CHAMBERLAIN, Augustus and Sarah Wyman Chamberlain
Cholera, diphtheria, tuberculosis, thyroid – all are diseases that in colonial times were huge killers and little could be done to aid the sufferers. One such victim was a Westmeath Township entrepreneur named Hiram Chamberlain, who while on a 1854 business trip to Quebec City, contracted cholera and never made it back home to his family.
Hiram’s parents were UEL “immigrant ancestors” Augustus Chamberlain (1782- ), born May 1782 in Chelsea, Suffolk, Massachusetts, United States, and Sarah Wyman (1772-1853), born Wells, Rutland, Vermont, USA, and who would die in Chute`a Blondeau, County Prescott, Ontario, Canada. Hiram’s brother David became a physician; and Dr. David C. Chamberlain (1815-1896) lived in Michigan and is buried in Genessee County, New York State; while brothers Hiram, born 1812, and younger brother Wyman Chamberlain, born 1821, came to Westmeath Township. We will follow these two brothers and their offspring in this entry.
Did Augustus Chamberlain, the father, come to Westmeath with his sons? The question is triggered by the 1837 Voter List for Westmeath Township in which both an A. Chamberlain and a Hiram Chamberlain are listed. This 1837 voter list was used for the initial municipal council of the Townships of Ross and Westmeath.
Another man with that surname, a Thomas Chamberlain was early into the area and served as enumerator for the 1842 Census Westmeath Township; then no further listing for a Thomas Chamberlain appears. Unknown relationship to Wyman and Hiram Chamberlain.
The Descendants of Wyman Chamberlain and Sophia Jackson
Wyman Augustus Chamberlain (1821-1890) came to Westmeath and he married a local woman Sophia Willard Jackson (1828-1890). Her family was one among the earliest settlers. See JACKSON entry.
The descendants of Wyman Chamberlain and Sophia Jackson are:
1. Hiram Augustus Chamberlain (1849-1895) m. Christina Louise Hillman. He died young from heart disease at 46 years and had worked as a labourer. Their one son Stephen Hillman Chamberlain was born on May 5, 1874.
2. Sarah Chamberlain (1851- )
3. Noah Jackson Chamberlain (1852 – 1909) m. Isabella Gourlay of Fitzroy Township, Carleton County, Ontario in 1880. In the 1891 Census for Westmeath Township the family is listed as:
- Noah Chamberlain 39
- Isabella Chamberlain 37
- William Chamberlain 8
- Percival Chamberlain 6
- Kirby Chamberlain 5
- Sproule Chamberlain 1
- Mable Chamberlain 3
- Ella Chamberlain 2
- Hired girl Anne Flecher 13
The family then moved to Ramsey Township of Lanark County, and Noah would die there at age 56 of tuberculosis.
4. Mary S. Chamberlain (1854 – 1889) m. Roderick Jackson “RJ” Macdonald (1852 -1877) and they moved to Muskegon, Michigan, United States. Roderick was the son of Archibald R. Macdonald (1821-1877) and Harriett Amelia Jackson (1821-1916) of Westmeath Township. See MACDONALD entry. Harriett’s sampler is shown in the JACKSON entry. Mary and Roderick had one child before she died; Wyman C. Macdonald, and RJ remarried to Charlotte “Lottie” Worrell.
5. Elizabeth Chamberlain (1856 – )
6. Wyman A. Chamberlain (1858 – 1899) m. Elizabeth Watt (1865-1906) from March Township, Carleton County, Ont. They lived in Pembroke, Ontario and raised five children. Wyman would die of consumption at age 40 years. The children are:
i. Findley Cleveland Chamberlain (1886-1906) – died of Thyroid Fever at age 19 years.
ii. Leonard Chamberlain (1889-
iii. Wyman “Allen” Chamberlain (1891-1916). Killed during the attack and capture of Desire Support Trench, 18 Nov 1916. Buried at Courcelette, France. Wyman Allen Chamberlain
iv. Willard Watt Chamberlain (1893-1916) also killed in action and buried at Courcelette, France. He died in September of 1916, two months before his brother’s Novemeber death. Both Chamberlain brothers are listed on the Cenotaph in Pembroke Ontario.
vi. Nellie Chamberlain (1896- ).
7. Jessie Chamberlain (1860 – 1886) m. Judson Loring Sweet in 1881 in Muskegon, Michigan, USA where she had gone to live with her sister Mary and husband Roderick Macdonald. She died at age 25 and she is buried at the Westmeath Union Cemetery.
8. David Cleveland Chamberlain (1863 – )
9. Martha Maria “Mattie” Chamberlain (1869 –1939) m. Thomas McBride and settled on the Westmeath Township Gore Line’s western end, on land bought first from the Crown by George Tucker and then owned and farmed by the Chamberlains, Mattie’s family, and raised four children. A large red brick house was built by the McBride’s on the property which was demolished in the early 1950’s. See MCBRIDE entry. In the mid-1950’s this farm was purchased by another McBride, a grand-nephew of Thomas and it is still a family farm.
