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January 21, 2018

Finding an Ancestor in Early Upper Canada

Joan P. sent an email to Olive Tree Genealogy because of my research into the Peer family of Ontario and America. Here is Joan's query:
My paternal great-grandmother was Louisa Pear (dob 02 July 1861, born in Matilda, Dundas County, Ontario, Canada. Louisa Pear was married to Ira McIntosh.
Louisa's father my 2nd Great grandfather was Alexander Pear (dob about 1813). I cannot find any other information on where in United Stateshe was born or who his parents or grandparents were. He was married to Elizabeth Bouck (1825-1901). He shows up in Canada census of 1851,1871, and 1881.and lists a place of birth as "United States". As wellthe surname shows as Pear, Pier, or LaPear on various census.

I am hoping you would have some information you may have come across with regards to him and his family.
My answer: As it happens I do have some information on Alexander which I found while researching the Peer family. I do not know who his parents were but I believe that he may have had brothers Joseph born ca 1822 in Ontario and Edward B. born ca 1823 in Ontario.

Here is information on Joseph in the 1851 for Mountain, Dundas County
Joseph Pear  abt 1822  Canada farmer, 30
Mary M Pear 29, abt 1828  Canada
Lucinda Pear 7, abt 1845  Canada
William E Pear 2,  abt 1850  Canada

And here is a bit on Edward on the 1851 Census for Matilda, Dundas Co.

Edward Pear 29, farmer abt 1823  Upper Canada
Maria Pear 28 abt 1824 Upper Canada 
Wm Pear  2  abt 1850 
Mary Keeler, widow, age 60

Is it a co-incidence that Alexander, Edward, and Joseph named first-born sons William? (The 1881 census for Alexander confirms this) I suspect not. I suggest it may very well be that they named their sons in honour of their father. Please remember as you forge ahead that this is what I call a "Working Theory". That means you work towards proving or disproving it.

Here is Alexander in the 1851 census for Matilda, Dundas County

Pear, Alexander, farmer, 30 no place of birth
Elizabeth, 26
Alice, 2

Alexander is found on Conc 4, Lot 13, with 52 acres in 1851 in Matilda, Dundas Co.

Edward is found living Matilda, Dundas co. on conc 2 lot 13 with 100 acres.

Joseph LaPier (sic) is found in Matilda, Dundas Co. on Conc 4, Lot 18

Armed with that I would look in the online Abstract Index to Deeds for all these  properties. You want to choose "Historical Books". Once there you want to view
Abstract/Parcel Register Book, DUNDAS (08), MATILDA, Book 6, CONCESSION 4 for Joseph and Alexander's lots. For Edward you want Book 4, Concession 2. 

Interestingly enough I see a Bouck family in those Abstract indexes purchasing Concession 2, Lot 13 - a relative of Alexander's wife perhaps?

See who they bought from, when they obtained the land, and how. Also who did they sell to, and when? You can also read about the Abstract Indexes to Deeds and other valuable Ontario land records on Olive Tree Genealogy. There are many types of land records available that can lead to wonderful genealogy discoveries, and my articles will help you if you are not familiar with these records.

You will no doubt want to do more research on Edward and Joseph to try to find out their parents' names and to prove or disprove my theory that they are brothers to Alexander. Look for their death certificates, follow their children for more information on the family, and of course, gather census details for all available years.

I also suggest that if you need further help finding vital statistics you might want to refer to the books below:

Ancestor Birth Record Finder: Finding a Birth Record When You've Hit a Brick Wall available as an Ebook on or, also as a paperback on or

Ancestor Marriage Record Finder: Finding a Marriage Record When You've Hit a Brick Wall available as an Ebook on or, also soon as a paperback

Ancestor Death Record Finder: Finding a Death Record When You've Hit a Brick Wall available as an Ebook on or, also as a paperback on or

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