At age 21 Nicholas Hedley married Irish-born Jane McBride, age 16, of Huntley Twp. They were married October 12, 1835 in Wesleyan Methodist Church, Bathurst District, Carleton County "by Special License of Banns." Witnesses were Wm. Gainfort and Robt. Lyttle.
Jane McBride, born May 3, 1819 in Tyrone County, Northern Ireland, was the daughter of Henry and Nancy (Little) McBride, who were born in 1786 and 1791 respectively, both natives of Tyrone County in Northern Ireland. The McBrides came to Canada with their infant daughter Jane in 1819, initially to the Richmond Settlement, Upper Canada. They settled in Huntley Township in 1821, the year their son William McBride was born. The 1822 Census for Huntley Township lists Henry McBride, head, his wife, a daughter and a son.
The above mentioned Jane Corfield has the will of her ggg grandfather Henry McBride, dated 1886, in which he wills $200 to his daughter Jane "Hedly." (More about this will near the end of this Chapter.)"The first settlement (in Huntley Twp.) was made as early as 1819...Henry McBride (Jane’s father) of Carp village settled there in 1821...Regular religious services (were) held at different family residences, chiefly at Mr. McBride’s (p. 259). ...After settling in Huntley (Henry McBride) commenced at once to take an active part and leading interest in municipal matters. He was the oldest Magistrate in the Township. He was Road Commissioner before there was a road, and along with his colleague, Dennis Cavanagh, he cut out the first road in the Township...Mr. McBride continued to be returned as "District Councillor" until the Municipal Act, after which he was many years Reeve." (p. 260)Historical Sketch of the County of Carleton by Courtney C.J. Bond (pub. 1879 by H. Belden)
At the time of the marriage of Nicholas and Jane, in 1835, Nicholas’ parents, John and Frances, were 65 and 62 respectively. Only William, age 20, and Mary Ann, age 14, were unmarried and probably still residing with their parents on Lot 18, Concession 4, the original property on which John and Frances had settled in 1923. Nicholas and his young wife Jane may also have lived for awhile with the family. The property at the time had two log houses, the original, built about 1826, and a log house constructed later, closer to River Road (now Kerwin Road) which was destroyed by fire in 1838. By the following year, it had been replaced by a fine stone house. This home, at 1045 Kerwin Road, has served as a family dwelling for the past 168 years. (See Chap 2 for more about the Hedley residences.)
On April 26, 1837 Jane gave birth to their first child, William Henry Hedley, and on Nov. 4, 1838 to a second son, John Henry Hedley. A third son, Thomas Hedley, was born in 1840.
In addition to his work as farmer and mill operator, Nicholas played an active roll in the life of the community: He was one of three March Township constables in1837, a sergeant in the local militia in the 1840's, one of several pathmasters from 1842 to1844, a March Township Councilor in 1852 and 1853, and an active member of the South March Loyal Orange Lodge # 331.
The March Township Registry of May 9, 1842 lists Nicholas Hedley as owner of the south half of lot 18, concession 4, although his parents John and Frances probably continued to live there. By that time Nicholas’ younger brother and sister, William and Mary Ann, had both married and moved to homes of their own. The 1851 Census for March Township shows Nicholas’ parents, John, age 80, and Frances, age 74, living with William, his young wife Bridget and their four little girls in their one-storey log cabin (Chapter 6).
The Collector’s Roll for the Township of March, 1848, listing the relative value of the inhabitants’ property, showed that Hamnett Pinhey, by far the wealthiest, was assessed at 1011 pounds; Mrs. Bridge at 377 pounds; F.W. Richardson at 273 pounds; and Nicholas Hedley at 217 pounds. Nicholas, whose family had come to Canada as indentured servants 29 years earlier, was now among the wealthiest in the township! Bob Gregory, present owner of the property, and contributor of the above information, attributes this financial success to the Hedleys’ business activities as gristmill and sawmill owners.
The family of Nicholas and Jane was growing rapidly, with the addition of five more children between 1843 and 1851: Nicholas, Robert, Ann, Edward, and Mary Jane. The 1851 Census is the last census showing the family of Nicholas and Jane Hedley in March Township:
Jan. 12, 1851 Ont. Census for March Township, Carlton
County (age next birthday)
This Census also notes that the family was living in a stone house, one of only eight in March Township at the time, and that they were operating a sawmill worked by water, producing 20,000 ft. of sawn lumber and employing three persons. The designation of "labourer" ascribed to the five sons ages eight to fourteen years, indicates the parental expectation that their children would contribute fully to the work required for the family to succeed, in addition to their school attendance.
