William Grimshaw

Willliam GRIMSHAW (bef. 1765-  aft. 1825) was likely William BLAIR’s first father-in-law.

William Grimshaw  is probably descended from a family of Grimshaws with roots in Lancashire, England, but nothing is known of his ancestors or whether he was born in North America or in England.  He fought in the American Revolutionary War on the side of the Colonials. He was a member of Hazen’s Regiment, which was initiated in Canada by Moses Hazen near the beginning of the conflict.   After the war, William settled in New Hampshire for nearly 25 years (1788 to 1812) and then probably moved on to Vermont, New York and Canada.  He married Elizabeth Lepninah. Census records for New Hampshire indicate that was living in Grafton County in 1790, 1800 and 1810. His date of death and place of burial have not yet been determined, but he probably died in Upper Canada after migrating there from New Hampshire.

William Grimshaw was a teenage fifer in Hazen's Regiment during the American Revolution

William Blair was 42 when he married Mary HUESTON, 49 when he immigrated and 62 when his last child was born so it is logical to assume he was previously married.  According to Sher Leetooze, William first married William Grimshaw’s daughter Betsey Grimshaw 5 Oct 1800 in Haverhill, New Hampshire.  Members of both Blair and Grimshaw families kept moving back and forth across the border between Quebec and New York all down through the years that followed.   Sher thinks William Blair went home to Ireland after Betsy died and theorizes he had already been on the land at an early date, then gave it to his brother when he went back to Ireland.   The lot that Thomas Blair settled on with his young family was one lot over from William Blair’s father-in-law! William eventually returned with a new wife and five children, but not until the 1830’s.

William’s nephew and niece married grandchildren of William Grimshaw.  In addition, William’s son James Blair married one of William Grimshaw’s great grand daughters, Samantha Ann Grimshaw, and went to live near the Grimshaw clan on Wolfe Island, an island located at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River in Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario.

Elizabeth Lepninah’s surname is a mystery. It was apparently a clerical error, as there are no other “Lepninah’s” to be found anywere. There are obvious similarities to Zephaniah’s first name.  The Welsh used an ancient Patronymic naming system whereby the children of a marriage took their fathers forename as their surname.

Children of  William and Elizabeth:

Name Born Married Departed
1. Betsy Grimshaw 1784 William BLAIR
05 Oct 1800, Haverhill, NH
2. Zephaniah Grimshaw 1790 in New Hampshire Jerusha Hunter
15 Feb 1811 in Haverhill, Grafton, New Hampshire
Roxie [__?__]
Mooers, Clinton, NY
Asenath Noakes
22 Sep 1847 Russelltown, Huntingdon, Quebec
Ellen Sheahan
Adeline Covey
aft. 1860
25 Mar 1872 in Churubusco, Clinton, New York
3. George Grimshaw 1794 New Hamphsire Charlotte Menard
09 Sep 1817 in St-Luc Quebec
Aft. 1885
4.  [Son] Grimsahw  1796, Possibly New Hampshire
5. Levi Grimshaw
c. 1797, New Hampshire or Vermont 27 July 1875
Canton, St. Lawrence, NY
6. [Daughter] Grimshaw  c. 1800, Possibly New Hampshire
7. [Daughter] Grimshaw c. 1803, Possibly New Hampshire
8. [Daughter] Grimshaw c. 1805, Possibly New Hampshire
9. [Daughter] Grimshaw c. 1807, Possibly New Hampshire

William Grimshaw fought in the American Revolutionary War on the side of the Colonials. He was a member of Hazen’s Regiment, which was initiated in Canada by Moses Hazen near the beginning of the conflict.  William’s service began in January 1782 and continued until the regiment was disbanded  in June 1783, a period of about 18 months.  William was a fifer and that he served in Captain (Clement or Louis) Gosselin’s Company. He caused a casualty in February 1782 – a man named Musick or Musiak. After the war he received bounty land for his service, receiving Bounty Land Warrant No. 13129, dated March 25, 1790.

Copy of Bounty Land Record for William Grimshaw

This version of the Bounty Land Warrant is similar to the one pictured above, except that the "hole" in the lower center has been filled in. Many thanks to Barbara Bonner for making arrangements to have this restoration done.

There are two records at the National Archives for William Grimshaw’s Bounty Land Warrant.  The first is a copy of a card indicating the warrant, Number 13129. The original document was reported lost in a fire on November 9, 1800. However, Bill O’Halloran found this copy of the record in National Archives M829. One sources says this Bounty Land Warrant was for land in Ohio.  He must have sold or traded it because he had already bought 50 acres of land in Lyman, Grafton, New Hampshire for 20 pounds in 1789, which he sold in 1793 for 50 pounds.

England’s defeat of France in the French and Indian War, which ended in 1763, resulted in the cession of Canada to England, A large part of the French Canadian population remained disaffected with England, and when hostilities began that led to the American Revolution, many of them (particularly near the border) sympathized with the Colonials. Many migrated to the U.S. (an under-recognized counter movement to that of the Loyalists who left the American colonies for Canada), and they provided a source of troops for the American side in the Revolution. It was from this population that Moses Hazen successfully raised his regiment, which fought through the entire course of the war.

An excellent description of Moses Hazen and his 2nd Canadian Regiment is provided in a book by Allan S. Everest:

Foreword by John H. G. Pell, Chairman, New York State American Revolution Bicentennial Commission

When thirteen of Great Britain’s mainland colonies declared for independence in 1776, the newest British colony in North America – Canada – decided against joining the revolt. But some Canadians refused to accept the decision of the majority in Canada to stay out of the fight for American independence. A large group of these people left their homes and crossed the border to be organized into military units by Moses Hazen. Led by Hazen, who was commissioned a general in the Continental army, these Canadian soldiers fought in many engagements throughout the war. After independence was achieved, Hazen led his followers to the northern reaches of New York to settle on land grants near the border of the country they had left years before. The story of these Canadians who came south to support the cause of American independence thus belongs both to New York and to the people of the United States at large….

