When I began my family research quite a few years ago, I quickly found that my Scottish ancestors had settled in Ontario. Helpfully, the 1901 census provided the years they had immigrated which made it easy to discover that my Mathesons and Gilchrists had immigrated in 1843 and 1853, a time before Confederation and as the country was opening up, but not a time that harked back to the true pioneers. So, no research into the very early days of the province was needed.
My Scottish lines had come from Skye and Islay and were united when James Gilchrist married Charlotte in 1889. Charlotte’s mother was Kate Matheson who died soon after the girl was born and Lottie, as she was known by her family, spent her formative years with her Matheson relatives, first with her grandfather and aunt Henrietta and later, after the death of her grandfather, she and her aunt Henrietta went to live with Henrietta’s sister Margaret and Margaret’s family. But it was who Kate Matheson had married, or at least, had children with, that would provide me with a family link to an earlier time in Ontario’s history.
Before she was married, Lottie’s last name was Tripp. I followed the Tripp line back through Lottie’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather and found that they had been living in Ontario since at least 1797. Here was a reason to find out about early days in Ontario.