- The Family of John & Elizabeth [nee Orr] Johnston

John JOHNSTON and Elizabeth ORR were married in Belfast, Ireland, in 1864. By 1871 they had migrated to Canada, living initially in Montreal, Quebec, then in Cornwall, Ontario. By 1890 they were in Ottawa, Ontario, where Elizabeth died. The family moved to the Toronto, Ontario, area by 1894.

johnston john 1842 1916 by philbric of toledo bm


No photograph has yet been found which portrays Elizabeth [nee Orr] Johnston. The above photo shows John Johnston as he probably appeared in the 1890-1894 period. Facts found at https://www.histclo.com/photo/photo/photog/ind/a/pho-arthj.html suggest that the photographers James Arthur and [first name unknown] Philbric had a studio at 159 Summit Street in Toledo, Ohio, between 1890 and 1894. John's older brother Robert lived in Toledo in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, so it would seem plausible that John might have visited for a while after his wife died.

John Johnston himself died on 19 Nov 1916, while residing in the Toronto Free Hospital for Consumptives in Weston, Ontario, just west of the then City of Toronto, and east of Weston. The death registration (Office of the Registrar General for Ontario: York County, No 039664; Volume 1916-31, Page 657; Archives of Ontario MS 935 Reel 227) compiled in his name was completed by N A CRAIG of 1255 Queen St West. Disappointingly, Craig did not apparently know John's father's name, and reported only that his mother's maiden surname sas 'Burns'. Craig correctly reported that John was 'Widowed', and that he was a 74 year old native of Ireland. The Might's Directory for the City of Toronto that was published in 1916 (Streets section, Page 366)  shows that Norman A Craig was an undertaker whose premises were located at 1255 Queen St. West, so it's not surprising that he knew very little about John's origins. 

An interment register from Toronto's Prospect Cemetery (located in the west end) shows that John Johnston's remains were interred there on the 21st of Nov 1916 (see No 16905, Folio 82, Volume 2 (1914-1921). Edward Albert Johnston (John's second son) owned the plot in which John was buried - a single grave in Section 17, Lot 4437. But, a short time later, on 22 May 1920, John's remains were moved to Section 17, Lot 273. The interment register contains no remarks as to why the remains might have been moved, unfortunately.