The Milne/Smeed Connection

Family Stories Past and Present


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George Hewitt (1805 – 1893)

#52ancestors Week 9 – Where There’s a Will – George Hewitt (1805 – 1893)

George Hewitt was born in Edgefield, Norfolk, England on 27 September 1805. He was the son of James Hewitt and Mary Hagon. On 6 June 1826, George married Mary Clements in Edgefield.

By 1836, George and Mary had five children: Elizabeth, Mary, Rebecca, John and James. Several years of poor weather and the resulting crop failures had made life difficult for the family. They, along with other family members, took advantage of an assisted emigration scheme to journey to what was then Upper Canada (Ontario).

After one year on a piece of land that was very unsuitable for farming they moved to their land in Blenheim Township, Oxford County. The farm they carved out of the wilderness remained in the family until the early 1990s.

Five more children were added to the family: William, Henry, George, Richard and Thomas. James, George and Thomas all died at a young age. In spite of early hardships and tragedies along the way, George and Mary lived long and prosperous lives together.

George drew up his final will and testament on 10 January 1887. He died on 27 November 1893 and his will was probated 1 December 1893. Sons William and Richard had been appointed as executors. All of George’s personal effects and monetary estate were bequeathed to his wife, Mary. According to the provisions of the will, the “farm and homestead” was also to pass to Mary, to have and use during her natural life “only so as not to interfere with or encumber the freehold title”. Upon Mary’s death (which occurred in 1896) the farm was to pass to youngest son, Richard. All personal effects and estate were then to be sold or divided equally among George’s children except son, John.

According to the 1881 and 1891 Census of Canada, Richard and his family were living on the farm with George and Mary. Given the advanced age of his parents, Richard had probably already been running the farm for some time. George’s son, Henry, had land nearby and son, William, had a farm in Elma Township, Perth County. The sons each received an extra two hundred dollars. The three daughters were all married and they each received one hundred dollars..

So what of my great grandfather, the oldest son, John? George made special mention of him in the will. He stated “my son John who has become unsteady and wasteful in his habits” was to receive ten dollars having earlier been given one hundred dollars (presumably as an advance because of ongoing financial difficulties).

Richard was instructed to pay all costs and expenses for a “decent Christian burial” for George and Mary as well as any other debts so that none of the other heirs would be charged with such payment. Richard carried out these wishes. George and Mary were buried in Plattsville Cemetery, Oxford County and commemorated with a large memorial stone.

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A Marriage at Black’s Tavern

William Milne and Catherine Johnson were married on October 3, 1871.

According to the marriage registration, Billy and Catherine were married at Black’s Tavern, Flamborough West Township, Wentworth County. The tavern was owned by Joseph Black, the father-in-law of Billy’s brother, Charles.

William was the son of Charles Milne and Elspet Ross. Catherine was the daughter of William Johnson and Rebecca Cromer.

More detail about the lives of Billy and Catherine can be found on the Milne page of this website.


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Alice Maud Stone Meadmore

Alice Maud Stone (1899 – 1943), the daughter of Pharoah Stone and Emily Frances Burt was born October 28, 1899 in Lingfield, Surrey. Alice married Joseph Lewis Meadmore in Dormansland, Surrey on 29 November 1930.

In the late afternoon of 9 July 1943, a lone German bomber returning to the coast after a raid on London dropped several bombs on the town of East Grinstead, Sussex. The bombs killed 108 people, many of them children who were watching a matinee at the Whitehall Cinema. At least 235 people were injured.

Alice was among the fatalities in one of the shops that was destroyed. She was buried in Dormansland and is commemorated on a plaque in St. John’s Church, Dormansland.

Alice Maud Stone Meadmore


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A June Wedding

My 5th great grandparents, Thomas Lindfield (1762 – 1841) and Sarah Scrase (1766 – 1830) were married at St. Cosmas and St. Damian Parish Church, Keymer, Sussex on 16 June 1785.

The couple had several children including their son, William Lindfield (1788 – 1862) who was my 4th great grandfather.

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Harriet Burt Price

Harriet Burt was born in Lamberhurst, Sussex on 10 June 1852. She was the fourth child of James Burt and Mary Bailey. Harriet had ten sisters and three brothers. At a fairly early age she was out to work in service.

The 1871 census finds Harriet at Dungarvon House, Brenchley, Kent working as a kitchen maid for a wealthy widow. By 1881, Harriet had been promoted to cook at the same residence. Her younger sister, Louisa, was the new kitchen maid. In 1891 Harriet was a boarder at the home of Susan Pugh in Tunbridge, Kent. Miss Pugh was the retired housekeeper from Dungarvon House. Both Harriet and Susan are described as “living on their own means”. Possibly their previous employer had provided for them in her will as a reward for long service.

In 1899, at the age of forty-seven, Harriet married Edwin Price, a widower from Shropshire. A supposition is that they were introduced by Miss Pugh who was also from Shropshire. In the 1901 and 1902 census, the couple lived in Wolverley, Worcestershire. Harriet died at this location in late 1918 at the age of sixty-six.

Harriet’s connection to our Milne/Smeed family tree is her younger sister Ann Maria Burt who married Charles Smeed 2 in 1887.

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William Milne 1850 – 1932

William Milne, who died on this day in 1932, was the seventh child of Charles Milne and Elspet Ross. He was born at Dundas, Ontario on March 6, 1850. He was always called Billy by family and friends and was said to be extremely stubborn.

Billy married Catherine Johnson at Black’s Tavern, Flamborough West Township, Wentworth County on October 3, 1871.

In the late 1870’s, William and Catherine moved first to Grey Township, Huron County and then to Elma Township, Perth County where they purchased land at West 1/2 Lot 1, Concession 7.

Only two of Billy and Catherine’s four children lived to adulthood. Mary Rebecca and William Johnston (Willie) died in childhood.  Robert James, the eldest of Billy and Catherine’s children, lived most of his adult life in Grey Township, Huron County and at the family farm in Elma. In the early 1920’s, Charles Alexander moved his family to Texas.

Catherine died on October 31, 1911 after a series of strokes. Billy died on May 30, 1932. Both are buried with their son, Willie, in Elma Centre Cemetery a short distance from their farm.

William (Billy) Milne