Descendants of Robert Smith of Scotland

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Robert married Janet Paterson in Scotland, who bore him seven children. After her death, Robert and his brother Thomas (also a widower), emigrated to Canada.  In the summer of 1832, together with several of their children, the two brothers embarked for Canada and became the first settlers of Tilbury East in Kent County, Ontario. Each adult male in the party was assigned 100 acres of deeply wooded land about six miles from Lake Erie and 20 miles east of what is now Detroit. Robert built a log cabin for his family and a few years later married Margaret Lowery, also a native of Scotland.

"In 1832, Robert and Thomas Smith with their families emigrated from Scotland, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in a sailboat, taking about eight weeks before docking at Montreal...at the time a cholera epidemic was raging. Two weeks they lived on the commons, while waiting for a Durham Boat which had a flat bottom and was used to transport passengers up the St. Lawrence River against the current and rapids. They carried on board six yoke of oxen which at times were put ashore to pull the boat. At Kingston, they boarded another boat making stops at York (Toronto), and Niagara. Then they portaged by wagon to Chippewa on account of Niagara Falls. From there a schooner took them to Port Stanley.  Here, Colonel Talbot suggest they travel to Tilbury East with permission for the men and sons over 21 to select 100 acres each. For the Crown Land they had certain obligations...to pay from one to ten dollars an acre, to build a suitable home, and to make a road by the property, etc...A small sloop traveling Lake Erie landed them at Dealtown in Raleigh, where they traveled 12 miles through the bush along a blazed trail to Lot 10 Middle Road North. The time was August. They built their shanty by a dry creek on a high mound of earth, which had been built by the beavers as a dam. They built their shanty by a dry creek on a high mound of earth, which had been built by the beavers as a dam. For some time, they traveled six miles back to teh lake for water... the Smiths remained alone for two years." (Beers, J. H., THE TILBURY BOOK, Commemorative Biographical Record of the County of Kent, 1904, p. 15)

"The Smiths grew wheat and corn. They contrived a hand grist mill to convert the gain into four for household use; as time passed, they advanced to horse power, then steam machinery, and were in the flour business commercially. As the land was cleared of ash, elm, hickory, oak, and white wood, the Smiths built a saw mill and a planning factory, making logs into beams, plants, staves, and hoops (for barrels).  During the winter, they made an outfit to ice the trails to the mill, to facilitate the pulling of loads of logs. Help was needed to carry on these growing businesses. many homes, a school, hotel, store and post office appeared at the corner." (Beers, p. 16)

"As the land was cleared of trees, the farmers started growing grain and raising livestock. The many families hired for yearly labour, left to seek homes elsewhere. A lovely well-cared for cemetery, marking the burial place of many settlers and kin is the only remaining landmark of the thriving centre."  (Beers, p. 16)

The Smith brothers built a mill and by 1840, the mill had a steam saw and a grist mill. In 18o71, the mill burned down, but the family then proceeded to erect a saw mill and planting factory, where handles and staves for barrels were manufactured. This mill ran until the turn of the century, when most of the area had been cleared of virgin timber.  (Beers, p. 16)

David opened the first general store at Stewart and became the first postmaster.

Children with first wife, Janet Patterson, who died in Scotland: Jean, Marion, Robert, James, Edward, Duncan, and John

Children with Margaret Lower: David (1837); William, (1839); Isabella, (1841) and Mary, (1846).

In 1842, Robert was able to purchase his land in East Tilbury:
"To His Excellency the Right Honourable Sir Charles Baget G. C. B., Governor General of British North America
In Council
The Petition of Robert Smith of the Township of East Tilbury, Farmer,

Humbly Knoweth:
That your Petitioner was located byt he Honourable Colonel Talbot in the year 1832 on a lot of one hundred acres of Land in the said Township of East Tilbury, able (?) to settlement duties which he has performed, and is ready to pay the fees that may be required.
Wherefore your Petitioner prays that your Excellencey will be pleased to grant him the said Lot. And your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.
       Robert Smith
15th June 1842
Recommended by Thomas Talbot
I certify that Robert Smith has taken the oath of allegiance before me. Thomas Talbot, J. P. 

Obituary: Chatham, Ontario Times-Press, July 12, 1858:
"Yet Another Case -- On the 26th last, a man named Robert was found lying in a state of insensibility on 3rd, near King, and was carried to Mr. Merrill's Hotel. Dr. Askin was promptly in attendance; but the man sank rapidly and died in a few hours. On the morning following, Corner Donnelly held an inquest, when the jury returned the following verdict:  That the said Robert Smith did come to his death by a coup de soleil, or sun stroke. The Jury also felt it their duty to express their deep regret that Doctor (can't read the rest of the text)."

 

 

 

 

Member David Lionel Smith sent us this very interesting family tree.    His family emigrated from Scotland to Canada and then into the United States.   Thank you, David, for the interesting history you have sent to us.  Perhaps someone will see a familiar name.  If any of you out there find a connection to his family tree,  please let us know!
 

 

 

 

The Smith brothers built a mill and by 1840, the mill had a steam saw and a grist mill. In 1871, the mill burned down, but the family then proceeded to erect a saw mill and planting factory, where handles and staves for barrels were manufactured. This mill ran until the turn of the century, when most of the area had been cleared of virgin timber.  (Beers, p. 16)

David opened the first general store at Stewart and became the first postmaster.

Children with first wife, Janet Patterson, who died in Scotland: Jean, Marion, Robert, James, Edward, Duncan, and John

Children with Margaret Lower: David (1837); William, (1839); Isabella, (1841) and Mary, (1846).

In 1842, Robert was able to purchase his land in East Tilbury:
"To His Excellency the Right Honourable Sir Charles Baget G. C. B., Governor General of British North America
In Council
The Petition of Robert Smith of the Township of East Tilbury, Farmer,

Humbly Knoweth:
That your Petitioner was located byt he Honourable Colonel Talbot in the year 1832 on a lot of one hundred acres of Land in the said Township of East Tilbury, able (?) to settlement duties which he has performed, and is ready to pay the fees that may be required.
Wherefore your Petitioner prays that your Excellencey will be pleased to grant him the said Lot. And your Petitioner as in duty bound will ever pray.
       Robert Smith
15th June 1842
Recommended by Thomas Talbot
I certify that Robert Smith has taken the oath of allegiance before me. Thomas Talbot, J. P. 

Obituary: Chatham, Ontario Times-Press, July 12, 1858:
"Yet Another Case -- On the 26th last, a man named Robert was found lying in a state of insensibility on 3rd, near King, and was carried to Mr. Merrill's Hotel. Dr. Askin was promptly in attendance; but the man sank rapidly and died in a few hours. On the morning following, Corner Donnelly held an inquest, when the jury returned the following verdict:  That the said Robert Smith did come to his death by a coup de soleil, or sun stroke. The Jury also felt it their duty to express their deep regret that Doctor (can't read the rest of the text)."