On the other hand, there is more than entertainment to be had in the Tobey Book. Below is an explanation of an episode I experienced in my genealogy and local history work, which was much impacted by information from the Tobey Book.
On page 13, we see this item about the boundary between old Cramahe and Murray Townships. However, as an avid genealogist, my attention focused on the name in the last line. Who was this Edward Goodyear?” Do I have that name in www.treesbydan.com? I looked and found no Goodyears at all! That’s curious. Make a mental note.
Then, on page 48, I saw this sketch of the area showing the first couple of concessions, clarifying the mis-match in the concession labels, with A and B to the east from the old Murray township, and Concession 1 and 2 to the west in the old Cramahe township. Down at the lower left is a list of lots and owners, from Concession 2. It says, Lot 1 - Edward Goodyear, Lot 2, Josiah Proctor and Lot 4, Obadiah Simpson. There’s that name again. We know Josiah Proctor and Obediah Simpson because their families grew and stayed in the area, but who was Edward Goodyear? This was starting to feel like a challenge. Then, on page 51, I saw this:
Escorting the Duke
This references a very important event in early Canadian history. The Constitution Act of 1791 had divided the Province of Quebec into Upper and Lower Canada. A member of the royal family was in Quebec, so he was sent on an excursion to visit Newark, which was the first capital of the new Upper Canada. The trip from Quebec to Newark happened in August 1792.
Here we see Edward, Duke of Kent. This visual family tree segment shows that Edward was a son of King George III and Queen Charlotte, and he was the father of Queen Victoria, who needs no introduction. But the question remains: Is this the same Edward Goodyear mentioned in the previous references? My next step was to look at the land records.
Land Registry Records
So, I opened OnLand.com, the web database that contains Ontario Land Registry Records. This is a recent development and is extremely useful for my work. Very quickly I found the pages for Lot 1, Concession 2, Cramahe Township. It is actually labelled Brighton Township since that part of Cramahe would later be part of Brighton. Anything to confuse us. The first line clearly shows that Edward Goodyear obtained the Patent from the Crown in 1803 for all 200 acres of Lot 1, Concession 2. This is the land from Sobey’s up to Proctor House Museum and on to Spring Valley, over to Platt Street on the west. This shows that Edward Goodyear qualified for a Crown grant at a very early date! Then, in the following line, Edward Goodyear sells the lot to John Nix in 1811, then later buys it back. John Nix was in the area at an early date and would build the first commercial wharf at Gosport in 1840, later taken over by John Edward Proctor. Then, in 1816, Edward Goodyear Jr. sells part of the lot to Thomas D. Sanford, another well-known name who had recently arrived. But, more critically, the next line show that Edward Goodyear Jr. sold the north half of the lot to Edward Goodyear Sr. Interesting! This means that both men, father and son, were here around 1816-1817 and a family is implied. Did they actually live here? For how long? Are they connected to any local families? As usual, new information leads to more questions. With this information, it was time to dig into ancestry.ca. Over several days, I found numerous family trees containing people connected to Edward Goodyear, Sr. and his son Edward Jr.
Goodyear Family Tree
Don’t try to read this in any detail, or you will go blind. I display this snip of the Edward Goodyear page of my genealogy database so you can see what I look at every day. I found that Edward Goodyear was born in 1761 in Fairfield County, Connecticut. As a twenty-year-old, he had served the patriot cause for a year and was married just after the war was over in 1786. He and his wife, Abigail Atwater, had six children, including Edward Jr., the oldest son, born in 1789. It seems clear that Edward Goodyear, Sr. found work on the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario as a bateau man and canoe man, moving passengers and baggage up the rapids and across the lake between Montreal and the new settlement at the west end of the lake. He likely worked on the water in the summer and came back home to Connecticut for family matters in the winter. There would have been hundreds of young men doing similar work during the years between the end of the War of Independence and the beginning of the 1800s. Many of them would eventually settle on land in Upper Canada. Then, in 1799, we see that his wife divorced him. A divorce would not be common in those days, but there is a document in the archives to confirm this one. We must assume that something pretty serious had happened. It could be that he abandoned his wife and family in Connecticut in favor of the rough and tumble pioneer life of Upper Canada. It seems he was in Cramahe in 1802 and was approved for the grant of Lot 1, Concession 2 in 1803. While Edward Goodyear would not be considered a Loyalist, he gained enough favor with the British authorities through his service that he was given a grant of land. We can’t tell for sure, but it looks like his interest in moving to Upper Canada after the war was for employment and freedom rather than politics.
We are very lucky to have census and assessment records for Cramahe and Murray Townships starting in 1803. When I first started doing genealogy I printed all the records for Cramahe and Murray so I could have the details at home with me whenever I need them. This is one of the last purely paper collections that I use routinely. It just seems more convenient in paper form. Here we can see that Edward Goodyear is the third person from the top on page 2 of the Cramahe Township census for 1803. The columns to the right show that the household contained 1 male over 16, one female over 16 and two males under 16. It looks like he already had a new family in Cramahe, although no names have come to the surface - yet. Census records for subsequent years show that Edward Goodyear Sr. was in Cramahe Township up to around 1820. His son, Edward Jr., stayed in Connecticut, was married and started raising a family. However, in 1816, he brought his young family to Cramahe for a couple of years, long enough to sell the property in Lot 1, Concession 2 for his father. He then went back to New York State and settled at the town of Camden, in St. Lawrence County, a little east of Syracuse. After that, Edward Sr. is recorded in census records living to the east a bit, around where ENSS is today. The last mention of his name was in the 1836 Murray township census, which suggests he passed away in 1836 or 1837.
