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The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement

On September 25, 2015, the Ontario Heritage Trust, in partnership with the Town of Tecumseh, unveiled a provincial plaque to commemorate The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement.

The unveiling took place at McAuliffe Park in Tecumseh.

The bilingual plaque reads as follows:

THE BANWELL ROAD AREA BLACK SETTLEMENT

    Beginning in the 1830s, at least 30 families fleeing enslavement and racial oppression in the United States settled in the Banwell Road area in Sandwich East. They had the opportunity to purchase land through two Black-organized land settlement programs – the Colored Industrial Society (a mission of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Sandwich East) and the Refugee Home Society (administered by Black abolitionist Henry and Mary Bibb of Maidstone). Freedom and land ownership meant self-determination and financial security. Settlers purchased 10- or 25-acre parcels of land to build homes and farms. The A.M.E. church held 25 acres in trust to construct a church and a school – and for a burial ground at the site, namely, the Smith family cemetery – located here. These families created a strong sense of community by establishing institutions and advocating for social justice. The Banwell Road Area Black Settlement contributed to the history, economy and culture of the region, and paved the way for their descendants to live fulfilled, free lives.

LA COLONIE NOIRE DE LA RÉGION DE BANWELL ROAD

    Au début des années 1830, une trentaine de familles fuient l’esclavage et l’oppression raciale aux États-Unis pour s’installer dans la région de Banwell Road, dans le canton de Sandwich Est. L’occasion leur est alors donnée d’acheter des terres par le biais de deux programmes de colonisation rurale mis sur pied par des organismes noirs : la Colored Industrial Society (mission de l’Église épiscopale méthodiste africaine dans le canton de Sandwich Est) et la Refugee Home Society (administrée par Henry et Mary Bibb, un couple abolitionniste noir de Maidstone). Liberté et propriété foncière sont alors synonymes d’autodétermination et de sécurité financière. Les colons achètent des parcelles de 10 ou 25 acres pour y bâtir des maisons et des fermes. Un terrain de 25 acres, détenu en fiducie par l’Église épiscopale méthodiste africaine, sera destiné à la construction d’une église et d’une école. Il abrite également le cimetière de la famille Smith. Ces familles font naître un fort sentiment d’appartenance communautaire en fondant des institutions et en prônant la justice sociale. La colonie noire de la région de Banwell Road a marqué l’histoire, la vie économique et la culture de la région, et a donné à ses descendants les moyens de mener une vie épanouie et libre.

Historical background

Self-emancipated and free African Americans crossed the Detroit River to freedom in Canada. Many settled in Essex County in villages, towns and hamlets such as Windsor, Rochester, Gosfield, Colchester, Mersea, Anderdon, Malden, Amherstburg, Elmstead, Marble Village, Puce, Old Castle, Little River, Maidstone, and Sandwich. In these emerging communities, the newly arrived Black men and women built homes and established important social and political institutions.

Planned Black communities

The Sandwich Mission, renamed the Colored Industrial Society of Sandwich in 1850, began in 1845 under the auspices of the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AME) as a land settlement scheme for refugee and free Blacks.1 The initial elected trustees were Alfred Kelly, George William, William Keys and Alfred Brunson. Money was raised and trustees purchased 81 hectares (200 acres) of land in the ninth concession. Reverend Thomas Willis, Baptist minister Israel Campbell, Reverend John Jackson and James F. Copeland were authorized agents hired to travel, promote and sell land plots. The purpose of this initiative was to settle incoming freedom-seekers and assist them in becoming landowners.2

Planned Black communities were organized in an effort to create a strong support system and close-knit communities for people fleeing enslavement and increasing restrictions on their lives in northern states because of their race. Many men, like Washington Smith, the patriarch of the Smith family, were involved in land settlement schemes in the Township of Sandwich as private citizens purchasing land for their families and publicly as elected trustees buying land for school, churches and cemeteries.

In February 1850, the reorganized Colored Industrial Society through its trustees Alfred Kelly, George Williams, Phillip Morton (or Molton), purchased 81 hectares (200 acres) of land from Josette Berthelet (née Bouchette) for £125 – lots 142 and 143 on concession 3 (also known as Base Line Road, now County Road 42) in Registered Plan 65 in Sandwich East (now part of the Town of Tecumseh), which were divided into 20 four-hectare (10-acre) parcels of land. Twenty-five acres were held in reserve to erect a school, a church and a burial ground.3 The parcels of land were sold to Black settlers who were eager to create a new life in freedom for themselves and their families.

