The BATIE Family History
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In 1798 the family of Edward BURRELL left their home in Elsdon, England (see Figure 1-1, the Redesdale area) and sailed to the New World. They settled in western New York state just north of Hall on the creek that has since borne their name. Edward wrote back to his neighbors near Elsdon about the excellent soil and pleasant climate near Seneca, and of the abundance of both timber and water. He must have been an eloquent writer for, as related by Rodney S. LIGHTFOOTE, "...he prompted nearly half the inhabitants of that border village between England and Scotland to come to Seneca within three years." As these immigrants arrived and settled near Hall and Seneca, their community was called "The English Settlement" until about 1820 when many moved again to the new lands being opened up in the wilderness of Ontario.

Among the Northumbrians who sailed from Glasgow to New York City in the 1800-1804 period were James BEATTIE; John and Thomas CHARLTON; George and Robert CROSIER; John, Matthew and Thomas ROBSON; and Edward and Thomas STOKOE (prominent in the Falstone records). An account provided in 1870 by a son of George CROSIER, and related by LIGHTFOOTE, tells of the typical ordeals faced by those who relocated from New York harbor to the Geneva, NY area known as the "English Settlement," a distance of about 175 miles:

"They landed in New York July 14, 1801, having been about seven weeks on the water. They took a boat to Albany, then a kind of stage or public conveyance to Schnectady, where they bought a small boat and wended their way slowly toward Geneva. The manner of propelling was by taking long poles, placing one end on the stream bank or bottom, the other end to their shoulders, then pushing while they walked from the bow to the stern of the boat.

"In this manner they passed up the Mohawk River and Wood Creek. When passing from Wood Creek to Oneida Lake it became necessary to use other means. The streams were dammed and the water kept back until the dam was full. When the water was permitted to rush out, the boat went with it, and so they would float down until another dam was reached. In this way they reached the lake. In crossing the lake, sails were used, and here they came close to losing their lives, a storm striking them while passing over, and their sails giving way. They finally gained the shore in safety. Then they followed the outlet to Oswego River, then went up that and the Seneca River. At Seneca Falls, they had to unload the boat, push and draw it up the rapids. They reloaded and made for Geneva where they landed after about a three week trip from Schenectady."

The account goes on to indicate what the CROSIERs, who were typical of these early settlers, endured and how they met the many challenges of strange, new world without the modern conveniences we take for granted:

"Upon their arrival in the settlement, the Crosiers moved into a house with the Hadley family where they lived some days until a cabin was finished upon the northeast corner of the Vartie farm, a little southwest of Halls. They lived in this cabin or log house until a house was so far advanced in building on the farm upon which they settled, adjoining.

"The log house had a hole cut in one side for a door and another for a window but without glass. The fireplace had no backing but logs, a stick chimney coming down to the upper floor, the fire on the ground. A deer hide covered the door and another, scrubbed thin, covered the window in colder weather. In this they spent the winter. In the spring, the logs back of the fire were nearly burned through. How they escaped burning up may well be regarded as a puzzle."

As this area was being carved out and civilized by some who brought all their worldly goods with them, other wealthy individuals were establishing large land holdings and erecting truly luxurious mansions. One such person was John NICHOLAS, a retired lawyer from Virginia, who bought several hundred acres of land about two miles southwest of the city of Geneva to take up agriculture. This area included White Springs Farm, so named because of the nearby springs which the Seneca Indians had called "clear waters" or "white water springs." The manor house, completed in 1806, was of colonial design, large, square with massive fluted columns on three sides. A view of the White Springs Farm manor as it appeared in 1991 is shown in Figure 2-1. It was at White Springs Farm that many later BATIE, ROBSON, TELFER, SCOTT and ORD families found temporary employment, usually as farm hands or servants, until suitable land could be located and obtained in London Township, Ontario.

There can be little doubt that White Springs Farm was a stopping place in the journey to Canada of several of our ancestors and relatives. The Chronological Roll of Communicants of No. 9 Church (so named because it is located on County Road No. 9, and is also in District No. 9 of the Town [township] of Geneva) lists Mrs. Ralph ORD (Cicily BATIE (CE)) as being "Examined Sept 8, 1819." In addition, a letter written by William HESLOP, Adam TELFER's father-in-law was dated 14 January 1820 from Cottonshope Burnfoot several miles northeast of Falstone (see Figure 1-1) and addressed to "Mr. Adam Telfer, Whitesprings, Town of Seneca, County of Ontario, State of New York, North America, Care of John Wilson, Inn Kepper [sic] Geneva." This letter, and others over a period of many years, have survived; many are still in remarkably good condition.

