Burlington in 1806

Burlington Gazette - History by Helen Langford

Burlington in 1806
Tues., April 18, 1978

Before the story moves to the next area of settlement, Dundas Highway, it might be wise to analyze the pattern of settlement of the area to 1806.

It is quite obvious that available land influenced our first settlers in East Flamborough, that is those who has enough money to buy the land. Free land grants in the Niagara to Stoney Creek area kept most of the early families happy in their original family groups. However as those children married more land was needed. Some bought land as did the Davises, Ghents and Kerns but many of these children qualified for land grants as children of United Empire Loyalists and usually applied and received on an average 200 acres. This becomes evident when Nelson Township was allotted after 1806.

The most natural pattern is revealed with a listing of marriages of these early settlers. All of these families knew each other before settling in Burlington. Most of them also knew the Lt. Governor Simcoe and Joseph Brant in the American colony. A partial list of marriages follows.

  • George Chisholm Jr to Eliza McCarter (granddaughter of Robt. Land);
  • John Chisholm to Sara Davis (daughter of William);
  • Mary Christina Chisholm to Ephraim Land (son of Robt. Land);
  • Barbara Chisholm to George King (of East Flamborough);
  • Barbara Chisholm to Joseph Davis (grandson of William);

Are these two Barbaras the same?

  • James Gage to Mary Davis (daughter of William);
  • Elizabeth Davis to Thomas Ghent;
  • Asahel Davis to Ann Morden and Hannah Bates

In the next generation and with a few more settlers, the families became even more confusing.

In 1806, four years before James Gage purchased the land for the original Wellington Square we think we had only these families:

  • George Chisholm
  • Charles King
  • David Fonger
  • William Applegarth in East Flamborough
  • Nicholas Kern
  • Joseph Brant
  • Thomas Ghent
  • Augustus Bates
  • Asahel Davis in Brant's Block

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 18 Apr. 1978. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library - Central Branch. Reel No Missing.