Chapter 4,6
gen. (iii)       James William Hedley  (1837 - 1925) 
Mary Umstead Rorison
  -- m2, Harriet A. Wood  -- m3, Emma Hays

James William Hedley was born March 21, 1837 in Torbolton Township, Carleton County, Ontario, the sixth child of John Hedley 2 and Margaret Greason (Chapter 4). James, age 15, appeared on the 1851 Census for Tolbolton Township, along with the names of his parents and twelve brothers and sisters, but does not appear on subsequent Torbolton censuses.
Marriage 1 of James William Hedley    (Marriage Register of Ontario, 1850-1867)
James Hedley, 28, of Fitzroy, Torbolton, son of John and Margaret (Grierson) Hedley was married 19 Dec. 1865 to Mary Rorison, 23, of Fitzroy, daughter of T.N. and Ann Rorison.
(Ontario Archives microfilm MS 248, reel 5, vol. 5, marriages 1865-69; Carleton County 1865)  
James Hedley, 28, Torbolton, Fitzroy, son of John Headley (sic) and Margaret Grierson, married Mary Ronson (sic), 23, Fitzroy, daughter of F.W. Ronson (sic) and Ann Grierson.
Witnesses: John Ronson (sic) and C. Grierson, both of Fitzroy, 19 Dec. 1865.
Mary Rorison was born March 30, 1841 and died Oct. 27, 1869, age 28. 
Mary Rorison's parents were Hugh Umstad (or Umstead or Ulmstead) Rorison; b. Aug. 28, 1805 in Elizabeth, Leeds, Upper Canada; settled in  Fitzroy, Carlton County about 1830;
Hugh Umstead married Ann Grierson, Jan.1, 1836 in Bathhurst District, Ontario. Ann was a native of Edinburgh, Scotland, born Apr.18, 1815, died Nov. 19, 1853. Mary Rorison was the fourth of 13 children of Hugh and Ann (Grierson) Rorison.
Mary Rorison's paternal grandparents were Basil Dunbar Douglas Rorison (1760-1813) born in New Galloway, Scotland; (first marriage was to Sally White, daughter of Joseph White Esquire Feb. 19, 1780 at Newberry, Connecticut, Vermont; one son, James Murray Rorison b. Dec. 14, 1789 in Elizabeth, Upper Canada.)
Second marriage of Basil Rorison was to Mary Umstad (White) (1763-1823) (widow of Joseph White Jr.), mother of three (from first marriage) plus six from second marriage.
Mary Rorison's maternal grandparents were Lieutenant John Grierson of the Royal Navy, Crown Point, born 1783 in Scotland, emigrated in 1822 from Edinburgh to Torbolton Township, Canada.
Lieutenant John Grierson brought with him his wife Ann Grinton and their family of six children.
James William Hedley's parents were John Hedley 2, born in Northumberland, England Aug. 29, 1804; emigrated with his parents John and Frances Hedley to the Ottawa Valley, Canada in 1820;
John Hedley 2 married Margaret E. Grierson in 1825. Margaret (eldest sister of Ann Grierson) was born in Scotland in 1807, the eldest child of Lieutenant John Grierson and Ann Grinton.
John and Margaret (Grierson) Hedley had 13 children and 50 grandchildren. John Hedley 2 died in 1866 at age 62 in Torbolton Twp., Carleton County, Ontario. His wife Margaret Grierson died 20 years later, Aug. 1886 in Black Jack, Douglas Co., Kansas, USA.
James William Hedley's paternal grandparents were John Hedley 1, b. Nov. 28, 1773 in Birtley Parish, Northumberland, England.
John Hedley 1 married Frances Lawes of Ryton Parish, Durham in 1798; emigrated in 1819 to the Ottawa Valley with their six children (one of whom was John Hedley 2, father of James)
James William Hedley's maternal grandparents were, like his wife Mary's, Lieutenant John Grierson of the Royal Navy, Crown Point, emigrated from Edinburgh, Scotland to Torbolton Township with his wife Ann Grinton and their family in 1822.
James William Hedley and his young wife Mary Umstead Rorison settled in Charlevoix County, Michigan, where their two sons, John Rorison Hedley and James Umstead Hedley were born. Sadly, Mary Rorison Hedley died on October 27, 1869, two months after the birth of James, their second son. (Death records of Michigan Dept. of Community Health show Mary's name as "Mary W. Headley" (sic) and indicate "brain fever" as cause of death.

