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I remember clearly the excited curiosity I felt when I saw that a direct Ancestor had been born in Quebec, mostly because it added a new dimension to my heritage. Now five years later, I am beginning to collect facts on who these ancestors of Quebec were.

PART I: RESEARCH

A biographical sketch is provided by the author in the Dewey Genealogy, Life of George Dewey: Rear Admiral, U.S.N. and Dewey family history:

                  “127. EZEKIEL DEWEY, b. bout 1770, d. in spring of 1836 at St. Remi, Quebec. In 1801 resided in the town of Willsborough, Essex County, New York; secured a deed of property, by purchase, in Hemmingford, county of Huntingdon, province of Lower Canada. It is probable at that time he removed his family to Hemmingford. When the country was largely a forest, with no railways and poor roads, farmers, for many miles distant, had to drive their produce to Montreal, the nearest market. The journey occupied several days in many cases, and his house became a convenient stopping where numbers of travelers put up for the night, going on to Montreal the next day. This required the erection of a large stone house and several barns, which were the finest in the district, and the family was very widely known in consequence. He also carried a blacksmith’s business and evidently became quite well off, according to the standards of those days. In 1824 he secured more property and in the year exchanged his Hemmingford property for another in St. Remi; thus secured four farms or about 500 acres of land; lived there with his family, carried on business and was buried in a graveyard on his own property; m -, 1793, ELIZABETH GOODELL, dau. of Ezekiel, a farmer, of Hartford, Washington County, N.Y.; was several years nurse for her neighborhood, and with a maiden daughter was burned to death by clothes catching fire after 1836.”[1]

 

Part II: Analysis and Direction of Research

 

The author did not provide citations and it is probable he corresponded with descendants who provided a version of the family history. These facts are not verifiable without records that are contemporary to Ezekiel Dewey. The most logical way to begin my research was to verify a chronology of his residencies using the Census. Ezekiel Dewey earliest known census record has him enumerated in Willsborough, Essex County, New York found in the 1800 US Federal Census, thus corroborating the biographical note placing him in at Willsborough, New York [fig 1., appendix b].[2] The duration of Ezekiel’s residency in Willsborough and the United States is unknown, along with the general nature of his origins. The Dewey Genealogy identifies his father as Samuel Dewey, born 25 Jan 1736/7 in Sheffield, Berkshire, Massachusetts.[3] Samuel’s genealogical sketch places him at Skenesborough, New York in 1773 and came to a brick wall in research because the “town records were burned several years ago.”[4] Therefore, the proposal that Ezekiel Dewey is originally from Skenesborough is probable at best.

With the exception of the 1800 US Federal Census, the trail of records left by Ezekiel Dewey originate in Quebec. The collected evidence, while beginning in 1816, affirms some truth in the Dewey Genealogy. Carol Poole, Researcher at the Franklin County Historical and Museum Society, located references to Ezekiel in a 19th century monograph history of Huntingdon County, Quebec. The first piece of evidence was a receipt dated 19 Oct 1816, in which the town of Hemmingford, Huntingdon County, paid Ezekiel Dewey 10 pounds for his labor in building a schoolhouse.[5] Willis C. Roberts, an early settler of Huntingdon County, named three settlers who lived on the road from “Franklin to Covey Hill,” one of which was “Dewey”.[6] An anecdote provided by a life narrative carries much less weight as solid fact than a town record, but both pieces of evidence indicate that Ezekiel was known by others in the surrounding community and contributed to it’s development.

I begin my own investigation with the Canadian Census. At first unfamiliar with Canadian Census Records, I now know they can provide some interesting genealogical details. Familysearch.com and National Library and Archives of Canada carry digitized census schedules. A note to researchers who are not fluent in French, you will have the benefit of translation on the Canadian Archives’ website. Ezekiel is enumerated as a resident of Ste. Constant, Huntingdon County, Quebec in 1825[7] and by 1831, he is a resident of St. Remi, Laprairie County, Quebec. The 1825 Census contains only names the head of household and provides household data by age bracket. The 1831 schedule for Lower Canada has a lot more questions and thus provides more in-depth genealogical data. The 1831 Census lists Ezekiel Dewey as a landowner and his occupation aubergiste translates to “landlord” or “innkeeper”.[8] In both schedules, an Alexander Dewey is a close by neighbor and quite possibly related.

