George Hamilton and Jane Patchell
Pioneer Settlers of North Gwillimbury Township
George1 Hamilton, about 1799 1-10 March 1873. 2 According to his Ontario civil death registry George was born in County Derry, Ireland. 3 If we consider the names and order of George’s children and apply the traditional “Scottish naming pattern” to his family we can see that the names of his parents could have been James and Matilda Hamilton. The male head of a Scottish or Scots-Irish family often named the first son after his father, and the second daughter after his mother. The second son and first daughter were often named, as is the case here, after the mother’s parents. According to family tradition about 1819 George and perhaps two brothers emigrated to New Brunswick. One possible older brother, James Hamilton, emigrated from County Derry in 1819 and settled in Sheffield Parish, Sunbury County, New Brunswick. Another brother is said to have settled in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Edward Patchell family of the parish of Glendermot, County Derry also came to New Brunswick at about the same time as George and his brothers. On Wednesday 18 September 1822 George married Jane Patchell at Saint Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in the parish of Lancaster.4 Lancaster was then a small community that later became the city of Saint John. These Lancaster parish records also state that on 30 September 1825 their first two children/sons were baptized there. One fact that links these two families together is that their early burials were concentrated in the same small local cemetery. Also, the gravestone of Edward Patchell’s son David states that he was born in Saint John, NB. Some time in the 1830’s George and his family moved to Nova Scotia. 5 George and Jane apparently had nine children in the Maritimes before they moved to Canada West in about 1844/45. By about 1848 they had finally settled at Lot 5, Concession 7, North Gwillimbury Township, York County in the Home District of Canada West. At least one of Jane Patchell’s brothers was in the Home District as early as 1842; On 2 January 1843 Edward Patchell [Jr.] married Catherine Somerville in the Home District. Catherine had been born in Ireland and is also thought to have lived in the Maritimes. George Hamilton’s family may have accompanied the Patchell family from the Maritimes to York County, Canada West. In any case the 1851 census for Canada West, taken in early 1852, provides certain knowledge that the known members of the Edward [Sr.] and Mary Patchell family were residing in King Township. That census also confirms that George and Jane were farming in nearby North Gwillimbury Township. George’s death registry of 24 March 1873 informs us that he died after suffering for six months with Asthma. George is buried in what is now known as “Pioneer Burying Ground” located on Eagle Street in the town of Newmarket, Ontario. His gravestone is cemented into a cairn next to the stone of his father-in-law, Edward Patchell. Jane passed away 20 September 1888 and she was buried in nearby Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, Ontario.6 George and Jane Hamilton had 10 children and at least 54 grandchildren.
|1 James2||14 July 1824 7 -19 March 1898 8||md Ann Somerville 9||7 children|
|2 Edward2||20 June 1825- 10|
|3 Mary Jane2||1830 11-18 June 1884 12||md William Moulds 13||7 children|
|4 Matilda2||2 March 1831/32 14 -13 August 1920 15||md Martin Stiles 16||10 children|
|5 Andrew2||25 January 1835 17 -5 February 1857 18||“Æ. 22 Years 11 D’s” 19|
|6 George Jr.2||10 October 1837 20 -21 June 1921 21||md Nancy Johnston-Arnold 22||5 children|
|7 Robert2||19 September 1840 23 -30 November 1915 24||md Elizabeth Bain 25||6 children|
|8 Sarah2||10 May 1842 26 -18 February 1920 27||md Benjamin Johnston 8 October 1867 28||6 children|
|9 David2||18 March 1844/45 29 – 1932 30||md Priscilla Stevenson 31||7 children|
|10 John2||12 December 1845/6 32 -12 August 1922 33||md Joanna Smith 34||6 children|
1 George Hamilton gravestone, “Pioneer Burying Ground”, Eagle Street, Newmarket, York Region, Ontario. George’s gravestone iscription and his civil death record state that he was 74 years of age when he died. If his birth date came after March 10, and he would have been 75 later in 1873, then he would have been born in 1798. Census records state that he was 55 in 1852 or 1853 [born about 1798], 61 in early 1861 , and 70 in early 1871 .