After the death of his wife Mary, James was left with two young sons to raise, two-month-old James and two-year-old John R. At this point James's mother, Margaret, appears to have come to the rescue of the young family. Both four-year-old John R. and one-year-old James appear on the 1871 Canadian Census for Torbolton Township, Carleton County, Ontario, Canada (See Chapter 4). One may assume that James's widowed mother Margaret (Grierson) Hedley cared for the boys for some time, perhaps until James's second marriage.

The two sons of James and Mary (Rorison) Hedley (generation iv):

1 - John R. Hedley was b. in1867 in Michigan, USA, the eldest of two sons of James William Hedley and Mary Umstead Rorison., John's full name was probably John Rorison Hedley for his mother; similarly, the name of his younger brother was apparently James Umstead Hedley. After the early death of their young mother, John R. and his brother James were cared for temporarily by their widowed grandmother, Margaret (Grierson) Hedley and her five adult children in Torbolton Township, Carleton County, Ontario. (Chap. 4).It may have been during his stay in Canada that young John R. formed a lasting bond with his uncle, 30-year-old Anthony Humble Hedley, a bond that held for forty years. (In 1910 John's widowed 68-year-old uncle, Anthony, was living in the household of John R. and his young family in Los Angeles.)

In 1880 the U.S. Census for Eveline Twp., Charlevoix Co., Michigan showed John living with his father James and James's third wife, Emma, and John R.'s four siblings, adopted brother 13-year-old George Nickerson Hedley, 10-year-old James U., 8-year-old step-sister Mary Margaret Hedley and 1-year-old step-brother Frank Hedley (see Marriage 3 below). In the early 1880s the Hedley family moved from their farm in Charlevoix County, Michigan to Black Jack, Kansas.
Please see Chapter 4,6a for the further life of John R. Hedley and his family.

2 - James Umstead Hedley was born Aug. 17, 1869 in Charlevoix County, Michigan. The Charlevoix County Birth Index recorded his name as James "Amstead" Headley, and the 1880 Census listed his name as "James A. Headley." However, subsequent records, such as the 1900, 1910 and 1920 Censuses; the Land Management Database for Jefferson County, Montana; and California Death Records show his name as "James U. Hedley." (The latter lists "Umpstead" rather than Rorison as his mother's maiden name.) It can probably be assumed that James's second name was "Umstead," the second name shared by both his mother and his maternal grandfather.

James U., born two months before the death of his young mother, was the younger of the two sons of James William Hedley and Mary Umstead Rorison. Apparently his widowed grandmother, Margaret (Grierson) Hedley and her adult children in Torbolton Township, Carleton County, Ontario, cared for the infant James U. and his four-year-old brother John R. until their father, James and his second wife, Harriet (Woods) Hedley, could care for the boys. No doubt deep attachments were formed during that time, and their grandmother Margaret later paid a year-long visit to the family when they were residing in Black Jack, Kansas. The 1880 U.S. Census for Eveline Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan (see Marriage 3 below) shows James U. and John R. in the household of their father James Hedley and his third wife, Emma (Hays) Hedley, along with an adopted brother, a step-sister, and a step-brother a few years before the family's move to Black Jack, Kansas.
Please see Chapter 4,6b for the further life of James U. Hedley.

Marriage 2

James Hedley married 21-year-old Harriet A. Wood on Dec. 5, 1870, the year following Mary's death, in Eveline Township, Charlevoix County, Michigan (IGI). Harriet was born in New York State about 1849. The 1870 U.S. Census for Eveline Township, recorded earlier in the year 1870, listed Harriet and her young son George Nickerson living in the household of Jared and Mary Wood. The marriage of James and Harriet lasted only six years. Harriet (Wood) Hedley died on Aug. 2, 1877 at age 28, leaving five-year-old Mary Margaret Hedley, half sister of George.

3 - George Nickerson, born in 1867, was three years old when James Hedley and his mother Harriet were married. James Hedley later adopted George and raised him as his third son, along with John R., James U., Mary Margaret (George's half sister) and the three children from James's third marriage. George was ten years old when his mother, Harriet (Wood) Hedley died. A few years later, when the family moved to Kansas, George was in his teens.

