PLACES: Wolfe Island & the St Lawrence Seaway

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1878 map Wolfe Island ON





When ~ B9:Documents

Wolfe Island, Frontenac County, Province of Ontario, Canada

The 1878 map of Wolfe Island was part of 40 Canadian county atlases published between 1874 and 1881. The above detail shows John (Jno) Bullis, owner of a 49 acre farm in Concession VIII E1/4 Lot 2S (Con 8 east quarter of Lot 2 south of the baseline) slightly to the southeast of Marysville. John was born on the farm granted to his parents, just to the north in Concession IX W1/2 Lot 1N (Con 9 west half of Lot 1 north of the baseline), which was inherited by his brother Robert (Robt) Bullis.

1878 map Wolfe Island ON
McGill Digital Library: County Atlas ~ 1878 map of Wolfe Island, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada

1860 map of Marysville
Island map commissioned by the Colonial Government
Published 1860 by H F Walling ~ Kingston Canada West
courtesy of Wolfe Island Business & Tourism Association
Trinity Anglican Church
Trinity Anglican Church ~ Wolfe Island
building began 1845 completed 1851
2000 photo courtesy of TheIslands

Wolfe Island & the St Lawrence River

The history of Wolfe Island, written by Mrs James Hawkins (1967), tells the story of the island's European ownership and population. The island was named for the British General James Wolfe (1727-1759) and is situated at the head of the St Lawrence River as the waters flow from Lake Ontario to the Atlantic Ocean. Maps over time have shown Wolfe Island on both sides of the border between Canada and New York, with Canada retaining control of the north channel and the island. Marysville is on the northern shore of Wolfe Island facing Kingston Ontario, the seat of the Canada West government from 1841-1844, across the St Lawrence River. A ferry established in 1802 by the Horne family was and still is the main transport to and from the island. A history of the island and inhabitants was titled, 'Wolfe Island Past & Present' by WM Cosgrove (1973) which can be seen on Our Roots: Canada's Local Histories Online. The chapter on 'Religion' is transcribed in part on TheIslands under the topic of Churches.

Wolfe Island: A Legacy in Stone by Barbara Wall LaRocque (2009) A Natural Heritage Book. 'I also wish to thank those many people who so very willingly provided me a rich array of background ... family histories, photos, and information involving Scottish Settlement.'

Trinity Anglican Church of Marysville

The first Church built on the Island is still in use ~ the cornerstone was laid on Monday the 6th of October 1845 and was announced the next day in the Kingston Herald. The Church was completed in 1851. Located in Marysville 'one quarter mile' to the west of the ferry landing, the Church stands along the bay-front road in Concession VI Lot 3 of the Old Survey. On the 1860 map the church is identified as the "Epis Church" while on the 1878 map it is identified as the "Church Eng" and is known to this day as the Trinity Anglican Church. Trinity Cemetery is situated behind or to the south with access from Allen Lane, where William & Elizabeth Bullis, Mathew Davis, and William King & children are buried, along with many other relatives.
(Trinity Church & Trinity Cemetery ~ TheIslands)
Also see the Colonial Church History written by John Langtry (1892) courtesy of the Project Canterbury.

Question: Having been built by 1851, was the marriage of John Bullis & Elizabeth Davis-King in 1858 performed in the Anglican Church by the Methodist Episcopal Minister - only two years earlier the map named an Episcopal Church? The Wesleyan Methodist ministers were called Circuit Riders as they traveled over large areas of territory, and as churches grew, to the congregations assigned to them.

1878 map of Marysville
1878 map of Wolfe Island ~ detail of Marysville
courtesy of McGill Digital Library

old map of Ontario
(atlas/date unkn) map of Ontario ~ detail of Wolfe Island
original map courtesy of Cherie Branch Wheless

1860 map of Wolfe Island Ontario Canada

1860 map of Wolfe Island Ontario Canada
1860 Wolfe Island Ontario Canada
courtesy of Brian MacDonald : Wolfe Island - Henry F Walling (1825-1888)

Historical Setting of Eastern Canada

The lands to the north of the British Colonies came to be known as Canada, after the First Nations word Kanata meaning village or settlement. With the explorers, trappers, military maneuvering by France and England, and the subsequent investment of populations from across the ocean, settlement of Canada spanned several centuries interspersed with wars and governmental realignments. The French built Fort Frontenac in 1673 at the mouth of the Cataraqui River where the St Lawrence flows from Lake Ontario, named by the Iroquois Skanadario meaning beautiful lake or sparkling water. Near the end of the French & Indian or Seven Years War, the French fortification was destroyed by the British in 1758, one in a series of battles that ended France's control in Canada. The strategic location was abandoned until 1783 when the British rebuilt the fort for protection of a growing population, as the British Loyalists fled the Revolutionary War and settled in the area of the Cataraqui River. The town was later renamed Kingston, near the British garrison in the county of Frontenac-so named after the governor of the earlier New France.

