(1) John Fraser,
born about 1795 in Scotland; married Margaret
Heley, born about 1820 in Ireland. They resided in the town
of Edwardsburgh, Grenville Co., Ontario Co., Canada, where their two known children
were born. Judging from the birth of their oldest known child, John and Margaret
immigrated to Ontario prior to 1840; based on Margaret's age before then, it
is probable that she immigrated with her parents or other close family members.
John Fraser appears in the 1844 census of Edwardsburgh with one male under 16, and two females, one below and one above 16 years of age; likewise for the 1845 census of Edwardsburgh. In the 1846 census of Edwardsburgh, an additional female under age 16 was enumerated in the household. In the latter two years A Simon Fraser and an Alexander Fraser were enumerated next door to one another roughly 15 to 18 houses away from John; no relationship, if any, is known. In all three years, John was enumerated in the West half of Lot 4 of the 2nd Concession of Edwardsburgh near the home of Andrew Graham, from whose family John's later purchased property.
According to the 1851 census of District 1 of the Town of Edwardsburgh, below, John, age 50, was a shoemaker and belonged to the Presbyterian church; Margaret, age 26, belonged the Roman Catholic faith. Their children were raised Presbyterian. John and Margaret's ages as reported in the 1851 census do not match their ages as reported in the 1861 and 1871 census, which are consistent with one another and can therefor be regarded as more indicative of fact.
On 30 April 1860, a mortgage of property was granted by John Fraser "et ux" to William Thomas Benson, consisting of 50 acres, east part of the lot rear of a well, for $200 (Instrument B 725, recorded 1 May 1860). That same day, Andrew Bowe and wife Jane (daughter of Andrew Graham) granted John Fraser 8 to 10 acres for $200 (Instrument B 726, recorded 2 May 1860).
In the 1861 census of Edwardsburgh, John, age 65, and Margaret, age 41, were living with children Duncan, age 15, and Mary, age 20.
On 2 July 1866, John Fraser et ux mortgaged to James Taylor about 8 or 10 acres for $100 (the same property as B.492 devised James Bowe) (Instrument C 768, recorded same day).
On 7 March 1868, John Fraser et ux mortgaged to William T. Benson 50 acres being east part of the lot all rear of the well for $200 (Instrument D 129, recorded 9 March 1868).
On 9 March 1868, a deed of mortgage was granted by William T. Benson to John Fraser for the same property mortgaged by John to WIlliam on 20 April 1860 in Instrument B 725 (Instrument D 176, recorded 26 May 1868).
Land transactions in 1869 and 1871 between Thomas Smith and John Lapare mention adjoining acreage owned by John Fraser.
In the 1871 census of Edwardsburgh, John, age 76, and Margaret, age 50, were living with Duncan, age 24, and his wife, Margaret, age 20; Mary was no longer in the household.
On 23 June 1874, John Fraser granted to his son-in-law, Henry Morgatroid, his farm described as "50 acres being E pt of all that pt r of a well, also about 8 or 10 ac. being land devised to Jane Bowe by B. 492" for $1,000 (Instrument F. 806, recorded 4 July 1874). That same day, Henry Morgatroid granted the same property to John's wife, Margaret, for the same price (Instrument F. 807, recorded 4 July 1874). By transferring his property to Margaret in this way John gave her immediate ownership, avoiding a lengthier transfer which would have occurred via probate after his death.
On 4 March 1880, Margaret Fraser wrote her will, granting 60 acres of the rear west part of the lot to the control of her husband John during his lifetime, and therafter to daughter Mary Morgatroid.
John died on 3 May 1880; the record of his death indicates he was a farmer who died of old age, no illness. His son-in-law, Henry Morgatroid, a farmer in Edwardsburgh, signed the certificate (# 008036) as informant. He left no will.
In the 1891 census of Edwardsburgh, Margaret was enumerated in the household of her daughter and son-in-law Mary Fraser and Henry Morgatroid; she indicated that she could not read or write.
