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GWINN, David and Ellen Manners Gwinn

Soldier-Farmer Called to Reward


David Gwinn, British Colonial Army

Late David Gwinn Came to Canada with Regiment of British Regulars

On Tuesday, Feb. 8th at his home in Westmeath, the death occurred of David Gwinn in his 82nd year.  Though ailing for some time, Mr. Gwinn was not confined to his bed until Thursday evening when he suffered a paralytic stroke from which he succumbed five days later.

He was born near the town of Coventry, County of Warwick, England. When 19 years of age he enlisted with the First Battalion Regiment of the Rifle Brigade and came with his regiment to Canada, being stationed at Montreal.  A year later he married Ellen Manners, of Long Island, Manotick, Ontario.  In 1870 having served nearly seven years in the army, he procured by the payment of eighteen pounds, his discharge. While serving with his regiment he was awarded a badge for good conduct.

Rifleman of the 95th, 1815. From Wikipedia.

Rifleman of the 95th, 1815. From Wikipedia.

Mr. and Mrs. Gwinn lived in Ottawa for five years and later in Temiskaming and other parts before coming to Westmeath in 1894, with his family of nine children.  They lived on a farm on the Pembroke Road for nine years before buying the Thompson Farm on the Sixth Line, which they farmed for 21 years.  Three years ago they sold their farm and moved to Westmeath Village.

The late Mr. Gwinn was of a quiet disposition , of honest and upright character, much respected in the community as was evidenced by the largely attended funeral which was held at St. Andrew’s United Church conducted by Rev. L.S. Throop.  Internment  immediately afterward.

The floral tributes were: wreaths, Gwinn Family; Mr. and Mrs. Redford, Toronto; Wellington Snowdon and Davis Gwinn, Toronto; staff of the Gwinn Delicatessen Shop, Toronto.  Sprays, J.M. Schneider & Sons, Kitchener; F.J. Snowdon and family, Pembroke.

Mr. and Mrs. John Gwinn, Toronto; Mr. and Mrs. Archie Gwinn, Red Lake, Minn., and Mr. and Mrs. J. Snowden, Pembroke were present for the funeral.

Undated Death Notice From Westmeath Women’s Institute Tweedsmuir Book.

David Gwinn, undated from

David Gwinn, undated from

The Gwinn family settled at Westmeath for 50 years, after living in Nova Scotia and other Ontario places. English-born David Gwinn  (1845-1927), son of Thomas and Elizabeth Gwinn, m. Ellen Manners (1851 -1935), daughter of Robert Manners and Alice Karvin, in Carleton County in 1869, when young David was still in the British Rifle Brigade .  They raised 9 children, two of whom died in their teens and are buried at Westmeath. 1935-Ellen-Gwinn death reg.

Ellen Manners and David Gwinn, undated from

Ellen Manners and David Gwinn, undated from

The Ottawa Journal,  Saturday, March 30, 1935

The Ottawa Journal, Saturday, March 30, 1935. Although it says that she was to be buried in the Westmeath Union Cemetery, no stone there has her name. Perhaps the family never had her name added to her husband’s stone.


Gwinn stone, Westmeath Union Cemetery

According to the Tweedsmuir Book article above, there are nine Gwinn children; however they are not named.

1891 Census, Town of Pembroke, - Gwinn Household

1891 Census, Town of Pembroke, – Gwinn Household

1.  Elizabeth Gwinn (1874- ) m. Francis Joseph Snowden (1874 – 1934), son of Stewart and Mary Jane Snowdon,  Lookout Road, Westmeath.  Her brother Archie Gwinn and sister, named only as Mrs. Agnes Cyr, are mentioned in her death notice. Snowden, Elizabeth Gwinn   Elizabeth and Francis lived in Pembroke, ON. See SNOWDEN entry.

2.  Harriett Gwinn (1876-  )m. David Anderson at Gower Point in 1893. He was the son of John T. Anderson and Lizzie Armstrong. See ANDERSON entry. Their children:

i. Hugh L Anderson (1895 –
ii. William I Anderson (1899 –
iii.  Laure Anderson (1903 –
iv.  Ceclie Anderson (1908 –
v.  Archie Anderson (1910 –

3.  Mary “Minnie” Gwinn (1877- 1949) m. James Henry Lyons (1868-1928) , son of  Henry J. Lyons (1830–1907) and Emily ‘Emma’ Hodgins (1830–1915).  They had one daughter and three sons and farmed south of Regina, Sask.  See LYONS entry. Minnie Gwinn would be left a widow in Regina with the sad loss of her husband James Lyons; according to this undated small newspaper clipping:

 “Word was received here on Dec. 24 of the unexpected death of James Lyons of Regina, Sask. a former resident. Mr. Edward Lyons of Westmeath is a brother. The late Mr. Lyons leaves a wife who before her marriage was Miss Minnie Gwinn, daughter of the late David Gwinn and Mrs. Gwinn of Westmeath and four children. The youngest being 10 years of age.”  Lyons-James

A telegram bearing such news and arriving on Christmas Eve, would be devastating. The pioneers were never far from their mortality.

4.  David J. Gwinn (1879-1898) – died of drowning at aged 19 years. Buried at Westmeath Union Cemetery.  1898 David Gwinn drowning death.

5.  John Gwinn (1881-  ) m. Tena Bucholtz (1888-   ) 1914 John & Tena Marriage

6. Archie Guinn (1883-  ) m. Geneva ____ (1882-  ). Archie traveled the American West extensively through North Dakota Territory, Minnesota and Michigan, sometimes settling in these places. Note that the spelling of the surname changed for this branch. They had three children:

i. David H Guinn (1907 – )
ii.  Ellen J Guinn (1908 – )
iii.  Frances W Guinn (1909 – )

7.  Agnes Gwinn  (1885-1997) m. Dr. Matthew David Cyr (1874 – 1939) of Vermont, USA. 1910 Agnes & Matthew Marriage.  Matthew is listed as a labourer on the marriage certificate however he does have the “Dr.” – perhaps not a physician. He was widowed by first wife Mary “Minnie” E. King (1877-1903).

Agnes Gwinn berry picking from

Agnes Gwinn berry picking from

Cyr-Gwinn stone, Franklin, Vermont, USA. From

Cyr-Gwinn stone, Franklin, Vermont, USA. From

8.  William Gwinn (1886 – 1940) m. Beata Hagene (1891 – 1963).

Wedding photo of William Gwinn and Beata Hagen (front seated). Probably in Westmeath. From

Wedding photo of William Gwinn and Beata Hagen (front seated). Probably in Westmeath. From

9. Francis James “Frank” Gwinn (1892-1909), died at age 17 years, nine months and is buried at Westmeath.