Some of the initial purchasers of the four-hectare (10-acre) lots included: Dyna Smith, Weedon Johnson, Mitchell DeBerry, John Wesley Herbert, Henry Brant, Henry Smith Sr., George Williams, William Baker, William Kelly, Thomas Butler, Starkie Reid, William Banyard, George Newman, George Harris, and Henry Norrid. Black families also settled on other lots along the third concession. Washington Campbell (brother of agent Israel Campbell) and his family owned land on lots 136 and 137. William Posey owned a part of lot 137.4 James Ross, who was robbed and injured by Levi Stewart on July 18, 1899, succumbing to his injuries two days later, owned 20 hectares (50 acres) of the south part of lot 141. Stewart was the last man hanged in Sandwich in 1900.5

At about the same time, the Refugee Home Society (RHS), established by Henry Bibb, made their first purchases of parts of lots 125, 126 and 127 in the third concession along Lauzon Road in Sandwich East, neighbouring the Colored Industrial Society colonists. The RHS bought the land from Denise Lucy Bouchette, sister of Josette Berthelet. The Berthelets and Bouchettes were some of the French families who originally settled in New France (Quebec) and expanded their land holdings along the Detroit River in the 18th century. At least eight families were settled on 10-hectare (25-acre) parcels of land on these lots by 1855. John Martin, Thomas Coombs, Labin Collins, Jessie Stomers, Sarah Ann Cook, Allen Johnson, Henry Cooper and Granville White purchased some of these initial tracts of land. The RHS also purchased land in Maidstone. Parts of lots 119 and 120 were also bought by the RHS in concession three in Sandwich East.6

Black settlers worked to clear and improve their land to meet settlement requirements. These farmers grew crops and raised cattle. Many had to work as hired help to Scottish farmers in the area in order to earn needed money to support their families. Others worked in various occupations and ran their own businesses. Albert Scott was a sought-after veterinarian in the region.7 Benjamin Stewart served the community as a British Methodist Episcopal (BME) minister. Dozens of Black families operated successful farms.

Land ownership was very important for Blacks, especially for those who recently obtained their freedom. Owning their own land meant self-determination, control of their future and financial security. Land ownership gave financial leverage. Freeholders could borrow against their land to create a financial cushion. Possessing property brought them closer to their vision of freedom and independence.

Some families did not remain on their land for long. They sold their property to other incoming Blacks or to descendants of early French colonists. Many kept their land and rented it out to Black tenants. They took the profits they made from the improvements to move to the United States after the end of the Civil War or to other parts of Ontario.

The Smith family

Washington Smith was one of the hundreds of African Americans who came to Essex County in search of a better life. He arrived in Canada in 1847 from Virginia and settled in Sandwich. Smith, a wife and two children were enumerated in 1861 in the Town of Windsor.8 His first wife Catherine died that same year. He married Amanda Stewart, daughter of George and Lively Stewart (née Harris) on 7 September 1862.9

Smith purchased 10 hectares (25 acres) of land in October 1862 from RHS trustees Horace Hallock and Edward Chandler Walker (second son of Hiram Walker) for $85. His tract of land was one-eighth of lot 17 on the ninth concession in the western portion of the lot in Sandwich East Township, right on the border with Maidstone (present-day Manning Road/County Road 19). This was the Smith family’s permanent residence where they raised their nine children.10

In 1887, the trusteeship of the south half of lot 10 on the third concession in Sandwich East was transferred from surviving BME Church Windsor trustees Branston Coleman and George Pyatt to fellow trustees Franklin Henderson and Washington Smith. This land was intended for a BME church and burial ground.11 Smith had been a trustee since 1877 when a special meeting was held at the Windsor church on McDougall Street to replace the trustees on the original deed of lots 10 and 11 since they passed away.12 (Originally this land had been AME property. In 1856, the Sandwich AME elected to become part of the Ontario BME Chapel in Windsor at 363 McDougall Street, which was one of the original provincial BME congregations. The BME church conference was established in 1856, separating from the American AME conference. Members who supported the proposal for a new church wanted the name to reflect their appreciation to the British Crown for providing a sanctuary from American slavery, particularly with the increasing tensions before the Civil War. Supporters were also seeking more autonomy from the American governing body – hence, the change to a BME cemetery.)

