Friday, March 24, 2017

John STOKES and Joan JARVISS –Married in 1714

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Edna OTWELL > Edwin OTWELL > Jane ASH > Anna Maria MARKS > Uriah MARKS > Mercy STOKES > James STOKES > John STOKES and Joan JARVISS

John STOKES was likely born in North Bradley, Wiltshire, England. We do not know his parent’s names.

On 7 October 1714, he married Joan JARVISS (1696-?), daughter of Thomas Jarvis, Jr. She was christened on 26 April 1696 in North Bradley.

We found only one child, our ancestor James STOKES (1725-?).

When John and Joan were born, William and Mary were king and queen of England.  Next, Anne was queen and after her death, the crown was passed to German speaking cousin George I, King of Hanover in 1714. 


Here ends the STOKES and JARVISS research

Thursday, March 23, 2017

James STOKES (1725-?) and Ann LANGLEY (1727-?) –Married in 1748

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Edna OTWELL > Edwin OTWELL > Jane ASH > Anna Maria MARKS > Uriah MARKS > Mercy STOKES > James STOKES and Ann LANGLEY

James STOKES was born 25 May 1725 in North Bradley, Wiltshire, England. He was christened 10 April 1726. His parents were John STOKES and Joan JARVISS.

On 22 January 1748, he married Ann LANGLEY. She was born about 1727 in North Bradley. We do not know her parent’s names.

They had at least 9 children: Betty, Sarah, James, John, Mercy MARKS (our ancestor), Joseph, Ann born in 1761, Ann born in 1763 and Samuel.

James and Ann lived during the reign of George II of England.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Richard MARKS (1753-?) and Mercy STOKES (1755-?) -Married in 1781

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Edna OTWELL > Edwin OTWELL > Jane ASH > Anna Maria MARKS > Uriah MARKS > Richard MARKS and Mercy STOKES


Richard MARKS was born about 1753 in North Bradley, Wiltshire, England. We have not identified his parents.

He married Rachel READ in North Bradley, Wiltshire, England on 3 February 1778. Rachel was the widow of James AVEN (1762-1777) and had at least 7 children from that previous marriage.

Richard and Rachel had at least one child named James. He was christened 1 January 1779. Rachel died in 1781 and was buried 9 January 1781.

On 8 June 1781, Richard next married 26 year old spinster Mercy STOKES (born to James STOKES and Ann Langley and christened 2 November 1755 in North Bradley).

Mercy gave birth to her first child Jane (christened 21 April 1782). Jane died in August 1782. Richard and Mercy may have moved to Stapleton, Gloucestershire, England. Their second child William was christened there on 12 September 1786. By 1804, they moved to Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England. Their third child, Uriah (our ancestor) was born in 1794 and he and their fourth child, Anne, were christened 5 February 1804 in Heytesbury.

Richard and Mercy lived during the reign of George II and George III of England.

No additional information has been found for Richard or Mercy. This ends the MARKS research.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Uriah MARKS (1794-) and Susanna DIX -Married in 1817


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Edna OTWELL > Edwin OTWELL > Jane ASH > Anna Maria MARKS > Uriah MARKS and Susanna DIX 

The family history recorded by Stilson ASHE, Jr.(see previous post) states that Anna Maria was born and baptized in Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England and her parents were Uriah MARKS, shearman, and Susanna.

Uriah MARKS’ parents were Richard MARKS and Mercy STOKES (1755-?). The family was originally from North Bradley, Wiltshire, England and had moved to Heytesbury by Uriah's baptism on 5 February 1804. The name Uriah appears several times in the STOKES family of North Bradley.

We found a 5 October 1817 record of marriage for Uriah MARKS, bachelor to Susanna DIX, spinster in the transcript of Heytesbury Marriages, 1653-1827. The same information was found on Pallots Marriage Index, 1780-1837 and in the Wiltshire Parish Registers. No additional information has been found for Susanna.
From Pallots Marriage Index, 1780-1837
Uriah and Susanna had at least 5 children: Anna Maria (our ancestor), Elizabeth (born in 1820), Eliza (born in 1822, may be same as Elizabeth or possibly a typo), William, Jane and Henry.