Preface by Allan S. Everest, Plattsburgh, New York, Spring 1976

This book is an attempt to offer belated recognition of those residents of Quebec and Nova Scotia who, for a variety of reasons, became refugees in the United States during the American Revolution. Whether motivated by the expectation of profit and adventure, anticipation of life in a freer society, or the desire to help drive the British out of Canada, hundreds of them chose what they thought was temporary exile from their homeland.

The refugees from Quebec were largely French, but they were joined by a significant number of Americans who had gone north to seek, and often to make, their fortunes after the conquest of 1763 – Moses Hazen, Edward Antill, James Livingston, Udny Hay, Thomas Walker, and others. From Nova Scotia the refugees were drawn from those transplanted New Englanders who migrated during the 1750s and 1760s but who subsequently caught some of the revolutionary fever that infected Boston in the 1770s. Whoever they were and wherever they came from, they left behind them their property and livelihood, their friends and, for many, their religion.

Most of the men joined the American army, while their families led a long, destitute existence, chiefly in the refugee camps of New York State. The great majority hoped that when the British were driven from Canada they could return to their own country, and they were the most enthusiastic and sometimes troublesome advocates of every new project for an invasion northward.

Although many of the refugees drifted back to Quebec or Nova Scotia after the war and picked up the threads of their prewar life, many more chose to remain permanently in exile. Displaced persons usually present a tragic aspect, and those of the American Revolution are no exception. Many sustained battle wounds or suffered physical breakdowns and the collapse of their prewar standards of living as a result of their war and postwar experiences. A notable example is Moses Hazen, an American who had established thriving enterprises in Canada.

The career of Moses Hazen was so intertwined with the lives and fortunes of the refugees that it is impossible to tell their story without including his. And so this book becomes partly a biography of Hazen and his close associates, from which emerges a stormy and fascinating character. These pages also give rise to a renewed admiration for the patience and integrity of George Washington in his dealings with the refugees and their quarrelsome champion, Moses Hazen.

The fact that there were refugees into the United States is usually forgotten because the focus of attention has been upon the American Loyalists who fled the country during and after the Revolution. The American refugees have always received a great deal of attention, traditionally portrayed as traitors to a great cause. Only recently have they begun to receive the sympathetic study they deserve. Instead of being branded as traitors, they are being appreciated for the idealism of their convictions. Canadians are likewise beginning to display more pride than was formerly the case in the lives of their exiles. In numbers the Canadians were much fewer than the American refugees, which is one reason why the Canadians have been generally overlooked. Another is the fact that the peace treaty at the end of the Revolution made no mention of them although it considerately tried to make possible the return of the American refugees to their native country. Forgotten or otherwise, the refugees created a two-way street, and this study deals with the incoming group…

In November 1782, the 2nd Canadian Regiment was moved to Pompton, New Jersey for winter quarters. Its duties during this time included the interdiction of trade between the countryside and the British in New York City. In June 1783, with the peace nearly finalized, much of the regiment was furloughed. At the same time it was transferred to the Highland Department. Pursuant to a Resolution of Congress of May 26, 1783, 300 soldiers were discharged on June 9. However, members of the regiment refused to depart, whether on furlough or discharge, until they received their pay. Members of the regiment that remained were ordered to march to Washington’s cantonment near New Windsor. The regiment was reorganized into two companies on June 30 and was completely disbanded on November 15, 1783, at West Point, New York.

Because the Canadians in the regiment were unable to return to their homes, many of them settled in camps near Albany and Fishkill, where they subsisted on handouts from Congress. General Hazen appealed to Congress to give them land grants, but this effort failed. The state of New York eventually granted Hazen and a number of his men land in the northern part of the state near Lake Champlain.

The contributions of Moses Hazen and the members of his 2nd Canadian Regiment in the Revolutionary War did not result in very substantial rewards and, in many cases, brought personal and financial hardship instead. Being assigned directly to Congress (which was chronically impoverished) rather than to one of the states, did not bring enhanced status, recognition or reward, but was a strong disadvantage in most respects.

After the war Hazen fought a running battle with Congress for compensation for his losses in Canada, for his disbursements to recruit and maintain his regiment, and for loss of his British half pay. His estate had been pillaged by both armies, and during the retreat of 1776 his manor had been razed to deny it to the British. In 1783 the Saint John River Society’s lands, including Hazen’s share, were escheated. The following year Gabriel Christie won a suit against him in the Court of Common Pleas at Montreal, obtaining judgement for £1,900 sterling. He had Hazen arrested twice at New York for debt and in August 1785 had his Richelieu valley holdings seized for sale at sheriff’s auction. Hazen won on appeal but saw the decision reversed by the British Privy Council. In 1790, at a sheriff’s auction, Christie acquired Bleury-Sud and some of Hazen’s other lots around Fort St Johns.

In spite of his debts and set-backs Hazen had extensive plans for land speculation and colonization in the United States; all came to naught, particularly after a stroke in 1786 disabled him for life. In 1787 he settled at New York, but then moved to Troy. In the years following the war he enjoyed cordial business relations with James Bell in Canada. By 1790, however, after unsuccessfully petitioning Congress for years to reimburse $6,000 of personal funds advanced for the American cause, Bell sued Hazen for $826 of advances that Hazen had guaranteed. Having won his suit, in 1794 Bell had attached part of Hazen’s lands in Clinton County, N.Y., including 1,000 acres in the Refugee Tract and a model farm, which Hazen had been developing on the shores of Lake Champlain. In the last 20 years of his life Hazen was arrested 14 times for debt, and he instituted as many suits against others. A court adjudged him of unsound mind in 1802; nevertheless, he was arrested twice for debt only weeks before his death on 5 Feb. 1803. On paper he died a wealthy man, but his widow was unable to collect claims totalling $42,000 against Congress and individuals before her death in 1827; the executor of Hazen’s estate ultimately obtained payment from Congress of some of the claims.

