"Although this map is later than the period referred to, it shows a typical layout for settlers' claims in Ontario.
Map reproduced by kind permission of Jim McGarry of The Lowbyer Manor Hotel."
CANADIAN COUSINS? (Issue No.82, Autumn 2012)
(This brief article was written in 2012 – but nothing came of the suggestion for a 200th anniversary commemoration in 2018.)
Are you from an Alston Moor family? Have you any connections with a group of people who emigrated from Alston Moor to Upper Canada, now Ontario, in 1818? Can you trace your family back to 1800? Would you like to trace your family back to 1800?
Emigrants that we know a little about are;
William Dixon, a lead miner from Leadgate
George Lee, a miner and butcher from Sheepriggs near Alston
Joseph Lee, a miner from Flatt
Robert Milburn, a miner from High Nest
Thomas Milburn, a miner who moved around the Moor a bit.
Thomas Moore from Knarsdale
John Smith, a shoemaker from Alston
Jonathan Stevenson, a miner from Nest
John Walton from Low Lee House
William Walton, a miner from Wanwood
Walton Wilson of Jollybeard House, now called Hill House
In the summer of 1818 about twenty adults and twenty children left Alston Moor for a new life in Canada. The ‘Milburn colonists’ as they were called, after Thomas Milburn who organised the group, set sail from Whitehaven in the ‘The Jason’, a ship that was only 79 feet long, weighing 159 tons, with two masts and a single deck for a total of 110 passengers. The ship arrived in Quebec in July or early August and the Milburn colonists made their way to Port Hope in Upper Canada. From there the menfolk left their families and went on through the trackless Canadian forests, following lakes and rivers, to a site that had been surveyed by the Canadian government and allocated for settlement. Here the men built a communal log cabin where they spent the autumn and winter while they staked out their claims on either side of what became called ‘Communication Road’, fenced them off and started to clear their land ready for farming. The following spring they went back to Port Hope to collect their families.
The 200th anniversary will be in 2018. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to commemorate this event? Staff of the Peterborough Museum and Archives in Ontario are looking into their records to find out what they can. Church and chapel records here have supplied quite a bit of information about some of the families but more is needed to pin them down for certain and to find out whether there are distant relatives on both sides of the Atlantic.