Part III: Extracting Genealogical Information of Ezekiel Dewey’s Family from Census Data

Table 1: 1800 US Federal Census, Willsborough, Essex County, New York. Household data of Ezekiel Dewey

Males under 10 1
Males 10-15 0
Males 16-26 1
Males 26-45 1
Males 45+ 0
Females under 10 2
Females 10-16 0
Females 17-26 1
Females 26-45 0
Females 45+ 0

Table 2: 1825 Census, Lower Canada, Ste. Constant, Huntingdon County Quebec. Household data of Ezekiel Dewey.

Number living in household 9
persons under 6 years 1
persons 6-14 1
persons 14-18 2
non-married man 18-25 1
married man 18-25 0
non-married man 26-40 0
married man 26-40 0
non-married man 40-59 0
married man 40-59 1
woman under 14 1
non-married woman 14-45 2
married woman 14-45 0
non-married woman 45+ 0
married woman 45+ 1

Table 3: 1831 Census, Lower Canada, St. Remi, Laprarie County, Quebec. Household Data of Ezekiel Dewey.[9]

Number living in household 10
Number of persons age 5-14 2
Married Men 21-29 1
Single Men 21-29 1
Married Men 30-59 1
Women under 14 1
Single Women 14-44 1
Married Women above 45 2
Religious Affiliation – Church of Scotland 2
Roman Catholic 1
Presbyterian 7
Agricultural Data – Acres Owned 260
Acres cultivated 100
Bushels of Wheat 105
Bushels of Peas? 120
Bushels of Oats 100
Bushel of Barley 120
Bushel of Rye 1
Bushel of Indian Corn 100
Bushels of Potatoes 200
Bushels of Buckwheat 5
Cattle 35
Horses 7
Sheep 30
Pigs 14

The 1831 Canada Census asks a lot more questions, thus revealing more details about the estate of Ezekiel Dewey. I am particularly interested by the religious diversity noted in the household. Living in the same parish is an individual named Alexander Dewey. This might be the first son of Ezekiel, according to the Dewey Genealogy published in 1898. I included his census data from 1825,[10] 1831,[11] 1851,[12] and 1871.[13]

Alexander Dewey, 1825 Census, Huntingdon County

Number living in household 4
Persons under 6 years 2
Married Men 25-40 1
Married Women 14-45 1

Alexander Dewey, 1831 Census, St. Remi

Number living in household 7
Persons under age 5 2
Persons age 5-13 3
Married Men 30-59 1
Religious Affiliation – Methodist 7

Dewey, 1851 Census, St. Remi

Surname First Name Sex Age Occupation Birthplace Religion Most Recent Residence
Dewey William M 26 Farmer St. Remi Presbyterian St. Remi
Coht[?] Elizabeth F 18 St. Hy[?]uth Anglican St. Remi
Baker George M 3 St. Remi Anglican St. Remi
Baker Mary A F 3 mo. St. Remi Anglican St. Remi
Dewey Mary A M[?] none listed – may be twins St. Remi Anglican St. Remi
Dewey Alexander M 56 Farmer New York Presbyterian St. Remi
Mc[?] J[?]s F 40 Europe? Presbyterian St. Remi
Dewey Gras[?] M 26 ? St. Remi Presbyterian St. Remi
Dewey James M 19 ? St. Remi Presbyterian St. Remi
Dewey Antoine M 12 St. Remi Presbyterian St. Remi
Dewey Hugh M 2 St. Remi Presbyterian St. Remi
Dewey Fineley M 2 mo St. Remi Presbyterian St. Remi

Alexander Dewey, 1871 Census, St. Remi

Surname First Name Sex Age Birthplace Religion Occupation
Dewey Alexander M 75 Etats. Unis. (America) Presbyterian
Dewey Jane F 65 Europe (possibly Scotland) Presbyterian
Dewey James M 38 Quebec Presbyterian Farmer
Dewey Fenley M 20 Quebec Presbyterian Student

I am glad that Alexander is enumerated in the 1851 and 1871 Census, because the questions are asked are more genealogically relevant. His age is 1851 (56) and 1871 (75) suggests he was born 1795-1796, matching up with his birthdate from the Dewey Genealogy. The 1851 census lists his birthplace as New York, which would mean Ezekiel had children before his settlement in Quebec.

