Col. Mahlon Burwell (18 Feb 1783—25 Jan 1846)

Col. Mahlon Burwell was the son of Adam Burwell and Sarah Vail. He was born on 18 February 1783 at Pequannock, Morris, New Jersey, USA. 1 He died on 25 January 1846 at Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA. 2 He was buried about 27 January 1846 at St Stephens Cemetery, Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA. 3

Notes: From "Mahlon Burwell - The Forgotten Man" by Jane Hughes. 'Mahlon Burwell, Deputy Surveyor, was appointed Registrar of land titles for the District of Middlesex in 1811 and was elected to represent the Districts of Middlesex and Oxford in the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada in 1812. He was a Lieutenant Colonel of the Militia during the War of 1812 and carried off by the enemy to Chillicothe, Ohio, in 1814. In a second raid, the Americans burned his home and buildings at Port Talbot. By 1815 he was re-established at the southeast corner of Burwell's Corners (Talbot Road East and the townline between Southwold and Dunwich townships, Elgin County) where he built a frame house, later erecting a brick home on the northwest corner which housed the Registry Office and is today commemorated by a plaque. He was re-elected in 1816 and 1820 and then again, in 1830, but was defeated in 1834 and in 1836 became the first representative for the town of London. During all this period he held the offices of Registrar, Justice of the Peace and Postmaster and was almost constantly employed by the government as a surveyor of Crown Lands. This esteemed friend of Colonel Thomas Talbot, "faithfully served his chief" in promoting the Talbot Settlement. ... 'In 1809, on Talbot's recommendation, Mahlon was appointed to begin surveying Talbot Road East, which began at Port Talbot, Dunwich and by 1810, extended to Delhi. His many diaries, kept by government order, give terse testimony to the appalling conditions that surveyors endured. It took three weeks for Mahlon to travel from Fort Erie to Port Talbot, battling storms in an open boat, searching for men to make up the surveying party and securing provisions before he could begin his first assignment. Talbot Road West was completed in the 1820's, ending at Sandwich. The Talbot Road, now for the most part Highway #3, extended the settlement nearly 130 miles along Lake Erie. Along with surveys throughout Elgin, Kent, Lambton and Middlesex, Mahlon worked on surveying the Huron Tract, native reserves and the town plot of London. This arduous work brought on rheumatism, and by the 1830's, Mahlon retired. 'He amassed a great deal of land as fees for surveying and generously contributed to the Church. His donations included land at Port Burwell, Caradoc and St. Stephen's at Burwell Corners, Dunwich where he was buried long before the church was built. He was a Mason and a strong supporter of public education. 'He is described as being blunt, self-willed and opinionated, but these are the attributes that can become second nature to men given authority. His long political career attests to the respect given him by the voters. He is never described as being sociable, but what the many authors who have written about him neglect to say is that he had a large immediate family. Relatives such as the Willsons, and friends who originally had lands surrounding the Burwell lands in Bertie township such as the McQueens, were all living nearby. As well, he was in close contact with those associated with Talbot, providing many private connections for whatever little free time he may have had. ... 'Mahlon played an important role in the establishment of the Talbot Settlement. No small example was his role in surveying the North Branch Talbot Road when he deviated from Government directions, following a route that suited Talbot instead. His input politically and as school trustee helped define programs and institutions, which carried on well into the twentieth century. He was Talbot's right-hand man. At Mahlon's death, Talbot was attributed with saying, "He was my best helper, my best friend." ' end of quote from "Mahlon Burwell - The Forgotten Man" From the "Talbot Times" volume XVI issue ONE, March 1997: 'Col. Mahlon Burwell, one of Col. Talbot’s first settlers, an United Empire Loyalist, from New Jersey located in Port Talbot in 1809. His first residence was burned at the burning of the mill in 1813. He then built a log house west of Watson’s Corners and in 1824 a brick home where he lived until his death. Col. Burwell’s practical knowledge of mathematics made him very useful as a surveyor of this wild countryside. He surveyed the township of Malahide and Bayham, the city of London, Villages of Port Burwell, Vienna and others.' The Old English Churchyard in St. Thomas contains a monument (C-18) that reads: '[Masonic symbol] 1818 In memory of Colonel Mahlon BURWELL C. E. born in New Jersey 1783 died in Dunwich Twp. 1846 first Registrar of the Talbot Settlement 1811 First member District of Middlesex Legislative Assembly Upper Canada 1812 First representative of London Town 1836 Erected by his descendants 1929 '

He married Sarah Haun on 20 April 1810 at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, ON, CA. 1

Sarah Haun1 was the daughter of Mathias Haun. She was born about 1789 at Bertie, Welland, ON, CA. 1 She died on 25 August 1870 at Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA. 4,2 She was buried about 27 August 1870 at St Stephens Cemetery, Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA. 2

Children of Col. Mahlon Burwell and Sarah Haun:

          James Cobban Logo


Footnotes:

3
Cemetery Transcription, St. Stephen's Cemetery, Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA :
In memory of / Colonel Mahlon / BURWELL C. E. / born in New Jersey 1783 / died in Dunwich Twp. 1846 / first Registrar of the / Talbot Settlement 1811 / First member / District of Middlesex / Legislative Assembly / Upper Canada 1812 / First representative of / London Town 1836 / Erected by / his descendants 1929
4
1871 Census of Canada : dist 5 Elgin West, subdist B Dunwich, div 2 sched 2
Adam Burwell

born about 12 Dec 1748 at Rockaway, Morris, New Jersey, USA died 9 Dec 1828 at Burwells Corners, Elgin, ON, CA

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Sarah Vail

born about 1756 at New Jersey, USA died 12 Dec 1825 at Burwells Corners, Elgin, ON, CA

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Sarah Haun

born about 1789 at Bertie, Welland, ON, CA died 25 Aug 1870 at Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA

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Mathias Haun

born died

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Isaac Brock Burwell

born 21 Mar 1813 at Ontario, Canada died 20 Aug 1880 at Caradoc, Middlesex, ON, CA

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Alexander Burwell

born about 1814 died

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Hercules Burwell

born about May 1815 at Southwold, Elgin, ON, CA died Oct 1817 at Southwold, Elgin, ON, CA

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Louise Burwell

born about 1818 died 1834

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Leonidas Burwell

born 22 Jan 1818 at Port Talbot, Elgin, ON, CA died 7 Aug 1879 at Port Burwell, Bayham, Elgin, ON, CA

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Mary Burwell

born about 1820 at Ontario, Canada died

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John Walpole Burwell

born 1822 died 1848

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Hannibal Burwell

born 7 Jul 1825 at Ontario, Canada died 2 Aug 1886 at Boston, Massachusetts, USA

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Edward Burwell

born 29 Nov 1829 at Ontario, Canada died 24 Mar 1907

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Source: Mahlon Burwell - The Forgotten Man

Author: Jane Hughes, The London and Western Ontario Branch, United Empire Loyalists' Association of Canada

Source: Cemetery Transcription, St. Stephen's Cemetery, Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA

Type: Book

Source: 1871 Census of Canada

Author: Dominion Bureau of Statistics

Type: Census/Tax

Pequannock, Morris, New Jersey, USA
 
Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA

Township in western Elgin County including village of Dutton.

 
St Stephens Cemetery, Dunwich, Elgin, ON, CA
 
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Lincoln, ON, CA
 
Bertie, Welland, ON, CA
 
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