Most, but not all, of the Northumberland immigrants continued on to Ontario once suitable land was located there. The area around Gorham, NY is still home to a great number of ROBSONs, and Gorham Cemetery, as well as most local cemeteries, contain large ROBSON family plots. The original ROBSON house on Robson Road was occupied in 1991 by Will ALLEN, Jr., a direct descendant of the ROBSON settlers who arrived in the very early 1800's.

If you were going to go into the wilds and carve out a life there for yourself and your family, what would you bring with you? Charles Fothergill, in his "York Almanac, Royal Calendar of Upper Canada, 1823" recommended the following for the poorer class of emigrants (those who had to "do it all themselves"):

                                                                    s   d
For building a log house with a shade for his oxen and pigstie   7  10   0
    For this sum his house may have two apartments, a stone
    chimney, a hearth, and two glazed sash windows.
Clearing, fencing, and sowing 5 acres of land                   15   0   0
    (if he has to pay cash for it).  A plow should not
    be required for several years
Seed for the first crop, with the price of two axes, two hoes,   4   0   0
    two brush hooks, two forks, one spade and one shovel
Yoke of oxen and chain1                                          5   0   0
An ox sleigh                                                     1  10   0
A cow 3, sow with pigs 1 5s.                                   4   5   0
Two ewes with lambs 2 each (sic)                                1   0   0
Some necessary articles of household furniture                  10   0   0
Putting up a log barn                                            5   0   0
Two kettles for making sugar                                     3   0   0
Pro. Cur                                                       66   5   0

In addition, it was advised that Clergymen were most required and lawyers the least needed (some things never change)! An article in the 29 March 1924 issue of the London Free Press recounts the remembrances of one of the early pioneers in the Westminster Township area just south of London, ON:

"We manufactured all our clothing. Deer were plentiful in the forests and from the skin the moccasins were made. The vests and trousers were also made of the same material and at a later date when sheep were introduced into the country, our Sunday clothes were made of wool. When a tannery was built at Byron, the deer skins were tanned there and one year was required to tan the leather. Shoemakers would then call at the settlers' homes and for a little more than board, would make a pair of shoes in a couple of days.

"Maple syrup and maple sugar were made and a supply of both was kept on hand during the year. A large clay oven stood outside at the rear of our house and mother baked large batches of bread and 24 pies at a time. Pumpkin was very popular. In my boyhood days we did not even boast of candles, but a rag soaked in the oil of a coon and placed on a flat dish furnished the light."

Before continuing our story in the New World, perhaps it would be well to describe London Township, the area in which most of our early relatives settled once they reached Ontario. In May of 1803, a Colonel Thomas TALBOT landed on the Lake Erie shore 60 miles west of the nearest civilization at Long Point. He had been given authority to place a limited number of settlers on lands in this neighborhood. Eventually, his superintendency embraced twenty-nine townships to the north of Lake Erie, one of which was London Township. Surveying of London Township went slowly and had reached only the 6th concession when it was interrupted for the duration of the War of 1812 with the United States. It was not taken up again until 1818, but early in the spring of 1819, the work was completed. The survey party then went on to lay out the township of Lobo. London Township has a land area of 96,000 acres and is about twelve miles square. The survey divided the land into 200-acre rectangular lots arranged in sixteen concessions plus three incomplete concessions at the south broken by the Thames River. The concessions are crossed by seven north-south side roads and divided from each other by east-west concession roads. Thus a complete concession contains eight blocks of land each with four two hundred-acre lots. Most of the settlers were located on 100 acre lots.

Families were allowed to settle on this new land without any charge, but were not given immediate title. Within two years from the time a settler was permitted to occupy his land, he was required to erect a dwelling house of at least sixteen feet by twenty feet in the clear and either occupy it in person or by a substantial tenant. In the same period, he was required to clear and fence five acres for every one hundred acres he possessed. It was also his duty to clear and open half the road width (thirty-three feet) in front of his lot and to leave no trees standing within one hundred feet of the road. When the settler located on his property late in summer or early fall, he sometimes quickly constructed a rough log shelter to tide his family through the winter and erected a solid log house the next spring. Log houses often served families for a long time; but once sawmills came into operation, it was possible to have logs sawed into lumber, and spacious frame houses were built.