Margaret died on 6 August 1891 of "old age"; her death record indicated her age as 77 years, setting her birth around 1813 or 1814, which is in conflict with her self-reported age in the 1861 and 1871 censuses. It further indicated her religion as Presbyterian, and her occupation as "House wife." Her son-in-law, Henry Morgatroid, signed the certificate (#008557) as informant.
Margaret's will (Number P4404) was registered at probate on 1 September 1891. On 9 April 1895, grandson John F. Fraser wrote a release of claim on the legacy from Margaret's will in favor of his aunt Mary Morgatroid for consideration of the sum of $200; John's brother George Fraser wrote a similar release on 6 August 1898 for the same amount; both actions were registered on 13 June 1908 (U-8117 and U-8113 respectively). These releases provide definitive documentary proof that John and Margaret were the parents of Duncan and Mary Fraser, and that Duncan was father of John F. and George Fraser.
(2) Duncan Fraser,
born about 1845 in "W. Canada" (Ontario) according to the 1851
census of Edwardsburgh, and in Edwardsburgh according to his marriage
record, died between 1874 and 1881; married 18 November 1867, Margaret "Maggie"
born 24 May 1849 in Canada, died 30 December 1937 as the oldest resident
of Riverside (Mallorytown Landing), Leeds Co., Ontario. She was the daughter
Cheney and Rosetta
Farley, (her parents were early
Irish immigrants to the province).
|George & John Fraser, c.1888-1894 in Brockville, Ontario, Canada.|
Children of Duncan & Margaret Fraser:
George Fraser, photo taken in a
studio at Utica, New York.
George married next on 7 June 1911 in Pamelia, Jefferson Co., New York, Ione B. Timmerman, born 17 April 1894 in Pamelia, daughter of George W. Timmerman and Jessie Tallman. Their marriage ended in divorce. A family story tells that one night years later, George happened to be passenger in a friend's car, when they came near to the house where he and Ione had lived. He asked his friend drive to by slowly so he could steal a glimpse of her or their child. After a moment he was heard to remark "There she is . . . in the window"--they didn't stop, and they apparently left unnoticed.
George was a champion checkers player--according to his great-niece Barbara, he used to "ride the trains" competing against people from different places for prizes. Perhaps it was on one such trip that his portrait (left) was taken by a Utica photographer, in central New York, nearly 150 miles from his home in Canada.
A relative tells that George was quite fond on showing off his best clothes and his flashy rings. While living in Mallorytown, he used to take daily walks into the center of town, wearing one of his two favorite suits on alternate days. It was on one such walk one wintry evening that a coachman in horse-drawn sleigh passed by George, who was trudging through the snow on Main Street. A few dozen yards beyond the coachman stopped and turned to offer George a ride. George accepted and started to walk towards the sleigh--suddenly he feel flat in the snow for no apparent reason. It was not long after that George died. George was buried in Mallorytown Cemetery beside his mother (photo courtesy of Jack Brown, Mallorytown, 2000).
of George Fraser and Ione Timmerman:
(3) John Farley Fraser
was born 9 April 1874 in Scriba, Oswego Co., New York, while his parents were
visiting relatives or friends. By 1878 John's father had died, and the
family was living in Ontario, where his brother was born that same year. John's
obituary mistakenly asserts that he lived in Oswego Co., New York, until age
20, however, census
records from 1881 and 1891 show John living with his mother, Margaret (Cheney)
Fraser in Front of Yonge, Leeds Co., Ontario, next door to his grandparents.
John and his brother George were schooled in Mallorytown at the Riverside Secondary School #5, Front of Yonge, Lot 20 broken front (south side of road) at Mallorytown. In the class photo below, John stands in the back third from left, and George stands in front of the right side of the door frame).