As a soldier Moses Hazen displayed extraordinary leadership qualities. A combative man, he was happiest in action. Courageous and impetuous, he was also throughout his life restless, frustrated by obstacles, stubborn, and hypersensitive about his honour; in 1790 Secretary of War Henry Knox referred to him as “the unfortunate Hazen . . . , nature has marked him with as obstinate a temper as ever afflicted humanity.” A driving man, Hazen was even more a man driven by the need to be in motion, but he never established a sense of direction.

Canadian and Nova Scotia Refugee Tract – Clinton County, NY Members of Hazen’s Regiment finally obtained land in and around the Beekman, Bell and Douglas Patents - Everest, p. 131).

General Benjamin Mooers (April 1, 1758 – February 20, 1838) was born in Haverhill, Massachusetts. He was the nephew of Gen. Moses Hazen and was ultimately responsible for untangling many of Hazen’s affairs. He was a lieutenant in the New York militia and the 2nd Canadian Regiment during the American Revolutionary War. In 1783 he settled in the vicinity of Plattsburgh, New York, a frontier settlement at the time. Gen. Mooers commanded the New York Militia at the Battle of Plattsburgh, September 11, 1814, and later served as a member of the New York legislature. William Grimshaw’s name appears near the bottom of the second to last page on a list of members of Hazen’s Regiment, prepared by Benjamin Mooers and dated June 15th, 1800 along with the date of termination of his service on June 30, 1783.

Impatient with all the delays, a few of the refugees began to gravitate toward northern New York immediately after the war. In the summer of 1783, eleven of them accompanied Lieutenant Benjamin Mooers to Point au Roche in the Beekman Patent. Here they made a small settlement, sometimes known as Hazenburgh after its sponsor, Moses Hazen, for whom Mooers served as agent. Among their number were Jean La Framboise and two Montys, eager to reclaim the farms they had established before the Revolution and had to abandon in 1776. Over the next two years others squatted on sites along the shore north from Point au Roche, mostly on Dean’s Patent, so as to be nearby when their own lands were available, and perhaps to exchange them for their squatters’ claims.

Many of the veterans and others who obtained bounty land warrants sold them at a discount to land speculators rather than receiving their land, in many cases because of the long delays. It is unknown whether William Grimshaw received land, cash or other value for his warrant. It is known from census records, however, that he lived for many years (until at least 1810) in New Hampshire rather than New York.

The town of Mooers in Clinton County, New York, United States is named after Benjamin Mooers, an early settler. The population was 3,592 at the 2010 census. Several later generations of Blairs lived in Mooers.

The community of Bath, Grafton , New Hampshire, erected a monument in 1929 to honor its citizens who had given military service in wars up to that time. William Grimshaw’s name is included on a plaque for those who served in the Revolutionary War

Following his Revolutionary War service, William apparently settled in Grafton County, New Hampshire and remained there at least through 1810. The records of his presence in that state are presented on this webpage. Census records exist for William for the 1790, 1800 and 1810 Censuses. The 1790 Census indicates that William and his family were living in Lyman Town and the family included five persons:

1 free white male of 16 years and upward, including heads of families

1 free white male under 16 years
2 free white females, including heads of families

The Census of 1800 indicates that the Grimshaw family was in Coventry Township of Grafton County and included the following seven persons:

3 free white males under 10 (years of age)
1 free white male of 10 and under 16
1 free white male of 26 and under 45, including heads of families
1 free white female of 10 and under 16
1 free white female of 26 and under 45, including heads of families

The index to the 1810 Census  indicates that William was living in the town Haverhill, Grafton County.  By the time of this census, William was over 45 (verifying that he was born no later than 1765), but his wife was still under 45. The older daughter, and three of the four sons, counted in the 1800 census, were not present for the 1810 census (two of the boys were thus still teenagers when they apparently left home.) And four young daughters have been added to the family, for an apparent total of nine children in the family – 5 daughters and 4 sons.  The following seven persons are listed:

1 male of 10 and under 16
1 male of 45 or over
4 females under 10
1 female of 26 and under 45

The last Revolutionary War record for William is that of his discharge from Hazen’s Regiment in June, 1783. The next known record for William is in January 1788, almost five years later, when he is recorded in land transaction and other records in Lyman Town, New Hampshire. Nearly all of the subsequent records of William’s life are from New Hampshire, where he apparently settled and lived from 1789 until at least 1811.

The area around Haverhill and Bath was frequented by Hazen’s Regiment during the Revolutionary War. For example, Hazen’s Road was built in 1779 by the Regiment from Wells River, Vermont, just across the Connecticut River from Bath Town, to Hazen’s Notch in the Green Mountains. (William’s service began about 2-1/2 years later, in January 1782.) The route of Hazen’s Road1 is shown in Figure 1. Several prominent members of the Regiment settled in the Bath and Haverhill area after the war. It therefore seems likely that William’s decision to settle in New Hampshire was in some way connected to his service in Hazen’s Regiment.

Map of northern Vermont showing the route of Hazen’s Road built by Hazen’s Regiment in preparation for a second invasion of Canada, which never occurred. Evidence indicates that General George Washington used the maneuver as a feint for the British and never intended to follow through with the second invasion. Note the location of Wells River and Haverhill

The fact that William served as a fifer in the War may indicate that he was quite young (say, age 16 to 18) when he served from January 1782 to June 1783. If so, he would have been born about 1765, and thus was about age 22 when his presence in New Hampshire was first recorded in 1789. If he left the state in 1813, he would have then been about 48 years old.

During his more than 20 years in New Hampshire, William lived with his family in the Town of Bath and the surrounding Towns of Lyman (to the north), Coventry-Benton (southeast), and Haverhill (south). This area is in western New Hampshire, near the Connecticut River.   The records demonstrating his presence there include land purchases and sales, censuses, and miscellaneous Town records, such as inventory and tax records.uring his New Hampshire life, at least 20 direct (and 2 indirect) records of his presence were created, including land transactions, census tallies, road petitions, inventory and tax, and other records. The records discovered so far  cover William’s life in New Hampshire from about 1789 to around 1811.