Part II: Genealogical Summary – Some Descendants of Ezekiel Dewey

  1. Ezekiel Dewey, son of Samuel Dewey and [-?-],[14] was possibly born in Skenesborough, New York; died 22 Jul 1835 in St. Remi, Quebec.[15] He married around 1793,
  1. Elizabeth Goodell, daughter of Ezekiel Goodell and [-?-] of Hartford, Washington, New York,[16] born ?; died 27 Dec 1849 in St. Remi, Quebec.[17]

The children of Ezekiel Dewey and Elizabeth Goodell are as follows (Children i-iv are born in United States, v-xii are born in Quebec):[18]

i. Polly, born 1 Sep 1794

ii. Alexander, born 16 Jan 1796

iii. Lucinda, born 18 Nov 1797

iv. Martha, born 4 Aug 1799, married James Struthers.

v. Belinda, born May 1801, died unwed 16 Jan 1850 in St. Remi, Laprarie County

vi. John [3], born 4 Dec 1803, married Mary Garrett [4] 21 Dec 1825 in Montreal, died shortly aft. 16 Oct 1879 in Fort Covington, Franklin County, New York.

vii. Ezekiel, born 30 Oct 1805, died 27 Jan 1827 in St. Remi, Laprarie County, Quebec.

viii. Eunice, born 23 Oct 1807, died 31 Dec 1807.

ix. James, born 29 Dec 1808, married Martha “Patty” Priest[19] of Hitchinbrooke, Sherbrooke County, Quebec on 24 Apr 1837.[20]

x. George Washington Dewey, born 8 Jan 1811; married first Margaret Colton, daughter of John Colton and Jane House; born 21 March 1811 in Clarenceville, Quebec; died 27 Jun 1845 in Canada.

xi. Betsey, born 29 Dec 1812, died 11 Mar 1826 in St. Remi

xii. Charity Nichols Bradford (adopted), born 26 Dec 1809

Second Generation

  1. John Dewey, son of Ezekiel and Elizabeth (Goodell) Dewey,[21] was born 4 Dec 1803 in St. Remi, Lapraire County, Province of Quebec, Canada.[22] He died aft. 16 Oct 1879 in Fort Covington, Franklin County, New York.[23] He married 21 Dec 1825 in Montreal, Province of Quebec to
  1. Mary Garrett, born about 1806 in Canada.[24] She petitioned for a widow’s dower 7 Jan 1880 in Franklin County Surrogate Court.[25]

The children of John Dewey and Mary Garrett are as follows:

i. Elvira, born about 1825 in St. Remi, Quebec; 19 Jun 1884 in Montreal, Quebec.[26] She was married to John Waterman Freeman, brother of Daniel Azro [1]. John was born

ii. Elizabeth, born about 1826 in St. Remi, Quebec.

iii. Aaron, born about 1830 in St. Remi, Quebec. He later resettled in Illinois.[27]

iv. Emily, born about 1830 in St. Remi, Quebec.

v. Jesse, born about 1832 in St. Remi, Quebec. He later resettled in Illinois.[28]

vi. Mary Anne, born between 30 Aug-29 Sep 1833 in St. Remi, married Daniel Azro Freeman [1], died 29 Dec 1876 in Dayton, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.[29]

vii. Lucy, born about 1834 in St. Remi.

viii. John, born about 1836 in St. Remi

ix. Jeremiah, born about 1838 in St. Remi.

x. Ephraim O., born 7 Jul 1839 in St. Remi, died 16 Feb 1913 in Kildare, Kay County, Oklahoma.

xi. Martha, born about 1844 in Franklin County, New York.