Community building

The Black community in Sandwich grew cohesively. They established needed institutions. In 1851, Henry and Mary Bibb began publishing the first Canadian anti-slavery newspaper, the Voice of the Fugitive, and started a school for Black children. Establishing schools that lasted long-term proved to be difficult due to several factors, but several attempts were undertaken. Blacks who immigrated to Canada for a free life recognized that education for the young and old was an important thing to improve their conditions. A mission school was in operation in Sandwich in the 1840s by Reuben Haskell and his wife.13 Laura de Havilland operated a school in Little River in the third concession in Sandwich.14 In 1852, the Voice of the Fugitive reported a school taught by a white female teacher named Miss Prescott. At times, no school was in operation. Black families encountered racial discrimination when pursuing a public education for their children as they were not welcomed in local public schools for some time. A separate school for Black children was established by local school trustees and operated until 1893. George and Lively Stewart, landholding taxpayers, brought a case against the local school trustees in 1864 because their daughter Lively Frances was barred from attending the local common school, School Section Eight. The judge ruled in the Stewarts’ favour.15

As soon as African-American settlers arrived in the Windsor area, they formed churches that initially met in local homes until funds were raised to construct places of worship. In 1851, admission and food sales from the Emancipation Day event in Sandwich went towards the building fund for the Sandwich Baptist Church.16 Branches of fraternal orders and benevolent societies were established. These groups engaged in charitable work and political activities on behalf of the region’s Black community. They also created important supports. There was plenty of anti-slavery activity going on in the Detroit-Windsor frontier. Black abolitionists formed the Fugitive Union Society to assist incoming freedom-seekers with food, clothing, shelter and employment. Community members also engaged in social activities. Families celebrated their freedom during Emancipation Day commemorations on the first of August.17 People gathered together various social events throughout the year.

Black men eagerly defended their families and communities against possible annexation by the United States during the Rebellions of 1837/38 for fear of possible re-enslavement. Upwards of 200 men volunteered in several units to protect Fort Malden (Amherstburg).

The children of the original Black settlers married one another. It was another means of forming and maintaining strong community ties. Amanda Smith married David Scott and John Washington Smith married Joanna Scott, both children of Albert and Phoebe Scott.18 Robert Smith married Myrtle Turner. 

Many children of the original settlers left for the United States in search of better educational and employment opportunities. Daughters Edna, Eliza and Victoria moved to Chicago by 1900 and took their niece Phoebe Hazel, Amanda’s daughter, with them. There, they married and settled on the south side of the city.19 David Smith moved to Detroit in 1900 after closing the Hunters’ Home Hotel that he operated on lot 127 on Base Line Road. He was forced to close when charges were brought against him for serving liquor after hours the night family friend James Ross left his bar and was subsequently robbed and killed. Younger brother Robert and his wife Myrtle relocated to Detroit, too.20 Robert likely returned after Myrtle’s death. In 1921, he lived in Maidstone at the family home with his wife Grace and their young children.21 Robert and his family returned to Detroit by 1930. Their immigration to the United States is reflective of the outward and continuous cross-border movement of African Canadians.

The Smith cemetery

Places of burial, the final resting places for Black settlers of the communities in the Windsor area, were also contemplated in the land settlement schemes. These families, coming from a history of brutal enslavement, family separation and racial repression, could choose where to bury their loved ones and could have their deceased ancestors close to them. When trusteeship of the lot 10 in the third concession was passed to Washington Smith and Franklin Henderson, the land was designated as a burial ground for a future BME church.

It is not known when use of the cemetery began. Early graves were marked with wooden crosses that rotted away over time. Some sank into the loose, wet soil. Others were overgrown by grass and bushes. In 1967, author Charlotte Bronte Perry mentioned that there were three headstones with the dates 1865, 1870 and 1887, but that the names were illegible.22 One of the earlier burials of the Smith family was likely that of Amanda Smith, matriarch of the Smith family. She died on October 18, 1884 in Essex County, Ontario.23 The earliest visible tombstone marks the grave of James F. Ross, the first husband of Eliza Smith. He and Eliza married in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 22, 1898. Ross died on July 25, 1908 in Chicago, Illinois where he and Eliza resided.24 In 1909, Myrtle Smith (née Turner), wife of Robert Smith, was interred in the cemetery. She passed away in Detroit, Michigan. Black schoolteacher Julia Turner, who taught in Amherstburg, was her paternal aunt.25