Lyman Town, 1789-1792

Land Purchase in Lyman Town,  1789
Census Record in Lyman Town, 1790
Bounty Land Warrant, 1790
William Grimshaw Voted as “Tithing Man,” 1791
School District Established, Lyman Town, 1791
Land Sale in Lyman Town, 1792
William Grimshaw Voted as “Saxon” and Takes Oath of Office, 1792

Bath Town, 1792-1796

Bath, Grafton, New Hampshire

Inventory and Tax Records, Bath Town, 1794 to 1796

Coventry (Benton) Town, 1800

Benton, Grafton, New Hampshire

Census Record in Coventry (Benton) Town, 1800

Haverhill Town, 1800-1811

Haverhill, Grafton, New Hampshire

Published Marriage Intention of William Blair and Betsey Grimshaw, 1800
Inventory Record, Haverhill Town, 1801
Highway Tax Record, Haverhill Town, 1801
County, Minister, School and Town Tax, Haverhill Town, 1801
Highway Tax Record, Haverhill Town, 1802
Town, County, School and Minister Tax, Haverhill Town, 1802
Promissory Note, Samuel Chase to William Grimshaw, and Subsequent Judgment, August 1802
Land Purchase in Haverhill Town, 1803 – This land purchase again showed William as a cordwainer (shoemaker.)
Petition to be Excused from Support of Minister John Smith, 1805
Land Sale in Haverhill Town, 1806
Census Record in Haverhill, 1810
Zephaniah Grimshaw and Jerusha Hunter Marriage Record, Haverhill Town, 1811 – the last known record of William and his family in New Hampshire consisted of the announcements, on consecutive days (February 14 and 15, 1811) of the betrothal and marriage of Zephaniah Grimshaw and Jerusha Hunter.

In 1802, William was taxed $1.24 for highways. Note that his probable son-in-law ("William Blare") is shown in the adjacent record entry taxed for 81 cents.


Town, County, School and Minister Tax, Haverhill Town, 1802 - Again William is listed next to his son-in-law William Blair

Calvin Lamb’s research indicates that William was probably with his son, Zephaniah, and family in Hinchinbrooke Township, Huntingdon County, Quebec in 1825.  The 1842 census indicates that Zephaniah had been in Canada for 20 years. That would make his arrival in Canada 1822.


1. Betsy Grimshaw  and William BLAIR

The town records of Haverhill Town (p. 464) include a record of publishment, dated October 5, 1800, for marriage of William’s (presumed) daughter, Betsey, to William Blair, both of Haverhill

There is no William Blair listed in Grafton County in 1800.  However, there are two Blairs listed in Grafton County, and they both lived near William Grimshaw’s future homestead in Haverhill.   Page 400 lists Elizabeth Blair (no males, one female 10-16, two females 26-45, and one female 45 and over) and Samuel Blair (one male under 10, one male 26-45, and one female 26-45). Although close by, neither of these Blair families seems to contain an eligible bachelor for Betsey Grimshaw. In 1802, William Blair is listed as living next door to William Grimshaw in the 6th District of Haverhill (he is not listed as a property owner in previous years). The only other Blair listed in Haverhill town records is James, who is on the 2nd District 1802 tax rolls. The Grafton Co. deed records show a Wm. Blair as grantee in 1783, and as grantor in 1795 and 1803.

AS WRITTEN BY: CLARA A. BLAIR HANNA (William’s grand daughter 1861 – 1937)

William Blair and Mary Hueston were married September 1822. He was born in 1781 and died July 31, 1875. Mary Hueston Blair was born in April 1796 and died October 6, 1887. They left their native land, Armagh Co. Ireland, with their small children, have heard the fourth child, Mary was born on their way out to this country. They left the old land very early in the year and after a hard trip of a number of weeks, ( I think 10), arrived in Montreal, Canada in the Spring of 1830.

After a short visit with relatives (his brother and 3 children, I think, who lived in what is called now Hinchinbrook), he moved his family to Frontier, N.Y. just across the border.

He was a weaver by trade in his homeland and of the Quaker belief, also was left-handed.

In Spring of 1837, they moved to Russelltown, Township, now known as Franklin Township, Huntingdon County, Quebec. He got a farm of 200 acres, most of it well timbered, cleared a piece of ground and built a home for themselves.

The early pioneers had a great many hardships that we of our day know nothing about. He made a success of farming and spent the rest of his life on the farm, and died in his ninety-fifth year.

2. Zephaniah Grimshaw

Zephaniah’s daughter Samantha Lucretia Grimshaw married William’s nephew John Blair, and his son married William’s niece Mary Ann see below)

Zephaniah was born in New Hampshire after the US Revolutionary War. He probably lived at home until his marriage in Haverhill, NH in 1811, even though he doesn’t appear in William’s household in the 1810 census.

Zephaniah first married 15 Feb 1811 in Haverhill, Grafton, New Hampshire to Jerusha Hunter (1779 New Hampshire – 1815 in Vermont)  After marrying Jerusha, he may have moved first to Vermont (where son William was born). According to Lamb&Frier Family Tree, Jerusha died & was buried in Vermont.

In about 1815, he moved to Clinton Co., NY. While there he met Roxie [__?__]. However, Hurd’s History of Clinton Co. says that Zephaniah “came from Rhode Island and located at an early day on lot 87” in the Town of Clinton! Supported by Bev’s search from the Clinton County GenForum – “John Nelson Grimshaw was born 1817, Clinton, Oneida, NY (probably in error, confusing the two Clintons in NY) to Zephaniah Grimshaw & Roxie”.  The similarity in names – Village of Clinton, Clinton Township, & Clinton County – has caused some confusion. I no longer believe that Zeph ever went to Oneida County. I believe it was Mooers, Clinton County that he came to in 1815.

