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? Help John Wilton (27 May 1790—13 May 1861)

John Wilton has no recorded parents. He was born on 27 May 1790 at Bruton, Somerset, England. 1 He was baptized on 3 October 1790 at Bruton Parish Church, Bruton, Somerset, England. 2 He lived in 1844 at lot 20&21 Mgore, Yarmouth, Elgin, ON, CA. 3 He died on 13 May 1861 at N ½ lots 25&26 con 13, London, Middlesex, ON, CA. 4 He was buried at Nineteen Mile Creek Cemetery, New Sarum, ON, CA.

User Reference: W

Notes: [Ross William Wilton]

The Wilton family were among the early settlers in Upper Canada with John Wilton Sr arriving in 1834 with his wife Sarah Churchill and 6 of their 7 children. His son William came over later. They came from Bruton in Somerset, England but probably had older connections to Wilton in the neighboring Wiltshire.

Sarah Churchill was connected to the famous Churchill of the Queen Anne period who became Duke of Marlborough. She had access to family funds during her lifetime. The Wilton and Churchill families lived in Bruton from the 1600s to the 1800s. The Churchill family owned property there. Miss Sarah Churchill, Sr., spinster, and aunt of Sarah Churchill, owned property and several tenement buildings at Elliott's Barton, in Bruton. At her death she was in possession of at least four tenement buildings. John Wilton lived in one of the Churchill's tenement(apartment) buildings in Elliott's Barton in Bruton and was employed by the Churchills as a gardener. He married Sarah in 1809 and continued to live in the Churchill building until at least 1822 when they moved to Frome, about 10 miles away, where Daniel was born.

Several others, beside John and Sarah (Churchill) Wilton, and her sister and husband, Charles and Jane (Churchill) White, were living in the tenement buildings in Elliott's Barton belonging to Aunt Sarah Churchill in 1821. They were, Thomas Cary, John Bacon, Sophia Andrews, and Pitman Wilton.

Aunt Sarah Churchill (spinster) died December 3, 1821 and her will was probated before Christmas. She left her estate to her four surviving nieces, the daughters of her brother James Churchill. Through her will Sarah (Churchill) Wilton wife of John Wilton received a substantial (for the day) inheritance.

The church records in Bruton for the John Wilton family cease with the baptism of son Thomas Wilton in 1820. Between 1822-1834 the whereabouts of this family in England has not yet been documented. Records of Frome and other nearby areas have been searched but documentation of the baptisms of the last three sons remain elusive. The inscription in the cover of the family Bible would indicate that they were in Somerset in 1827, as it reads "John Wilton, His Book, December 11, 1827, Somersetshire." The eldest son William Wilton married at Witham Friary, Somerset in 1839.

["Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New York 1830-1832", From Customs Passenger Lists Transcribed by Elizabeth P. Bentley, Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., Baltimore, 2000, pages 1084 and 1145.] Sarah and the children (except William) arrived in New York on 12 Dec 1832 on the ship "Sterling" out of Bristol.

[Ross Wilton] They bought land on the 10th concession of Yarmouth township in 1846, and cleared the land and built a log house. They were joined by the oldest son William, in 1856. He had stayed in England where he was a blacksmith, He now settled near them at New Sarum in Yarmouth township.

The names of John Wilton, Sr., and Jr., are included in a listing of the names of volunteers who were called up to contest the 1837 Rebellion in Upper Canada which was led by William Lyon MacKenzie. The obituary of John Wilton Jr., states that he defended his country as a young man.

John Wilton lived as a widower for about a quarter of a century (1837-1861).

Conditions were harsh and life was a continuous struggle for survival. The countryside was nearly all big timber woods. The family built their first house in Canada from logs cut from the timber which was felled to clear the space for the house and the fields. The forests were inhabited by wolves and bears which terrorized the few scattered settlers. Money was scarce and work was paid for in barter such as a part of a pig or beef or a sac of flour. Men worked in the fields for a top wage of 50 cents per day in the summer and for just their board in the winter.

Most of the early efforts of the family were concentrated on erecting shelter for themselves and their animals, clearing the land and growing enough food to keep themselves from starving. It was a long time from one harvest season to the next and they had to be self-sufficient. Winter preparations included drying apples, pumpkins, beans and corn; making jelly and pickles, and smoking and salting pork and other meat. Beeswax was melted and made into candles. Clothes were made from wool and animal hides.

Articles used by John and his family included candle moulds, a wooden boot jack for pulling off hip boots, oxen shoes, and an oxen yoke for harnessing the "power" to clear the land and get the wood out of the bush. They had a 100 year old family Bible bearing the inscription "John Wilton Wilton, His Book, December 11, 1827, Somersetshire" inside both the front and back covers. Some of these articles were displayed at the Wilton Picnic in 1927, when Adolphus Wilton, of Windsor, (grandson of John Wilton, Sr.) read his one page Wilton Family History.