On 21 September 1898, John married
born 12 August 1878 in Calcium, Jefferson Co., New York, died 18 February
1943, a native of Theresa, Jefferson Co., New York. The wedding was
at Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence Co., New York, a place near his Aunt Harriet
Hale's home, and a convenient point for his relatives in Edwardsburgh to
cross the River to attend the ceremony. More than thirty letters they
exchanged in the year and a half leading up to the wedding still survive
and they paint a vibrant picture of life on the St. Lawrence River--as well
as of the troubles teens go through with their inquisitive parents!
After their marriage, they took up residence near Elsie's parents, where their first son, Reggie, was born 12 September 1900. An expense log Elsie kept during their first year of marriage documents their costs purchasing household goods, clothing for the baby, and trips to Canada. One page has a list of "baby's firsts" for Reggie, showing when he got his first teeth, what his first words were, and when he took his first steps.
Shortly after, Johnnie set up a logging farm in Williamstown, Town of Amboy, Oswego County. Deeds survive for additional property in the Town of Amboy, beginning in 1864 through the early 1900s. The young family stayed in Williamstown only a little while, returning to Jefferson County to a farm behind the library in Theresa, where they spent the rest of their days.
Like his brother, Johnnie was a great checkers player; he enticed people to play him, saying, "Why do you want to fight me when you know I'm gonna beat you?" -- of course he always won. He enjoyed his son-in-law Austin Carter's violin music, so Johnnie used to make Austin play a song whenever he beat him in a checkers match.
Johnnie has been described as a gentle and religious man, but once a person crossed him or his loved one, he wouldn't be friends with them. In 1935, when Elsie's father died, her brother Walter felt he should have gotten a larger share of the estate and consequently he fought hard with his sisters to get more. Johnnie never spoke to him after that, though Elsie did.
After their daughter Dorothy and her husband Austin split around 1940, their two girls went to live with Austin's widowed mother, Ada Diepolder of Omar Village. Johnnie and Elsie felt the children would be better off on the farm with them, so they petitioned the courts for custody and won. Thereafter, Barbara and Lila Carter were raised on the Fraser farm in Theresa, learning to ride horses and developing a love of the outdoors.
Johnnie and Elsie were a devoted couple and were always doing "nice things" for each other. When Elsie died it is said that Johnnie walked to the cemetery every day, weather permitting, to sit at the bench by her grave and talk to her.
John died on 25 August 1953 on the porch of his son Reggie's house after complaining that he was having trouble breathing. He was buried with Elsie in Theresa. The family farm was inherited by their daughter Jennifer and remained in the family until it was sold several years ago.
Elsie & John on the occasion of their wedding on 21 September 1898 in Ogdensburg, St. Lawrence Co., New York
|Four-Generation Family Portrait at the Fraser home, ca. 1935, showing (back row) Elsie (June) Fraser holding granddaughter Lila Carter, Elsie's husband John Farley Fraser, John's mother Margaret (Cheney) Fraser, and (front row) Elsie & John's daughters Jenny (Fraser) Meeks and Dorothy (Fraser) Carter holding Barbara Marie Carter.|
Dorothy Fraser's high school photo.
Reggie Fraser, ca. 1940's.
Taken at Mallorytown Landing, Ontario, Canada on the occasion of John & Elsie (June) Fraser's anniversary, Saturday, 21 September 1940: in back are Guy E. & Jennie Ruth (Fraser) Meeks; in front are Lila Mae and Barbara Marie Carter.
Lila May Carter and Barbara Marie Carter, with Grandpa Johnnie Fraser, ca. 1948
|Dorothy "Dot" Armenta Fraser, daughter of John Farley Fraser and Elsie Dorothy June, on her pet cow Grimmer, which she trained to ride like a horse. Dot used to ride Grimmer into town on errands to the store in the Village of Theresa, much to the amusement (and amazement!) of passersby.|
|Geneva (Clyde) Fraser, and her sister-in-law, Jennie Ruth Fraser|
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