Clinton County, New York

Soon after, there were wife problems again with Roxie & she left Zeph or she died and was buried at Mooers.  He was living in Mooers, Clinton County, NY by 1820, where he became romantically involved with his neightbor & brother-in-law’s wife, Asenath Noakes (c. 1792 in Champlain, NY – 1863 in Grey Co, Ontario). Her parents were Morris Nokes and Azubah Knapp. He spirited Asenath  away from her husband, James Hunter, when finally, he headed north to Canada in 1822 and settled in the Russeltown Corners area on the north edge of present day Havelock Township, Huntingdon County, Province of Quebec.

Havelock, Le Haut-Saint-Laurent Regional County Municipality, Quebec

Le Haut-Saint-Laurent Regional County Municipality, Quebec

According to Eunice (Covey) Tucker, “Zephinire Junior Grisham came along and fell in love with Senith and chased Grandpa Hunter away.” He appears in the 1820 census with one son under 10 and two daughters under 10. By 1822, he and Sentha had moved to Huntingdon Co., PQ, where he lived for the next 45+ years. Zephaniah and Sentha proceeded to have eleven more children together over the next 20+ years, without benefit of clergy. Zephaniah and Sentha finally married 22 Sep 1847 in Russelltown, Huntingdon, Quebec. None of their children were baptized until after their marriage.

Tired of the low flat country of the Russeltown Area always flooding, Zeph moved again. This move was to his most lasting residence as he took possession of the east half of Lot 47 (47b) on the first concession of Hinchinbrooke Township, Huntingdon County, Quebec in time for the Canadian Census of 1825. Note that this farm was transferred to Franklin Township, Hinchinbrooke Region, when it was formed in 1857 from pieces of Hemmingford & Hinchinbrooke Townships along with part of Russeltown & Jamestown Regions of the Seigniory of Beauharnois. Presently the road past the property is known as Blackwood Road. From the CVHS Annual, 1982, “Sometime in the 1840’s, it appears that the Craiks built a gristmill on the Mitchell Brook, a little north of the road, on the present Henry Wilson farm, just over the Hinchinbrooke line. It was overhauled to an overshot mill in 1862, but seems to have faded from the scene shortly afterwards, being replaced by more convenient and superior grist mills.” That mill was just west of Zeph’s farm on the opposite or north side of the road. His nearest post office was at Frontier, NY, just one farm east of the south edge of his farm. This post office served both Canadians & Americans. Apparently, Frontier, NY had both a tannery & a brewery. The brewery, no doubt, motivated Zeph to grow a large crop of hops. Zephaniah and Asenath together had 11 children but were not married at that time. Finally, Zephaniah and Asenath experienced a religious union in 1847 as shown by the marriage certificate below although it appears James Hunter, Asenath’s first husband, was still alive.

Hinchinbrooke, Quebec

Asenath became disillusioned with Zeph, possibly because of Mary, a woman, that was staying with them at the time. As a result, Asenath took Zephaniah Jr., Esther Mary & Harriet to Mount Forest, Egremont Township, Grey County, Ontario in 1855.

Grey County, Ontario was formed in 1852 and was named for Earl Grey

Lonely Zeph met Ellen Sheahan (c. 1838 in Ireland – 18 August 1860 in Quebec) but she died from consumption in 1860 at the tender age of 22 or 23.   From old Roman Catholic Cemetery in Hinchinbrook – “Ellen, wife of Zephinah Grimshaw died Aug. 18, 1860, ae 22 years”.

Zephaniah seemed to surround himself with women. In the 1861 census, Adeline Covey (12 June 1832 in Quebec – 5 Jan 1881 in Churubusco, Clinton County, NY)   (single with a 3 year old child), along with another woman, Mary, lived in his house, as had the the recently departed “Ann” (Ellen?). In 1850, Adeline, age 17, lived in Mooers, NY with Erastus Hall and his family. It’s interesting that Zeph’s next child, with Adeline Covey, was born a mere seven months after Ellen’s untimely demise!  Zeph and Adeline had five children together. It appears that Zeph sold his farm in Hinchinbrooke Region, Franklin Township maybe upon hearing of Asenath’s death in 1863 & the closing of the grist mill up & across the road. He moved with Adeline & their children to Clinton Township, Clinton County, N. Y. His last property was located at the north-west corner of Clinton Mills Road & Bull Run Road, Ellenburg Depot. NY. A school was located right across the road on the north-east corner, making it easy for the young children to get to school.

Unfortunately, a year before his death in 1872, it appears that Zeph & Adeline ran into great difficulites. Some if not all of their children were placed with other families. This was family break-up big time with the children separated from both parents simultaneously.  Zephaniah supposedly died in 1872 in Churubusco, Clinton County, NY (per Grimshawv14t1260.FTW). Unknown where he was buried. Searches of cemeteries and burial records to date have turned up nothing. Ten years later, Adeline met an early death. She was not even 48 years old.

Were James Hunter and Jerusha Hunter brother & sister? What relation was Joseph Grimshaw to Zeph? Who was Roxie? When & did Zeph marry her? When did Zeph meet Ellen Sheahan and who was she? When did they marry? Who was Mary and what happened to her? It is unknown where or if Zephaniah & Adeline were married. Maybe they just lived common law. Where are the graves of Zeph, James, Jerusha, Roxie, & Adeline? If you had one child named Elizabeth, why would you name another child by the same name 8 years later, especially if the first Elizabeth was still alive? What is the story on Adeline’s first husband, Mr. Spearman? Is Ellen Sheahan & Ann the same person? The Hunter Family shown on the family chart is very speculative!

Children of Zephaniah and Jerusha:

Children of Zephaniah Grimshaw and Jerusha Hunter are:

i. William Grimshaw, (Abt. 1812, Vermont – 7 Dec 1897, Wolfe Island, Ontario) He married in 1830 in Quebec, Canada when she was just 18 to Mary Ann Blair (1812 in Ireland – )  Her parents were Thomas and Grace Blair.  Thomas was probably William BLAIR’s brother. Members of both Blair and Grimshaw families kept moving back and forth across the border between Quebec and New York all down through the years that followed. It seems our William Blair (the one I am looking for) went home to Ireland. I am wondering if he had already been on the land at an early date, then gave it to his brother when he went back to Ireland? The lot that Thomas Blair settled on with his young family was one lot over from William Blair’s father-in-law! I think William’s wife died and he went back to Ireland. He did eventually return with a new wife and five children, but not until the 1830’s.