George W. Hedley married Mary Bridwell Oct. 9, 1891 in Dodd City, Marion Co., Arkansas. Both George and Mary were 24 years old. (Please see Chap. 4,6 (c) for the further life of George Nickerson Hedley, his two wives and their families.)

Harriet (Wood) and James Hedley had one child (gen. iv):

4 - Mary Margaret Hedley was born in 1872 in Michigan. She was five years old when her mother Harriet (Wood) Hedley died. After her mother's death Mary Margaret was raised by James and his third wife Emma Hays, along with her five half brothers and one half sister, John R., James U., George, and the three children from James's third marriage. In the early 1880s James, Emma, and their four children moved to Black Jack, Baldwin Co., Kansas, where Mary Margaret grew up.

Mary Margaret Hedley married Edward Bridwell on Sept. 25, 1894. Edward was a brother of Mary Bridwell who had married Mary Margaret's half-brother George three years earlier. Mary Margaret and Edward were married in Douglas County, Kansas. Mary was 22 and Edward 24.

From the Baldwin Ledger, Fri. Oct. 5, 1894, p. 3, col. 2 , under "Here and There:"
Married - At the Presbyterian Parsonage on Tues. Sept. 25, Edward Bridwell
of Baldwin to Mary M. Hedley of Black Jack. We wish them happiness.

(Please see Chap. 4,6 (d) for the further life of Mary Margaret (Hedley) Bridwell and her family.)

Marriage 3

James Hedley married Emma Hays April 1878 in Advance, Charlevoix, Michigan. Emma was 27 and James 41 years old. Emma was born Sept. 20, 1850 in Whitestown, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Robert Hays and Nancy Black.

(Please see Addendum for the family of Robert and Nancy Hays, Emma's parents.)

The household of Emma (Hays) and James Hedley two years after their marriage is recorded on

 The 1880 U.S. Census for Eveline Twp., Charlevoix County, Michigan:

James Headley, 43, b. in Can, occ. farmer; father b. in Eng.; mo. b. in Scot.

Hannah (Emma) Headley, wife, 30, b. in Penn; fa. b. in Penn; mo. b. in Penn.

John Headley, son, 13, b. in Michigan; fa. b. in Canada; mo. b. in Canada

James A. Headley, son, 10, b. in Mich; fa. b. in Canada; mo. b. in Canada

George Headley, son, 13, b. in NY; fa. b. in Can.; mo. b. in NY

Mary Headley, daughter, 8, b. in Mich; fa. b. in Can.; mo. b. in NY

Frank Headley, son, 1 yr., b. in Mich; fa. b. in Can.; mo. b. in Penn.

Emma (Hays) and James Hedley had three children:

5 - Frank Robert Hedley, the eldest of the three children of Emma (Hays) and James Hedley, was born Aug. 7, 1879 in Eveline Twp., Charlevoix Co., Michigan ( Birth Index, Charlevoix County, Michigan). Frank was born into a household consisting of a six-year-old sister and three older brothers. Sometime before Frank was seven, his family moved from their Michigan farm home to Black Jack, Kansas, where they resided until the late 1890s.

In 1885, when Frank was six, one year before his sister Ethel's birth, Margaret (Grierson) Hedley, James's mother, who had cared for his two eldest children, John and James, after the death of their mother, Mary, came to Black Jack, Kansas to live with the family. Margaret's husband John Hedley II had died almost twenty years earlier, in 1866, at age 62 in Torbolton Township, Carleton County, Ontario (see Chap.4). By 1885 the 14 children of Margaret and John were adults and living independently. Margaret was with the family in Black Jack, Kansas for a year when she became ill and died. She was buried in Black Jack Cemetery, four miles east of Baldwin City, Kansas. A local newspaper marked her passing:

"The aged mother of Jas. Hedley after a short illness departed this life Aug. 1. Mrs.
 Hedley came here about a year ago from Canada to visit her son James. She was
 a most exemplary woman, and her sudden illness and death brings great sorrow
 to her friends."
(Baldwin Ledger, Aug. 14, 1886,"Black Jack Items")

