Tuesday, 24 April 2018

A - Z Challenge 2018 - U

The Blogging from A to Z Challenge is to post everyday (except Sunday) in the month of April 2016 starting with the letter A and going all the way to Z. The theme I chose is...
My Family Tree Places.


My 3x great grandparents William Porter and Margaret Manley were from Belfast.  They fell in love, but were forbidden to see each other.  Margaret was Catholic and from a wealthy family, William was Protestant and not-so-well-to-do. So they eloped and came to Canada about 1838-39. 

The first I find William and Margaret is on the 1852 Canada Census on their farm in Ulverton, South Durham, about 10k upriver from Richmond in Quebec. 

According to the Agricultural Schedule of the 1852 census, William had 50 acres of land of which 18 acres were cultivated, 15 acres for crops and 3 acres of pasture. He had 32 acres of trees. His crops included 2 acres of wheat producing 7 bushels; 6 acres of oats producing 100 bushels; 1 acre of potatoes producing 70 bushels; he produced 6 tons of hay.
He had 2 steers, 1 milk cow, 2 calves, 3 sheep and 2 pigs. From these he produced 23 lbs of wool, 40 yards of flannel cloth, 90 lbs of butter 1 ½ cwts (hundredweights) of pork.

William and Margaret had 10 children... 3 girls and 7 boys, the oldest being my 2x great grandfather John Porter. There wasn't always a church or a minister in Ulverton, and the children were babtized at neighbouring churches... Shipton, Kinsley, Durham by a minister from Melbourne, then finally Durham got it's own minister and 6 of the kids were baptized on the same day. 

John Porter married Susanna Johnston at the Holy Trinity Church in Kirkdale and he was granted land at Lot 9 Rang 6. John and Susanna had 11 children. John was a carpenter, wheelwright and coffin maker. There is an old Woolen Mill in Ulverton that was built by John Porter by a waterfall that powered the machinery. It is the only one in the area still standing and in use as an interpretive center. There is a covered bridge on Porter Road going across the St François River going to the Mill. John Porter was paid $5 for his design of the bridge.

Ulverton Woolen Mill

According to an article written by Jessie Fraser, and published in the Annals of Richmond County and Vicinity, Tales of Pioneers, Vol.1, "..the matter of the bridge to the Ulverton Woolen Mill was decided by the Ulverton Council on March 16, 1885.  At that time, the Council passed a motion that Mr. John Porter be asked to prepare a design for a covered wooden bridge for which he later received the sum of five dollars."

The bridge that is standing today is an exact repilca of John's original design. 

John and Susanna's oldest daughter, Mary Jane Porter was married at the South Durham church to Clement King (my great grandparents) and they made their home in Verdun, Montreal. 

Their daughter Salome married George Hepworth, whose brother Henry took over the Mill in 1896. George and Salome later moved to Red Deer, Alberta.

Aunt Salome wrote down her memories of her grandparents William and Margaret. 

She also wrote that when the men were away, the women were not allowed to go away from the house because of the wolves. I am lucky to have copies of 10 pages written by my 2x great Aunt Salome, detailing who was married to who and where they moved to, as none of them stayed in Ulverton. 


  1. I cannot believe you were going to skip A-Z this year -- all this great information and pictures! Places your ancestors lived has made for a wonderful series.

    1. Thanks. It has been challenging and fun, and I'm glad I did it. Now the tricky ones are coming up haha!


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