Washington Smith died peacefully in his home on May 5, 1912. He was noted as “one of the oldest residents of Sandwich South.”26 John W. Smith, a farmer and first-born to Washington and Amanda Smith, passed away on November 19, 1919 at Hotel Dieu Hospital in Windsor after a short illness.27

Five headstones remain in the Smith cemetery, all relatives of Washington Smith. Louis Smith moved to London, Ontario in 1900 and worked as a carpenter. He died there in 1922.28 Eliza Bish passed away in December 1930 in Chicago.29 The third remaining tombstone belongs to Myrtle Smith. The shared graves of Amanda Wray (née Smith) and her husband James Wray are marked by the fourth. They made their life in Maidstone.30 The fifth tombstone is that of James F. Ross, as mentioned earlier. A sixth marker was reconstructed with several pieces of broken markers of different tombstones reset in cement. Two names are Alonzo and Israel. This is an indicator of the existence of several other unknown interments. 

The interment of several other Smith relatives are memorialized in a headstone that was installed in 1978 by Robert C. Smith, son of John and Joanna Smith. Edna Boarman (née Smith) was buried in the family cemetery in August 1938. She passed away in Chicago on August 11, 1938.31 George lived with his father at their home in Maidstone his entire life.32 Robert Raymond Smith passed away on November 1, 1936 in Detroit while working as a waiter on the excursions ships of the Detroit and Cleveland Navigation Company. Robert was listed as the informant on the death record of David C. Smith.33 David, a retired farmer, lived with Robert and his third wife Margaret Grace Demske when he passed away also in Detroit on April 21, 1927.34 Washington and Amanda’s youngest daughter, Victoria Rollins, is recorded as having died in 1949. Amanda Bish’s daughter Phoebe Hazel Boarman (née Scott), with her first husband David Christopher Scott, died in Chicago on November 27, 1935.35 The last person on the memorial marker is John Wilson. His birth and death are unknown. A John Wilson, “negro,” was a long-time neighbour of the Smith family. He lived in the southwestern subdivision of lot 17 with widowed Louisa Payne, wife of fellow RHS land purchaser Louis Payne. He managed the Payne farm.36

The remains of Smiths who lived in the United States were repatriated to Sandwich for burial. The Smiths, like all families, participated in funeral ceremonies on the site. A white neighbour Joseph Baillargeon recalled as a young boy seeing several funeral processions to the cemetery plot and ceremonies to honour the dead.37 Due to the efforts of Robert C. Smith, son of John and Joanna Smith, the town of Tecumseh took control and care of the Smith cemetery in 1977. A fence was erected, and the remaining grave markers were moved to the front of the lot and arranged on a cement slab to be visible from Banwell Road.

Legacy of settlement

Black men and women who settled along Base Line Road in the townships of Sandwich South and Sandwich East laboured and toiled to forge a life in freedom for their loved ones on land once owned by French colonists who enslaved people of African descent. They overcame many injustices, challenges and difficult conditions with the aim of improving the lives of their families and fellow community members. Settlement on Base Line Road enabled freedom-seekers and free Blacks to live autonomous lives and establish strong, inextricably linked community ties with residents of both Black-organized settlement schemes as well as Blacks in Windsor and other communities in Essex County.

Through their community engagement and political activism, Blacks in Sandwich Township made significant contributions to the development of the region and to Canada. The Smith cemetery is important not only to the family, but also to the collective history of Essex County. It is a symbol of permanency, presence and place. The repatriation of deceased Smiths to the family cemetery plot speaks to the importance of home and togetherness for descendants of enslaved peoples who were often forcibly separated and dispersed. They returned to Base Line Road, a place where some of Essex County’s early Black citizens and their descendants left an indelible legacy of Black history in Ontario.


The Ontario Heritage Trust gratefully acknowledges the research of Natasha Henry in preparing this paper.

© Ontario Heritage Trust, 2015


1 Benjamin Drew, Refugees from Slavery: Narratives of Fugitive Slaves in Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008, 302, pp. 343-344.

2 “Colored Settlements and Schools.” Voice of the Fugitive, 29 January, 1852, p. 2; “Colored Settlements.” Voice of the Fugitive, 12 February, 1851, p. 2.

