Submitted by Bill Roe and published in the LCGS newsletter, January, 1999.
My great-great grandparents, Thomas and Sarah Roe and their four (or five) children emigrated from Coon townlands, Co. Kilkenny, Ireland sometime between 01 April 1832 and 26 September 1836. They settled in Montague Twp. just south of The Pinery near Poole’s Corners.
Of Thomas’s ancestry, I know nothing. However, I do know that both he and his brother John Roe married daughters of the Irish teacher and Wesleyan Methodist churchman, Thomas Poole (1749 – Jan 3, 1849). According to an obituary written by the sisters’ nephew, William Henry Poole (1820-1896), John and Eliza Roe remained in Ireland until her father died and then emigrated with their eight sons to take up residence on Con. 10 in Montague Twp. They remained there until shortly after the 1851 Canada Census, when they emigrated to Huron County. I believe many of their descendants reside in the area today.
Thomas and Sarah Roe had ten children: Thomas, John, Eliza, Richard, William, Ann, William Henry, Sarah, Hester and Samuel. Thomas, Sr. built one of the early schools in the district on his farm in 1857. He was actively involved in the Orange Brotherhood. Thomas, Sr. (1796-1871) and Sarah (1801-1879) are buried in the small Christ Church plot (Orange Cemetery #31) on C6 along with their infant son William (1834-1838) and some other family members and neighbors.
The oldest son, Thomas (1823-1903), was married twice. His first wife, Rebecca Fennel, passed away at a very early age and so Thomas married Maria Dunbar. This family moved to Minesing, just north of Barrie, shortly after the 1871 census was taken. They had five children that I know of, four of whom died in a four-month period early in 1877 and a son, John Dunbar Roe, who remained in the district. John married twice and fathered 10 children, the last of whom died in late 1997. Many of his descendants live in Barrie. Thomas and Maria, along with their four young children, are buried in the Pioneer graveyard at Minesing.
John and Richard Roe settled on the 200 acres on Con. 10. Richard, my great grandfather, married Jane (G)Leeson, the oldest Canadian-born daughter of John Gleeson of Killinane Parish, Co. Carlow, and Mary Kidd of Coon. Contrary to The Story of the Derry, which claims Mary and her family came to Canada in 1818 (one member, John Kidd, did), John and Mary were married in Ireland in 1823 and emigrated to Canada between 1829 and 1831. Mary’s parents, Andrew Kidd (1769-1854) and Jane Kilfoyle, and Mary’s six younger siblings, probably emigrated with them as there is no record of any of them in Canada before the 1841 Heads of Household census.
Richard and Jane also had eight children: Mary, John, Sarah, Thomas, William, Albert, Henry [see photo] and Christena. Richard died at early age (1832-1878). He is buried in Franktown Public Cemetery, right beside the graves of his parents-in-law. Jane kept the family farm until 1893. She was living in Merrickville until her death in 1925 at age 92. I do not know where she is buried. Their son William Roe (1865-1949) was my grandfather. On August 2, 1899, he married a Lanark girl, Scyrina Sculland (1877-1955), but in Boissevain Manitoba!
Scyrina was also descended from long-time Lanark County residents. Her parents were William Jerome Sculland (1840-1921), an American from Vermont, and Jane McInnes (1849-1933), the daughter of Thomas McInnes (1817-1890) and Margaret Horn (1824-1901). Thomas was one of the four children of Alexander McInnes (1769-18?) and Jean Johnstone (1772-1820) who emigrated to Canada in 1820 (Jean died at sea). Margaret was descended from James Horn (1787-1837) and Marrion Maggat (1787-1844), who also emigrated from Scotland in 1820. Both families were members of the many emigration societies that formed in Glasgow at that time. James, Marrion and Alexander are all buried in Hopetown Public Cemetery.
My grandparents emigrated separately to Manitoba. I believe he went west with his brother George in the late 1890s while she emigrated about the same time with her sister Endora. After their marriage, William and Scyrina settled in southwestern Manitoba, where they had eight children: Richard; Violet; Henry; Mary Alena; Mervin; Harold; Sylvia and Ruth by 1914. All are now deceased. About that time, George Roe moved his family to Smiths Falls, where they settled for good. William and Scyrina moved also; they settled in Shaunavon, Saskatchewan and raised their children there. William and Scyrina are buried in Shaunavon Public Cemetery.