Colonel TALBOT began to assign settlers to lots in London Township in 1818, and the settlement grew rapidly. In 1819 a population of 170 was recorded in the assessment returns; in 1820 it was 464, and in seven or eight years the population of the township reached more than 2000. Locations of some of the early London Township settlers are shown in Figure 2-3. Among the earliest settlers who were granted lots in 1819 were William ROBSON (N lot 32 conc.10), Andrew SCOTT (N lot 31 conc. 10), Adam TELFER (lot 30, conc. 9) and his brother Thomas TELFER (S lot 29 conc. 9). In addition, on Colonel TALBOT's map (on which he recorded the settler assigned to each lot and sometimes a date), Thomas BATY (S lot 27 conc. 9) and Edward CHARLTON (S lot 26 conc. 9) are recorded in 1819, and Adam BATIE (N lot 30 conc. 7) is recorded in 1824. Also recorded is William CALVERT (S lot 26 conc. 8), recorded in 1827.

In 1820 John ROBSON brought his wife Nancy Ann CALVERT and eight of their nine children from Cumberland County, England to settle in the dense forest of Upper Canada. Ann, their eighth child, was a girl of ten when her family emigrated; she remained in England with two CALVERT uncles. The ROBSON family arrived in the Talbot Settlement in the summer of 1820 and John ROBSON was located by Colonel Talbot on two hundred acres of land in London Township: the north half of lots 31 and 32, concession 12. At the same time he obtained two-hundred-acre locations in London Township for each of his four older sons, and one hundred acres for his youngest son, Jeremiah, who was then only thirteen.

Meanwhile, in 1824 back in England, Arthur BATIE and several of his children were making preparations to join the earlier immigrants from Norhtumberland County in Ontario. Since Arthur's wife (Sisley TELFER) had died at age 56, Arthur came to the New World as a widower. With him were his widowed daughter Jane (BATIE) HERDMAN (CB) and her two daughters Cecilia (CBA) and Jane HERDMAN (CBB), Arthur's third daughter Isabella BATIE (CF) and her husband Andrew SCOTT, and Arthur's youngest son, Adam BATIE. This group did not go through New York State and then on to Ontario, Canada as the earlier ones had done in 1818/1819; instead they sailed direct from Glasgow, Scotland to Ontario in 1824.

London Township was almost an unbroken wilderness with neither schools nor churches when the settlers arrived. The following is quoted from a history of the Vanneck United Church, near Ilderton, Ontario, by Edna Campbell TELFER (1900-1966), wife of Leigh Robson TELFER (BDLBB) (1891-1960) and sent to Roy BATIE (CGDBA), Lexington, Nebraska under the date of 2 December 1962:

"In sketching the early history of this congregation it will be important to give some account of the first settlers in the bounds of the same. These, at least such of them as took an interest in Presbyterianism, up to about the year 1824, were nearly all emigrants from our locality. Their house had been among the hills of the river Tyne. They had been brought up Presbyterians, most of them had been members of the dissenting Scots Church at Falstone, in the parish of Simonburn and County of Northumberland, England. This Church was connected with the Church but being located on the English side of the border it had only the status of a dissenting church.

"Some of these emigrants had settled temporarily in New York State about the years 1816, 1817, 1818, and 1819 and remained for one to five years before coming to Canada. A few of these settled on the 9th and 10th lines of London Township in the spring of 1820. Others followed in 1821. At that time London Township was almost an unbroken wilderness, and all the townships for miles to the west, north and east remained for several years a continuous brush through which one might travel for days without seeing a clearing. A few scattered settlers had located about the front of the township about the first and second concessions two or three years before this.

"In these days very little was done for the encouragement of settlers. The government had not then begun to construct colonization roads. The settlers in London Township had to construct such roads as they had for themselves. These at first were little more than a blazed path through the brush. An improvement on this sort of road was by cutting and throwing the underbrush from a space wide enough for a yoke of oxen and sled to pass. These roads seldom followed any road allowances but generally were the shortest way possible to any point they wished to reach. It will of course be understood that such roads could not follow a straight line for any distance. Large trees had to be avoided. Swamps and streams, large and small would intervene, causing a detour to be made to find a favorable crossing place. Bridges were not attempted at first.

"There was no flouring mill at that time nearer than Putnamville near the boundary between Dorchester and Oxford. Within two years after a mill was built in the township of Westminster near the site of what is now the London waterworks, known as Gardner's Mill. The only general store within a long distance was run by the late Hon. G. F. Goodhue. It was located on what is now known as Brick Street on the farm owned by Mr. Allen Bogue. It is said that he used to sleep behind the counter at night and sell goods during the day at very high prices. For instance, common grey cotton at $.75 a yard and other goods in proportion.

