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WHITE, James & Phoebe Stoner White

The tale of the troubles of a young servant girl named Phoebe Stoner, described in some old letters discovered in Surrey, U.K.,  sets out the less-than-best beginning of a young woman’s life. She would go on to become the immigrant ancestor & matriarch of a large Canadian family. “Downton Abbey” fans will enjoy the tale:  White, stoner-phoebe.

“A bundle of letters from Lady Fletcher, widow of the second baronet who died in 1821, contains the very human story of a young girl sent into service in 1824.  It gives a glimpse of the very different attitudes which prevailed nearly two centuries ago, in a deferential but often hypocritical age.”

James White was born in 1800 in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey, England, as was his wife Phoebe Stoner, who he married at age 26 in February 1827, and they started their family.

After marrying James White, who was a mason, Phoebe gave birth to three more children named Eliza, William and Sarah.  James White adopted Phoebe’s son, George Stoner. Sometime in 1832, they embarked on a journey to Canada and settled near Ottawa, Ontario the capital of the country, in a town named Kemptville, Ontario. Settling in Kemptville, Phoebe gave birth to seven more children named Thomas, James (who died 3 days old), Jane, Mary Ann, Henry, Alfred and James.”

 James White

James White

“In November 1838, The Battle of the Windmill, which was at Prescott, Ontario, a group of militia from Kemptville and Prescott volunteers, fought off an attempt by the Americans to invade Canada.  Phoebe’s husband James, was among those that fought off the invasion.  James White was also involved in the Mackenzie Rebellion.”                   – from Cheryl Burdeny’s continued account of Phoebe Stoner.

Read more about the Rebellions of 1837-38  and the Battle for the Stone Windmill.   Another participant in these military battles was Hugh Ross, See ROSS  entry.

James White (1800-1881) and Phoebe Stoner (1806 -1881) brought their family to settle in Westmeath Township at some point in the late 1840s as concessions back from the Ottawa River had been surveyed and were being advertised to incoming settlers. Not all of the adult sons & daughters moved with James and Phoebe as some had begun their own lives.

The children of James White and Phoebe Stoner are:

1. George Stoner White (1826–1855) and wife  Ann_____and three children: Esther, Harriett, and Edward had first lived in Cheam, Surrey, U.K. and then immigrated to Canada with his parents. George died in Westmeath at age 28 yrs.

2.  Eliza White (1828-  )

3. William White (1829-1901) m. Charity McFadden (1832-1895) in Kemptville, ON in 1851 and he died in Wilberforce, Haliburton County. They had 8 children and he is buried in the Wilberforce United Church Cemetery.

William White & Charity McFadden. Photo from

William White & Charity McFadden. Photo from

4. Sarah White (1831-1891) m. James D. Wark and died in Renfrew County, ON.

5. Thomas White (1834-1895) was born in Kemptville, Canada West, – the first Canadian-born of the family. He would marry Polly Brown and their story is set out in this entry.

6.   James White (1835-1835);

7.  Jane White (1839-1898);

8.  Henry White (1841-1907;

9.  Alfred White (1843-1869);

10. James White(1845-1879);

11. John  White (1848-  );

12. Charles White (1851-1934).

The Death Registry for James White, 188 , signed by Dr. Forbes, lists cause of death as heart disease, 6 months.

The Death Registry for James White, Dec. 1881, signed by Dr. Forbes, lists cause of death as heart disease, 6 months.

With the family’s documents are the early family listings in the Agricultural Census of Westmeath Township for 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1881. This is an early-settled family; somewhat well established by 1851 with patriarch James White having 8 acres in crops and 2 acres in pasture out of the 100 acres  owned on Concession 7, Lot 9, Westmeath Township. Their oldest son George owned the neighbouring Lot 10, Con. 7.  As was usual at the time, the family used oxen to pull but later the family would turned to horsepower- Clydesdales in particular .White Family Census Listings 1851 to 1881.Westmeath Township

Edgar White has submitted material prepared by Goldie Pearl Farnel Stephen to this entry.  Both Edgar and Goldie are direct descendants of James and Phoebe Stoner White. All photos submitted by Edgar White. The story continues….

