Wesley Johnston's
Johnston-Butson-Keam-Gibson Canadian History 1800's Timeline
Last updated September 2, 2002
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This is an attempt to understand how my Canadian ancestors saw the important developments of the middle 1800's, as they witnessed the birth of the nation of Canada in 1867 and the events before and after Confederation. Going backward, my direct ancestors who came to and were born in Canada are:

So when were my ancestors in Canada?

The generation that was born there (John Johnston & Emma Butson and their son(s)) left in 1881 and emigrated to Chicago. The generations that came there stayed there. It looks like they arrived as follows:

Color Coding of the Timeline

Events with dark colored background definitely took place in Canada.
Events with light colored background may have taken place in Canada.
Events with no colored background took place outside of Canada.

Year Mon Day Direct Ancestors Near Relatives Canadian History Event
1801     Thomas Johnston born about 1801 in Northern Ireland    
1803     Elizabeth, who will wed Mr. Gibson and Thomas Johnston, born about 1803, apparently in Northern Ireland    
1812         War of 1812
1812         Selkirk Settlement (later, the Red River Colony) established
1821         North West Company Formed
1831 3 25 Henry Butson born to Solomon and Jane Butson at St. Blazey, Cornwall    
1835     Sarah, who would marry Henry Butson, born in unknown country about 1835    
1837         Upper & Lower Canada Rebellions (Papineau & MacKenzie)
1839         Report by Lord Durham: unify Canada to outvote French Canadians
1840         Act of Union (of Upper and Lower Canada, which henceforth are known as Canada West and Canada East)
1842       Thomas Gibson born to Mr. Gibson & Elizabeth, about 1842, in Canada or Northern Ireland; George Cook, who will wed Ellen Gibson, born about 1842 in England or Canada  
1846         Canada-U.S. Boundary to Pacific Completed
1846       Christopher Gibson born to Mr. Gibson & Elizabeth, apparently their last child  
1846     Apparent death of Mr. Gibson and marriage of his widow Elizabeth to Thomas Johnston, about 1846-1847    
1846 12 11   Thomas Butson (born 1821 at St. Blazey, Cornwall) dies at Oshawa (apparently the first death of any family member in Canada, he is now in the Oshawa Pioneer Cairn)  
1847     John Johnston born about 1847-1848    
1849 10 11     Annexation Manifesto: signed by some Montreal merchants and Tories, declaring that the province of Canada be joined to the United States; was rejected by popular opinion in all areas of Canada.
1849         Principle of Self-Government Established
1849 4 25     Mob of former powerful (the Château Clique), enraged at passage of the Rebellion Losses Bill, burn the Canaidan Parliament building at Montreal
1854     Emma Butson born about 1854-1855 to Henry & Sarah Butson    
1856       Mary Jane Butson born to Henry & Sarah Butson  
1858     Sarah, wife of Henry Butson, dies about 1858    
1861     Thomas Johnston (born about 1801 in Northern Ireland) dies in Pickering Township, leaving widow Elizabeth and their son John and her children by prior marriage to Mr. Gibson    
1863 4 23 Solomon Butson dies (probably born 1793 at St. Stephen in Brannel, Cornwall)    
1864 9       Charlottetown Conference: Maritimes discuss union among themselves; Canadians attend and all agree to meet at Québec City to form confderation
1866         Fenian Raids into Canada from U. S., following U. S. Civil War, lead to establishment in Canada of Fenian Raid Militias
1867 7 1     Birth of an Nation: Dominion Day- the Confederation of Ontario, Québec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick
1868 1 3 widower Henry Butson (born 1831 at St. Blazey, Cornwall) marries Mary Wilson (born Dublin, Ireland) at Reach Township    
1869         Hudsons Bay Company sells Rupert's Land to Canadian Government
1870         Louis Riel's Provisional Government in Rupert's Land
1871     Henry Butson heads household in Verulam Township (Victoria County); Elizabeth and John Johnston heads of households in Pickering Township James and Nicholas Butson at Whitby East Township; William Butson at Reach Township; Robert Butson at Cartwright Township (Durham County); Thomas and Christopher Gibson at Pickering Township; George Cook (husband of Ellen Gibson) at Pickering Township Dominion Census of 1871
1871         British Columbia joins Confederation as Province
1873         North-West Mounted Police Formed
1874 4 28 Jane (Joan) Keam (wife of Solomon Butson) dies (born 1792 at Luxulyan, Cornwall) in Ontario County    
1875         Western Indian Treaties Signed
1876 5 24 John Johnston marries Emma Butson at Reach Township; John leaves for 2 months duty with Fenian Raid Militia Thomas Gibson (half-brother of John Johnston) of Pickering Township & Mary Jane Butson (sister of Emma Butson) of Reach Township witness the marriage  
1877 4 12 George Henry Johnston born to John and Emma Johnston at Balsam, Pickering Township (9 months after John's return from Fenian Raid Militia duty)    
1880       Fred Johnston born to John & Emma about 1880 in either Canada or Chicago  
1880 6 30   James Butson (born 1832 at St. Blazey, Cornwall) dies, leaving Rebecca Fitchett widowed mother of the 10 surviving of their 11 children  
1881     John Johnston moves family to Chicago George & Ellen Cook apparently also move to Chicago  
1882       Ernest Johnston born to John & Emma about 1882 in Chicago  
1885         Canadian Pacific Railway Completed
1885         Northwest Rebellion
1890       Ernest Johnston (born about 1882 in Chicago) dies about 1890 in Chicago  
1896 5 2 George Henry Johnston (born 1877 at Balsam, Pickering Township, Ontario) marries Martha Boezel in Chicago    
1897 7 13 George Walter Johnston (later Walter George Johnston) born to George and Martha Johnston in Chicago    
1898         Klondike Gold Rush
1899       Emma Gertrude Johnston born in Chicago to George & Martha Johnston Canadians Serve in Boer War, opposed by Quebec
1899 8 15   Mary Jane Butson (born c. 1856) dies in North Dakota  

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