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Written by Jennifer Nodwell   
Wednesday, 21 January 2009 23:09
The Early History of the William Nodwell Family in Canada

Date: June 6, 1936

Written By: RDN (assume it is Robert Duncan Nodwell)

      It is unfortunate that the writing of this history has been neglected so long and that the writer has to depend for his information, mainly, on the rather hazy remembrances of the younger members of the third generation.
     We know that they came from County Londonderry, Ireland and that Limavady was a nearby town. The Townland was Anaghmore and the name of the farm is believed to have been Rusky.
     We learn from history that early in the reign of James the 1st a large part of North of Ireland was confiscated to the Crown and the land was divided up among English and Scottish Protestants.
The fact that the Nedwill's (original name) were Presbyterian suggests that they belonged to the Scottish side of this immigration. This point must be left to some member of the Clan who visits Ireland and looks up the old records. This information can be inserted into this history later.
     William Nodwell was married twice and his eldest son, William, was still in Ireland at the time of his father's death in 1845. All the second family came, eventually, to Canada and settled in Erin and East Garafraxa Townships.
      His second wife (Letitia Dunn) was of low-land Scottish descent.
     His loss of a valuable stock of horses by anthrax seems to have had an influence in the decision to come to Canada. All the second family, except Andrew, (who will be referred to later) landed in Quebec in the fall of 1838 and are said to have travelled all the way to Erin in wagons drawn by oxen.
Coming to Toronto, William Nodwell looked at a farm on Yonge St., also the Henderson farm on the 7th line west of Georgetown, but came on to Lot 24, 8th Concession, Erin. We heard that he paid the same price per acre as that asked for the others.
     Misfortune again struck, for within a year, their house and all of its contents were burned, which explains why we have no old records for use in this sketch.
     He then sold the north east half of the lot to Mr. Angus McMurchy and thus a friendship began that lasted through the succeeding generations.
     A new log house, barn and stables were built near the site of the present farm buildings. A new frame barn and shed was built in 1857 and added to from time to time to form the present outfit. A new brick house was built in 1864 and is now occupied by Mungo Carrick Nodwell, a great grandson who is now directing the business of the old farm.
     William Nodwell died in 1845. His will, written by the late William How, and a splendid specimen of simple, exact English, divided the farm land between his sons Robert and Thomas, 55 acres to the former, 45 acres to the latter. The other members of the family received their share in the Estate, largely in cash.
     Robert Nodwell purchased West 1/2 lot of 1 Concession 14 in East Garafraxa and exchanged it for the 45 acres owned by his brother Thomas and thus became owner of the old farm.
      Samuel settled on lot 4, concession 15, East Garafraxa.
     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. After living there three years he was on the point of purchasing a 6 acre plot but objected to the oath which bound him to support the Government and people of the US against the machinations of Queen Victoria. This land was sold for $6,000.00. He came to Erin and settled on Lot 22, Concession 8.
     William Nodwell was a Free Mason and held strong views re Democratic forms of Government, Free speech, Gov't by properly constituted authorities etc.
      These questions were real isues in those days. Today these questions are not discussed, but just taken for granted.


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Last Updated on Saturday, 24 January 2009 15:00