The family history recorded by Stilson HART (see previous post) states that William and possibly Lizzie were the names of the siblings that came to Toronto with Anna Maria after the death of their parents. William became a Methodist Minister and we found records confirming he was a minister teaching in a school in Toronto. No information has been found for Lizzie.

We know that the move to Canada occurred before 1838 when Anna Maria married in Toronto. To date, the only death record found for a Uriah MARKS in England was an 1846 record in Alderberry, another small Wiltshire village.

Interestingly, a Uriah MARKS showed up in the 1842 Toronto census. He was listed as a laborer. We also found a Toronto marriage registry for Uriah MARKS to Mary BRIEN on 25 May 1846. The marriage was by Banns and the witnesses were William MARKS and Elijah MARKS (which looks a lot like "Eliza MARKS"). Could Uriah have brought his children to Toronto? More research is needed.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Oh Canada


Our Sim and Otwell ancestors originally came from Scotland, England and Ireland.  However, five of our ancestors were born in Ontario, Canada.  All five of them later immigrated to the United States where they died and are buried.

Jane ASH-OTWELL was born in Toronto on November 13, 1847 and died in Detroit on January 18, 1935.

Mary Ann WALLACE-SIM was born in Owen Sound in May 1869 and died in Buffalo on May 2, 1945.

John Wm. SIM was born in Colborne on August 7, 1870 and died in Buffalo on July 4, 1954.

Edwin J. OTWELL was born in St. Mary's on October 11, 1871 and died in Buffalo on June 2, 1920.

Mary J. CHARNOCK-OTWELL was born in London, ON on March 3, 1874 and died in Buffalo on October 18, 1935.

Two of our relatives were returned to their beloved Canada for burial.   James SIM died in Batavia, NY and his body was returned to Northumberland County, Ontario, Canada for burial.  John Franklin Otwell died in Detroit, Michigan and was buried in London, Ontario.

Canada was a stepping stone in our journey to the land of opportunity, the United States.  Eleven other ancestors are buried in Canada.  They include Elizabeth Gruer-Sim, William Wallace, Mary Huston-Wallace, William Huston, Esther Park-Huston, Robert Charnock, Eliza Scott-Charnock, Maurice Otwell, William Ash, Anna Maria Marks-Ash and Mary H. Taylor-Otwell.

Ontario Map with Locations of Families

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Anna Maria MARKS-ASH-ATWELL (1817-1899)

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Edna OTWELL- SIM > Edwin OTWELL > Jane ASH-OTWELL > Anna Maria MARKS

Like her husband William ASH, some of what we know about Anna Maria is based on histories compiled long ago by Stilson ASHE, Jr. (1918-) and shared by our third cousins David H. and Carolyn F. This was written by Stilson’s aunt, Esther ASHE, granddaughter of Anna Maria:
  • "Maria Marks (Father’s Mother) was born at Haysburg, Devonshire, England (Date unknown) An englishman thought it (Haysburg) near the center of Devonshire, not far from the Doons’ in the story of “Lorna Doone”. Maria Marks’ parents died. She being the oldest, emigrated to Toronto with her brothers and sisters. One brother, William Marks, became a Methodist Minister in Toronto. She had a sister Lizzie I think. Maria Marks was apparently a young lady when she left England. She told of lacing her corset so tight one day, when she went to church, everything turned black. When she came too she was lying on the church steps and the red feather in her hat was broken."
Anna Maria was known as Maria. She was the eldest daughter of Uriah MARKS and Susanna DIX of Heytesbury, Wiltshire, England born 13 November 1817. She immigrated with her siblings to Toronto, Ontario before 1838. She married William ASH on 12 May 1838 in Toronto and they settled in Uxbridge, Ontario.
  
