Achived text from the Weidmark Connection website (1998-2000)
Weedmark History by Lee Bartley
The Weedmark family is difficult to trace over the years because there is much discontinuity of families through the census years and because there are relatively few cemetery stones. In any case, the patriarch seems to have been Frederick, born in Sweden.
The family arrived in this area before 1815. At least Frederick was on the land assessment rolls for 1815 and 1819 of Marlborough township, Carleton county, Ontario, without any location designated. It was not until 1817 that he was listed on a census. In the 1817 census of Marlborough township were these members of a single family:
- Weedmark, Frederick Sr. age 45
- Weedmark, Anna age 24
- Weedmark, Philemon age 3
- Weedmark, Frederick Jr. age 1
From her sons' reports to the census enumerators in 1891 it appears that Anna was born in Quebec. Accordingly Frederick Sr. must have come to this country as a single person and married here.
Marlborough township assessment rolls beginning in 1820 locate Frederick on lot 28, concession 1, which is a short distance above Burritts Rapids and close to the Rideau River. It is likely that his wife's name was actually Susannah since, in 1829, it was not 'Frederick' who was listed on the assessment roll but 'Susannah". And in 1830, it was Susannah and Philemon whose names appeared. Neither ages nor locations were provided in those years.
In the Marlborough Township Papers are documents relating to lot 28, concession 1, of the township. A letter of May 16, 1835 from Frederick Weedmark to Peter Robinson as the agent of the Canada Company noted that he had written before but had received no reply. He asked about the conditions for buying the lot, a Crown reserve lot, which he already had leased for a time. The response (noted on his letter) was that his application had to be to a "Colonel Wells'. As well, on April 29, 1846 he signed an oath in connection with Stephen Young and lot 29 on the Broken Front. On February 22, 1843, Frederick Weedmark Jr. entered into a lease for the west !/2 of lot 29, concession 2.
There is no sign of a cemetery stone for either Frederick or Anna, (nor for many other Weedmarks either). Accordingly it is difficult to discover their dates of death. Since it was Susannah's name that appeared on the assessment rolls in 1829, and those of Susannah and Philemon in 1830, and after that, until 1839, only Philemon's, it may have been that Frederick died in the late 1820's and Susannah soon after. Accordingly it is not surprising that Frederick's name was not on the 1851 census but it is surprising that it was on the 1861 census, age 87. At least a 'Frederick Weedmark' is there. And the age seems to be about right. He was 45 years old in 1817 and in 1861, 44 years later, his age would have been about (45 + 44) 89. As well, this elderly Frederick Weedmark (married, a carpenter, born in Sweden) was living with Frederick Jr. and his large family. Where he was in 1851 is not known, nor is the place of residence of his wife who was about 20 years younger than he in 1817 and could well have been alive in 1861. Perhaps by that time he and Anna (Susannah?) were living with family members and at the census date he was with Frederick Jr. and she was living with another family member.
Frederick Sr. and Anna seem to have had a relatively small family. The Marlborough township assessment rolls ( which begin in 1820) record:
In 1829 and 1830, with the rolls showing Susannah's name, this was the report:
From this it seems that their family was of five boys and (possibly) one girl. The rolls for 1823 and 1824 no longer exist; those of 1825 and 1826 list Frederick but without a family summary and the1827 and 1828 rolls do not list the family.
Because all but two of their children were born after 1817 but many years before the date of the first nominal census of Marlborough township in 1851/52, only Philemon and Frederick Jr. were ever listed on a census with their parents. Accordingly it is difficult to say with confidence which of the younger Weedmarks, other than those two, were actually sons of Frederick Sr. and Anna.
The names of the first two boys are fairly certain, Philemon and Frederick Jr. Both of these were listed with their parents in the 1817 census. But there are five more male Weedmarks who could be sons. Their ages, and their residences at the time of the 1871 census are as follows:
|Hiram||50||Marlborough; lot 10, concession 1, 50 acres;|
|Adoniram||43||Montague; lot 1, concession A, 100 acres;|
|Heman (Herman?)||43||Montague; lot 30, concession 4, nil acres;|
|Nelson||49||Montague; lot 20, concession 5, 50 acres;|
|Nathan||50||Harwich township, Kent County;|
By this year Philemon was also in Harwich township, Kent County but Frederick Jr was still in Marlborough township.
As well, in 1871 there were two more who said that their family origin was in England. That does not mean that they were not descendants of Frederick Sr. since errors abound in the early census' and perhaps at least one was from England. These men were:
|John||25||Harwich township, Kent County,|
|Neram||24||Carleton Place, Lanark County,|
Frederick Jr. had a son John who was aged 17 in 1861 and who did not appear in a local census in 1871. Whether or not he was Frederick's son, he was in a township where Philemon and Nathan also lived. Neram (Adoniram) was also probably the son of Frederick Jr. His ages were 4 and 14 in 1851 and 1861. Accordingly he would have been 24 in 1871.The ages of the Weedmark boys over the census years, and their (approximate) calculated years of birth, are as follows:
At least five of the seven were, or are likely to have been, sons of Frederick Sr. and Anna. Perhaps all seven were. All were reported to have Swedish racial origins. Philemon and Frederick Jr. were certainly sons. Hiram, Frederick Jr. and Nelson reported that their father was born in Sweden and their mother in Quebec. Nathan was last enumerated in the 1871 census; Heman last appeared in the 1871 census; and Adoniram died in 1877. As a consequence, none of these was enumerated in a census which disclosed the place of birth of their parents.