In this Wilton Family History, written by Adolphus Wilton in 1927, (nearly one hundred years after the John Wilton family came to Upper Canada) he states that the family purchased land from Jacob Crane and John Tuttle. The papers for this transaction were dated 1846 and were written on parchment. The land was measured in poles, chains, and links, and the money was stated in pounds and shillings. Perhaps this reference is to another parcel of land purchased by John Wilton, Jr., where he settled with his wife, before they went to Caradoc Township in 1868.

On the 1857 Tax Rolls for the North Ward of Yarmouth Township, School Section 21, John Wilton, Sr., is listed as a freeholder of five acres of land, Concession 20, lot 21. His son, John, Jr., is listed as the freehold owner of lot 20 and the rest of lot 21. On the tax rolls of 1860 the five acre property is in the name of Samuel Wilton, the youngest son.

The registry office records in St. Thomas, which begin in 1863, state that gore lots 20 and 21, concession 10, Yarmouth Township, Middlesex County, were granted to John Wilton from the Crown. Yarmouth Township was part of Middlesex County before Elgin became a county in 1851. The file in the Township Papers, for this property, is empty. I believe this reference to John Wilton is to John Wilton Sr., and John Wilton, Jr.

He spent his later years with his offspring in Yarmouth Township. Sons Thomas and Daniel married and moved to Lambton County, where they purchased farm land and established their families. However, sons, William, John, and Samuel stayed in the Yarmouth area until after their father's death. John, Jr., married and raised his family there until 1868. Samuel, the youngest son, remained a bachelor until after his father's death.

In John's later years roles were reversed as son, Samuel, now looked after his aging father. John lived with, and was cared for by his bachelor son, Samuel. John and Samuel spent many years living together. John Wilton Sr., age 72, is listed with the William Wilton family on the 1861 Yarmouth Census. Although life in Canada was not easy for John Wilton, Sr., he lived to within a few days of his 71st birthday. He died at Yarmouth Township, on May 13, 1861, age 70 years. His tombstone indicates that his age at death was 75 years. This appears to be in error.

A badly weathered lichen-covered slab stone with a weeping willow tree carved on its upper part, Marks the final resting place of John Wilton, Sr., in the Nineteen Mile Creek Cemetery/New Sarum Baptist Church Pioneer Cemetery. The stone is located at the foot of a large tree in a clearing overlooking a quiet stream. My wife and I visited this obscure grave site in the summer of 1980. The stone contains the following information. It is enclosed by the outline of a shield.

In
Memory of
John Wilton
Died
May 13, 1861
Age 75 Years

John Wilton is the only member of his family to be buried in this pioneer cemetery.

His tombstone and his Bible are the only known remaining material tributes to him.

The descendants of the John Wilton and the William Nelson Wilton families gathered in the London area for a Wilton Family Picnic beginning in 1919 and continuing until the 1960's. The William Nelson Wilton descendants may still have their picnic in Michigan.

John Wilton and Sarah Churchill

John has an age discrepancy at death. If his dates are 1790-1861 he would be 70-71 years old at death. His tombstone says he was 75 years old at death. Discrepancies in age at death are not unusual in deaths at this age, and in this time period, and where his wife, Sarah (Churchill) Wilton had died many years before in 1836.

Sarah died and was buried December 23, 1836, in the Old English Church Yard, St. Thomas, ON. It was a bleek Christmas that year as John buried his wife and assumed full care for their children as young as Samuel age 7.

He married Sarah Churchill on 25 December 1809.

Sarah Churchill5 was the daughter of James Churchill and Rebecca Burt. She was also known as Sarah Jane Churchill.6She was born about 1787 at Bruton, Somerset, England. 7 She was baptized in 1788 at Bruton, Somerset, England. 2 She died on 21 December 1836 at Yarmouth, Elgin, ON, CA. 8 She was buried on 23 December 1836 at Old English Cemetery,St Thomas, ON, CA.

Notes: The family suffered a severe tragedy when about two years after arriving in Yarmouth Township, Sarah (Churchill) Wilton, wife and mother of the family, died just before Christmas 1836. John and Sarah would have celebrated their 27th wedding anniversary on Christmas day. The burial Register of the Old English Church (St. Thomas' Church, at St. Thomas Village) lists the burial of Sarah Wilton on December 23, 1836 at age 49 years. Rev. Mark Burnham was the Rector. The family had hardly been in Upper Canada long enough to begin to get settled before they had to deal with the upset of Sarah's death. Sarah was survived by her husband John, Sr., (46) and children Elizabeth (26), Thomas (16), John (14), Daniel (10), and Samuel (7) in Yarmouth. The eldest son William (20) was still living in England. As Samuel (7) was the youngest child his father spent many years caring for his son, Samuel, until he was old enough to be independent. An infant great-great-granddaughter, Muriel Hattie Eugene Wilton, born November 17, 1909, baptized March 6, 1910, buried June 8, 1910, age 7 months, by Rev. Arundel A. C. Hill, rests with Sarah (Churchill) Wilton. Muriel H. E. Wilton was the daughter of Henry Edward Wilton, teamster, and Maude (Harvey) Wilton of St. Thomas. Edward Wilton was the son of William Wilton 1839-1895, who was the son of William Wilton ba 1816-1901, who was the eldest son of Sarah (Churchill) Wilton. No tombstone marks either of their graves. [Ross William Wilton] Son Samuel Wilton listed his mother's name as Sarah Jane Churchill on his marriage records.