By 1846 the grist mill on Nicholas
Hedley’s property had been converted to a sawmill. The waters of
Constance Creek were probably showing greater seasonal fluctuations as
a result of large-scale deforestation. In addition, the increasing
number of steam-driven grist and sawmills was probably making the mill
less profitable. By the 1850's Nicholas and Jane were considering
selling their March
Twp property and moving their family of 14 to the recently
opened townships in Huron County, where they may have hoped to find
low-cost farmland and new opportunities for their growing family.
The 1861 Ontario Census for March Township, Carleton County
indicates that the property had been sold, and that the mill had
apparently fallen into disuse, for it is not mentioned.
The 1861 Ontario Census finds the Hedley family living in Logan Township, Perth County, Ont. Edward, who was 4 in the 1851 census is now13 and 1-year-old Mary Ann on the 1851 Census is now 10. Four more children have been added to the family: Margaret, 8; Martha, 6; Adelaide, 4; and Susan, 1.
1861 Ont. Census Logan Township, Perth County (sec. 5) Con.7, Lot 30 (NE Corner)
It appears that sometime during the next three years the family of Nicholas, or part of it, moved to Ashfield Township. Both Nicholas and John Hedley are listed in the Huron County Directory 1863-1864 for Ashfield Township: John Hedley Con 10, Lot 8 and Nicholas Hedley Con.12, Lot 9. (This "Nicholas" may have been John Henry's younger brother, age 20).
Nicholas Hedley, the fourth son of Nicholas and Jane, moved to Macomb County, Michigan in 1863, when he was 20 years old. (1900 U.S. Census for Armada Twp., Macomb Co., Michigan) Two years later he married 22-year-old Mary Jane Woodbeck of Armada Township on April 20, 1965. (See Chap. 8,3 for more about the family of Nicholas and Mary Jane.)
On April 11, 1866, Ann Hedley, age 20, "of Ashfield
Township" was the third of Nicholas and Jane's children to marry. Ann
married Henry Phillips, 23, a brother of Sarah
Phillips, who had married Ann’s brother William three years earlier.
John Henry Hedley, now "of Ashfield" was again a
witness. The couple was married in Dungannon by Rev. Wm. Daunt, Church
of England. (See Chap. 8,5 for more about the family of Anne and
A list of family birthdates, presumably in Ann’s handwriting, was found by her sister Susan in a dresser drawer after Ann’s death. This list, a copy of which was passed on to us by Susan’s descendant, Phyllis Morrison, has been a major reference source for this chapter:
A month following Ann’s marriage, Thomas Hedley, age 26, of March Township, Carleton County married Mary Ann Armstrong, age 20, daughter of James and Bridget Armstrong, a Roman Catholic family. They were married May 15, 1866 in Carleton Co. by Rev. John Godfrey, United Church of England and Ireland. It appears that Thomas remained in March when the rest of the family moved to Huron County. Thomas and Mary Ann settled in the town of Kincardine, Bruce County. (See Chap. 8,2 for more about the family of Thomas and Mary Ann.)
Our citizens were startled on Wednesday last by the news of
the sudden death of Nicholas Hedley, who lived just South of
the Village. He had been in his usual health and was bringing
into the house an armful of firewood when he suddenly fell to
the floor, and in a few seconds he was dead. Heart disease is
supposed to be the cause. The deceased was 80 years of age.
1. William Hedley b.1837 in March Twp; m. Sarah Phillips in 1863; lived in Wawanosh, Ashfield and Kinloss Townships; Wm. and Sarah moved to South Dakota in 1881 with their eight children. Sarah died in 1887 at age 40. William married Julia Ann Bennett and had three more children in S. Dakota. William died in 1922 at age 85 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. (Chap. 8,1)
2. John Henry Hedley, b.1838 in March Twp., Carleton County; m. Margaret Florence Johnston (b.1847) in 1866; farmed in Kinloss Twp; moved to Greenock Twp. in 1886; Nine children. Margaret died in 1887 at age 39 of a heart attack; John Henry married Ann Alexander in1888. John Henry died in Kincardine in 1910 of prostate cancer at age 70. Ann died in 1932 at age 80. (Chap. 8,14)
3. Thomas Hedley b.1840 in March Twp; m. Mary Ann Armstrong in March Twp. in 1863; lived in Kincardine, in Huron Twp. (Bruce Co.) and West Wawanosh, Huron Co. (south of Lucknow). Nine children. Thomas died in 1908 at age 67 of a heart attack. Date and location of Mary Ann's death unknown (Chap. 8,2)
4. Nicholas Hedley b.1843 in March Twp; m. Mary Jane Woodbeck in Michigan in 1865; farmed in Macomb Co., Mich; Two daughters (Mary E. d. in childhood and Estella E. b.1870) Nicholas died in 1916, age 73, Mary Jane was 57 on the1900 Macomb Co Census; her date of death is unknown. Graves of both are in Willow Grove Cem., Macomb, Mich. (Chap. 8,3)
5. Robert b.1844 in March Twp; m. Eliza
Ralston abt.1879 at age 35; farmed in Napa Co., Cal.; eight
children; died abt.1898 (abt. age 54) in Napa, Cal.
