from Bowyer's son Francis
Dr John Mewburn’s tale is not the only one making up Canadian Mewburn history. He was joined at Stamford, some 18 years after his arrival, by Francis Mewburn the orphaned son of John’s brother, Bowyer Mewburn, the London solicitor.
Francis was born on the 3rd September 1836 at Green Terrace, Clerkenwell, now central London, but then a smart suburb on the edge of country. Curiously enough he appears in the 1841 census, with his mother, staying in a pub at Herongate, East Horndon in Essex. Fifteen years later his brother Chilton married Emily Stone of Herongate so it may have been that the Mewburn’s were already friendly with the Stones.
Francis was brought up in prosperous circumstances and had left St Paul’s School in London in 1850 at the age of fourteen with the beginnings of a good education. However, as an orphan, his affairs were in the hands of his uncle Francis, the railway solicitor in Darlington, and it is not clear what happened next. Might he have gone to sea with his brother Chilton? He has not been found in the English 1851 census but W.G. Reive in his Historical and genealogical notes asserts that he came to Canada in 1852 (though he is not in the limited Canadian census carried out that year either). It certainly seems that he was taken in by Dr John and took over the farming of his 100 acres since that is what Francis was doing in the 1861 agricultural census. It showed that he had 33 acres under crops, 33 as pasture, 4 as orchards or garden and 40 as woods or wild. Oats and maize were his principal crops. The whole farm was valued at $10,000 with $150 of equipment.
He married Henrietta Handcock, daughter of an Irish army officer, in December 1857. Many men were given land grants in Ontario as a reward for service in the British army so her father may have been among them. The Ontarian Genealogist of 1900 has a short account of the Handcock family (perhaps by Sydney Chilton Mewburn). That claims that Henrietta’s father, Henry Matthew Handcock, was the son of Elias, Rector of Athlone, son of Matthew, Archdeacon of Kilmore, son of William of Twyford, Westmeath, a Member of Parliament. A distinguished pedigree.
There is a record for a Henry in the 97th Foot, who joined the army at 19 and served in Ceylon, the Ionian Islands, Malta, Jamaica and finally North America where his career ended in 1853 having reached the rank of Major. Henry was also farming at Niagara by the census of 1851. However, between 1861 and 1871 he left Canada with his wife and four daughters and settled, apparently retired, in the Channel Islands, at St Saviour, Jersey where he died in 1886.
Francis can be found in Canadian censuses from 1861 to 1901, always at Stamford and always listed as a farmer except in 1891 when he had become a ‘machine agent’, presumably selling [farm?] equipment in the local community.
Henrietta died in 1883 while Francis lived until 1917. Both are buried at Stamford Anglican cemetery.
Francis and Henrietta had nine children at Stamford.
Francis Mewburn (1836) Tree
Henry Bowyer Mewburn 1858-1926
Henry was a carpenter and lived all his life in Ontario. He was born on the 3rd of October 1858 at Stamford and died at 970 Bridge Street, Niagara Falls (where sister Kathleen was also living at the time) on the 24th of November 1926. He married Eva Bennett who was from Illinois. The marriage record has not been found and Henry disappeared from the records between 1881 and 1911 when he was back in Niagara Falls with Eva (she according to the 1911 census immigrated in 1888, which may be a clue to the approximate time of marriage). They are not known to have had children and Eva died in 1925. Henry, of course, had military training and the museum at Niagara Falls has orders from No. 6 Company, 44th Battalion for him to go to Brigade camp on 14th June 1847 for twelve days drill.
Chilton Mewburn 1860-c1950
Chilton is said to have been born on the 2nd of April 1860 at Stamford. He married Arabella Prest at Stamford on the 22nd of Jun 1892 and they appear in the censuses for 1901, 1911 and 1921 at Stamford and in each Chilton is listed as a farmer. He had however started differently since at the time of the birth of his first child, Percy, in 1893 he was a railway worker. By 1940 his occupation had again altered a little and the voters lists have him as a fruit grower at Niagara Falls. In 1949, though, it seems he had retired as he then claimed to be simply a gentleman. Records of their deaths have not been found though the voters lists suggest that Arabella may have died between 1940 and 1945 and Chilton between 1949 and 1953.
Chilton had an interest in the history of the area and of the family and as a result the museum at Niagara Falls holds a number of artifacts he collected.
Chilton and Arabella raised five children.
Chilton Mewburn (1860) Tree
Percy Francis Mewburn 1893-1953
Percy was born on the 23rd April 1893 at Niagara Falls. He became a farmer and married farmer’s daughter, Cora Beatrice Warner, on the 12th December 1917. They appear with their young family in the 1921 census at Stamford. Just as an emphasis to the family presence in the area, in 1945 he and Cora were living in Mewburn Road. They had two sons and three daughters some of whom make appearances in Voter’s Lists, though little else is known. Unverified accounts from trees on Ancestry give Percy’s death as 23 December 1953 and Cora’s as 22 February 1976.
John Stewart Mewburn 1895-aft1985
John was born on the 6th September 1895 at Stamford. He signed up to the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force on 30 November 1914 (described as 5ft 9ins, of dark complexion and with fair hair). Lieut. Mewburn of the 3rd Battalion, CF arrived back from the war on the 21st April 1919 on board the Olympic to Halifax having left Southampton on the 15th. In 1921 he was back at home and listed as an engineer. He married Gwendoline Newby in 1922, and was listed then as a surveyor. He and Gwen appear on the last occasion in online records in the 1972 Voter’s Roll (after his retiral and where he is listed as Stuart) at 115 Steele Street, Welland. However he is known to have lived into his 90s. They had no children.
