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Descendants of George Johnstone

Generation No. 1

1. GEORGE1 JOHNSTONE1,2 was born Abt. 1786 in Drumully? or Gowney, County Fermanagh, Ireland3, and died Abt. 1856 in Masham, Quebec, Canada3. He married MARY (POLLY ANN) WIGGINS4 1808 in Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland5,6, daughter of UNKNOWN WIGGINS. She was born Abt. 1790 in Armach, Ireland, and died 18737.

Notes for G
In 1949 a cairn was erected in Rupert Union Cemetery. The monument bears a bronze tablet containing the names of the Pioneer George Johnstone and his family. George Johnstone is not buried here. He and his wife Polly Ann are buried in the old cemetery near Rupert, in the northeastern corner. Their graves are grass-covered. No mark remains to show the place of burial. In the 1830's and for many years afterward, Polly Ann and George had their home on the site which in time was appropriated as a fitting locality for the Rupert Union Cemetery. Their son George had the farm on the west. Their son-in-law William M. Johnston settled on the east. The land between the two farms where George and Polly Ann Johnstone built their home - became known as "Grandma's Field".

In April 1832, George Johnstone of Gowney and his wife Polly Ann were making preparations to leave Ireland and sail far Canada. Polly Ann's sister Elizabeth had married Hugh Bell, were already settled in Nepean township and prospering in the hotel business. Hugh Bell was responsible for the 'laying out' of the 'Corners' which was named for him.

Before the end of April, wind and weather permitting, Johnstones set out with four of their children. Catherine, the second daughter had just been married to William Moore Johnston of Derrameer, Clones, and had a home of her own. Coming out to Canada with their parents were Isabella, the eldest daughter, Henry, eighteen, Margaret, sixteen years old, and George, the youngest, a boy of ten. Toward the end of the voyage, cholera broke out among the passengers. The dead had to be committed to the ocean. A half-day from landing, Margaret died of Cholera. Polly Ann held the girl in her arms, so that others would think she was still living. When they reached Quebec, Margaret was buried along with the hundreds of others who had died of that dreaded disease.

Leaving Quebec City, they came as far as Montreal in a large boat; then, in smaller boats up the Ottawa River to Richmond Landing in Bytown, where they were met by Polly Ann's brother-in-law, Hugh Bell.

George and Polly Ann Johnstone lived for almost five years in Nepean, near Bell's Corners, before deciding to take up land in Masham, Que. Tragedy overtook them once again, when Henry, who was employed on the 'drive', was accidentally drowned in the Ottawa River at Deschenes. Isabella had met and married Joseph Shouldice, son of James Shouldice of Bells Corners. (Who's Which p 168)

JOHNSTONE Of Gowney, County Armagh, Ireland (Note when Joan Secord went to Ireland she discovered there is no Gowney Armagh - Gowney Twp is in Fermanaugh Co.)
Carpenter & cabinet-maker of Gowney, County Armagh, Ireland, was born-about l786
m Polly Ann (or Sarah Ann) Wiggins about 1808.

In April or May 1832, they emigrated to Canada, with four of their family. (Two had not lived through infancy, and the second daughter, Catherine, had married William Moore Johnston and was living in County Fermanagh, Ireland). They reached Quebec. The third daughter, Margaret, died just before the ship docked. She was buried in Quebec City. They came to Bells Corners, where Polly Ann's sister and her husband Hugh Bell had built a stone hotel and were running a profitable business at "the Comers".

George Johnstone and Polly Ann moved to Masham, Que. Their eldest daughter had married Joseph Shouldice of Nepean and moved to Masham. Their eldest son, Henry had lost his life by drowning in the Ottawa River at Deschenes (lumbering)and their daughter Catherine, with her husband, had come to Canada the year before. They all moved to Masham about the same time, in early spring, 1837 ... (See Wiggins Family, generation one).

George Johnstone d about 1856, and Polly Ann d in 1873, Both are buried in Rupert Old Cemetery, north-east corner. The graves are unmarked. A memorial Cairn was erected by their descendants in Rupert Union Cemetery, in 1949. (4 sons - 3 dau) (Who's Which p 170)

Emigrated to Canada in April or May, 1832 and made their home in Nepean township. In 1837 they 'followed the trend' and 'the trail' up the Gatineau River and settled in Masham. Their home, 'a story and half' log house was built on the site, which came to be known as 'Grandma's Field'. The house was demolished around 1900 when the land on which it stood became the Rupert Union Cemetery. George Johnstone died about 1856. Polly Ann died about 1873. Both are buried in the Rupert Old Cemetery. A memorial to George & Polly Ann and their seven children was erected by the Johnstone and Johnston families in 1949. (Who's Which p 220)

In the spring of 1837, both George Johnstone and his son-in-law William Johnston moved up the Gatineau as far as North Masham.

George Johnstone chose lots 13 and 14, and William Johnston chose lots 11 and 12 in the seventh range. Later both invested in timber and 'bush' lots.

