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January 9, 2019

Be Cautious Even When Your Ancestor Has an Unusual Name

Olive Tree Genealogy did some research to try to help a researcher who posted the following query on Facebook:

I am researching Wilsons of Irish descent in Goulboum , Torbolton, and Fitzroy Townships in Carleton County and Wilsons of English/Scotch descent in the same three townships. I am especially interested to find someone who might know the father of Charles Broughton Wilson who came to Canada about 1834 . He possibly came on the ship "John Stamp". Samuel Sumner Tripp and his wife, Sarah Storey may have been on the same ship. He married Mary Ann Tripp in Bytown in Feb. 1839 and purchased a homestead in Fitzroy Township in 1841. Information from the 1851 census indicates C. Broughton (pronounced Broten) was born in London about 1817. There is fairly substantial evidence that Charles' father was Henry Wilson,
The first thing I can tell this researcher is that ship John Stamp sailed from London and arrived in Quebec on June 17, 1835. Unfortunately no passenger list survives but we do know that "Mr and Mrs Newman and family, Mr Johnston, and Mr Marshall and 170 settlers" were on board. (Source:

Census Records

The second thing I did was look for Charles in census records on I wanted to confirm that he was indeed born in England. I found him in 1851 under the name Brougton Wilson. He is recorded as being born in London England but of course we do not know who gave that birth information the census taker, so we should still treat it as not definite.

Church Records

A search online brought up the baptism of Broughton Wilson in Lambeth, Surrey, England (Source: England Births & Baptisms 1538-1975) That sounds exciting except .... further searching finds a Broughton Wilson dying in 1846 in London England. Is it the same man? We do not know and more research would need to be done to try to prove or disprove that the baby baptised in Surrey is the same man who died in London.

Hopefully the descendant who is seeking information will be cautious and do more checking on what I found, and not assume this is the right ancestor.


Clorinda said...

In one area my family lived in, multiple unusual names are common and not just among relatives. So you have to untangle all the threads to make sure you are getting the correct Seaborn, or Van, or Wren, especially when those names also turn into given or middle names too.

Anonymous said...

The name of the community is Goulbourne, Ontario. Recommend you search gravestones.