Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Benjamin Boulton (1836 - 1895)

I think that the best place to start this blog would be with Randy's Great Grandfather, the man who moved west to Manitoba in 1892 with his wife and family to start a new life. 
Benjamin was the son of John Boulton (1806- 1902) and Alice Colburne (1811- 1886) who were married on January 24, 1834 at Brockville, Ontario. He was one of their nine children who lived and farmed at Elizabethtown in Leeds County, Ontario.
The 1851 Canadian Census lists Benjamin as a 16 year old farmer living with his 43 year old father John, his 40 year old mother Allis and seven siblings ages 17 down to 1.  Interestingly, the next family enumerated on that census form was that of his future wife, Ann Henrietta Boulton, who was 7 years old at that time.
In the 1861 census, the same parents as well as John's 82 year old widowed mother Martha live in a log house that was built in 1843.  Benjamin is listed as 25 years old and Ann is still next door and 17 years old.
Benjamin and Ann were married in 1873 when he was 37 and she was 29. Their son James Herbert was born the next year. Thomas Edwin was next in 1876, then Abigail Louise in 1878, Samuel Anthony in 1880, and finally Susan Henrietta in 1882.

On the 1891 census Benjamin, Ann, and their five children were living in Brockville, Ontario. The next year, at the ages of 56 and 48 years respectively, Benjamin and Ann left all they knew behind in Ontario and moved west to the present RM of Albert in Manitoba. No doubt they were looking for land for their sons to start out on and homesteads were available in the west.  Records show his date of entry of August 2, 1892 on 160 acres -  NE 24-6-28 W1.

They then began to break the land using the equipment they bought shown in the receipt from Smith and Shirriff for $81. Notice that he signed his name (presuming he was the one who signed it) without the “u”.   

A copy of the assessment roll for 1893 from RM of Arthur shows Ben Boulton owning the NE quarter of 24-6-28 that was assessed at $450 and James H. Boulton with the NW quarter at the same assessment.

After only three years on the prairie, Benjamin died in 1895 at the age of 59 of what was believed to be a ruptured appendix. His sons continued to acquire land and his daughters married and made their homes nearby.   Descendants continue to till the same soil that Benjamin saw the promise in 122 years ago.

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