The first Grimshaws to settle on Wolfe Island, Ontario, which is located near Kingston at the head of the St. Lawrence River at Lake Ontario were William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw, who acquired several parcels of land in the western half of the island. William and MaryAnn were the progenitors of one of the most important Grimshaw lines in North America.

Wolfe Island Map

Mary Ann and William had twelve children.   William’s son James married one of these twelve – Samantha Ann Grimshaw. and went to live near the Grimshaw clan on Wolfe Island, an island located at the entrance to the Saint Lawrence River in Lake Ontario near Kingston, Ontario.  Mary Anne died  6 Nov 1883 in Wolfe Island, Frontenac, Ontario, Canada.

Map of Wolfe Island, Ontario, Circling Locations of Land Owned by William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw

Grave of William and Mary Ann Blair Grimshaw on Wolfe Island.

Home place of William and Mary Ann (Blair) Grimshaw on Wolfe Island

Children of William and Mary Ann:

i. Thomas Grimshaw ( 06 May 1831, QC, (Lower Canada) – 01 Sep 1876, Wolfe Island, Frontenac Co., ON.)

ii. Melissa Grimshaw (06 March 1835, Wolfe Island – Aft. 1907, Probably St. Joseph Twp., Algoma, Ontario)

iii. Almira Grimshaw (02 April 1837, Wolfe Island – 28 April 1919, Kingston, Ontario)

iv. Samantha Ann Grimshaw (29 Oct 1839, Wolfe Island – 26 Apr 1883, Pittsburg Twsp., Frontenac Co., Ontario). SheJames married 27 Sep 1863 in Cape Vincent, Jefferson Co., NY, St. John’s Episcopal Church to James Blair xx Samantha was probably James 2nd cousin, see above.

Cape Vincent Protestant Episcopal Church – 1863

That Arni Merchant Lewis, on the 27th day of September, 1863, in the State of New York, county of Jefferson, township of Cape Vincent, joined together, in the Holy Estate of Matrimony, James Blair & S. Ann Grimshw according to the custom of the Protestant Episcopal Church, in the United States of America.
Rev. A. M. Lewis,
-Minister of St. John’s Parish, Cape Vincent, Jeff Co., N. Rf.
Dated, Cape Vincent, Sept. 27, 1863.

Thomas Grimshaw —} Witnesses.
William Grimshaw —}

Children of James and Samantha:
i. Helen Mary Blair (25 Nov 1864, Wolfe Island, Frontenac, ON – 16 May 1905 Kingston, Frontenac, ON); m. 13 May 1886 in Kingston, Frontenac, Ontario to John Francis Reynolds (07 Dec 1864 Kingston, Ontario – 02 Aug 1935 Kingston, Ontario) His parents were Samuel Reynolds and Ann Clayton.

ii. William John Blair (20 Nov 1866 , Wolfe Island, Frontenac, ON – 07 Feb 1952 Toronto); m. 07 May 1889 in Kingston, Frontenac Co., ON to Mary “Minnie” Waddingham (30 Jul 1873 in Kingston, Ontario – 19 April 1925 in Oshawa, Durham. Ontario) Her parents were Thomas Waddingham and Elizabeth Reynolds.

iii. Ida Jane Blair (14 Apr 1869 , Wolfe Island, Frontenac, ON – 14 May 1956, Groton, New London, CT); m1. 24 Nov 1886 in Kingston St. Andrew’s Presby Ch. to Neil Fletcher (23 Nov 1860 Scotland- 30 Sep 1921 Connecticut); m2. 03 Dec 1923 to George Henry Vassar (16 Dec 1862 – )

iv. Jerusha Anna Blair (16 Aug 1876, Wolfe Island, Frontenac, ON – 19 Oct 1954, Belleville, Hastings, ON.); m. 22 Feb 1913 at Kingston, Ontario to James Augustus Robinson (1876 in Glasgow, Scotland – 26 Feb 1954 in Belleville, Hastings, Ontario) James Augustus Robinson , 37, labourer, Glassco (Glasgow?) Scotland, Kingston, s/o Henry Robinson & UNKNOWN, married Jerusha Anna BLAIR, 36, Wolf Island, Kingston, d/o James Blair & S Ann Grimshaw , wit Thomas H LLOYD of 214 Earl St Kingston & Eva Grimshaw of 17 Ellis St Kingston

v. William W. Grimshaw (28 Feb 1842, Wolfe Island – 27 May 1918, Wolfe Island) (Frontenac Co): William Grimshaw , 46, widower, farmer, Wolfe Island, same, s/o William Grimshaw & Mary Ann BLAIR, married Jane MICHEA, 29, Wolfe Island, Marysville, d/o George MICHEA & Mary Ann McCLURE, witn: Agnes MICHEA of Marysville & D.H. McRAE of Wolfe Island, 25 Jan 1892 at Marysville.

vi. Henry Grimshaw (10 Jul 1844, Wolfe Island – 27 Jun 1925, Kingston, Ontario)

vii. Delos Grimshaw (22 June 1845, Wolfe Island – 12 Feb 1905, Kingston, Ontario)

viii. Hiram Grimshaw (18 Feb 1850, Wolfe Island – 26 Dec 1868, Wolfe Island)

ix. Silas Arthur Grimshaw (11 June 1851, Wolfe Island – 05 Jan 1929, Kingston, Ontario)

x. Robert Grimshaw (02 Nov 1852, Wolfe Island – 06 Sep 1853, Wolfe Island)

xi. James Grimshaw (02 Nov 1852, Wolfe Island – 13 May 1932, Kingston, Ontario)

xii. Mary Ann Grimshaw (c.1858, Wolfe Island – 24 May 1898, Kingston, Ontario)

ii. Samantha Lucretia Grimshaw, (7 Feb 1813, Canada – 25 Jun 1893, Malone, NY) She married 8 Sep 1831 when he was just 19 at the  Presbyterian Church in the Township of Hemmingford to  John H. Blair (10 Oct 1811 in Co. Armagh, Ireland. –  1 Nov 1884) Witnesses were John Blair and his sister Mary Ann Blair. His parents were Thomas and Grace Blair.