3 She was the widow of Henri/y Berthelet, who was son of Pierre/ Peter Berthelet. Pierre owned substantial property in Montreal and Detroit. His property holdings included at least two enslaved Black females. The Bouchette family also held slaves in Montréal. This is discussed by Frank Mackey in his book, Done With Slavery. Henri and Josette also enslaved at least one young Black girl. Édouard Fabre-Surveyer, “Pierre Berthelet and his family (in Canada and in the United States),” Transactions, Royal Society of Canada, 3rd ser., p. 37 (1943), Sect. II: pp. 57-76; Henry Berthelet Papers 1799-1833, Detroit Public Library Deed No. B111, Essex County Land Registry Office Records Copybook of Instruments, Sandwich Township v.B (1-610) 1850-1853: pp. 174-178, microfilm reel GSU160204, Archives of Ontario.

4 Essex County Land Registry Office Abstract Index Books, Sandwich East Township, v.A-B ca. 1795-1949: pp. 458-481, microfilm reel GSU160207, Archives of Ontario.

5 Windsor Evening Record, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 27 July 1899, 5 February, 1900. James Ross is buried at Windsor Grove Cemetery. The transcription from his headstone reads: “ROSS, James d. 7-20-1899, ca. 80yrs, Alabama.” See “Windsor Grove Cemetery: Howard Ave. at Giles Blvd., Windsor, Ontario [partial transcription],” (n.d.), Unpublished, Windsor Public Library: p. 24. Washington Smith served on the jury during the trial.

6 Peter Carlesimo, “The Refugee Home Society: Its Origin, Operation and Results, 1851-1876,” MA Thesis, Department of History, University of Windsor, 1973, 67-70, p. 74.

7 Albert Scott was father-in-law to Washington Smith’s daughter Amanda.

8 Census of Canada for the Township of Sandwich South 1901 and the Township of Windsor 1861 for respectively.

9 Marriage of Washington Smith and Amanda Stewart, 7, September 1862, Ontario, Canada, County Marriage Registers, 1858-1869. The Stewarts owned lot 19 subsections 1-4 on concession ten in Sandwich.

10 Essex County Land Registry Office Records Abstract Index Books, Sandwich East Township, v.A-B ca 1795-1949: pp. 692-693, microfilm reel GSU160207, Archives of Ontario; Deed #318, Essex County Land Registry Office Records Copybooks, Sandwich Township (East) v.E (1 - 539) 1861-1866: pp. 469-470, microfilm reel GSU160208 Archives of Ontario; Essex County Land Registry Office Records Sandwich East v.15 Index 1882-?, microfilm reel GSU160505 Archives of Ontario; Assessment Roll, Essex County, Sandwich East Township, Maidstone,1887- 1914, microfilm reels 25, 26.

11 Deed No. P4628, Essex County Land Registry Office Records Copybooks: Sandwich Township (East), vol. P (4396-4787) 1886-1888: pp. 541-543, microfilm reel GSU172284, Archives of Ontario.

12 Deed No. J2299, Essex County Land Registry Office Records Copybooks: Sandwich Township (East), vil. I (1643-2007) 1874-1876, vol. J (2008-2394) 1876-1878: pp. 678-681, microfilm reel GSU1722881, Archives of Ontario.

13 Seventh Annual Report of the Canada Mission, Rochester, 1844, 7.

14 Donald Simpson, Under the North Star: Black Communities in Upper Canada Before Confederation. Trenton: 2005, p. 29.

15 Sara Z. Burke, Patrice Milewski (editors), Schooling in Transition: Readings in Canadian History of Education. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011, p. 235; Robin Winks, The Blacks in Canada: A History. 2nd Ed. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1997, p. 374. The ruling reads:

    416. Right to attend a common school not extinguished by establishment of separate school
    -- Revival upon discontinuation of separate school. Per Draper C.J.: “It is in our opinion impossible to hold that if a separate school is once established, the class for whose use it was once brought into existence cannot, when it is no longer maintained, claim the privileges conferred by The Common School Act. The creation of a separate school suspends but does not annul those privileges, and when the separate school ceases to exist the rights revive. And therefore the applicant, if his rights as a resident of school section number 8 ever were suspended, was reinstated in them. The case of Washington v. Charlotteville School Trustees, [supra], recognizes the principle by which we are governed in this case. We must hold that coloured people are not to be excluded from the ordinary common schools, if there be no separate school established and in operation for their use.”
    RE: Stewart and Sandwich East School Trustees (1864), 23 U.C.Q.B. 643 (C.A.).
    "The Canadian abridgment: a digest of reported decisions of the Supreme and Exchequer Courts of Canada, and of all the courts of the Common Law provinces, including appeals to the Privy Council and also decisions from the courts of Quebec of universal application," (1999) Volume 35, Issue 1974, 86.