But there’s more. The most fascinating item in the Tobey Book related to Edward Goodyear is a letter on page 74. It was dated August 30, 1820 and was written by Edward Goodyear Jr., living in Camden, New York, to his father who was in Cramahe. This was soon after Edward Jr. came back from his visit to Canada and it is clear from some of the verbiage that he would rather his father visit him in the future, than he go back to Canada. Here is the full text of the letter:
Dear Sir: To your advantage I have made a trade with the bearer of this letter, Mr. David N. Castle and got a small place from him in this town and have given him my oblagation and mortgage against you which he wants to make a trade with you and take part money and part of the profits therefrom. My family wants to go down to the southland and that was why I wanted to turn it into another place although I did not suit myself but I could not make any other trade without promising all money and I think that it will be for your advantage and somewhat my disadvantage because I could do as well again with the money. You undoubtedly will send me some money that the people had paid you for me. Short has paid you what is due altogether likely. I am in more want of money now than ever. I did not think it proper for me to come out to Canada as long as I could send. If some other collector's hands for my necessity is great. By their paying me I shall be able to wait on you for that note. Please to do the best you can for me. Please to spur up Dewlittle to fulfill his payments and set the wheels by if you can't sell them. Please to write to me the particulars of all the business as I got but one letter from you that was dated the 2bof May. Undoubtedly you will come and see me next winter if not before. If you come before winter any time when you come I will take a wagon and carry you to Chag Harbour when you want to return and it will be nothing more than a pleasant ride for you as you can go from the Harbour to your place by steam boat. Have Mr. Kingsbury come with you. Factory cotton is cheap if you want to trade in that line and can help you to forward it on to the water so you need not bring your own team. As for the cheapness of cotton goods you can find out by Mr. Hines that will be with Mr. Castle but I think that they are less than one York shilling per yard by the quantity because I have bought by the single piece for 15 cents per yard. I wrote you a letter some time ago in answer to the one that I rec'd having date 2b of May. When you write to me direct it Camden, Oneida County, York State. That being left out perhaps was the cause of the long delay. Please to send me my part hide that he gave me. Please to write me whether you got a note of Short for the order that I sent you from Kingston and please to have Short or some other person that owes me there get me some blue cloth for a pair of overalls and shirting cambric for two shirts and send it to me by Castle. If there is any change for to take a still on shares or pay on Smiths Crick if you come out or send word to the effect I will go out and still next winter. Stilling here is dull at present. I made 3000 gallons of whiskey last winter but whiskey is so cheap there is nothing to be made. Whiskey in plenty for Is 1s 3d H.C. per gallon. If Sanford does not pay that note please to convey it to Mr. Ward and the other two notes which I shall send by Castle to you and take Ward's receipt for the three as I shall write Ward a line to proceed and put it in your letter not sealed and if you have to send the notes to Ward you can seal the letter. Also I shall send you some notes against Richard Loomis and if you can get any good property of him or his brothers please to take it and if not you can keep the notes till I see you. Please to receipt them to Castle as he has receipted them to me. If you have to send the notes to Ward send the account likewise. If you come out here please to fetch my bench screw and nut and one little wheel if possible. Yours sincerely, (Signed) Edward Goodyear Jr. Camden August 30, 1820
Obviously, these men were heavy into real estate wheeling and dealing. Making money appears to be the objective and there were all sorts of ways to accomplish that, often with some degree of risk. Much of this letter is about situations in regard to money and mostly, how to get paid. David N. Castle had recently come from Connecticut to settled in Camden, New York and was a merchant and trader who did a lot of business with the Goodyears. We see by this wording that he is delivering this letter to Edward Sr. in Cramahe. People in Cramahe are also mentioned in the letter. “Short has paid you what is due altogether likely.” This may be Charles Shortt who was already established in the area. “Please spur up Dewlittle to fulfill his payments.” probably refers to Titus Doolittle a settler in Cramahe. Mr. Kingsbury was likely Daniel Kingsbury who brought his young family from Connecticut to settle in Cramahe and would remain long enough for daughters to marry some local boys and create connections here. Sanford is likely Thomas D. Sanford with whom they had been doing real estate transactions. Mr. Ward may have been Thomas Ward who was a lawyer that lived in Presqu’ile for a time but would settled in Port Hope. Then he mentions Richard Loomis and his brothers. These would be the three Loomis brothers who settled just a couple of years before to the north of Edward Goodyear, to the west of what we call Orland today. Loomis Road and the Goodrich-Loomis Conservation Area are named for this family. Richard, Levi and Chester Loomis came from Connecticut around 1817 to settle in Cramahe Township. Chester was the only one of the three to produce a family tree and we can now see the Loomis origins for many friends and neighbors in the area of Orland and Codrington up to the current day. Levi never married and Richard leaves little in the way of records. The fact that this family was also from Connecticut provides another practical demonstration of the complex relationships between many families in Connecticut that came to Upper Canada and settled in this area after the war. We can add the Sanfords to that list as well. Almost twenty years ago I skimmed over this letter in the Tobey Book but, when I saw it in 2020, it jumped out of the page at me. It is one more reason why I am so grateful for the Tobey Book. As a result of all this, Edward Goodyear, one of the earliest settlers in our area, is now represented in www.treesbydan.com.