Margaret Hedley, wife of John, died 2 Aug., 1886, aged 79 years, buried in
Black Jack Cemetery
. (Douglas County tombstone records)

By the time the family left Black Jack, Kansas, probaly in the late 1990s and moved to a farm in Minnesota, the older children in the family had married or were working outside the home. Only Frank and his younger sister Ethel and brother Ralph moved to Minnesota with their parents James and Emma. In 1910 Frank, age 30, was living with his parents, sister and brother, working as a farm labourer on the family farm in Minnesota:

1910 U.S. Census for Fairfax Twp., Polk Co., Minnesota

Hedley, James (head) age 73; m3 (pres. marr. 32 yr); b. Can; father b. Eng; mother b. Scot;
                             imm. to U.S. 1865; naturalized; farmer (general); home owned (mortgaged)

Hedley, Emma (wife), 59; m1 (pres. marr. 32 yr); (3 ch/3 liv); b. Penn; fa. Penn; mo. Penn.

Hedley, Frank (son), 30, single; b. Mich; fa. Can; mo. Penn; farm laborer (home farm)

Hedley, Ethel V. (dau), 23, single; b. Kansas; fa. Can; mo. Penn.

Hedley, Ralph L. (son), 18, single; b. Kansas; fa. Can; mo. Penn; farm laborer (home farm)

Vixor, Amy (visitor), 14, single, b. Kansas; fa. U.S; mo. U.S.

Gebau, Pauline (servant), 20, single; b. Wisconsin; fa. Germany; mo. Germany

All three of the Hedley young people were married in Crookston, within the following nine years.

Frank Robert Hedley, age 36, married 24-year-old Jessie Hoyt Wilder on March 29, 1915 in Crookston, Polk County, Minnesota. Jessie, born April 8, 1891 in North Dakota, was the daughter of Charles Wilder and Mary L. Coddington.

(Please see Chap. 4,6e for the forebears of Jessie Wilder and the further life and descendants of Frank and Jessie Hedley.)

6 - Ethel Victoria Hedley, the second child of Emma (Hays) and James Hedley was born July 1, 1886 in Black Jack, Kansas, a month before her grandmother Margaret died. Ethel had an older half sister, Mary Margaret, who was 14 at the time of her birth, and four older brothers, Frank 6, James 17, and John and George age 19.

According to James's granddaughter, Mary Dracass, James had found the climate of Kansas too warm and decided to move north. He and Emma and their three children bought and operated a family farm in Fairfax Twp., Polk County, Minnesota for several years.

In 1910, at a cousin's wedding in Crookston, Minnesota, Ethel, age 24, met Abbott Carman Taylor, age 33. The following year, on Oct. 8, 1911, Ethel Hedley and Abbott Carman Taylor were married. Abbott was the son of Richard Kemp Taylor and Melissa Submit Waite of the Silver Plains district, north of Morris, Manitoba (See Chap. 4,6f for the family of Richard Kemp Taylor). Ethel and Abbott lived in the Silver Plains district until 1919. Ethel's parents lived nearby, and Mary, Ethel's daughter, recalled childhood images of her grandfather James coming to visit and sitting in front of their big wood stove in his racoon-skin coat, warming his feet in the oven. (Please see Chap. 4,6f for the further life, family and descendants of Ethel Victoria Hedley and Abbott Carman Taylor)

7 - Ralph Lyman Hedley was born April 13, 1892 in Blackjack, Douglas County, Kansas, the youngest of the three children of James Hedley and Emma Hays. Frank's four oldest siblings were already in their twenties when Ralph was born. His full brother and sister, Frank and Ethel, were 13 and 6 respectively. Some time before 1900 (when Frank would have been 8) James, Emma, and their three youngest children moved from Black Jack, Kansas to a farm in Minnesota. By 1910 Ralph, age 18, was living with his parents, sister and brother, working as a farm labourer on the family farm in Fairfax Twp., Polk Co., Minnesota (See above for 1910 Census).

Ralph Hedley married Alta Marjorie Arries June 21, 1919 in Crookston, Minnesota. Alta Marjorie was born July 24, 1895 in Crookston, the daughter of Frank A. Arries and Anna G. (Benner or Bennerd) Arries of Minnesota After their marriage Ralph and Alta Marjorie moved to Santa Ana, California.