10. Ellis Chamberlain (1869 –
The Descendants of Hiram Chamberlain and Elizabeth Minerva Hayes
The Hiram Chamberlain family had first lived in Quebec and in the late 1830’s they moved to Front Westmeath. Hiram Wyman Chamberlain (1812- 1854) had married Elizabeth Minerva Hayes (1816-1898) in 1835 in Ottawa. She had been born in Papineauville, Quebec.
In the 1851 Census for Westmeath Township, the Chamberlain family lived in a framed lumber house, (as opposed to log), with 1 shop, 1 shoe store and tannery in Westmeath Village. This was in the hay-day of the bustling lumber camps and Westmeath Village was situated at the western end of the portage route around the Paquette Rapids. Merchants in the village did a very healthy trade to supply the work camps taking out the lumber on both the Quebec and the Ontario side of the Ottawa River.
The two Chamberlain brothers worked together to prosper in Front Westmeath with Wyman Chamberlain’s hide tanning business being done in a building owned by Hiram.
Hiram was also well-known in municipal service – have served Westmeath Township first as a clerk of the township and later in 1851 as Reeve. He also was the Commissioner of Statute Labour and the Fence Viewer for the municipality in 1850.
Fortunes could be made as a “lumber merchant” such as Hiram Chamberlain in this time of clearing the heavily forested hills and dales in the Ottawa River Valley and its tributaries. From the time of the tree being felled until it was sent to market could take as long as two years to transport the logs downriver. Lumber sales for export left out of the Port of Quebec City and Hiram, while there on business, died of Cholera in 1854. He was only 42. Because of the highly contagious nature of cholera its victims were buried immediately; so Hiram was buried in Sillery, Quebec. Imagine the shock of hearing this news upon his Front Westmeath family.
The children of Hiram & Minerva Chamberlain were
1. Sarah Elizabeth Chamberlain born 1835 in Quebec and she died in 1910 in Los Angeles, California. She m. Alexander “Alex” Fraser (1830 – 1903) a timber merchant and well-known businessman in the Upper Ottawa Valley who had started his business career under the tutelage of his future father-in-law. See FRASER entry. She died of Pernicious Anemia and is buried in the Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa.
The Fraser’s were the most prominent of the Westmeath families, providing employment to many families. Alex became one of the Timber Barons and built a summer home for his family just north of Westmeath Village. The family wintered in Ottawa and joined the ranks of the city’s aristocracy. See Lumbering; The Frasers & ARKLAND FARM.
The children of Sarah Chamberlain and Alex Fraser are:
i. Emma Fraser (1857 – 1859)
ii. John Burns Fraser (1858 – 1939). In the First World War his son JD served and was wounded. His second son Hugh was taken as a prisoner of war.
iii. Jessie Fraser (1860 – 1949) m. Rev. (Canon) Samuel Daw in Beachburg in 1883. They lived in Hamilton, Ontario, and had seven children.
v. Caroline Frances Fraser (1866-1949) m. Joseph Fee (1860- ) in Westmeath in 1887. They lived in the USA and had one son Reginald Fraser Fee who died at one year of age.
vi. Martha “Madge” Fraser (1867-1904) unmarried. Madge Fraser Obit
2. David Cleveland Chamberlain (1838-1916) would live out his days as a businessman in the Upper Ottawa Valley. He married Martha Maria Huntington of Westmeath in 1860 and they had five children. He is mentioned in the Death Announcement of his sister Sarah Chamberlain Fraser and was then in the federal Civil Service as the Chief Accountant in the House of Commons, Parliament Buildings, Ottawa. David had earlier played an important role in the commercial life of the Westmeath community working with his brother-in-law Alexander Fraser in the lumber industry and later as an merchant and insurance agent. He died in Ottawa at age 77 years.
3. Wyman Augustus Chamberlain (1840-1904) m. Margaret Arthurs (1840-1893) in Montreal. They lived in the area of North Plantagenet, Prescott & Russell, Ontario. They had six children.
4. William Henry Chamberlain (1843-1869) m. Eliza Ann Huntingdon (1846- 1923). She was the third child of Samuel Huntington and Ann Catherine Bower. See HUNTINGTON entry. He worked with Alex Fraser his brother-in-law who had taken over the business from his deceased father Hiram Chamberlain. William Henry died of consumption at age 26, leaving his widow Eliza at age 22 with 2 children – Annie Eliza Chamberlain(1867) and William Henry Chamberlain Jr. (1869) just 10 days old.
5. W. L. Chamberlain (1845-
6. C. M. Chamberlain (1846-