Bernard Chilton Mewburn 1898-1994
Bernard was born on the 13th January 1898 at Welland. He was still at home in the 1921 census, listed as a labourer. He married Olive Schofield around 1931 (though no record has yet been found), and became a farmer at Burnfield Farm, Niagara. Bernard and Olive appear in the Welland voters list for 1945 living at Thorold Road, and at that time he was listed as a farmer. By 1965 he was listed as retired and they were then living at 759 Montrose Rd. N. Bernard was buried at Stamford Cemetery on the 3rd of October 1994 and Olive on the 20th October 2006. He and Olive are believed to have had a daughter and a son.
Sydney Lloyd Mewburn 1900-1977
Sydney was born on the 23rd of January 1900 at Welland. He was still living at home by the 1921 census but then married Dorothy Guerin Peckham at Niagara Falls on the 12th of June 1928, at which point he was working as a clerk. Sydney and Dorothy had two daughters. Voter’s lists show that by 1940 he was working at the Ontario Hydro and living at 421 Elberta Avenue. By 1957 they were at 35 Elberta (later renumbered as 4035).
Sydney died on the 21st October 1977 and Dorothy on the 29th March 1994 and are buried together at Fairview Cemetery.
Amy Stewart Mewburn 1902-2000
Amy was born on the 3rd of December 1902 at Stamford. She never married. She lived at home at least until 1949 at Stamford Centre. However, by 1957 she was living at 75 Elberta Street, Niagara Falls with her aunt Kathleen and acting as the housekeeper. They were still there in 1972, now retired, and Amy died on the 14th November 2000. Quite a number of Mewburn artifacts ended in Amy’s hands and were donated by her to the Niagara Falls museum’s collection and can be found listed in their database.
Dora Frances Mewburn 1861-1926
Frances was born on the 14th of Mar 1861 according to the 1901 census. She never married and was still living at home in 1901 – perhaps, as the eldest daughter, feeling duty-bound to look after her widowed father. After his death she broke free and went to live in the Channel Islands at 87 Campbell Terrace, Rouge Bouillon, Jersey. She eventually died there at the hospital in St Helier on the 17th of April 1926, leaving what money she had to her sister Kathleen. Probate records show she also had £70 in Northern Ireland. Might there have been some link with the estate of her grandfather Henry Handcock who had earlier retired to Jersey?
Edith Gertrude Mewburn 1864-1938
Edith was born on the 16th July 1864 according to the 1901 census. She had been living at home in all previous censuses but married farmer John Hawtrey Blunden in 1895 and went to live at Plympton in Lambton, Ontario. In 1911 she was still there with John, now with a daughter Catherine. Tragically, Catherine was born in 1903 with spinal paralysis and died in 1913. John died in 1917 and in 1921 Edith was staying with her sister Emily. Edith died on the 17th of July 1938 at Middlesex, Ontario. She had been living at 226 Cathcart Street, London with Emily who was the informant on the death record.
Emily Lloyd Mewburn 1868-aft 1947
Emily was born in November 1868 according to the 1901 census. She married Edward Scott in 1894. Edward was from Plympton and his mother was a Blunden so possibly related to Edith’s husband.
They were living in Hamilton in 1901 with two lodgers and with Edward working for a company called JTR in the grocery field. By 1911 Edward was a salesman and they were living in lodgings at Elgin West while in 1921 they were at 100 Sydenham, London by which time Edward was professing no occupation (he was by then 60) and the widowed Edith was with them. Edward died in 1928. Emily and Edith were living together in 1938 at the time of the latter’s death, but Emily probably died after 1947 where online records stop. There is no sign that Emily and Edward had children.
Frances Louisa Chilton Mewburn 1871-1871
Frances died in infancy. Frances was born on the 4th of March 1871 at Stamford but died in August and was buried at Stamford Anglican on the 19th.
Lewis Ormsby Mewburn 1873-1873
Lewis also died in infancy. Lewis was buried on the 25th of October 1873 at Stamford aged just 25 days, so was born on the 1st of that month.
Evelyn Mewburn 1879-bef 1881
Evelyn was born on the 3rd of November 1879 at Brantford Township. Neither her death nor burial has been found but she was not in the 1881 census with the family, or at any time thereafter, so must have died young.
Kathleen Mewburn 1879-abt 1979
No birth record has been found for Kathleen but in the 1901 census her date of birth is given as 03 Nov 1879. She was still at home at that point as she had been for earlier censuses. She has not been found in the 1911 and 1921 censuses so there is a potential gap in her life. However, it may be that most of that time was spent in England. She certainly travelled there on the Sicilian in 1912 with her father and with sister Dora, and all indicated an intention to stay permanently (there is no trace of any of them returning though clearly Francis and Dora did). There is no trace of her among the nurse’s service records for WW1 at The National Archives, Kew. Later she appeared in the UK Electoral Registers for 1924 and 1925 living at 73 Oakley Square, St Pancras where she was the owner/occupier. There was a return to Canada in 1926 on the Melita when she indicated that she would again be staying permanently in Canada (she described herself as a domestic). However, she did return to England, though there is no record of it, since there is another return trip on the Montclaire from Southampton to Quebec in October 1930 – though that provides very little information about her other than her intention to return to 149 Emery Street. The next trace of her is in the Canada Voters Lists of 1935 (at 148 Emery, and listed as Newburn) when she was described as a nurse. There was a final trip to England with her niece, Amy in 1951 on the Empress of Canada (they intended staying at 5 Elm Road Close, Potters Bar). By 1957 she was living at 75 Elberta Street, Niagara Falls with Amy, and was still there in 1972. She is believed to have been nearly 100 when she died.