An 1837 Census of Barrie

This following census was researched from the book PIONEER PAPERS originally published in 1908 by the Simcoe County Historical Society, Barrie. Facsimile edition printed by Mika Publishing, Belleville, Ontario ISBN 0919302-79-3. 1974.

On May 11th, 1898 a meeting was held by the Society to determine the first residents of Barrie, Ontario. At this meeting a list of 28 names was produced as they appeared in Walton's Directory for 1837. In using this list and by cross-refferencing the notes of W.H. Hewson, S.L. Soules and George Sneath I was able to put together the following census.


1. Lucius Boyington, no issue, native of Kentucky, named shortened to Boynton.

2. John Bingham, married but had no issue, native of England, wife's name unknown but were married in England. His wife had a nephew by the name of Alfred Arnall. John came up from Toronto. John had at least 5 brothers, Henry, Robert, Joseph, William & Edward and 2 sisters Mary & Martha. Martha married a Mr. Laing and Mary married John Wilkie of Coldwater. Henry had issue in town, Robert had a hotel in Bradford and William must have returned to England where he died. * See my notes at the end of this census regarding a discrepancy about the 2 sisters.

3. Dugald Campbell and wife both natives of Scotland. No mention of children.

4. James Campbell, a native of Ireland.

5. Richard Carney - a stepson of Joseph Crow a sailor from Portsmouth. Daughter Elizabeth. The mother of Major MacKenzie was Richard Carney's sister. He had a brother William Carney who was involved in the 1837 Rebellion. Richard left for Owen Sound and became a Custom House Officer. One of his son's was sheriff in Sault Ste. Marie. Richard later became sheriff of Algoma where he passed away in Sault Ste. Marie.

6. Richard Cobb but pronounced Cobe by everyone. He and his wife were Irish.

7. C. Cunningham, a shoe maker and native of Ireland.

8. Jane Duggan married a William Johnston.

9. David Edgar, born in Canada, originally from Napanee, had 3 children. The family moved to Toronto where Edgar was found dead in 1840, the family subsequently moved to Belleville.

10. Andrew Graham, a native of County Fermanagh, Ireland, born 1806 came to Canada in 1828. Originally lived in the Toronto vicinity, 1834 came to Barrie, married Mary Noble in 1835, she died in 1884 and he died Apr. 4, 1898.

11. Francis Hewson, native of Ireland, arrived in Canada 1817, had 2 sons Francis & William, he also had 3 daughters.

12. Francis Martin, Irishman, carpenter, employed by Francis Hewson to act as Constable at various times. Had 2 sons Thomas & John.

13. Francis Meighan.

14. Thrift Meldrum, native of Fifeshire, Scotland, died Dec. 6th, 1870, 75 years, buried in the old Prestbyterian Cemetery of Barrie.

15. Richard McCoy, native of Earnest-town, Co. Tyrone, Ireland, married a daughter of John Perry.

16. James Morrison, a native of the Island of Jersey, was a nephew of Leslie Caldwell and Mrs. Richardson.

17. John McCausland, one of the first settlers and brother to David.

18. David McCausland, 2 other brothers came later, Thomas and Alex.

19. John McDonald, tailor, left Barrie before the Rebellion.

20. William Nesbitt, born in Ireland, no known descendants. His brother Robert married Isabella Graham sister to Andrew Graham but left Barrie after being married.

21. John Perry, native of Ireland. Mr. Haggart and Mr. McCoy married daughters of Mr. Perry. John died about five years later. He originally came up from Cookstown which was known then as Perry's Corners. His eldest son John moved to Utopia and his son George at one time kept the Wellington Hotel.

22. David S. Ross, a Scotchman, arrived in Canada with his brother Capt. Ross, was station master at Holland Landing after the Northern Railway was built. On May 7th, 1898 Ross was living in Toronto as a portrait of him was publised in the Toronto Globe stating he built the second house in Barrie when in fact he built the second store in Barrie.

23. Robert Ross, an Irishman, married twice, no issue from his first marriage, but several from his second some of whom were Dr. R.A. Ross, another one named Wallace. There were some daughters alson, one married a Mr. C.A. Perkins a grocer.

24. S. M. Sandford, had a brother-in-law named James Smith a merchant in Toronto. Sandford left Barrie for awhile to work in Smith's store. Sandford was the first postmaster of Barrie, he was married to the sister of the famous Charles "Steamboat" Thompson. Sandford returned to Barrie where he remained until his death.

25. Thomas Smith, English, blacksmith, built first brick house in Barrie.

26. George Stokes, English, carpenter.

27. William Strong, an Irishman, married Christina Graham a sister of Andrew Graham. Had a son James who worked for the firm of Strong & Donnell.

28. Alexander Walker, a Scotchman, was the first settler in Barrie.

29. Mr. Pearson, note- he came to Barrie in 1838.

30. Leslie Caldwell, came up from Toronto, died before the rebellion as a result of a fire he was trying to put out. He had a sister named Mrs. Prudence Richardson who died Feb. 11th, 1879, 80 years of age. Barrie Union Cemetery.

31. William Carson, had a son named William living in Vespra.

32. "Tailor" McDonald, a Roman Catholic.

33. John McWatt, worked for Sandford at his store and tookover as postmaster after Sandford left for Toronto. NOTE- it is spelled MacWatt in W.H. Hewson's notes.

34. Mr. Fidel, first blacksmith in Barrie.

35. P. McGuire, arrived in Barrie about 1834, his daughter married John Hamilton who was a brother of Wm. B. Hamilton.

36. Thomas Graham, brother of Andrew Graham, there were two more brothers who arrived in Barrie a short time later, William and Alexander.

37. Timothy Haggart, married the daughter of John Perry.

38. Jonathan Lane, clerk of the County Court.

NOTES- According to the notes of George Sneath John Bingham's sisters were named Mrs. Dicker and Mrs. Lang. According to the notes of W. H. Hewson Mary married John Wilkes and Martha married Mr. Laing. (Laing spelled with an i).

COPYRIGHT 1998 to Wayne Cook

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