Thomas William and Mary “Polly” Brown Family

Thomas William White (1818- 1890), the third son,  married Mary “Polly” Brown (1834-1906). See BROWN entry. The Whites had taken up land north of the village on the 8th Concession of Westmeath Township. Thomas and Mary’s marriage would produce generations of descendants that are still active in the community.White-Tombstone

 Thomas White and Polly Brown’s  children are:

1.  David Beverly (Davey) White (1856 – 1930) m. Elizabeth Labow (1852 –1927) She died on 03 Dec 1927 in Beachburg.  See LEBEAU entry. In the 1901 Census for Village of Beachburg, the older Martin and Mary Smith household was next door to their daughter Elizabeth’s household with the three children Sarah White aged 17; Gustus White aged 13, and Thomas White aged 7. 1-martin-lebeau-daughter-elizabeth-lebeau-david-white1901-westmeath-twp

2. Thomas William White (1857-1935) m. Ellen Lyons (1866-1936) on 16 Nov. 1891 in Westmeath Township. Ellen had been born in Arnprior, Ont. the daughter of Henry Lyons and Emily Hodgins.Their children are: Jessie White; Nina White; Reuben White; W. Thomas White; Emily White; John White. Nina was the longest  lived well into her 90s. This family is set out in more detail later in this entry.

Ellen Lyons and William White on their wedding day.

Ellen Lyons and T. William White on their wedding day.

3.  Harriet “Hattie” White (1860-  )m. Wm. Charette of Bonfield, ON. and they had 11 children. There was also an earlier son named John Garnar White. Lucy Caroline “Carrie” White (1868-1937) m. ___Buchanan.

4. Jane “Janey” White (1862-1940) m. (1) Alfred “Alf” Magnus Wolff, a cattle drover who then disappeared and was never found. Their children: Mae Wolff m. Malcolm Condie, and  raised Christina Condie, Clifford Condie, Lilly Condie, Eva Condie and Gordon Condie; Alfred Wolff m. Essie___ and Jack Wolff whose daughter Vera Wolff married Jack Johnson.

Janey White then married (2) James Jackson and they had two children: Evelyn Jackson m. Herbert V. Etherington and later lived in London, ON.; and Norwood Jackson.

5.   John White ((1864 – 1919) married Catherine “Katie” Mick. Their children:  Cecil White (  -1962); Calvin White; Laura Belle White m. (1) ___Stevenson and (2) E.G. O’Neil; Gerald White; Baden White; Claude White White, Claude  m. Ethel Hawthorne. Katie Mick White died when Claude was about 7 months  old. His aunt Mrs. Walsh took him but he was vey sick. They called William & Ellen White, his aunt and uncle, and they took him and nursed his back to good health. Claude remained with William & Ellen until he married Ethel. He was a good “brother” to his first cousins.

6.  Sarah Cordellia “Delia” White (1866- 1944) m. (1) Samuel McClelland and they farmed outside Beachburg and raised Samuel McClelland Jr.; Gordon McClelland and John McClelland.  See MCCLELLAND entry. Delia remarried (2) Oliver Majar and they had no children and lived in Beachburg.

7.  Lucy Caroline “Carrie” White (1868-1937) m.  ___Buchanan

8.   Alfred White (1870-1955) m. Ida Lindberg and lived in North Bay, Ont. Their children: Percy, John Carl, Gordon, (Dr.) Reginald and Kenneth White.