Third Generation

  1. Daniel Azro Freeman,[30] son of David Freeman and Lavina Waterman, born 22 May 1826 in Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont,[31] and died aft.1890, and was last living in Yarwood, Lincoln County, Washington.[32] He married before December 1852[33] in Franklin County, New York to
  1. Mary Anne Dewey, born between 30 Aug-29 Sep 1833 in St. Remi, Lapraire County, Province of Quebec, Canada,[34] daughter of John and Mary (Garrett) Dewey, died 29 Dec 1876 in Dayton, Waupaca County, Wisconsin.[35]

The children of Daniel Azro Freeman and Mary Anne Dewey are as follows:

i. Leonard Clerington Freeman, born 20 Aug 1853 in Franklin County, New York.

ii. Wallace Ephrim Freeman, born 09 Mar 1857 in Wisconsin; died 28 Mar 1927 in Hanford, Kings County, California.

iii.     Mary Elvira Freeman, born 20 Feb 1861 in Wisconsin; died 25 Nov 1862 in Wisconsin.

iv. Elmira Elizabeth Freeman, born 11 Dec 1863 in Wisconsin; died 10 Mar 1890 in Kansas.

v. Varina Elbertine Freeman, born 27 May 1867 in Wisconsin; died 11 Apr 1931 in Alhambra, California.

vi. Florence Arvilla Freeman, born 17 Jan 1869 in Wisconsin; died 29 Aug 1952 in Hollister, California.

vii.     Lucy Ardell Freeman, born 15 Jul 1870 in Wisconsin; died 08 Oct 1870 in Wisconsin.

 

[1] Louis Marinus Dewey, et al., Life of George Dewey: Rear Admiral, U.S.N. and Dewey family history. (Westfield, Mass: Dewey Publishing, 1898); 2:293. Hereafter cited as “Dewey Genealogy”.

[2] Ezekiel Dewey, 1800 United States Federal Census, Willsborough, Essex County, New York: Accessed on Ancestry.com. 1800 United States Federal Census [database online]. Provo, Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009; Dewey Genealogy, 2:293.

[3] Dewey Genealogy, 2:272; Birth Record of Samuel Dewey (25 Jan 1736), Sheffield, Berkshire, Massachusetts; accessed on Ancestry.com, Massachusetts Town and Vital Records [database online]. Provo, Utah, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2009.

[4] Dewey Genealogy, 2:272.

[5] Robert Sellar, History of the County of Huntingdon and of the Seignories f Chateguay and Beauharnois from their settlement to the year 1838, (Huntingdon, Quebec: The Canadian Cleaner, 1888), 165-66.

[6] Robert Sellar, History of the County of Huntingdon and of the Seignories f Chateguay and Beauharnois from their settlement to the year 1838, (Huntingdon, Quebec: The Canadian Cleaner, 1888), 516-17.

[7] “Canada, recensement du Bas-Canada, 1825,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KHJ8-2MW: accessed 20 February 2015), Alexander Dewey, Ste. Martine, Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada; citing p. 1089, volume 2, MG 31 C1;

Library and Archives Canada microfilm number C-718, Public Archives,

Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,443,958.

[8] “Canada, recensement du Bas-Canada, 1831,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VVMQ-KHN : accessed 20 February 2015), Ezekiel Dewey, St. Remi, Laprairie, Quebec, Canada; citing p. 1163, volume 18, MG 31 C1; Library and Archives Canada microfilm number C-722, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,443,962.

[9] His household was listed as one of two inns or taverns in St. Remi.

[10] “Canada, recensement du Bas-Canada, 1825,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/KHJ8-2MW :accessed 20 February 2015), Alexander Dewey, Ste. Martine, Huntingdon, Quebec, Canada; citing p. 1089, volume 2, MG 31 C1; Library and Archives Canada microfilm number C-718, Public Archives,Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,443,958.

[11] “Canada, recensement du Bas-Canada, 1831,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VVMQ-KHJ : accessed 20 February 2015), Alex Dewey, St. Remi, Laprairie, Quebec, Canada; citing p. 1163, volume 18, MG 31 C1; Library and Archives Canada microfilm number C-722, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,443,962.

[12] “Canada Census, 1851,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/MWRC-6N6 : accessed 20 February 2015), Mary Anne Dewey, St Rémi, Huntingdon County, Canada East (Quebec), Canada; citing p. 113, line 31; Library and Archives Canada film number C_1122, Public Archives, Ontario.

[13] “Canada Census, 1871,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4KT-YPQ : accessed 8 April 2015), Alexander Dewey, St-Rémi, Napierville, Quebec, Canada; citing p. 33, line 13; Library and Archives Canada film number C-10058, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,229,020.