The first home built by William & Catherine was situated in the field across the road and directly opposite the home presently owned and occupied by Clarence Smith, a great grandson. This first house of logs, was destroyed by fire in 1850. Catherine always regretted the loss of a large chest of drawers made by her father for the new home.

William's home was soon rebuilt, in the new location. When George Johnston senior, died a few years later, his widow Polly Ann stayed on in the little home in 'Grandma's Field' - her daughter to the east and her son George -on the west. A young woman was kept to live with her.

Among the first people to call on the Johnstons in Masham were the Jervis Mullin family who had settled on the east side of the Gatineau River a few miles above Wakefield. William gave the parcel of land for the first Methodist Church. It was situated just across the road from the new house.

William and Catherine had a family of eleven, six sons and five daughters. With the exception of the third son William Jr., who was five feet & eleven inches tall - William's sons stood each more than six feet tall 'in their socks'. Frank, the youngest was six feet four.

Nothing could be done for John's hearing, and when he was six years old it was decided that he should be enrolled in the nearest school for the deaf, which was in Montreal. William & Catherine took him down and remained for a week. He was a bright child. In a week he had learned the sign language (which was then in use) and had made good progress in what had been assigned to him. The crucial moment of parting came, John refused flatly to remain there. There was only one thing to do - bring him home, which they did. He remembered some words with which he had been familiar since babyhood. Some words he mastered by lip-reading. He could name his brothers and sisters after a fashion. We children dearly loved our great-uncle John, and we understood him perfectly.

I've been told that Catherine always made the beds up with long bolsters and pillows with huge hand embroidered pillow shams - but she never allowed any of her children pillows at night, in case it might cause them to be round shouldered. I've seen those bolsters and pillow shams, too. I remember most of her family and they were all as 'straight as a ramrod'.

When Catherine baked pies she always made a special small pie for Frank, her youngest boy.
(Who's Which page 269)

Docked at Quebec City in April or May of 1932

The Cairn at Rupert Quebec says:
In memory of the Pioneers
George Johnstone
and his wife Polly Ann Wiggins
of Armach Ireland
who came to Canada in 1832
and made their home on this site in 1838
Their seven children

1. Isabella 1802-1862
and her husband
Joseph Shouldice
of County Tipperary, Ireland
and Bell's Corners, Ont.

2. Catherine 1812 - 1882
& her husband
William M. Johnston
of Derrameer Clones
Fermanagh, Ireland
& Rupert, Quebec

3. Henry
1814 - 1833

4. Margaret
1816 - 1832

5. George
who died in infancy 1818

6. George
who died in infancy 1820

7. George Johnston
1822 - 1877
of Armagh Ireland
First Mayor of Masham
His wife
Ann Magee
who died in 1850
His second wife
Ann Moncrieff
who died in 1911

Erected 1959

(The Latin means Never Unprepared)

More About G
Burial: Rupurt Union Cemetary
Emigration: 1832, Bell's Corners, Ontario where Mary's sister was already settled with her husband
Residence: 1837, moved to Masham, PQ, Canada

Notes for M
Cairn at Rupert says " Polly Ann Wiggins of Armach, Ireland"
Joan Secord says her real name was Mary and Polly was nickname

More About M
Burial: 1873, Rupert Union Cemetery

More About G
Marriage: 1808, Clones, County Monaghan, Ireland7,8
Children of G
2. i.   ISABELLA2 JOHNSTON, b. Bef. 1807, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland; d. June 30, 1882, Blue Sea Lake, Quebec, Canada.
3. ii.   CATHERINE JOHNSTON, b. Abt. 1811, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland; d. December 1882, Masham, PQ, Canada.
  iii.   WILLIAM HENRY JOHNSTON9, b. 1813, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland10,11; d. 1833, Lake Dechenes, Que12.
unmarried, "died accidentally, by drowning, in Lake Deschenes, when employed on a "log drive" (lumbering) about 1833" (Who's Which)

Cause of Death: Drowned in a lumber drive in Lake Dechenes
Emigration: 1832, with his parents to Bells Corners

  iv.   MARGARET JOHNSTON13, b. 1816, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland14; d. 1832, off the coast of Canada enroute from Ireland14.
Margaret JOHNSTONE, b. 1813, Townland Gowny. d. 1832 of cholera en route to Canada. Buried in Quebec City. Apparently her death occurred very shortly before they were due to dock at Quebec City, and, in order to prevent her being buried at sea, her mother held her in arms to give the appearance that she was alive. (Who's Which p. 170)

Burial: 1832, Quebec City, Canada15
Cause of Death: Cholera while enroute to Canada

  v.   GEORGE JOHNSTON16, b. 1818, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland16; d. 1818, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland16.
  vi.   GEORGE JOHNSTON16, b. 1820, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland16; d. 1820, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland16.
4. vii.   GEORGE JOHNSTON, b. October 14, 1821, Townland Gowny, County Fermanagh, Ireland; d. August 27, 1887, Masham, Quebec.

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