9.  David “Davey” White (1871 -1930)  m. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Labow  (Labeau). Their children:

i. Sarah “Sadie” White m. John A. Wilson;

ii.  Augustus “Gustie” White (1888-1923) m. Margaret Hawthorne (1888-1965) and had 10 children, some of whom are: Clemence; Isabel; Elizabeth; Doreen White (1910-  ) m. Arnold Oattes and had 4 children; Clayton Augustus White died in 1915 at age 5; Emery White, crippled and died at age16;  an infant died in 1910.

iii  David Beverley White (1917-1985) m. Etta Morrison;

iv.  Margaret White (1919-1930) at 11 yrs. of age with appendicitis;

v.  Isobel White (1915- ) m. Eve Carnegie of Pembroke;

vi.  Elizabeth “Lizzie” White m. Kenneth Howard.

My great-uncle Davey liked to garden and she washed and “done-up” white shirts for Dr. Forbes and Dr. Alexander; two doctors that lived in Beachburg Village. The White’s drove a gray horse and buggy and their granddaughter Doreen White Oattes told me when she would see them coming (don the hill), she would run out and her grandmother would have candies for them. Great-uncle Davey sharpened saws, made axe handles etc. I remember as a very small girl of my Dad going to get something done there. They are buried in the Beachburg Anglican Cemetery, no tombstone.

10.  Eliza White (1873-  ) m. George Robinson

11.  Cora Estelia White (1880 –

12. John Garner White (1882 – 1942) m. Christina Gracie (1898-1988). They had twins Christina May White (1916 – 2003) and Hazel Bell White (1916 – 1991) and son Mervyn Keith White (1927-1946) who tragically died while swimming. 1946 Mervin White Drowns.

White-Gracie stone, St. Augustine Cemetery, Beachburg.

White-Gracie stone, St. Augustine Cemetery, Beachburg.

 Thomas William White and Ellen Lyons Family

Eldest Son William White bought a bush lot and in 1889 he built a large log home where he and Ellen Lyons would raise a family of six. That log home is still in the White family. Ellen was the 4th child of Emily & Henry Lyons, also of the 8th Concession, Westmeath. See LYONS entry.

Thomas, Reuben, William and Claude White

Thomas, Reuben, William and Claude White

The children of T. William White and Ellen Lyons are:

1.  Jessie Pearl White (1894-1940), dying of acute pulmonary edema at 46 yrs. of age. She m. John Andrew Farnel (1889-1958), son of Charlotte Oliver and Joseph Farnel on April 17th at Beachburg, Ont. When he died he had a small baby in his arms and was singing “The Old Rugged Cross” They are buried at Eype Cemetery, Sudbury, ON. John & Jessie came to Coniston in 1912 or 1913 and he worked as a crane-man for International Nickel until retirement in 1954.

2.  Nina White (1896-1993) m. Harvey J. Pender, Renfrew. ON; children: Eileen Grace Pender m. Eric Campbell; Dorothy Pender m. Archie MacGregor; Clifton Pender m. Margaret__; Ruby Pender m. Raymond Bell.

3.  Reuben Wellington White (1897-1970)  never married and is buried beside his parents in Beachburg White, Rueben; he attended Pleasant Valley School and was a member of the CNIB and attended St. Augustine Church, Beachburg.

4.  William Thomas “Tommy” White (1902-1937) m. on June 24, 1937 to Frances Agnes Sybil Dunlop (1918-  ) at St. Augustine Anglican Church in Beachburg. Tommy and Sybil moved into the old White homestead neighbouring his father William and originally owned by Emily and Henry Lyons. On the other side of their farm was the farm of his brother Johnny. Tommy and Sybil’s children were born on this first White homestead which would later pass to their son Gordon.

1942 Work Bee to build Tommy White's new barn.

1942 Work Bee to build Tommy White’s new barn.

Tommy's Clydesdale horse groomed to take to the fair.

Tommy’s Clydesdale horse groomed to take to the fair.

