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Sarah Gibson PDF Print E-mail
The Family Nodwell
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Sunday, 15 August 2010 12:26

While trolling the internet looking for new relatives today, I stumbled across a tree which included Sarah Etta Gibson and had a few of her ancestors. I was quite excited to be able to add a few generations back to this line!

Ancestry for Sarah Gibson

Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 August 2010 22:11
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William Nodwell PDF Print E-mail
The Family Nodwell
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Tuesday, 27 January 2009 12:51

William Nodwell Will

Pioneers in Ontario

William Nodwell was born in Ireland some time around 1775. He had two sons with his first wife, Mary Dawson, whose names were William and Matthew. Sometime after she died, he married again (probably around 1808). His second wife was Letitia Dunn. His eldest son William remained in Ireland when he emigrated, but Matthew had already gone there in 1834. The eldest son of the second family, Andrew was already married before the rest of the family left Ireland but came to Philadelphia the following spring. He went from Philadelphia to Ontario after deciding not to remain in the new United States of America.

It is these Nodwells we trace through history to present day, the ancestors of (probably) all Nodwells in North America.

It wasn't easy. Having lost a stock of horses to anthrax in Ireland, the Nodwells came to Quebec City in the fall of 1838 and then traveled by wagon to Erin Township where they bought land and raised a log cabin. It burned to the ground within the year, and all was lost, but they rebuilt and carried on.

William died in 1845. His will mentions his sons William (still in Ireland), Matthew, Andrew, Thomas, Robert, and Samuel. Samuel is enjoined to care for his mother, and census records indicate that he did just that. To his daughters Mary, Jane and Nancy, he left a cow, each.

Grand Valley ChurchWife Letitia survived William by seven years, and in that time she is listed as a charter member of the pioneer church in Grand Valley, Dufferin County, Ontario. Amongst woods and swamps in the little-developed township of Luther, was a village called Little Toronto. This name in time became Grand Valley, because that river rises in the vicinity. At this spot, as an outpost from Erin Centre and Eramosa churches, some preaching in farm homes and in schoolhouses was done in 1861, by evangelists James Black and Alex. Anderson. A church was formed about the fall of 1862, the charter members being Daniel McLellan and wife, John McDougall and wife, Hugh McDougall and wife, John King and wife, Stephen Beals and wife, Amelia Dixon, Letitia Nodwell, Daniel McArthur, Robert Dixon, and Richard Kin. The church met in the schoolhouse in Grand Valley, this being the first church organized in Luther township. In 1866, a frame building was erected in a business block, which was dedicated by James Black. This building served the needs for twenty-six years, when it was replaced by a brick and stone structure and re-dedicated in December, 1892. 1

Body of Will:

In the name of God, Amen. I, William Nodwell of the township of Erin in the County of Waterloo in the Wellington district German, being of sound mind and memory, do make this my last will and testament and hereby revoking all other wills by me at any other times made: I hereby give and bequeath untio William Nodwell, my eldest son now in Ireland the sum of one pound five shillings, Matthew Nodwell my second son

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 19:58
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Matthew Nodwell PDF Print E-mail
The Family Nodwell
Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Monday, 26 January 2009 17:18

In 1789 the French Revolution produced a new democratic French republic. About this same time the United Irishmen (who consisted of Protestants and Catholics alike) declared their belief in a peaceful future for Ireland in which Protestants and Catholics could live together in peace and with equality. They wanted to set up a French-styled democratic republic in Ireland, which was independent of Britain. Supporting French Republicanism was seen as treasonous by the British considering they were at war with France. the United Irishmen (who consisted of Protestants and Catholics alike) declared their belief in a peaceful future for Ireland in which Protestants and Catholics could live together in peace and with equality. They wanted to set up a French-styled democratic republic in Ireland, which was independent of Britain. In 1798, French troops joined the Irish in battle, but they were defeated. While the French were taken prisoner, the local Irish were massacred as a punishment for treason. In 1800, Britain passed the Act of Union which formed a new country ("The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland") by uniting England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland. Irish Catholics and dissenting Protestants were not allowed to participate in Parliament.

Drumachose, Limavady, Christ ChurchIt was into this newly formed country that our Protestant ancestor Matthew Nodwell was born in the parish of Drumachose, in the County Londonderry, in Ireland, in 1804. What took place between his birth and the year 1834? What prompted him to move his wife Catherine and two small daughters to Canada? Even before the Potato Famine of 1840, Ireland was in a recession. Politically, it was difficult for Protestants at this time. Whatever the reason, the family braved the Atlantic crossing and ultimately settled in Saint John, New Brunswick.

Between 1834 and 1850, Matthew and Catherine had seven more children, a total of nine: Maryann, Eliza, William, James Henry, Catherine, Thomas, Matthew, Elizabeth, and Martha. Matthew presumably died in 1850, but Catherine was still there in New Brunswick with her youngest son during the 1881 census taking. And today, the indelible mark these brave pilgrims to a new world made can still be seen. Their descendants are still found in New Brunswick today.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 19:59
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