"The site of what is now the city of London had been chosen before this time, but it still remained in a state of nature. Part of it was a cedar swamp and a large part was heavily timbered with white pine. Neither school nor church existed in this part of the township and up to that time no religious organization had been attempted. From all that can now be learned, no minister -- at least no Presbyterian Minister -- had up to this time visited them. Sometime in April 1825 a young man named William Dorman, a licentiate of the Church of Scotland, came to the settlement. He engaged with the people to teach school four days a week and conduct religious services on Sabbath. This engagement he continued to fulfill for a time with considerable acceptance. A log building about 30 by 22 feet, of the most primitive character, costing little except the labor of the people, was erected on the south half of lot number 29 in the 9th concession of the township of London, to serve the double purpose of church and school-house.

"Mr. Dorman remained about eleven months boarding at Thomas White's [husband of Isabella TELFER (BE)]. Before the end of that time however rumours were current that he was addicted to drinking to excess. Although none of the people were at that time total abstainers yet it was well understood that a drunken minister would not be tolerated and when the rumours became confirmed he terminated the engagement himself by leaving the locality.

"In the month of June, 1826 about three months after Mr. Dorman's departure, a Mr. James Ferguson came, representing himself to be an ordained minister of the Church of Scotland. He had been preaching to some Presbyterians in the township of Westminster where his family was then living. He continued for a time to minister in both places, preaching and dispensing the sacraments. He remained about 12 months when it became known that he was under suspension for drunkenness and he soon after left."

Of the seventeen households listed as original members of this church, six included a BATIE. They are:

Arthur BATIE, widower, and his widowed daughter, Jane HERDMAN
Edward CHARLTON and wife Margaret BATIE
Thomas BATIE and wife Margaret TELFER
Ralph ORD and wife Cicily BATIE
William ROBSON and wife Elizabeth BATIE and
Adam BATIE and wife Mary ROBSON.

The fledgling church had a series of ministers until the early 1830s. In November 1832, Rev. William PROUDFOOT, a missionary from the United Associate Synod of the Secession Church in Scotland, visited London, a small village known then as "The Forks" (at the forks of the north and south branches of the Thames River). On 17 February 1833 he visited the English Settlement and returned on 2 June 1833. Rev. PROUDFOOT assumed charge of London, English Settlement (now Vanneck United) and Proof Line (now Bethel Presbyterian) Churches. In 1836, a half-acre of land was obtained on the S.W. corner of Lot 28, Concession 9, and a frame building, 30' x 40' was built and occupied for the first time in September 1837 by the Secession Presbyterian Church. A pen and ink drawing of this church is shown in Figure 2-4.

No organized burying ground was established in the area before this church was built in 1837. Burials were usually performed in a family plot on the individual's farm. When the new frame church was built on Lot 28 Concession 9 in 1837, an attempt was made to transfer several graves from individual family plots to the new Anti-Burgher church cemetery, now known as Telfer Cemetery. Several headstones were relocated, and a few caskets were dug up and transferred to the new cemetery grounds. However, it is by no means certain that the job was totally completed. Several persons knowledgeable in the early local history maintain that the job of relocating the caskets was soon halted; they thought it was preferable to let those remaining continue to rest in peace.

In 1859, the congregation resolved to build a new church. The size of the congragation had been increasing in numbers so that the old building had become too small. A location generally in the center of the area served was selected near the southwest corner of the 11th Concession Road (now Ilderton Road or County Road 18) and the London-Lobo Townline (see Figure 2-3). The land for the new church was donated by William ROBSON who lived on the N of lot 32, Concession 10, just across the Townline. This church, now known as Vanneck United Church, was erected in 1860 and its first service was conducted on 20 January 1861 by Rev. James SKINNER. As this church continued to grow, the old Anti-Burgher congregation dwindled and soon it had shrunk in size to the point where a separate minister could not be supported. The last marriage at the Anti-Burgher church is recorded on 19 August 1880. After the church closed, the members attended services at other Presbyterian churches in the area, primarily Proof Line (now Bethel). Nothing of the original Anti-Burgher church now remains, except the stained glass windows. These are in the possession of Ruth and Una LOFT, noted local historians of the area.

Several years prior to Rev. PROUDFOOT's arrival in the London area in 1832, there was also a well-organized Presbyterian congregation in the Westminster Township area south of the Thames River. This area around Pond Mills was known as the Scotch Settlement since most of the early pioneers had emigrated from the Scottish side of the border. The earliest records show that in 1825 William DORMAN, who taught school in London Township four days a week and conducted services on the Sabbath, also conducted services in a log schoolhouse that stood where Pond Mills Cemetery is now located. In many cases during this period, the school preceded the church and it was in these little log acadamies that religious services were first held.