Tommy and Sybil White’s children were:

I.          Gordon Thomas White (1939-  ) m. Ethel Christina Wright (1940-  ) m. at St. Andrew’s United Church, Westmeath, ON. on Oct. 7, 1961. They raised four children: Sue Christina White; Julie Mae White; Tracy Anna White and Trevor Gordon White. Gordon and Ethel have a large farm just along the 8th Concession (Hawthorne Road) from his parents Tommy & Sybil. Gordon served for many years as Reeve of Westmeath Township. White,Gordon. The whole family is very musical.

Reeve Gordon White

Reeve Gordon White

II.          Willard Randolph White (1942-1996) was married in the Greenwood United Church on Nov. 7 1972 to Isabel Eileen Desjardins (1940-  ) who was born in Fort Coulonge, Quebec and had moved with her parents to the Desjardins Line of Westmeath Township, farming just north of the 8th Concession. Their children are: Douglas Thomas White; Rueben Willard White; and daughter Glena White.

III.          Lorna Sybil White (1954-  ) m. Robert Gordon “Bob” Jackson (1951-  )in 1980 and they live near Peterborough, ON.

5. Emily White (1904-1979) m. (1) Martin Munley (1903-1951) of England and both are buried in Park Lawn Cemetery, Sudbury. Emily remarried (2) John Johnson. Emily went blind at an early age due to measles but she was a remarkable woman. She baked all her own bread, typed all her own letters; she could knit and she was very active in bowling, senior citizens and belonged to the CNIB and played cards and the organ with an excellent memory. Emily was loved by all who were lucky enough to meet her and her house was like her sister Jessie’s – always full of children. Emily White and Martin Munley ‘s children are: William Anthony “Bill” Munley; Jessie Elma Munley; Margaret Munley and Nora Munley.

6.  John Henry White (1906-1976) White, John Henry well-known as “Johnny” was the youngest of the family and attended Pleasant Valley School and later farmed next door to his older brother Tommy on the 8th Concession (Hawthorne Road). Johnny married Nancy Elleda Tate (1912-  ), a girl from Westmeath Village on June 25, 1930. He died of a sudden heart attack and is buried in Beachburg. Also see TATE entry.

Nancy Tate and John White on their wedding day.

Nancy Tate and John White on their wedding day.

John and Nancy White with family on their 25th Anniversary in 1955..

John and Nancy White with family on their 25th Anniversary in 1955.

The children of John Henry White and Nancy Tate are:

I.          Marion White (1931-   ) m. Craig Robertson. They have 6 children: Warren John Robertson m. Helen Marion Bird; Joan Elleda Robertson m. Frank Vereyken; Marilyn Jean Roberson m. Kevin Malcolm Coughlin; Della Gail Robertson; Jamie Craig Robertson; Heather Marion Robertson.

II.          Naida Ellen White (1934-  ) m. Harold Robinson and farmed near Beachburg, ON. Their children: daughter Shirley Robinson m. Wayne Demers; Donald John Robinson m. Diane Postman; Allen Harold Robinson and Gerald George Robinson.

III.          Delta Elleda White (1936-  ) m. Robert Bernard Boldt and live in Smith Falls, ON. Their children: Eleanor Isabel Boldt m. Randy Burman; Deborah Ann Boldt m. Jeff Linton; and John Robert Boldt.

IV.          John Edgar White (1937-  ) m. Esther Sue Wright also from Westmeath Township. Esther’s older sister Ethel married Edgar’s first cousin Gordon. Her parents were Stuart and Lydia Wright. See WRIGHT entry. The children of Edgar and Esther White are: Nancy Sue White; Kevin John White and Dwayne Stuart White.

Edgar White with Clydesdales Winnie & Bell.

Edgar White with Clydesdales Winnie & Bell.

Sawmill Bee before building new kitchen in 1944. The brick house was built by Johnny White in 1940 and is still used by the family.

Sawmill Bee before building the new kitchen in 1944. The brick house was built by Johnny White in 1940 and is still used by the family.

John and edgar with the last team owned by the Whites: Barry & Neil.

John and Edgar with the last team owned by the Whites: Barry & Neil.