A Young Man of Richmond Township
Worked as a Miner
Virginia City, Nevada
Returned to Richmond
and Remained There
Died in 1908
The facts as presented:
I was contacted in early October, 2020, with a series of statements and questions. A boy aged 14 years was found within a family group in Lennox & Addington County, Canada West (later Ontario), in early 1852 [found in the '1851' Census of Canada West]. The boy was thought to have been born somewhere in the United States. The surname of the family with which the boy was residing in 1852 was different than his. After receiving a Crown Grant for land in Richmond Township, however, the heads of the family sold 50 acres to the boy. Meantime, the boy had hiked off to Nevada for a spell as a miner.
Some of the questions posed to me were: How did the boy come to be in Canada with this family? When did he go off to Nevada, and for how long did he remain there? There was a man with the same name as the boy, born in Pennsylvania at about the same time as the boy was thought to have been born, who was thought to have served with the US army during the US Civil War. Was this the same person?
What a tangled web this one took us through! It seems that the boy's natural father died in the United States, the widow remarried, and the combined family moved to Lennox & Addington County in Canada West. This accounted for the different surname of the enumerated family. A sister had gone on to Michigan, where she married, and her parents were positively identified. The sister was 'back home' during one census enumeration in Canada. The time during which the boy (by then a young man) had resided in Virginia City, Nevada, was fairly tightly framed around 1880, and the probable place of his residence, and his actual place of work were determined. Disappointingly, Covid mitigation regulations had been installed by this time, so it was not possible to investigate much farther through the National Archives in Washington, DC, concerning the man from Pennsylvania. However, facts were gathered about another man with the same surname, who was from the same area of Pennsylvania. This man died during the Civil War, and fairly solid pointers back to circumstances and locations in Ireland for this other man were discovered among Affidavits and Declarations with the Widow's Pension Application his wife filed.
"Thank you for the information that you have found..., I found it very interesting. I also enjoyed meeting you.".
- - - - Project #201007 (completed 20 December 2020)
- Bruce D. Murduck
- Category: 2020