William and Maria had at least 5 children: Maria SCHEFFER, Elizabeth PATTERSON, William ASH, James ASHE and Jane OTWELL (our ancestor).  William died in 1847 when Maria was about 3 months pregnant with Jane. After his death, Maria returned to Toronto where her siblings resided. She gave birth there to Jane.

On 30 April 1848, Maria next married farmer John ATWELL (1818 - 1903) of Pennsylvania. This blended family settled on a farm near St. Mary’s, West Nissouri, Middlesex, Ontario. They lived in a log cabin and had at least 4 additional children: Hannah ROSS, George, Ellen and Levi. There was also a son named John born in 1848; he may be Maria’s or he may have been John’s from a previous marriage. The family appears on the 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 West Nissouri censuses. The family was Episcopalian in the 1851 census and Canadian Methodist in 1861, 1871 and 1891.

In January 2017, cousin David H. found one of the ATWELL descendants, cousin Gayle J. of Ailsa Craig, Ontario.  She was not able to tell us anything new about William ASH, but she did have some information on Maria.  The following is from David's email:
  • "After we established that Anna Maria was our mutual ancestor, she said that every year her mother would place flowers at the ATWELL gravesite in North Nissouri Cemetery where we visited. When she and her mother ever talked about family history together, they would wonder what happened to the ASH siblings--nobody in the ATWELL family knew."
  • "Gayle told me a little about great-great-grandmother Anna Maria. She was greatly respected and loved in the community, and people would rather go see her than a doctor.. She delivered a large number of the babies born in the area. What a wonderful reputation."
Maria died at age 82 in 1899 and was buried at the North Nissouri Presbyterian Cemetery.
Anna Maria's Obit, 11 May 1899
From St. Mary's Museum
Visit her on-line memorial:

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

William ASH (1817-1847)

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Edna OTWELL- SIM > Edwin OTWELL > Jane ASH-OTWELL > William ASH

Much of what we know about William is based on family history gathered by Stilson ASHE, Jr. (1918-) and shared by our third cousins David H. and Carolyn F.  This was written by Stilson’s aunt, Esther ASHE, granddaughter of William:
"Father’s Father whose name was William ASHE was born in Armagh County about 50 miles north of Dublin, 1817. He married May 12, 1838 and died April 29, 1847, in Canada, near Uxbridge, Ont. He had gone away on horseback. They found him lying on the ground beside his horse, his clothing unfastened and his body bloated. He had this trouble some time before his death. He must have been quite young when he came to America."
First, you will note that this family spells the surname ASHE as they are all descended from the one son, James ASHE, who spelled it that way. All of the other children used ASH and the documents we have found confirm the ASH spelling.


William ASH was born in Ireland and immigrated to Canada. Our earliest possible record is the marriage register for William ASH, widower of Toronto to spinster Hanna MARKS on 12 May 1838 in Toronto. We know that his wife’s name was Anna Maria MARKS and though the bride’s name does not match exactly, it is likely this is our William.  If the year of birth is true, he immigrated and married by age 21.

In an 1847 directory for Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada, we found a William ASH occupying lot 6, concession 2. It is not known if he owned the parcel or leased it. A map found from 1870s shows that the lot had been divided into 4 smaller parcels with individual homes, a grist mill and a church. We do not know what his occupation was.

  • This parcel was later known as the OTEWELL (no relation to our OTWELL line) Homestead and from the Uxbridge Museum curator, we obtained photos of the home and barns published in a book The Inventory of Historic Homes. There is a note in this book stating that the owners were Quakers and it is unknown what date the structures were built.

William and Anna Maria had at least 5 children: Maria SCHEFFER, Elizabeth PATTERSON, William, James ASHE, Jane OTWELL (our ancestor). William died when Anna Maria was pregnant with Jane. The final document we have for William is Jane’s death certificate which listed her parent’s names.

At the time of his death in 1847, he would have been 30 years old.  We do not know where he was buried.

This ends the ASH research.