Friday, November 25, 2016

Jeremiah Whybrew

Oro-Medonte in Ontario, Canada
A distant relative and fellow family historian recently forwarded me a link to an old discussion post about David Whybrew's older brother, Jeremiah. I knew that Jeremiah had migrated to Canada as a young adult, and married there, but that was about it. So it was interesting to learn more about what happened to him. Since then I've done a bit more research and filled in a few gaps.

Jeremiah was David's full brother, sharing not only the same father, James Whybrew, but the same mother, Sarah Baldwin. He was born in Bures St Mary, Suffolk, in about 1830 and was baptised on 6 June 1830. On one genealogy site his name on the baptism record has been transcribed as "Jeremiah Whybread", causing confusion.

More confusion arises around his date of birth because his father James' first wife, Mary Webber, had a child named Jeremiah in 1823. This child almost certainly died in infancy. Though there is no record of his death, I suspect that a burial record for "Jemima Whybrew" aged 3 in Bures St Mary in 1826 is probably his.

The second Jeremiah appears in the 1841 UK census as an 11 year old with the rest of the family in Wormingford. In 1850, after the death of both his parents, he migrated to North America, leaving from Liverpool and arriving in New York on 21 May aboard the Forest Queen. He is described on the passenger list as a labourer. From New York he apparently moved to southern Ontario in Canada and settled in Oro, a small rural community in Simcoe County.

Also aboard the Forest Queen were two families from Essex named Leatherdale, possibly a father and his son with their respective wives and children. Whether Jeremiah knew the Leatherdales before he migrated,  or whether he met them during the journey isn't clear. His name appears directly after theirs on the passenger list, and they also settled in Oro, so perhaps he travelled with them. Whatever the case, he married one of their daughters, Hannah, in 1853.

Jeremiah found work as a carpenter in Oro. He and Hannah had several children born to them there. Their first child, Jeremiah, died in infancy. The others (James, John Thomas, Charles D, George, Mary Ann and Emily) all seem to have reached adulthood.

Some online family trees include a son named William, but the only Canadian-born William that I can find in  the records is the son of a Solomon Whybra and his wife Agnes.  In the 1891 census a William Whybrow, born in 1873, lived in Simcoe County, but he was born in England. (While researching this I discovered that the Canadian Library and Archives site has census records dating back to 1825, which are free to search and view online.)

Hannah is said to have died in 1867, the year  Emily was born. The information sent to me says that the family then broke up and was "bound out". Later records show that several of the children moved  to Michigan, which despite being in the USA, is actually just west of Oro in Canada, due to the way the border weaves through the Great Lakes.

Sadly it seems that Jeremiah may have struggled after the death of Hannah. His death on 6 January 1878 in Simcoe was said by the doctor who wrote the death certificate to be due to "prostration following drink and exposure". It would be interesting to know if Jeremiah had kept contact with any of his family in England and whether or not David or any of his sisters heard of his death.

Image source: By P199 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons