Joseph Walker & Ruth Gilbert, Thurlow Township

Joseph Walker & Ruth Gilbert

Thurlow Township, c1800

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Pioneers of the Bay of Quinte

Stephen Gilbet Sr is said to have had a seventh child, a daughter, about whom little is known. It is possible that it is Ruth Gilbert. This research is to identify her and her husband. Thanks to Mark Davenport for sharing his research and getting me interested in this puzzle.

There is another candidate, Sarah Homan, who married Levi Homan. See the web page on this couple. It is possible that both Ruth and Sarah are daughters of Stephen Gilbert.

Use these links to jump up and down this page
  1. Overview
  2. Records of Joseph Walker & Ruth Gilbert
  3. Court Case involving the "Walker Lot"
  4. Edward Walker records
  5. Second Heir & Devisee records

There are two thoughts as to who the daughter is and who she married.
  1. Sarah born 1782, married Levi Hoamn and died 2 July 1867 in Thurlow.
  2. Ruth Gilbert married Joseph Walker of Thurlow. Their children:
    1. Mary Ann m. Gilbert Bleecker.
    2. Nancy m. Justin Noble
    3. James m. Mary Goldsmith
This web page will examine Joseph Walker and his wife Ruth Gilbert. In 1797, Joseph Walker, of Thurlow, petitions for land as a settler stating that he arrived in Upper Canada in 1795 with a wife and one child. In 1806 Joseph and Ruth baptize their daughter Nancy and are said to be from Thurlow. In 1812, at a later baptism, they are said to be from Sidney.

As a result of the 1797 petition Joseph is granted 200 acres, lot 4, con 6, of Huntingdon Tp, Hastings. A check of the land abstract for that lot shows the crown patent going to Asa Turner in 1835. It appears that Joseph never located at the lot.

Joseph Walker is not found anywhere in the land records of Thurlow Township as the recipient of a land grant in Thurlow. He may have purchased a farm but none have been found though an exhaustive search has not been done. However we know he was living there in 1798 as he was elected as the "collector" according to the Thurlow Township Minutes. He is also elected as a collector in the 1797 Sidney Tp minutes. At the time, there was not a clear division between Sidney and Thurlow.

There is an interesting court case, details below, involving the so called "Walker lot"; south half, lot 3, Con 2, Thurlow. It was never owned by Joseph Walker. The lot was granted to Alexander Chisholm in 1797 and he sold the south half in 1807 to Capt John W. Meyers. The probate record of Meyers' will, dated 8 Oct 1821 and registered 6 June 1842, for this lot is said to be in Book O, number 980. For some reason the Archives of Ontario does not have a film of this book. Joseph Walker's name does not arise in the court case concerning this lot. Perhaps Joseph was a tenant on this lot.

The Township Papers for lot 3, con 2, Thurlow were examined. No reference to Joseph Walker was found. These papers do show, as mentioned above, that Alexander Chisolm was granted lot 3 in both concession 1 and 2. In 1796 he sold the 200 acres of lot 3 in con 1 to Paul Trumpour of Adolphustown.

There was conjecture that Joseph Walker of Thurlow was a registrar for the Midland District Surrogate Court. However the evidence below shows that this man was Edward Walker who died in 1814.

A search of all the Walker files in the 2nd Heir and Devisee records is presented below but nothing connecting to Joseph Walker was found.

At this point there is no direct evidence that Ruth Walker is a daughter of Stephen Gilbert.


1797 Sidney Collector

6 Mar 1797, Joseph Walker is elected as a collector in 1797. See page 10.
Source: Sidney Township Minute Book, transcribed on this site, page 10

1797 Petition

Undated, petition of Joseph Walker, Thurlow, has been in this province two years and brought wife and one child ... prays for 200 acres for him and family ... [signed, probably in his hand] Joseph Walker
17 Oct 1797, Thurlow, taken oath before Alexr Chisholm JP
[fold] recd 6 Nov 97, Read 13 Nov 97, recommend 200. confirmed, Warrant same day.
Source: UCLP, RG 1 L3, LAC, V 523, W3/130, C-2951, on line at collectionscanada, image 206

Granted a lot in Huntingdon Tp.
D2803, Joseph Walker, OC 13 Nov 1797, 200 acres, 16 Nov 1797, Lot 6, Con 4, Huntingdon Tp.
Source: Fiats and Warrants, 01 C13, V 14, p. 233, as indexed in OLRI, AO, MS 693, reel 20

Huntingdon Tp Abstract Index
2 Apr 1835, Crown patents all 200 acres of lot 6, con 4 to Asa Turner. No mention of Joseph Walker in any transactions cocncerning the lot.
Source: Abstract index, Huntingdon Tp, Hastings Co, AO, GSU 198023

1798 Thurlow Collector
5 Mar 1798, Thurlow township town meeting chose the following town officers:
John McIntosh, Town Clerk
John Chisholm and William Reid, Assessors
Joseph Walker, Collector
Samuel B. Gilbert, John Reed, William Johnson, Pathfinders
John Cook and Daniel Lawrence, Town Wardens
John Taylor, Pound-Keeper
John Fairman, Constable
Source: History of the Settlement of Upper Canada, William Canniff, pages 492-493
Source: Rambling River, A History of Thurlow, Mary G. Plumpton, Thurlow Township Council, Belleville, ON, 1967, 26.

1798 Petition re Meyers Mill
Joseph Walker was a signee of the petition dated 21 Dec 1798.
Source: Upper Canada Land Petitions, RG 1 L3, LAC, bundle M4/224, film C-2193, see the transcription on this web site.

1799 Militia
15th February 1799    
Joseph Walker
Source: Roster For Duty for theVolunteers and Drafts of Hastings Militia taken as the Act directs:

23 Jan 1806, Nancy Walker, dau of Joseph Walker and Ruth Gilbert, Thurlow Tp.
19 Feb 1812, James Walker, son of Joseph Walker and Ruth Gilbert, Sidney Tp.
Source: Presbyterian Register of Rev Robert James McDowell, OGS, 1980, pages 58, 62

1821 Petition - probably not the same Joseph Walker as from Thurlow.
1 Feb 1821, York, Joseph Walker of Hamilton Tp., Newcastle District, yeoman, appplies for lease of clergy reserve, lot 6, 4 con, Hamilton Tp., 200 acres.
[fold] No 2874, 5 Feb 1821, This appears to be the first application for a lease, Read 2 May 1821, Recommended, Warrant 132, 27 Jun 1821
Source: UCLP, RG 1 L3, LAC, V 546, W leases 1811-31/159, C-2968, on line at collectionscanada, image 304

Joseph Walker, yeoman, OC No 132, lot 6, con 4, Huntingdon, Northumberland Co, 2 May 1821, Clergy reserve, patent fee paid
Source: Leases, 01 C112, V 7, p 40, AO, MS 693, reel 187

Did not find
Upper canada sundries

3. COURT CASE INVOLVING THE "WALKER LOT" - South 1/2, lot 3, Con 2, Thurlow Tp
Source: Reports of cases decided in the Court of Common Pleas of Upper Canada, Edward C. Jones, Vol IX, Toronto, 1860, p. 371 - 377 , Meyers v. Doyle, on line here at google books.

Ejectment—Action brought by one against the grantee of another teant in common—Statute of Limitation.
A. being possessed of certain lands, bequeaths them to his grand-children, thirty-nine in number, as tenants in common. A division subsequently takes place by mutual understanding, there being no written conveyances executed, and each party takes possession of a certain piece of land.

The portion taken possession of by the grand-child through whom the defendant claimed, afterwards turned out not to belong to the testator, and in lieu thereof he took a certain other lot known as the Walker lot, which for some reasons had not been allotted to any of the devisees, and this action was commenced 26 years after he or those claiming under him had taken possession, by one of the thirty-nine grand-children.

Held, that twenty years’ undisputed possession was an absolute bar to the action, and that the defendant was entitled to the postea.
Held also, that the party through whom the defendant claimed being one of several joint tenants’ possession of part, must be considered as possession of the Whole, and the case did not therefore come within the decision
of Doe Hill v. Gander, l U. C. Q. B. 8.

CASE [28 paragraphs]

1    EJECTMENT, for an undivided thirty-ninth part of the south half of lot number three, in the second concession of the township of Thurlow, in the county of Hastings.

2    The plaintiff claimed under the will of one John Waldon Meyers, who had a conveyance from Alexander Chisholm, grantee of the crown.

3    Defendant claimed by reason of forty years' possession.

4    On the trial the will of John Waldon Meyers was admitted and a copy put in, dated the 8th of October, 1821. Residuary devise was to the grand-children, males and females, share and share alike. It was also admitted that plaintiff was one of them, and entitled to a share under the will.

5    The following evidence was given:

6    Nancy Brown. - I am one of old Captain Meyers' grandchildren, daughter of Leonard Meyers, and one of thirty-nine grand-children. I was to have a share, as I was informed; a lot in the township of Hamilton was set apart for me, but I did not get it, because it turned out that my grand-father did not own it. When I found I could not get it, I spoke to my uncle, the father of the defendant, Tobias Blecker, who would do nothing; then I did nothing for a time. The lot in question is called the Walker lot; I found that the Walker lot had not been divided among the grand-children, and I [9 U.C.C.P. Page 372] tried to procure that, in lien of that I had lost. After talking the matter over with other members of the family, it was arranged that I with my husband should have that lot. At that time defendants had the Walker lot in possession. My husband and I went upon the Walker lot, and made some clearing; remained there a year and then sold out to defendant's (Tobias Blecker's) father. I think it was about five years after Captain Meyers died that we went upon the Walker lot and cleared. It might be more than five years. I was married before Captain Meyers died. The plaintiff is son of Jacob Meyers, son of the Captain. My husband and I got a pair of horses and a sleigh, and some of the old kitchen furniture out of the loose property, I got one hundred acres in Percy, and two hundred in Huntingdon, and I was to have the lot in Hamilton, but did not get it. I knew the Walker lot always was the property of Captain Meyers, as long as I remember any thing. The defendant had been in possession before, as one of the grand-children. What was spoken of was, that the shares of the grand-children in the land, would be one hundred pounds each. My husband has been dead some years.

7    Leonard Brown - (son of the last witness,) - I remember working with my father upon the Walker lot, and he sold out to the defendant, who has remained there ever since. I think it is about thirty years since my father sold out to the defendant; the plaintiff lived in Belleville, about three quarters of a mile from, this lot, and then he moved to Sidney. When my father cleared on the lot, the defendant had a house on the east end of the lot.

8    William M. Ripstone. - I married one of the thirty-nine grand-children, Jane Blecker. The first person I know having possession of the Walker lot was the defendant, he has had it more than thirty years.

9    Michael Rekea. - I live on the adjoining lot; have for twenty-six years; defendant has occupied the lot all that time.

10    William Blecker. - Doyle and Sarzean are tenants put there by me. I have had possession for seven years. Got from defendant, my father. I am thirty-six. I have never [9 U.C.C.P. Page373] known any one as having possession except the defendant. I heard of Wonnocatt cutting there, and I got a warrant, and I failed with it because I set up claim. When they came again I kept them off forcibly.

11    Cross-examined. - I understood that defendant had paid some of the heirs for their shares, and had an arbitration with others. I prove defendant's writing to paper shewed me. An agreement dated the 18th of March, 1857.

12    B.F. Davy. - Speaks of the division. Mrs. Brown was left without her full share. No deeds given, but each took possession of his own share.

13    A verdict was taken for the plaintiff with 1s. damages, subject to the opinion of the court.

14    Henderson for plaintiff, and Walbridge, Q.C., for defendant. The arguments and cases cited thereon are set out in the judgment of the court.

15    DRAPER C.J.:-- The lot in question belonged to John Waldron Meyers. By his will dated the 8th of October, 1821, he made a residuary devise, in which this lot was included, to all his grand-children, thirty-nine in number, as tenants in common fee. The precise date of his death is not stated in the evidence. During the argument it was assumed he died not long after the date of his will.

16    It seems doubtful whether the father of the defendant Blecker had not taken possession of this lot even before the testator's death. From a passage in Nancy Brown's evidence it would seem that he had. At all events this defendant or his father took possession before 1826, though without a claim of right. The defendant Tobias Blecker has a son, William, who put the other two defendants into possession as tenants, and there is perhaps some confusion and William may be called defendant by some witnesses, who, in speaking of defendants' father, refer to Tobias, who is actually the defendant in the ejectment. It makes no difference, however, for if it was the father of Tobias who entered and purchased from the husband of Nancy Brown, Tobias succeeded him, and between them continued to hold till thin action was brought. [9 U.C.C.P. Page374]

17    After the death of the grandfather a division was made among thirty-nine grand-children. A portion of lands was allotted to each as a separate share, but there was no deed executed, so far as appears, of any kind, to give legal validity and binding effect to the partition, but each of them took possession and held, claiming to be sole owner of the lands allotted to her or him. Nancy Brown, one of the grand daughters, was then a married woman. Some land in the township of Hamilton had been allotted to her by this partition, which, as it turned out, did not belong to the testator. She then applied to some of the family representing this fact, and after some time, with the approbation or agreement of some of the interested parties, she and her husband entered into possession of this lot known as the Walker lot, which, for some cause or other had either been overlooked, or was passed over in the partition. This entry by her and her husband was in 1826, and she says at that time the defendant had possession of this lot. After living there a year she says, "We sold out to defendant's father." From that time the defendant (who seems still to have held part of the lot, while Brown and his wife occupied another part) and those claiming under him, have been the sole occupiers of the premises.

18    Others of the grand-children, as well as the plaintiff, have, however, at different times claimed their undivided shares in this lot. And the defendant Blecker, finding, as he says, that owing to their having been under disabilities for part of the time, since the testator's death, the Statute of Limitations would be no bar against them, has arranged with them and satisfied their claims.

19    There was also, according to the evidence, settle verbal arrangement or bargain between the plaintiff and the defendant, Blecker; the plaintiff had given a promissory note which was outstanding in the hands of a third party, and defendant undertook to pay it, for which he was to got a release or conveyance, of the plaintiff's right to this land. Defendant did arrange with rue holder of the note, but left it still in his hands; afterwards, when the plaintiff had resolved to bring this action,and after the right to sue upon [9 U.C.C.P. Page375] the note would have been barred by the Statute of Limitations, the plaintiff went to the holder, stating that he was suing defendant for this land, and paid the amount, which amount the holder paid over to the defendant, as he specified it, "just leaving the parties where they were."

20    In 1853-4, some parties claiming in right of one or more of the grand-children, and instigated or authorised by the plaintiff, went and cut some timber on this lot. The defendant did not interfere with them on the first occasion, but afterwards, on a repetition of the acts, he arrested two of them on a warrant, and subsequently kept them off by force. It did not appear that in the first instance, if at all, he was made aware that the plaintiff had requested those parties to cut under his right or authority, and pointed to them where to cut.

21    The plaintiff's counsel urged two points, first, that the evidence did not shew that defendant was in possession of the whole lot for 20 years, and that if he was, the evidence did not establish that the plaintiff was dispossessed, insisting that as the plaintiff was a tenant in common with defendant as one of the grand-children, an actual ouster must be shewn in order to give the defendant a title by twenty years' possession. Woodroffe v. Doe, 15 M. & W. 769. p. 702; Cole on Ejectment, 201; Doe Hill v. Gander, 1 U.C.Q.B. 3; Faircloth v. Shackleton, 5 Burr. 2604; Doe v. Prosser, Cowp. 217; Ford v. Grey, 1 Salk. 285.

22    The defendant's counsel relied on the evidence as shewing an exclusive possession of the whole lot for more than twenty five years, and answered the cases cited as to tenants in common by reference to the 24th section of the Real Property Act of 1734. As to any supposed entry by cutting wood, he referred to Doe Baker v. Combs, 19 L.J.C.P. 306; 9 C.B. 714; Due Langden v. Rowlston, 2 Taunt, 441.