John and Samantha Lucretia had ten children.  William Blair was a witness to the baptism of their son Thomas on 9 May 1844.   The 1851 census has John H living with Grace, b. Ireland, widowed, age 72 (mother); and Mary, b. Canada, age 22 (in addition to his 21 yr old daughter, Mary ) John died 1 Nov 1884 of heart disease at Hemmingford, Huntingdon County, Quebec and is buried at Hillside Cemetery, Rennies, Huntingdon Co., Quebec. 11-01-1884.   A native of town and country, Armagh Ireland.

Hemmingford Presbyterian Church – 1847 folio thirteenth

A daughter of Zephaniah Grimshaw of Hinchinbrook, farmer and Jerusha his wife was born on the seventh Day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirteen and was married to John Blair on the eighth Day of September in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and thirty-one and was baptized by the name of Lucretia on the twenty-ninth Day of October in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven in presence of the unsigned witnesses.

John Merlin, Minister

Children of  John Blair and Samantha Grimshaw:

i. Mary Ann Blair (30 May 1832 Huntingdon Co., PQ – 07 Feb 1893 Rockburn, PQ); m. William Trainer (Abt 1820 – 02 January 1884)

Gleaner 02-07-1893 Mary Ann Blair, wife of the late William Trainor, died at Rockburn PQ, aged 60 years.

ii. Melissa Blair (31 May 1842, PQ – 19 January 1899, Malone, NY); m. 16 Feb 1864, Hinchinbrook, Huntingdon Co., PQWilliam Adams (17 November 1840 – 17 May 1888)

Gleaner  02-16-1864 William Adams, married Melissa Blair, at the residence of the bride’s father, in Hinchinbrook, by the Rev. A Wallace

iii. Jerucia Blair (08 July 1843 – 17 July 1843 Huntingdon Co., PQ)

iv. Samantha Jane Blair (25 Aug 1845, Huntingdon Co. PQ – 12 Jan 1892) Single in the 1881 Canadian Census

v. Elizabeth Blair (02 Jan 1847 Huntingdon Co., PQ – 21 July 1898); m. John L. Rowe

vi. John Blair (02 Sep 1848 Russeltown, Huntingdon Co. PQ – ); m. Margaret Ann Greer

vii. James H Blair b. April 03, 1850;  m. Maria Jackson August 02, 1873 in PQ. She was born September 14, 1849, and died August 23, 1881.  d. April 05, 1887. James was postmaster in Hallerton, PQ from 1873 to 1884. The location (corner Williams Rd and Quest in Huntingdon Co.) is now a private residence.

viii. William Henry Blair (28 Jan 1852, Huntingdon Co., PQ – 28 Jan 1875); m. Ellen Thompson

ix. Lucy Blair, b. February 16, 1856, Huntingdon Co., PQ; d. February 16, 1856, Huntingdon Co., PQ.

x. Thomas Albert Blair (17 June 1857 Huntingdon Co., PQ – 07 Dec 1861 Huntingdon Co., PQ)

iii. Edward Grimshaw, b. Abt. 1815, d. date unknown. m. Hannah Carr, Abt. 1844. They settled in Kingston, Ont. There is a possibility that Edward may not be Zephaniah’s son, since he doesn’t show up in the 1820 census record.

Children of Zephaniah Grimshaw and Roxie [__?__] are:
iv. John Nelson Grimshaw, b. 1817, Huntingdon, Quebec, d. October 1863. Depending on the source, his birthdate was either 1817 or 1821, and his mother was either Roxie or Sentha, the latter being more likely! He married Emeline Wilson March 26, 1839 in Montreal, PQ. They moved from Huntingdon, PQ to Clinton, Clinton Co. NY about 1847. They may have had as many as 13 children. Barbara Bonner is convinced his mother is Sentha, based on baptism records she has seen.

Children of Zephaniah Grimshaw and Sentha Noakes are:
v. Harriet Grimshaw, b. Abt. 1824, d. March 05, 1907, Algoma Co., ON. She married June 01, 1846 in St. Remi Anglican Church, P.Q. to Eli Robert Gay (c. 1825 in England – 12 Feb 1904 in Algoma Co., Ontario) Harriet went with her mother, sister Esther, and brother, Zeph Jr., to Mount Forest, Ont. in 1855.

vi. Charles Wesley Grimshaw (18 Apr 1825, Huntingdon, Quebec – 25 Jan 1898, Franklin Center, Quebec) He married 18 Aug 1846 in Russeltown, Huntingdon Co., PQ to Lucinda M. Covey (01 Jun 1822 in Huntingdon, Quebec – 30 May 1905 in Franklin Center, Quebec) Her parents were ENOS COVEY and SALOME[__?__] Recent evidence from Deb Covey-MacDonald leads to the conclusion (not proven) that Lucinda was the sister of Henry Covey, father of Adeline (Zephaniah Grimshaw’s 3rd wife).