The British Parliament divided Canada in 1791 along the Ottawa River, with the mid-point at Montreal on the St Lawrence Seaway, into predominately French (Lower) and primarily English (Upper) provinces. By 1840 the separate governing provinces were united into one government by the British Parliament: Lower being called Canada East (Quebec) and Upper identified as Canada West (Ontario). In 1867 the confederation of four eastern Canadian colonies established the Dominion of Canada, with the remaining provinces and territories entering the confederation over later years.

Lands under the rule of France where divided into seigneurial grants, mainly along coastlines and river access. Strips of land from river bank to forest gave settlers necessary material and resources. Seigneurs, landlords of the feudal French system, provided property in exchange for rents and service. The last grant by the King of France was in 1788; the feudal system of land allotment was abolished in 1854. The town of Marysville on Wolfe Island was formed into customary strip farms of the French period. The English system of land allotment was the township, typically in ten mile squares that were divided into concessions and subdivided into lots. Wolfe Island contains both patterns from the early French and English governments and inhabitants.
Wolfe Island Historical Society

1881 Census ~ Wolfe Island Township

ON 1881 John & Eliz Bullis
(search for Richard King 1881 Canada ~ 9th listed born 1801 England ~ returns the Wolfe Island family)
1881 Census of the Province of Ontario : Frontenac County : Wolfe Island Township
LDS #1375871 transcribed surname BULLIS as BALLIS

The 1881 Census for District D2 of the Wolfe Island Township was enumerated by John Bullis Jr ~ the son of Robert Bullis, who was the brother of the John Bullis listed on page 9. Apparently, John Jr was named after his Uncle John and was also known as Jack, mentioned by cousin Mathew in his autobiography. John Jr recorded this portion of the census on Thursday April 7th, having begun on Monday April 4th with his own parents and family, listing them on page 1 as household 1. The French word 'Recensement' is the English 'Census' as found in Google's digital copy of the 1881 Census Third Volume published in 1883.

Census 1881 Recensement
~ Province of Ontario ~
District No 115 Frontenac S
District D Wolfe Island
Division No 2 Page 9

Household & Family 35
Line 4 through Line 14

BULLIS, John ~ age 49 (M) born O (Ontario) : Married
Church of England : English : Carpenter [crossed out] Farmer
BULLIS, Elizabeth ~ age 50 (F) born US : Married
E "Meth" (Episcopalian Methodist) : Welsh :
BULLIS, Joseph ~ age 22 (M) born O (Ontario)
Church of England : English : Harness maker
BULLIS, William Jn ~ age 19 (M) born O (Ontario)
Church of England : English : Farmer
BULLIS, Mathew ~ age 16 (M) born O (Ontario)
Church of England : English : Farmer
BULLIS, Robert ~ age 14 (M) born O (Ontario)
BULLIS, John ~ age 11 (M) born O (Ontario)
BULLIS, Gertrutt [Gertrude] ~ age 8 (F) born O (Ontario)
BULLIS, Thaddie ~ age 5 (M) born O (Ontario)

KING, Richard ~ age 80 (M) born England : Widowed
Church of England : English : no occupation
MARSHAL, Mary ~ age 13 (F) born Scotland
Church of England : English : Servant

The oldest member of the Bullis household, Richard King, was a widower of ten years, the aging father of William King, who was the 1st husband of Elizabeth Davis. She was widowed after 5 years of marriage (1851-1856) and left to raise their daughter Williamena, the only surviving one of four children born. Minnie was almost three years old when Elizabeth Davis King and John Bullis were married in 1858. Richard King died at age 83 a year after this census, just a week before Elizabeth and her family began their journey to Emerson Manitoba. John's brother Robert Bullis registered Richard's death on the day the family left Wolfe Island. (data courtesy of AM Benson ~ summary compiled from census years, vital records, Mat's biography) [see KING & DAVIS]

ON 1881 D2 Wolfe

ON 1881 Census
1881 Census Wolfe Island Township Frontenac Ontario Canada

old map of Ontario Canada
(atlas/date unkn) map of Ontario ~ detail of Wolfe Island shown above
original map courtesy of Cherie Branch Wheless

NASA image of Wolfe Island ON
~ Wolfe Island Frontenac Ontario CANADA ~
The island is about 29 km long with its width varying from its widest around 9 km to
a few hundred metres at some points; approximately 124 square km (48 square miles).
Wikipedia & Timeline

post: 2008Nov30Sun
rvsd: 2011Nov26Sat
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