After several years without a minister, the settlers around Pond Mills met in 1830 and decided to hold regular weekly fellowship meetings in the schoolhouse. A plan was adopted whereby some member would read a printed sermon if a clergyman was not available. In 1832 a special meeting was called to consider the matter of organizing themselves into a regular congregation. It was the same year that the Synod of the United Secession Church of Scotland resolved to commence a Church in Canada and accepted the services of Messrs. PROUDFOOT, CHRISTIE and ROBERTSON. These missionaries sailed to Ontario, but Rev. ROBERTSON died of cholera in Montreal. Rev. PROUDFOOT went on to London and made it the central point for his evangelistic labors. He served as minister for three congregations: one in the city of London which also included the Pond Mills area, and two congregations in rural London Township - the English Settlement (now Vanneck United Church) and Proof Line (now Bethel United Church). In addition to the many miles he travelled on horseback to serve these primary charges, he also was in the habit of preaching in the Scotch Settlement of Westminster near Pond Mills. These settlers were not a formally separate congregation, but were part of Rev. PROUDFOOT's London congregation.

A separate log church was built at Pond Mills in 1838 not far from the place where the present church stands, and for many years Rev. PROUDFOOT preached once every fortnight at the log church or at the old schoolhouse at the Ponds. On 18 November 1838, Rev. PROUDFOOT recorded his accurate prediction for the growing need for additional services to this Scotch Settlement area:

"In Westminster preached to a large audience and opened the new meeting-house in the bush. It is a comfortable looking place, for a log house, and will be really so when finished. The Westminster folks have in this got their wish but I fear they will not be satisfied yet. They are now talking as if they must have as much sermon as London."

Shortly after Rev. PROUDFOOT's death in 1851, it became apparent that the Scotch Settlement had grown sufficiently in size to support a separate congregation of its own. The petition to do so was signed by 67 members of the Scotch Settlement congregation, including Robert BATY (CAC) and Arthur BATY (CAD), and forwarded by the four Elders, two of whom were Thomas BATY (CA) and Elliot GRIEVE (2nd husband of Jane (BATIE) HERDMAN). In 1854, the formation of a separate Westminster congregation was formally approved by the Presbytery in London. At the first congregational meeting on 25 September 1854, Robert BATY and Arthur BATY, both of the 6th Concession, were appointed to the Committee of Mangement. At this meeting, John ELLIOT Sr. and Arthur BATY each offered to give a half acre of land for the use of the congregation. This property was subsequently deeded to the congregation and the deed registered and a board of trustees appointed. In 1855 it was decided to replace the log church with a frame church. The building committee included Arthur BATY. The church was built by the fall of 1855 at a cost of $1500.

Pond Mills Cemetery, on the west bank of the North Pond, is among the oldest in Middlesex County. Land around the site of the first Scotch Settlement school house was designated for use a burial ground. On May 12, 1825, the first interment on these grounds occurred. At this time, there was neither minister nor undertaker to assist in the burial of Mrs. Elliott (Jennet) GRIEVE, and her husband fashioned her crude coffin from split wooden slabs. Elliott GRIEVE later became the second husband of Jane (BATIE) HERDMAN (CB).

Up to this point, we have discussed the BATIE-TELFER-ROBSON origins in Northumberland County, England, their emigration to New York and Ontario around 1820, and the families of the main BATIE lines. Referring to the fold-out chart, these main BATIE lines are members of the one- and two-letter households such as B, C, BC, BD, BE, CA, CB, CC, CD, CE, CF and CG. The remainder of this document discusses their descendants by major family line. Each major family line headed by a two-letter individual is discussed in a separate Book, and individual chapters within that book discuss each three-letter family line and all their descendants down to the present time, if that information is available. This organization is summarized below:

Descendants of Robert TELFER and Elizabeth BATIE (B):
BA Margaret TELFER (1783-1821) See Book 4
BB Elizabeth TELFER (1785-1804) No Descendants
BC Thomas TELFER (1787-1869) Book 1 (Chapters 3-14)
BD Adam TELFER (1791-1856) Book 2 (Chapters 15-26)
BE Isabella TELFER (1793- ? ) Book 3 (Chapters 27-28)

Descendants of Arthur BATIE (C) and Sisley TELFER:
CA Thomas BATIE/BATY (1783-1855) Book 4 (Chapters 29-32)
CB Jane BATIE (1784-1865) Book 5 (Chapters 31-36)
CC Margaret BATIE (1788-1855) Book 6 (Chapters 37-44)
CD Elizabeth BATIE (1791-1874) Book 7 (Chapters 45-49)
CE Cicily BATIE (1793-1873) Book 8 (Chapters 50-61)
CF Isabella BATIE (1797-1880) Book 9 (Chapters 62-70)
CG Adam BATIE (1799-1856) Book 10 (Chapters 71-83)