23    The Statute of 1834, sec. 24, is a copy of the English Real Property Statute, 3 & 4 W. IV, ch. 27, sec. 12, which,Sir E. Sugden observes (Real Property Statute 66) "sets at rest an important point constantly arising between such owners:" that is, co-partners, joint tenants or tenants in common, [9 U.C.C.P. Page376] "and it operates by relation back from the first commencement of the separate possession, and although the legal estate is vested in a trustee for several persons as tenants in common, yet, if some have been for twenty years in possession of the whole or received the profits thereof through their agent, and the trustee had taken no step, that would constitute a clear title under the statute to the whole in the persons who have thus enjoyed the property, and now an entry by one coparcener is not an entry by both, for the statute makes the possession of one coparcener no longer the possession of the other." There is no distinction in this respect between the entry of the one coparcener, or of one joint tenant or tenant in common. And although the case of Keyse v. Powell (2 E. & B. 132) shews that the possession of one joint tenant may enure as the possession of both far their mutual benefit, that does not affect the position stated by Sir. E. Sugden. So far, therefore, the argument that the plaintiff was not shewn to have been dispossessed, that there was no actual ouster proved, entirely fails.

24    As to the defendant being only in possession of the land be actually occupied, so as to bring the case within the decision of Doe Hill v. Gander, there is an obvious distinction. In that case the defendant had got possession of part of the plaintiff's land as a trespasser without title. His title by twenty years' possession was therefore limited to the land he had actually occupied. But here the defendant was a tenant in common with the whole Walker lot. he had title to an undivided part of every part of it, and when he entered into possession, he must be taken to be in possession of all to which his right of possession would extend. I think, therefore, this ground for the plaintiff's recovery also fails. The principle that would govern the right of a trespasser holding possession for twenty years and so gaining a title has no application in the present case.

25    It was not argued that the plaintiff could avail himself of the protection of the proviso in the 17th section of the act. If it were necessary to dispose of this as a question of fact arising upon the evidence, I am prepared to say as a fact, that the plaintiff had notice or knowledge of the defendant's [9 U.C.C.P. Page377] occupation in fact, or more than twenty years before bringing this suit.

26    The evidence offered of cutting or rather giving authority for the cutting timber on the lot in 1853-4 cannot, in my opinion, affect the defendant's rights. In the first place the defendant had been in uninterrupted possession as against the plaintiff for more than twenty years before that time, and were it otherwise, the case of Doe Baker v. Coombes shews clearly that such an act would neither amount to a dispossession of the defendant, nor to a taking possession by the plaintiff so as to give him a new right of entry commencing from that time, and thus enabling him to maintain this action as being brought within twenty years from the time his right of entry occurred.

27    On the whole I think the postea should be delivered to the defendant.

28    Postea to defendant.

4. EDWARD WALKER  1814 - 1816
[Joseph Walker is not the Registrar of the Surrogate Court of the Midland District.]
14 Apr 1814, Kingston, Edward Walker Esq, is the Register of the Surrogate Court of the Midland District is absent from the District ... recommend W. Daniel Hagerman as fit to fill the office. [Judge] Alexr Fisher, Surrogate
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, LAC, RG 5 A1, V 19, 8215-6, C-4543, on line at heritage canadiana, image 1217

Subject Register of the Surrogate Court Description, Daniel Hagerman, appointed Register of the Surrogate Court of the Midland District, replacing Mr. Walker, deceased.
Source: Newspaper Kingston Gazette Date Sept. 16, 1814 p. 2, col. 3

14 Dec 1815, Kingston, Harriet Walker, Kingston, widow of Edward Walker, deceased, a Captain of the battalion of Incorporated Militia who was killed in action with the enemy in front of Fort Erie on 12 Aug 1814, petitioner has three children now living of whom the said Edward Walker is the father, the youngest born March last, prays to pay the salaries to her and her children which has been granted  to the widows and children of Officers of Militia who were killed in actual service ....
[reverse] James Walker age 4, William Walker age 3 and Edward Walker age 9 months are reputed children of [the above] ....
[fold] warrant issued to 31 Dec 1815
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, LAC, RG 5 A1, V 25, 11239 - 41, C-4545, on line at heritage canadiana, image 1388