Eliza, 71 in the 1920 Napa Census, may have died in1922 at age 74 (not yet verified). (Chap. 8,4)
6. Ann Hedley, born 1846 in March Twp. m. Henry Phillips in 1866; farmed in W. Wawanosh Twp. and Ashfield Twp; Six children; Henry was killed by horses in 1877; Ann and four children appear in the 1881 Census for Wingham; In 1887 Ann married George B. Scott. In 1890 Ann and three daughters moved to London. Ann died in London in 1934 (age 88). (Chap. 8,5)
7. Edward, Hedley, b. 1848 in March Twp. was 13 on the 1861 Perth Co. Family Census. Edward, age 23, was working as a farm labourer in Macomb County, Michigan in 1870, but by 1873 he was in Saginaw, Michigan where he worked as streetcar operator and teamster; m. fifteen-year-old Minnie Terry in Saginaw; four children; d. between 1900 and 1910. Minnie, 50 in 1910, worked in a Saginaw hotel. Date and location of death of Edward and Minnie unknown. (All of above requires further confirmation.) (Chap. 8,6)
8. Mary Jane Hedley b.1851 in March Twp., m. James Woods in 1867; farmed in Kincardine Twp; eleven children. James died in 1903 at age 53. Mary Jane moved to Kincardine in 1906 with her daughter Mae, a Kincardine librarian. Mary Jane died in 1934 at age 84. (Chap.8,7)
9. Maggie Hedley, b. 1852 in March Twp., m. John Burns (b. 1849) a carpenter, the son of Irish parents, who lived near Bervie, Ontario. Maggie and John were
Kincardine about 1870; moved to Cleveland, Ohio. Two children, Robert
J. and Mary Ann; d. after 1910. (all requires further confirmation)
10. Martha Hedley, b.1854,
in March Township, was six years old on the 1861 Family Census for Perth
County. She is 16
years old, working as a servant, on the 1871 Census. for Ashfield Township, Huron County
11. Adeline Hedley, b.1856 in March Twp., is listed as a four year old on the1861 Family Census for Perth County.
12. James Hedley was probably b. about 1858. and died in infancy or childhood. His name without a birth date appears on his sister Ann's list of family birthdays. His name does not appear on the 1861 Family Census for Perth County.
13. Susan Hedley was b. in 1861,
time that her parents and their12 children moved from March Twp. to
Perth Co. and then into Huron Co. Her birth place is not known, but
she is listed as one year old on the 1861 Family Census for Perth County. Susan was 11 on the 1871
Kinloss Twp Census and 19, a seamstress, on the 1881 Census
for W. Wawanosh. Susan m. Henry Alton (b.1858) in 1882; They farmed
near Bruce Mines (in the Sault Ste. Marie area); Six children; Henry
died in 1934 at age 75. Susan died in 1958 at age 98. Their graves are in Old
Greenwood Cemetery, Korah Township, Sault Ste.Marie.
14. Alexander Hedley b.1862 in Wawanosh, the first born after the family’s move to Huron Co., was a stone mason; m. Thomisine Fisher (b.1862); built a home for his family on the south edge of Lucknow; Nine children; Alexander was killed by runaway horses in 1908 at age 46. Thomisine died in 1940 at age 78. (Chap. 8,12)
15. Pharaoh Hedley b.1864 in Wawanosh,
went to California in the 1880's; m. Johanna (Josie) (Klumann)
Simonson in 1912. Johanna was b. in 1877 in Oldenburg,
Niedersachsen, Prussia (Germany). This was a 2nd marriage
for Johanna; They owned the Van Nuys Hotel in Van Nuys, California; Two
sons;. Johanna died in Glendale, California in 1951. Pharaoh’s died in Van Nuys, California Sept.1939; both are buried in Oakwood Memorial Park, Chatsworth, Los Angeles County, CA. (Chap. 8,13)