Brief information about the Weedmark boys, whether or not they are sons, is as follows: Philemon: He was three years old, the oldest child of Frederick Sr. and Anna in the 1817 census of Marlborough township. That is, he was born about 1814. Since he stated in the 1871 census that he was born in Ontario, his parents must have been in the province before 1815. Philemon's name was on the Marlborough township assessment rolls from 1830 until 1853. In the 1851 census of Marlborough township he was 37 years old (3 + 34) and his wife, Hanna, was 34. Philemon did not appear again in any local census and it may be that he left the township as early as 1854. In 1871 he was listed as a resident of Harwich township, Kent County, age 56. Nathan and his wife (who were last listed in the 1871 census) were also there. Nothing more is known of Philemon. The family group, as we know it, was as follows:
Frederick Jr.: He was one year old in the 1817 census of Marlborough township. In 1843 he ('Frederick Weedmark the younger') entered into a lease with the Canada Company for the W 1/2 of lot 29, concession 2. On January 8, 1839 he married Phoebe Chester of Wolford township. The family remained in Marlborough township until at least 1871 but in 1881 and 1891 Frederick was listed in the census of Montague township. Phoebe must have died before 1871 since in that year she was not listed but the census did not indicate whether Frederick was married or widowed. In 1881 and 1891 his wife was listed as Mary Jane. In 1891 Frederick reported that his father was born in Sweden, his mother in Quebec. The family did not appear in any local 1901 census. Their son Frederick (III) was in Oxford-on-Rideau township in 1891 but not in any local census in 1901. In 1891 Frederick Jr. (the father) was already 74 years old and he may have died before 1901 but that does not explain the absence of Mary Jane or Frederick (III). The family group, as we know it, was:
|John||6||17||(to Kent County?)|
|Adoniram||4||14||(to Montague Township)|
|Frederick (III)||3||12||21||married Eliza?)|
Hiram: On August 26, 1841 Hiram married Eliza Harris; both were of Marlborough township. The witnesses were Stephen Lane and Daniel Harris. Although there is no record of Eliza Harris, it may be that she was a sister of Daniel who lived at Burritts Rapids. Hiram and Eliza farmed on lot 10, concession 1, of Marlborough township. Eliza died in 1886 at the age of 60; Hiram died in 1902, age 80. She is buried in the North Rideau cemetery. He is also likely buried there but there is no stone. In the 1901 census he reported that he was born on September 22, 1819 and that his origin was Sweden. The family group, as we know it, was:
Adoniram: From his stone in the Merrickville Union cemetery we know that his wife was Melissa Chester. The first wife of Frederick Jr. was Phoebe Chester of Wolford, perhaps Melissa's sister. In 1871 Adoniram reported that his origin was Swedish. There were nine children in this family whose names appeared in census' over the years. The oldest, Clarissa, was born on June 14, 1838; the youngest, George, was born about 1868. Adiniram died in 1877 at the age of 47. Melissa died in 1907 in her 78th year. The Kemptville Advance of March 14, 1907 reported that she was of Burritts Rapids and that she left four sons and four daughters. The family group, as we know it, was:
Heman (Herman?): He was born about 1828 in Ontario. In 1861 and 1871 he was enumerated in Montague township. He was likely there in 1851 as well but part of the 1851 census of that township was lost and so his location in that year cannot be confirmed. In each of those years he reported that his origin was Swedish. In the 1871 census he was located on lot 30, concession 4 of Montague township which is either in, or close beside, the present town of Smiths Falls. In 1881 he was enumerated in Smiths Falls reporting an origin of 'German'. In 1891 Heman's widow, Maria, was living in Smiths Falls with an adopted son, Calvin. One of Heman's sons, Rufus, was emunerated in Montague in 1901. He was born on March 8, 1857 and reported an origin of "Duch". Heman's family group. as far as we know it, was:
|Nelson||19||(see Nelson below)|
Nelson: He was born about 1822 in Ontario. In each of 1861, 1871 and 1891 he was enumerated in Montague township; he was probably there in 1881 as well. He reported an origin of Swedish and, in 1891, that his father was born in Sweden and his mother in Quebec. In 1891 he was 71 years old. His name was not noted in 1901 in either Montague township or in Smiths Falls. Nelson's family group, as we know it now, was:
|Nelson||10||(see Heman above)|
Nathan: He was born about 1829 in Ontario. Nathan's family group, as we know it, is as follows:
In the 1871 census Nathan was in Harwich township, Kent County, age 50. Also in that township were his brother Philemon and another Weedmark, John, age 25, who reported his origin as 'English'. The latter may be a son of Frederick Jr. and the fact that he was in the same township as Nathan and Philemon leaves the probability open that he also was a descendant of Frederick Sr.. Nathan's name appears on the 1852 and 1853 assessment rolls of Marlborough township in respect of lot 29, concession 2. There is no local record of him after that year, nor is there of Philemon.