who left Glazedale last year; he was packing up his goods to go in the steam packet next day with us to York. There were about a thousand passengers. We stopped at Kingston an hour or two; it is a very neat town.

We arrived at York on June 7th. William Hugill, who went from Glazedale, and ourselves took a house to put our goods and to sleep in, until we could get situations; we paid five shillings a week, and a miserable hovel it was. York is about the size of Darlington, the houses are chiefly built of wood, but there are a few handsomely built of brick. A house, such as I last lived in when at Whitby, would be £60 a year here; and fire wood costs about 9s. per week in winter. I never saw so many shoe-makers' shops by one half in any town the size of York; the trade at present is dull, and the following are the prices -...... I soon found that York would not suit me. William Hugill has friends in the Gore of Toronto, about eighteen miles from York. One William Harrison, a distant relation of ours, lives in the same place. I went with William Hugill to see him; he was very kind to me, and wished me to settle there; he said they were in great want of a shoe-maker, and if I would take up my abode among them, he would build me a house on his own ground, and I might keep a cow, which could go in the woods so that I might be at no expense. It being a new settlement , and the road to it very bad I thought it better to look about me before I made any choice. William Hugill took up his abode there…..

John Dixon

source: Whitby Repository and Monthly Miscellany, Volume III, February 1833 (copy in the Whitby Museum, Whitby North Yorkshire)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Ship "Columbus"

© Michael Harrison 2009
This is a photo of the model of the Columbus the ship that the Hewgill family sailed to Quebec on leaving at the precise time from Whitby harbour as outlined in William Hewgill's diary:

On Monday at 4 Clock in the afternoon of the 16th day of April 1832.

This model is located in the Whitby Museum in Whitby, North Yorkshire.

Below is the poster that advertised the voyage to Canada.

Journey of the "Columbus" to Canada 1832

The journey of the ship Columbus to Canada in April 1832 is documented in the following letter by Mr. J. Dixon.

The letter includes references to both William Hewgill (Hugill) and William Hutchinson who were on the ship.

