The King Family

Burlington Gazette – History by Helen Langford

The King Family
Tues., January 10, 1978

Charles King, born in Morris County. New Jersey in 1765, stated that he had been in Upper Canada for six years when he petitioned for a land grant. There are records of other Kings prior to 1800 in Upper Canada. When Charles purchased his property from Dr. Robert Kerr in 1793, he was married and had several children, among them Charles, James and George.

The family still have letters from relatives in Morris County dating back to 1816. From them it is possible to supply Charles with two brothers. The letters were addressed as follows,

Mr. George King living
in Upper Canada in the
County of York, Township of
Nelson on the north side of
the head of Lake Ontario –
to the care of George Chisholm Esq.
at Burlington Beach

This letter took two months to reach York. There is also a letter by Charles to his sons George and James on duty at Queenston during The War of 1812. It is printed in full in Hazel Mathews, Mark of Honour. From these family letters, we are questioning former statements that George King, son of Charles, married Barbara, daughter of neighbour George Chisholm. We now feel that there were two George Kings – one a son and one a nephew of Charles King. We think it was the nephew who married Barbara Chisholm, and died at Fort Erie in 1814 leaving her a widow with two small boys. The Kings have military orders to Capt. George King dated 1829. He also appears as a son in Charles King’s will probated in 1840, while Barbara King wrote to Samuel King in Morris County that his brother had died prior to December 1815.

Charles thrived in his new home.There was soon some land cleared, food for the animals and the family, a log home constructed on a creek just west of present 736 King Rd. The barns were immediately north. The trail from the beach area crossed the Chisholm farm and curved north in front of Charles’ home. Game and fish were plentiful and the Bay made travel and trade easy. It was at this farm that William Lyon Mackenzie stopped for supper on his flight in 1837. One of the King boys accompanied Mackenzie to Dundas during the night.

Charles King lived to be an old man, leaving his farm to his grandson, Charles Henry. Gradually the farm was divided into smaller portions and sold. Some went to a daughter, Emma, who married George Long. Some was sold to W. D. Flatt for the development of the bay shore in 1903. The family cemetery at the water’s edge was moved to Greenwood Cemetery. The back of the brick home at 736 King Rd. was built about 1825 and the front portion sometime later. Let’s hope someone someday will restore this charming reminder of our past.

Source: Langford, Helen. Burlington Gazette [Ontario], 10 Jan. 1978. Microfilm. Burlington Public Library – Central Branch. Reel 50.

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