Children of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill:

          James Cobban Logo


Footnotes:

1
Church of England parish records, Bruton, Somerset, England :
> Note: Bruton Parish Church Records, Baptisms, Bruton, Somerset, England. Mary Hobhouse, Genealogical Researcher, 1996. Courtest Audrey Casari.
3
Ontario Land Record Index : RG 1 series 15 vol 4 page 452
4
Nineteen Mile Creek/New Sarum Baptist (Pioneer) Cemetery Records :
> Note: Nineteen Mile Creek/New Sarum Baptist (Pioneer) Cemetery Records. At Canadian Baptist Archives, McMaster University Divinity College, Hamilton, ON. Read 1979-80 by Ross Wm Wilton.
5
Church of England parish records : Bruton, Somerset, England
6
Marriage Register, CA, CW, County Registers : Elgin County 1858-1869 :
marriage of son Samuel 1866
7
Ross Wilton :
Date of Import: Nov 5, 2000
8
Cemetery Transcription, Old English Churchyard, St.Thomas, ON, CA :
> Note: Wilton, Sarah, Burial. Old English Church, St. Thomas, ON, Burial Records. Ross Wm Wilton 1981.
Sarah Churchill

born about 1787 at Bruton, Somerset, England died 21 Dec 1836 at Yarmouth, Elgin, ON, CA

Marriage of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809.

Child of James Churchill and Rebecca Burt on 1785

James Churchill

born WFT estimate 1760 died

Marriage of James Churchill and Rebecca Burt on 1785.

Rebecca Burt

born WFT estimate 1760 died

Marriage of James Churchill and Rebecca Burt on 1785.

Elizabeth Wilton

born 4 Apr 1810 at Bruton, Somerset, England died 1883

Marriage of Horatio Nelson Samson and Elizabeth Wilton on 29 Jun 1837.

Child of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809

William Wilton

born about Mar 1816 at Bruton, Somerset, England died 8 Mar 1901 at Thomas Williams Home, St Thomas, ON, CA

Marriage of William Wilton and Sarah Wells on 12 Apr 1839.

Child of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809

John Wilton

born 22 May 1818 at Bruton, Somerset, England died 25 Mar 1904 at Colborne St, Strathroy, Middlesex, ON, CA

Marriage of John Wilton and Hettybel Elizabeth "Hittybel" Crane on 18 Oct 1845.

Child of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809

Thomas Wilton

born 1820 at Bruton, Somerset, England died 20 Feb 1889 at Howe, Oconto, Wisconsin, USA

Marriage of Thomas Wilton and Hannah Plant on between 1841 and 1843.

Child of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809

Daniel Wilton

born 9 May 1826 at Frome, Somerset, England died 27 Feb 1893 at Caradoc, Middlesex, ON, CA

Marriage of Daniel Wilton and Mary Stephenson on 1 Feb 1847.

Marriage of Daniel Wilton and Ellen "Helen" Core on 20 Sep 1858.

Child of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809

Samuel Wilton

born May 1829 at Somersetshire, England died 23 Jan 1924 at 22 Cedar Ave, Hamilton, Wentworth County, ON, CA

Marriage of Samuel Wilton and Susan Wilcox on 16 Sep 1866.

Child of John Wilton and Sarah Churchill on 25 Dec 1809

Source: Church of England parish records, Bruton, Somerset, England

Source: Ontario Land Record Index

Source: Nineteen Mile Creek/New Sarum Baptist (Pioneer) Cemetery Records

Source: Church of England parish records

Source: Marriage Register, CA, CW, County Registers

Type: Vital

Source: Ross Wilton

Author: Wilton, Ross William

Source: Cemetery Transcription, Old English Churchyard, St.Thomas, ON, CA

Author: Elgin County Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

Type: Book

Bruton, Somerset, England
 
Bruton Parish Church, Bruton, Somerset, England
 
lot 20&21 Mgore, Yarmouth, Elgin, ON, CA
 
N ½ lots 25&26 con 13, London, Middlesex, ON, CA
 
Nineteen Mile Creek Cemetery, New Sarum, ON, CA
 
Yarmouth, Elgin, ON, CA

Township in central Elgin county east of Port Stanley.  The City of St Thomas is located within this township.

 
Old English Cemetery,St Thomas, ON, CA
 
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