4 George Hamilton-Jane Pechell marriage, 18 September 1822, in Register of Marriages (original record), St. Andrew and St. David Presbyterian Church, Saint John (Lancaster Parish), New Brunswick. This marriage record states that George Hamilton and Jane Pechell (Pechell is a variant, and earlier form, of the Patchell name) were both of Lancaster. Lancaster Parish then consisted of a small community that later became part of the city of Saint John. The record of their marriage is now preserved in the Saint John Regional Library at One Market Square, Saint John, NB. Lancaster Parish records also state that on 30 September 1825 George Hamilton and Jane Patchell’s first two children/sons were baptized.
5 George Hamilton household, 1851 Canada West Census, York County, North Gwillimbury Township, enumeration district [ED] 405, page 45, line 40; Library and Archives Canada microfilm C-11,761. George Hamilton and Jane Patchell’s sixth child and fourth son, George Hamilton (Jr.), believed to have been born 10 October 1837, is listed in all census records as born in Nova Scotia. His older brother Andrew, believed to have been born 25 January 1835, appears only in the 1851 Canada West census, and is listed there as born in Nova Scotia.
6 Jane Hamilton gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription reads: “JANE WIFE OF GEORGE HAMILTON DIED SEPT. 20, 1888 AGED 87 YEARS.” This inscription claims that Jane was 87 in 1888, indicating that she was born in 1801. However, census records state that she was 47 in 1852 or 1853 [born about 1805-6], 59 in 1861 , 67 in 1871  and 74 in 1881 . Her age widely varies in these records so it is difficult to know for certain what year she was born in. Janes gravestone inscription and her entry in the 1881 census give us outside parameters for her birth year of 1801 and 1807. If Jane had been born in 1807 she would have been about 15 when she was married.
7 Baptisms (30 September 1825); St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. John, New Brunswick. James baptism record states that he was born “July 14, 1824.”
8 James Hamilton gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription reads: “James Hamilton born July 14 1825 died March 19, 1898.” This inscription should give James birth year as 1824.
10 Baptisms (30 September 1825); St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, St. John, New Brunswick. Edward’s baptism record states that he was born “June 20, 1825.” No other record of Edward has been found.
12 William Moulds gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription for Mary Jane reads: “IN MEMORY OF MARY JANE WIFE OF WM MOULDS DIED June 18, 1884 Æ. 52 years.”
15 Matilda Hamilton Stiles gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription reads: “Matilda Hamilton wife of Martin Siles 1831 – 1920.”
17 Andrew Hamilton gravestone, Pioneer Burying Ground / Eagle Street Cemetery, Newmarket, York Region, Ontario. Andrew’ gravestone inscription states his age at the time of his death. Therefore, we can calculate his date of birth as 25 January 1835. The inscription on Andrew’s fragmented gravestone, pictured above, can still be made out in it’s entirety. It reads:
George & Jane
Who departed this life
Feb’y 5, 1857;
Æ. 22 Years 11 D’s”
20 Family Tree of Samuel Johnston and Helen [or Ellen] Dougherty, Frances Mitchell (about 1961?).
21 George Hamilton gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription reads: “George Hamilton died June 21 1921 aged 84 years.”
24 Robert Hamilton gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. Robert’ gravestone inscription reads: “ROBERT HAMILTON BORN SEPT. 19 1840 DIED NOV. 30 1915.”
27 Benjamin Johnston family grave monument, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription for Sarah reads: “Sarah Hamilton wife of the above died February 18 1920 aged 78 years.”
28 Marriage notice, The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario, 11 October 1867, page 2, right hand column. Under the heading “Married” this item states “At the Manse, Newmarket, on the 8th instant, by the Rev. John Brown, Mr. Benjamin Johnston to Miss Sarah Hamilton, both of the township of East Gwillimbury.”
33 John Hamilton gravestone, Queensville Cemetery, Queensville, York Region, Ontario. This monument’s inscription reads: “IN MEMORY OF JOHN HAMILTON BORN DEC. 12 1846; DIED AUG. 12 1922.”
George Hamilton’s death record which states that he was born in “County Derry Ireland”