10 Jan 1816, Ameliasburgh, R.C Wilkins, JP certifies that a waggon belonging to Mr Abel Gilbert was impressed into service for the purpose of transporting Capt Walker and Baggage of the Field Train? Department on his ?? to join the Light Division of the army sometime in the month of Sept 1814 ... the waggon was never returned ...
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, LAC, RG 5 A1, V 26, 11516, C-4546, on line at heritage canadiana, image 248

13 Jun 1817, Head Quarters Quebec, widow Walker may be permitted to inhabit a hut on government land but this does not give her title ... Major General Widdrington
Source: Civil Secretary's Correspondence, Upper Canada Sundries, LAC, RG 5 A1, V 32, 15464-6, C-4549, on line at heritage canadiana, image 427

These records were examined on the off chance that they might be closely related to Joseph Walker of Thurlow Tp. However no close connection is mentioned.

6 Apr 1819, John Walker claimed lot 16, con 3, Hope Tp. eldest son and Heir at Law of Hugh Walker, yeoman, deceased who was the original nominee of the lot, OC, 3 July 1797. Mary Flannagan [Flannigan], wife of James Flannigan, certifies that Hugh Walker died 3 July 1805 because of a tree falling on him while he was clearing his land, and died without making a will.
Claim allowed.
Source: Second Heir & Devisee Commission, AO, MS657, reel 19, file 40-0423

21 May 1832, William Walker claims the lot below. Claim allowed.
11 Nov 1821, Thomas Walker of Brantford, yeoman and George Walker, Hope Tp, yeoman, swears that their father Thomas Walker departed this life in June 1825 at Port Hope without making a will and that William Walker of the town of Brantford is the eldest son and Heir at Law. Thomas Walker drew the west half of lot 17, con 5, Albion Tp, OC, 22 Sept 1819.
Source: Second Heir & Devisee Commission, AO, MS657, reel 30, file 40-1207

William Walker, Brantford Tp, 1836. This film was not available at the time of the visit.
Source: Second Heir & Devisee Commission, AO, MS657, reel 37, file 40-1669

5 Mar 1835, Dawn Tp, Western District, Robert Walker, yeoman of Dawn Tp.,  claims north half of lot 10, con 13, Dawn Tp, as assignee of John Tiffin of Dawn as assignee of Amos Dexton assignee of the late Joseph lee of Vaughan Tp, Home District, deceased. Also the east half of lot 10, con 12, Dawn Tp, Western District and assignee of John Monk of Howland Tp, assignee of John Pharslane? of Dawn Tp, assignee of the late Joseph Lee, deceased, the original nominee of the Crown ...
Source: Second Heir & Devisee Commission, AO, MS657, reel 36, file 40-1538

24 Apr 1839, Toronto, John Walker claims lot 6, 10 con, Nottawasaga Tp as heir at law of the late Elizabeth Walker deceased, the original nominee of the Crown.
5 Jul 1839, Surveyor's Office certifies that the lot was located 25 Feb 1836 in the name of Elizabeth Walker if Murray Tp, widow of Daniel Walker under OC 24 Mar 1835 as the daughter of Christopher Lake an UE Loyalist ...
8 July 1839, John Walker of Pittsburgh Tp, Midland District, yeoman, swears that he is the son of Daniel and Elizabeth Walker, both deceased, said Elizabeth died May 1836 without leaving any will  ... John Walker is the eldest son and heir at law ...
Source: Second Heir & Devisee Commission, AO, MS657, reel 43, file 40-2072

23 May 1839, James Walker of Elizabethtown, Johnstown District, gives notice that he claims rear half of lot A, 7 con, Elizabethtown Tp as devisee in the will of Hamilton Walker, deceased the nominee of the Crown.
Source: Second Heir & Devisee Commission, AO, MS657, reel 43, file 40-2073