(Please see Chap. 4,6g for Alta Marjorie Arries' forebears and the further life and descendants of Ralph and Alta Hedley.)

After their children were grown and Ethel and Frank were both married, James and Emma settled on a farm near Morris, Manitoba, where Emma died in 1918.

Emma (Hays) Hedley, James's third wife, born in Whitestown, Butler, Pennsylvania Sept. 20, 1850, died in Morris, Manitoba on July 20, 1918 at age 68. James was 81 at the time of Emma's death. They had been married for 40 years

In 1925, when James was 88 years old, he decided to make a journey to California to visit his sons Frank and Ralph. He died during that trip. James William Hedley, born March 21, 1837 in Torbolton Township, Carleton County, Ontario, died December 1925 in Santa Ana, Orange County, California, age 88. (Evergreen Cem., Los Angeles)


Family of Robert Hays and Nancy Black, parents of Emma Hays,

maternal grandparents of Frank, Ethel and Ralph Hedley

Robert Hays was born in 1813 in Pennsylvania, the son of William Hays and Mary (Polly) Martin. He married Nancy Black in 1834 in Butler County, Pennsylvania. Nancy Black was born abt. 1812 in Whitestown, Butler, Pa., the daughter of David Black and Mary Bryson.

Nancy (Black) and Robert Hays had nine children, all born in Whitestown, Butler, Pennsylvania.

1. Amy Hays b. Dec.15,1835; died at age ten in 1846; bur. Mt. Nebo Cem., Whitestown, Butler, Penn.

2. Linora Hays b. abt. 1837

3. Loyal Young Hays b. Jan.31,1838; d. May 16,1892, age 54, at Storm Lake, Bueno Vista County, Iowa

4. Martin Plumer Hays b. Oct.31,1839; d. Oct.19, 1888, age 49, at Veteran's Hosp., Philadelphia,
    Pennsylvania; buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Baldwin City, Douglas, Kansas. (Martin Hays is the
    great grandfather of Robert (Bob) Hays*)

5. Isaac Newton Hays b. Nov.24,1842; d .Sept. 9, 1905, age 63, in Wichita, Sedgwick, Kansas

6. Addis Emmet Hays b. Nov.22, 1843; d. March 23,1932, age 79, at Sapulpa, Creek, Okla.

7. Lemuel Leake Hays b. Nov.15,1845; died Oct. 9,1864, age 19, in U.S. Hospital, Beverly, N.Y.

8. Edwards Whitefield Hays b. May 6,1848; died Dec. 31, 1852 at age 4; bur. Mt. Nebo Cem.,
    Whitestown, Butler, Pa.

9. Emma Hays b. Sept. 20, 1850; d. July 19, 1918, age 68, in Morris, Manitoba, Canada

(Sources - Robert Hays and Books:"The generations of Robert Hays" (1899) by Milton L. Hays; "Butler Co. Cem. Inventory" Vol. 4, Connoquenn Twp., Mt. Nebo Cem.; "Complete Tombstone Census of Douglas Co., Kansas" Vol. 2, Oakwood Cem., Baldwin City, Kansas)

Nancy (Black) Hays died abt.1853 in Pennsylvania when she was about 41. Emma, her eighth child, was less than two years old.

m2 - After the death of Nancy (Black) Hays, Robert Hays married Jane Findley and had nine more children by her. He died in 1889 in Black Jack, Douglas, Kansas.

It is interesting that Robert Hays died in Baldwin, Kansas and that his son Martin is buried there. A question arises as to whether Robert Hays moved to Baldwin, Kansas first, giving incentive to James and Emma to move there, or whether James and Emma moved there first, giving reason for Robert's move there.

Thanks to descendents *Nancy Peters of Winnipeg, *Ann (Crabtree) Turner of Indiana, *Joan (Crabtree) Buchman of Vista California and *Shirley (Dracass) Ruiter of Manitoba for their assistance with this chapter. Thanks also to Richard Wellman for his material on Douglas County, Kansas, to *Robert Hays for information on the Hays family and to Fran Madison for her generous contribution of photos and information on the Hedley/Rorison family, and to all those wonderful people who contributed on-line information on the various RootsWeb and GenWeb websites.
updated on August 22, 2010

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