Charles bought about 40 acres of land in Champlain on the west side of Rte 276 from James and Annie Shaw in 1877. He subdivided the land and transferred a 32-acre parcel to his son William, which included the house directly across from the Bullis house. He transferred the remaining 8-acre parcel, which included the old Elias Hamilton house, to his daughter, Susanna. In 1897, he acquired another adjacent 30 acres from Elizabeth H. Maynard, which he also transferred to William.

vii. Timothy Edson Alden Grimshaw, (28 Feb 1827, Huntingdon, Quebec – WFT Est. 1844-1917) m. Agnes Craik

viii. Barzillai Grimshaw (02 Apr 1829, Huntingdon, Quebec – Aft. 1882) He married (1) 13 Oct 1851 in Franklin Center, Huntingdon, Quebec to Louisa Nokes (Oct 1834 – 25 Jul 1877 NY). Her parents were Hiram Nokes an Neoma Lewis. He married (2) aft 1877 to Abigail Towne Kiley (c 1850 – )

1852 Census Hinchinbrooke, Beauharnous, Huntingdon Co., Que: With Zephaniah and Seneth, Grimshaw, Barsella, Farmer, age 22, Married, (Knox), Louisa age 17, Married. They moved to Clinton, Clinton Co., NY circa 1853, and were still living there in 1870 with eight children. From the booklet, “Town of Clinton” and Hurd’s Hisory of Clinton Co., B. Grimshaw was elected constable of Clinton in 1879. From Barbara Bonner’s “Other Grimshaw” file: “In a reference to Lucinda Grimshaw it states she is a sister of Bailey Grimshaw of Clinton, NY. Is there a possibility that Bailey is a derivative of Barzillai and therefore the same person? Bailey Grimshaw – Residing Clinton, Clinton Co., NY in 1882 is a brother of Lucinda E. Grimshaw who married Ezra Isham. Brazilla did take after his father, Zeph, because he had 6 more children with Abigail after 8 children with Louisa.

ix. Elizabeth Grimshaw, (5 Dec 1832, Huntingdon, PQ – 6 Dec 1892, Huntingdon, PQ) She married 18 Jun 1849 to Nicholas Middlemiss (8 Jul 1825 in Scotland – 1915) His father was James Middlemiss.

x. Esther Mary Grimshaw (Abt. 1834 24 July 1908) She married (1) Herman Miller. She married (2) in 1858 to Emmanuel William Wilson (1823 – 1886) His parents were John Wilson and Sarah [__?__]. . She married (3) Samuel Rivers (Nov 1836 – ) Esther Mary arrived in 1855 in Mount Forest, Ontario. Burial was in Sandusky, OH.

xi. Zephania Grimshaw, Jr. (5 Aug 1836, Huntingdon Co., PQ – 22 Jan 1902)

xii. Lucinda E. Grimshaw, (c. 1835 – ) She married (1) 19 Dec 1857 in Williston, VT to Ezra Isham (4 Jun 1803 – 7 Aug 1877). She married (2) to Benjamin Covey. Susanna Odell commented on her shock that Ben would marry someone as old as Lucinda in a Dec. 1882 letter to her mother and Euphemia. Interestingly, her marriage certificate lists her mother’s name as Catharine. Ben may be the son of Henry Covey, b. 1840, but need more proof before connecting the trees.

xiii. Samantha Ann Grimshaw (1838, Huntingdon, Quebec – )

xiv. Elizabeth ? Grimshaw, (c. 1844 – ) It’s odd that there would be two Elizabeths, daughters of Zeph, both living!

Children of Zephaniah Grimshaw and Adeline Covey are:
xv. Barbara Grimshaw, (7 Mar 1861, Canada – ) In the 1871 census of Franklin Centre, she was living with the family of Joseph and Deborah Longway.

xvi. Orison Grimshaw (22 Oct 1863 – ) In the 1871 census of Franklin Centre, Orison was living with the family of William and Eliza Jane Brooks.

xvii. Henry Grimshaw, (2 Jul 1866, Canada – )

xviii. Samuel Grimshaw, (c. 1868, Canada – )

xix. Daniel Grimshaw, (19 Aug 1870 – 08 Feb 1947, Ogdensburg, NY) He married about 1897 to Margaret Ann Edford (2 Feb 1875 – 3 Nov 1940 in Malone, NY)

xx. Robert Grimshaw.

3. George Grimshaw

George married Charlotte Menard (c. 1796 in Lower Canada – ) George and his family settled on Wolfe Island, Ontario.

i.Francis Thomas Grimshaw, b. May 27, 1824. His Godparents were Michael Hawkins and Mary Duffin

ii. Christiana Grimshaw b. December 25, 1825; d. Unknown; m. John Egner. Her Godparents were Daniel MacCann and Mary MacConnell. She settled on Wolfe Island, Ont.

iii. Marcelina Grimshaw b. Abt. 1828.

iv. Alexander Eli Grimshaw b. Abt. 1829; d. Unknown; m. Sarah Pepper. Lived on Wolfe Island, Ont.

v. John James Grimshaw, b. August 01, 1831; d. March 19, 1907. married MARY ANN MAHONEY

vi. Henrietta Grimshaw, b. Abt. 1832.

vii. Charlotte Rosalie Grimshaw b. May 12, 1835.

viii. Eli George Grimshaw b. February 22, 1838.

ix. Levi Grimshaw b. June 22, 1843.

5. Levi Grimshaw

The History of the County of Huntingdon  by Robert Sellar states that ‘south of the village of Chrysostom, on the north side of the English River lived a Levi Grimshaw who came from New England in 1812.


Here is a search engine for Irish Townlands.  There are over 1,000 townlands in County Armagh alone. http://www.seanruad.com/







Moses Hazen and the Canadian Refugees in the American Revolution by Everest, Allan S., Syracuse, NY, Syracuse University Press, 1976


This entry was posted in Immigrant - North America, Line - Blair, Veteran. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to William Grimshaw

  1. Pingback: William Blair | Miner Descent

  2. Jenny Doller(Ludke) says:

    Alexander Eli grimshaw was my great great grandfather.his son james leonard grimshaw was my great grandfather.His daughter Laura l grimshaw (bruce) is my grandmother.My mothers name is Ruth Elaine Ludke (Bruce).

  3. Alan Radecki says:

    I was really intrigued to find this blog post. My fifth-great-grandfather was John Monty, who also was a fifer in Hazen’s regiment, serving in Olivie’s Company. Your William’s Captain, Gosselin, married John Monty’s sister after the war. John’s father and two of his brothers also served in Gosselin’s company. Would love to compare notes when you have time.

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