The first installment of #52Ancestors 2015 Edition is called “Starting Fresh,” and it was my earliest ancestors that tried to do just that!
John ATKINSON and his wife, the former Elizabeth HODGSON had decided upon a do over: to start fresh in the New World — the New World in this case was York, Upper Canada (which this day is Toronto, Ontario).
Their journey started in England taking them to New York City.
Everything that they needed for the trip, they themselves were responsible for.
They took anything that they could carry, and their fare for the trip varied upon the age of each traveller.
Yes, EACH traveller.
John and Liz were not alone. They left with two bachelor sons, Thomas (b.1802) and Robert (b.1811); a pregnant, married daughter, Mary (b.1801), her husband also named Thomas (BRUNSKILL b.unkn) and their six children (names, genders and ages unknown.).
It was February 1833 when they left England. (The name of the ship is also unknown.).
While still at sea, three of Mary’s children fell ill and died. It has been hypothesized by ancestors and relatives (since 1927) that these young lives were taken by Cholera.
When the ship docked in New York City, John, Liz and their family were excused from the Customs House. John had a letter from British Counsel, James BUCHANAN which permitted them to continue on their way to Upper Canada.
It was April when another bad event hit the family. Robert, the younger son of John & Liz died. He was 21 years of age and buried in St. Philip’s Church Cemetery.
(Again, family belief is that Cholera was responsible.).