Early East Flamborough Township Marriages

Marriage records before 1869 when civil registration in the Province of Ontario became compulsory are unfortunately far from complete. Before civil registration started, records of early marriages are to be found mainly in Church Registers, now lodged in archives such as the New Connexion Methodist records for Waterdown, held by the United Church Archives, Victoria University, Toronto.

Many records are lost, incomplete, or in such poor condition that they are virtually unreadable. Even the history of religion in Canada has affected the keeping of records — denominations have merged, or separated, or disappeared, and this has had a direct bearing on the existence of such records and their accuracy.

Not all ministers were allowed to perform marriages; for example, before the Marriage Act of 1831, Baptist ministers were not permitted by law to perform marriages. The previous Marriage Act of 1798 in Upper Canada allowed marriages to be performed by other denominations in addition to Anglicans and Roman Catholics. However, it specified these other denominations as Church of Scotland, Presbyterians, Calvinists and Lutherans: the Baptists were not mentioned, and this led to complications for them. Some Baptist ministers were able to convince local authorities they were Calvinists within the meaning of the Act, and obtained permission to officiate at marriages. Others could not succeed in doing this, and still others were not prepared to forswear their religion even to the extent of claiming to be Calvinists. The numbers who managed to get around the law increased over the years, and the Act of 1831 simply legalised a position which already existed!

Newspaper announcements are another source of early marriage records. This Heritage Paper lists notices found in Upper Canada and Canada West newspapers that record the marriages of East Flamborough Township residents.

Abbreviations used in the newspaper listings:
ult. – last month
inst. – current month

C.A.Y. – Colonial Advocate, York
C.G.T. – Christian Guardian, Toronto
C.A.T. – Correspondent and Advocate, Toronto
E.T. – Examiner, Toronto
C.T. – The Church, Toronto
T.H. – Toronto Herald
C.C. – The Church, Cobourg

References:
“Marriage Notices of Ontario 1830-1859” – William D. Reid
“Ontario Marriage Notices” – W. Wilson


  • In Flamboro East, John Kingsley Simons of Flamboro West, to Margaret, daughter of Ephraim Hopkins of Flamboro East.
    Rev. Mr. Sheed.
    C.A.Y.: November 1830.
  • At East Flamboro, on Monday 14 ult., Ira Erwin to Nancy Morden.
    Rev. Mr. King.
    C.G.T.: 7 December 1831.
  • In East Flamboro on Monday 14 ult., David Garrison to Sarah Springer, both of that place.
    Rev. Mr. Miller.
    C.G.T.: 18 January 1832.
  • At Flamboro East on Thursday last, Hiram Smith, merchant of Nelson, to Hannah P., daughter of Col. Chisholm, of the former place.
    Rev. Wm. King.
    C.G.T.: 11 April 1832.
  • Joshua Freeman Jr., to Mary Smith, daughter of Mrs. D. Johnson of Waterdown in the Gore District, by her former husband, Thomas Smith, of Almarit, in the county of Cardigan, nephew to Robert Smith, Lord Carrington of England, and John Smith, M.P., Banker, of the city of London.
    Rev. Mr. King.
    C.G.T.: 5 December 1833
  • John Page of Flamborough East, to Catherine Fisher of Clinton.
    Rev. J. Messmore.
    C.G.T.: 19 December 1833.
  • On March 5th, Thomas Wingrove of East Flamborough, to Catherine Griffin of Gainsborough.
    Rev. Wm. Griffis.
    C.G.T.: 2 April 1834.
  • On January 12, W. Allen to Eliza Turner, both of East Flamborough.
    Rev. E. Evans.
    C.G.T.: 25 February 1835.
  • On February 6th, Isaac Turton, East Flamboro, son of the Rev. Mr. Turton, Wesleyan Minister, England, and Margaret Susan Calvert, of Nelson,
    Rev. James Norris.
    C.G.T.: 30 March 1836.
  • In this city, on 15th inst., William Burnham, of Port Hope, to Susannah, third daughter of David Bastedo of Flamboro East.
    C.A.T.: 19 October 1836.
  • On 9th inst., Wesley F. Eaton and Margaret Markle, both of East Flamborough.
    Rev. P. Kerr.
    C.G.T.: 13 May 1840.
  • In this city, on 5th inst., Thomas Wilson Adams, of Flamboro’ East, to Rachel, daughter of Absalom Willcox, of the Township of Toronto.
    Rev. John Roaf.
    E.T.: 14 October 1840.
  • On 7th inst., Joseph Page and Ann Ravel, both of East Flamborough.
    Rev. A. MacNab of Hamilton.
    C.G.T.: 13 January 1841.
  • On 28th ult., at the residence of Gabriel Hopkins, Flamboro’ East, Ezra Hopkins, of West Flamboro’ and Frances Susan Crickmore, of the former place.
    Rev. A. MacNab.
    C.G.T.: 5 October 1842.
  • On 23rd inst., at the residence of L.R. Marsh, East Flamboro’ J.W. Marsh of Oxford, V.C., to Eleanor, youngest daughter of the late James McKowen of Dublin, Ireland.
    Rev. Thos. Creen.
    C.T.: 25 November 1842.
  • By Rev. Anson Green on 19th October, George A. Carmen, of Saltfleet and Sarah Markle of East Flamboro’.
    C.G.T.: 8 November 1843.
  • On 16th inst., at Port Hope, John F. Davies of Toronto, to Elizabeth, youngest daughter of David Bastedo, of Flamboro’ East.
    Rev. J. Shortt.
    T.H.: 19 September 1844.
  • On 27th ult., Joseph Lyons, of East Flamboro’, and the widow of the late Thomas Roseborough, of Dumfries.
    Rev. Peter Kerr.
    C.G.T.: 6 November 1844.
  • 3rd January, in Hamilton, Richard Dalton, of Flamborough East, and Miss Mary, niece of Joseph Ireland, of Nelson.
    Rev. L. Warner.
    C.G.T.: 21 January 1846.
  • On 7th ult., Richard Mount, of East Flamboro, farmer, to Margaret Cairns, of Nassagaweya.
    C.C.: 5 June 1846.
  • On 24th June, at the residence of Ezra Hopkins, Benjamin Crickmore of East Flamborough, and Sabina Caroline Hopkins of West Flamborough.
    Rev. William Philp.
    C.G.T.: 15 July 1846.

Originally published in Heritage Happenings, January 1983.

© The Waterdown-East Flamborough Heritage Society 1983, 2020

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