Mr. R. Frankland, Whitby

On board Ship Columbus, April 16, 1832 - Sailed out of Whitby this evening, a few were sick, my sister and children were of the number. 17th, A fine day and fair wind, sailed three and four miles an hour, several sick, my wife and Jane a little sick, John, Breckon and myself well. 18th, Strong winds from the south, ran nine and ten miles per hour, my sister, her husband, and children, very sick, we went through the Firth about six o'clock this evening, the sea ran high, so that we could not get a pilot, I was on deck when a sea struck us and come over our bulwark, the ship listed so much to one side that ten or twelve men fell down as though they were shot, but were not much worse. 19th, Little wind and cloudy. 20th, A heavy gale, had to take all the sails in, strike top-gallant mas's lay the ship to, and let her drive (in the Western Ocean) most of the people very sick, some cried "If I had known this, I would have begged our bread from door to door before I would have come," this and such-like were the language of a great many who were overpowered with sickness - our John a little sick, - Breckon holds it out well, my wife becomes useful to her sister and family, the whole of them being very sick, - for my own part I am as well both in body and mind as I was on the day we started, for which I am truly thankful to the Lord. We have a public prayer meeting in the evening, preaching a'so on the Lord's day, but only a few attend, some on board laugh and mock at every thing sacred. 21st, The gale a little abated, the people a little revived. Sunday, 22nd, Prayer meeting in the morning, William Outhard preached in the evening. 23rd, The sea ran high, but better weather towards evening. 24th, My sister's youngest child very ill in an inflammation of the breast. 25th, A very fine day, the sea smooth, and the people wonderfully revived, they appeared like a new company, all full of spirits and activity. 26th, The weather fine, all the beds ordered on deck. 27th & 28th, Fine weather and fair wind. Sunday, 29th, Fair wind, going six and seven miles an hour, no hopes of my sister's child, Margaret Headlam has got a son this morning about two o'clock, they have named him William Columbus Headlam. 30th, A young woman fell on deck and flesh-rent her leg. May 1st, My sister's eldest son whilst standing on deck, the ship rolling very much at the time, fell down the hatch-way into the hold, but, through the mercy and providence of God, was not much worse. 2nd, Squally weather, with rain; three o'clock this afternoon my sister's child died. 3rd, About seven o'clock this evening the child was committed to a watery grave. 4th, A fair wind. 5th, A contrary wind. 6th, The wind still contrary, William Hugill preached to the satisfaction of most who heard him. 7th, Contrary wind, a light ship very near us. 8th, Still contrary. 9th, Fair wind, went six and seven miles an hour, spoke a brig. 10th, A fine day, little or no wind, all beds on deck. 11th, Calm. 12th, Fair wind, four and five miles an hour. Sunday 13th, Strong fair wind, William Hutchinson's youngest child very ill, a very large iceberg about two hundred yards off us, a great number of birds about it. 14th, About two o'clock this morning William Hutchinson's child died, and was committed to the deep in the evening about seven o'clock. 15th, We are now upon the banks of Newfoundland, bought some cod-fish and brandy from one of the fishing vessels. 16th, Fair wind, five and six miles an hour. 17th, Little wind. 18th, Died this morning about seven o'clock, John Dobson, a boy about fourteen years of age, he was a nephew to Thomas Blackburn. 19th, John Dobson, this afternoon about four o'clock, was lowered into his watery grave. Sunday 20th, A fine morning, but little wind; we are expecting to see the land every day. 21st, A fine day and fair wind, ran 180 miles in twenty-four hours. 22nd, Cape Race in sight, it was covered with snow. 23rd, We are now in the Gulf with about twenty sail of ships in sight; no doubt you will wish to know how we like our new situation; the water was much better, and the smells not so bad, as I thought they would be, but the conduct of the people were ten times worse than I ever expected; the peaceable were much annoyed by the abominable and filthy language of several on board; it was no uncommon thing for them to be cursing, swearing, and drunk, until twelve and one o'clock in the morning, and if any thing was said to them, they were much worse; it has given me a greater hatred to sin than ever, and a greater love to God and his people; I would say pray for us, that our lot may be cast among those that love and fear God. 24th, Fine day but calm. 25th, Still calm, spoke several vessels that had passengers on board. 26th, Strong fair wind up the river, by four o'clock in the afternoon arrived within twenty-four miles of Quebec, where we had to anchor with many other ships until our captain and doctor went on shore to the doctor's station for the purpose of filing a bill of health; we rode until seven o'clock next night. Previous to our getting under weigh, Mr. Campion's new brig, the Regina, arrived. Sunday 27th, By ten o'clock this morning, we reached Quebec, one Mrs. Shirinton got her bed this morning, we expect to proceed up the river to-morrow, we heard that Mr.Mewburn was at Quebec, we have had as fine a passage and any ship we hear of, for which we feel very thankful, we are all doing well, I doubt not but you have prayed for us, and I hope that you and my friends in Whitby will still lift up your hearts to God for us, that He may still guide us in the way we should go, both temporally and spiritually; I hope you will excuse this scrawl, for I am a poor hand with a bad pen and bad paper, and what is worse, my knee for a writing desk; please to give our kind love to Mr. and Mrs. Fletcher, my cousin Ralph Speedy, and G. Lockey; it would be tedious to mention all my friends by name but you will be so kind as to give your best respects to them all. I conclude with my prayer to God that he may bless you and yours.

J. Dixon

source: Whitby Repository and Monthly Miscellany, Volume III, February 1833 (copy in the Whitby Museum, Whitby North Yorkshire)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

William Hewgill House - The Gore Road

© Michael Harrison 2009

This is a photo of the William Hewgill House which replaced an earlier log cabin. This home use to be located on the east side of The Gore Road just north of Highway 7 in the City of Brampton. It was demolished in the mid 1990s as subdivisions of new homes covered the area.

William Hewgill 1784-1874

© Michael Harrison 2009

This is a photo of my great great great grandfather William Hewgill. His daughter Ann married my great great grandfather Matthew Harrison much to his consternation. In a letter back to relatives in England William laments and bemoans the fact that his daughter married a Catholic.

In the History of Claireville, from 1910, William Porter wrote that William "was an elderly man with a family of two sons and two daughters, his education was above the average, Consequently (sic) became the first teacher in the neighbourhood, and acted as conveyencer for the people for miles around, he was also local preacher for the Weselian (sic) Methodists, his eldest son William went to Collingwood Township and became a prominent farmer there, Daniel his second son followed the building business until his death about 1890, Daniel's son David is on the old place the rest of the sons are respected business men in this and other parts of the province."

One wonders how the son of a weaver, and weaver himself obtained such an education but obviously it was important to his father Daniel that William get a good education.