[14] Dewey Genealogy, 2:293.

[15] Dewey Genealogy, 4:1079

[16] Dewey Genealogy, 2:293.

[17] Dewey Genealogy, 4:1079

[18] Dewey Genealogy, 2:293-94. The author lists the birthplace of the children as St. Remi, but the evidence points to Ezekiel’s children being in Hemmingford, Huntingdon County because Ezekiel was not living in St. Remi, Laprarie County until after 1825.

[19] Dewey Genealogy, 2:294. The Dewey Genealogy identifies James Dewey’s wife as Patty Priest, but the location of a marriage bond for James Dewey of St. Remi and Martha Priest of Hitchinbrooke would suggest her real name is Martha. See Marriage Bond of James Dewey and Martha Priest, Marriage Bonds, 1779-1858, Upper & Lower Canada, bond no. 1842, volume 37, microfilm reel number H-1131, Reference RG 41328: accessed online at Library and Archives, Canada (hereafter cited as Marriage Bond of James Dewey and Martha Priest).

[20] Marriage Bond of James Dewey and Martha Priest.

[21] Louis Marinus Dewey, et al., Life of George Dewey: Rear Admiral, U.S.N. and Dewey family history. (Westfield, Mass: Dewey Publishing, 1898), 2:294 (hereafter cited as Dewey Genealogy);

[22] Dewey Genealogy, 2:294; “Personal Records of Mason P. Dewey SR.”, Manuscript, Franklin County Historical & Museum Society, Malone, NY.

[23] A public notice appears in the Malone Palladium (Malone, NY) saying “Mr. John Dewey is very sick, with little hope of recovery.” See Franklin Gazette (Fort Covington, New York), 16 Oct 1879, image 3, page 3, accessed at NYS Historical Newspapers Database. This would disprove the date of death as 15 Oct 1879 given on John Dewey’s tombstone. See Tombstone Transcription. Old Cemetery (Protestant Community), Fort Covington, Franklin, New York. Accessed through the Northern New York Tombstone Project, http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~frgen/franklin/ftcovington/protestant_horton.htm

[24] Census Records

[25] Mary Dewey, Admeasurement of Dower, “New York, Probate Records, 1629-1971,” Online Database (familysearch.org), accessed 4 Nov 2014. Images taken from Dower Records 1839-1880, Court Papers, Franklin County Surrogate Court, (Malone, Franklin County, New York); “Petition for Dower of Mary Dewey”, Franklin Gazette (Fort Covington, NY). 16 Jan 1880. Online at nyshistoricnewspapers.org.

[26] Death notice of Elvira D. Freeman, Malone Palladium (Malone, New York), 19 Jun 1884. Accessed online at nyshistoricnewspapers.org

[27] Dewey Genealogy, 2:294.

[28] Dewey Genealogy, 2:294.

[29] See Daniel Azro Freeman [1] for full citations.

[30] Besides his birth record, Daniel always identified himself with his middle name first, thus appearing as Azro Daniel Freeman or A.D. Freeman.

[31] Birth Record of Daniel Azro Freeman, Vital Records, Town Clerk’s Office, Norwich, Windsor County, Vermont, p. 35.

[32] 1890 Union Veterans Census, Yarwood, Lincoln County, Washington, roll 108, ED 40, p.1.

[33] Estimated on birth of first child.

[34] Mary Ann Freeman’s tombstone reads, “Marey Ann Freeman, died 29 Dec 1876, AE 43 yrs 3 months”. Upon this discovery, a birth date can be narrowed to Aug 30-Sep 29 1833. Also significant is the added e to Mary, thus this variation needs to be considered in further research.

[35] Photograph of Marey Ann Freeman’s Tombstone (died 29 Dec 1876), findagrave.com, memorial no. 119788107, http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=119788107&ref=acom

_______________________________________

Jake Fletcher, “Using Early Canadian Census Records to Document Ezekiel Dewey,” Travelogues of a Genealogist, posted 8 Apr 2015. https://fletcherfamilytree.wordpress.com/2015/04/08/using-early-canadian-census-records-to-document-ezekiel-dewey/

Copyright (c) 2015 Jake Fletcher. All materials protected under the laws of copyright. Do not copy or reproduce without author’s permission.

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