Samuel Johnston and Frances Mary Atkinson

Samuel2 Johnston, (John1), 8 March 18481-7 December 1913. 2 Samuel was born in “Canada”. Samuel was the sixth child and fifth son born to John Johnston and Margaret Tait. Samuel may have been named after an uncle who could have remained in Ireland. The 1852 Ontario census record for East Gwillimbury Township states Samuel would be 5 years of “Age next birth day.” As this census is believed to have been taken in early 1852 Sam may have reached age 5 later in the same year. The 1861 Ontario census states Samuel was then 13 years old. In the 1871 census Samuel is still at home with his mother Margaret and his siblings Thomas, Mary Ann and John. Thomas is stated as 25 years old and this would seem to be about right. But, Samuel is shown as the head of the household and an age of 26 years is attributed to him. An age of 23 years is more likely as Thomas was about two years older than Samuel. Why the misinformation? Why is Thomas not looking after the family when he is really the eldest? On Wednesday 22 November 1876 Samuel married Frances Mary Atkinson, -21 April 1897, in Newmarket, Ontario. 3 The registry for the marriage of Samuel and Mary is especially helpful. It records Mary’s parents as Robert Atkinson and Jane Swain. Maggie J. Brown and Mary J. Somerville of Newmarket witnessed the wedding ceremony. Most important of all, however, is that it confirms that the maiden name of Samuel’s mother was “Tate”! While Margaret’s Tate surname was known by some of her descendants this is one of only three known documents that preserve it. The 1870 marriage registry of Samuel’s younger sister Sarah Jane (1.7) also preserves Margaret’s maiden name spelling it “Tait”. Either form is considered correct. Tait/Tate, like Johnston, was originally a border-scot name. Samuel is clearly given an age of 38 years on the marriage registry. This was an error. Samuel was 28 years of age. If we accept 28 as his correct age then Samuel would have been born after November 22 in 1847. As we have seen Samuel’s baptism record states that he was born “Mar. 8, 1848”. The 1891 census that states that Samuel was then 43 years old and the fact that both of Samuel’s parents had been born in “Ireland”. At one time Samuel owned and operated the Central Hotel on Main Street in Newmarket. A funeral invitation for Samuel’s mother, Margaret [Tate] Johnston states that she had passed away at his “residence” on “Main Street, Newmarket” on “Thursday, January eleventh, 1894”. On “Sunday, January fourteenth, 1894” those who wished to attend Margaret’s funeral were invited to “Meet at the house at 10 o’clock, a. m., thence to Mount Albert Cemetery.” The 1901 census does not show Samuel but does show two children living with their grandmother Jane Swain Atkinson and her brother John Swain at Lot 5, Conession 5, North Gwillimbury Township, near Ravenshoe, Ontario. Next door at Lot 4 were their cousins Joseph Hamilton Johnston (1.3.1) and Benjamin Wilmot Johnston (1.3.5). Samuel, his wife Mary and some of their children are buried near his mother, Margaret, and his sisters, Elizabeth Johnson (1.1) and Mary Ann Cleland (1.8) in Mount Albert Cemetery. Samuel and Mary had a total of five children.

1. Josephine Frances3 22 October 1877-13 July 1914 md Thomas Bennet Bosworth 7 children
2. John Swain3 31 May 1879-29 October 1960 10 md Annie Ethel Davidson 11 2 children
3. Archibald Scott3 13 October 1880-26 April 1882
4. Fredrick Lea3 26 July 1883-23 March 1884
5. Lillian Winfred4 11 June 1889-11 October 1978 md Robert Maynard Hoecker no issue



Samuel, his son John Swain Johnston, and Samuel’s young grandson Joseph Samuel Johnston

1 Baptisms, 1848-1868 (5 June 1849), unpaginated, arranged by date; St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Newmarket, Ontario. Samuel’s baptism record states that he was born “Mar. 8, 1848”.
2 Samuel Johnston death notice, The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario, Friday, 12 December 1913, page . Under the heading “The Tomb” this item states “At the home of his son John S. Johnston, at Mount Pleasant [near Ravenshoe], on Sunday, Dec. 7th, 1913 Samuel Johnston, late of Newmarket, in his 66th year.” Samuel’s civil death registry states that he died at Lot 5, Cocession 5, North Gwillimbury Township at 65 years of age on 7 December 1913 after having suffered from Epilepsy for six weeks, with the immediate cause of death being heart failure. The recorded date of death is in agreement with the inscription on his gravestone, but that stone says that he died in his 68th year. The gravestone is incorrect. If Samuel had been in his 68th year (67+) then he would have been born in 1846. Samuel’s older brother Thomas was born in 1846, and as we have seen, Samuel’s baptism record states that he was born “Mar. 8, 1848”.

10 John S. Johnston death notice, The Newmarket Era and Express, Newmarket, Ontario, 2 November 1960, page 6.
11 Johnston–Davidson marriage notice, The Newmarket Era, Newmarket, Ontario, Friday, 13 November 1903, page .

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