16 Natasha Henry, Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2010, p. 57.

17 Ibid.

18 "Ontario Marriages, 1869-1927," index, FamilySearch (accessed 9 May 2015), Washington Smith in entry for David Scott and Mawda Smith, 04 Jun 1898; citing registration , Windsor, Essex, Ontario, Canada, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm. According to his death notice in the Windsor Evening Record, 20 March 1899, Alfred Scott escaped enslavement in Virginia andmade his way to Canada. He lived in the Windsor Barracks before buying property in Maidstone. Members of the Scott family are buried in the Puce Memorial Cemetery.

19 Edna married musician and porter George Richard Boarman, Eliza married her second husband Miles Ellis Bish, Victoria wed James E. Tuppins and Walter Rollins, and Phoebe Hazel married Albert Boarman, George’s cousin. "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920," Database, FamilySearch (accessed 15 June 2015), George Boarman and Edna Smith, 29 Nov 1895; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 242020, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,257.; "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920," index, FamilySearch (accessed 6 May 2015), Miles E Bish and Eliza Rass Or Ross, 24 Dec 1912; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 616118, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,536.; "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920," Database, FamilySearch (accessed 15 June 2015), James E. Tuppins and Victoria Smith, 19 Mar 1902; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 341795, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,335. VICTORIA "Illinois, Cook County Marriages, 1871-1920," index, FamilySearch (accessed 18 May 2015), Albert Boarman and Pheobe Hazel Scott, 26 Apr 1915; citing Chicago, Cook, Illinois, 694073, Cook County Courthouse, Chicago; FHL microfilm 1,030,594.; United States Census for South Town Chicago city Ward 3, Cook, Illinois for the years 1900, 1920, 1930, 1940.

20 United States Census for Detroit Ward 11, Wayne, Michigan for 1920.; 1903 Detroit City Directory, 1943.; 1921 Detroit City Directory, 1828.

21 Census of Canada for Maidstone Township, Essex North for 1921.

22 Charlotte Bronte Perry, The Long Road: A History of the Coloured Canadian in Windsor, Ontario 1867-1967. Volume 1. Windsor: Sumner Print. & Pub. Co, 1967, p. 29.
23 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," index, FamilySearch (accessed 10 May 2015), Amanda Washington, 18 Oct 1884; citing Windsor, Essex, Ontario, yr 1884 cn 3925, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,853,241. Windsor Evening Record, 24 November, 1894: 2; Windsor Evening Record, 8 December 1894: 2; Windsor Evening Record, 14 December 1894: 5.; Essex County Supreme Court Judgement Book, RG 22-1805-0-1, 195; Winnie Hill (née Stewart), Amanda’s sister, sued to have the land purchased by her parents sold and the monies divided among their heirs.

24 James F. Ross was born in 1866 in Hawkins, Tennessee to Ellen and F.K. Ross.; Ancestry.com. Cook County, Illinois, Deaths Index, 1878-1922 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original Data: Illinois, Cook County Deaths 1878-1922.” Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010. Illinois Department of Public Health. “Birth and Death Records, 1916-present." Division of Vital Records, Springfield, Illinois.; Windsor Evening Record, 27 July 1908: p. 7.

25 The Library of Michigan; Michigan Death Records, 1897-1920; Rolls: 1-302; Archive Barcode/Item Number: 30000008532487; Roll Number: 136; Certificate Number: 2099.; For an elaborate article on the life of Julia Turner, read “Writing the Life of Julia Turner” by Afua Cooper. Her paternal grandparents Henry and Rosina Turner were freedom-seekers. Henry served as a sergeant in the all-Black Caldwell’s Rangers during the Rebellions of 1837/38.

26 Washington Smith is listed in consecutive tax assessments and collector rolls up until 1912.; Windsor Evening Record, 6 May, 1912: p. 7; Windsor Evening Record, 7 May, 1912: p. 2; Windsor Evening Record, 8 May, 1912: p. 1.

27 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," index, FamilySearch (accessed 6 May 2015), Washington Smith in entry for John W. Smith, 19 Nov 1919; citing Maidstone, Essex, Ontario, yr 1919 cn 12555, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,862,963.; Death notices Essex Free Press, 21 November, 1919: 8; Windsor Border Cities, 19 November, 1919: 3; Windsor Border Cities, 21 November, 1919: 3.

28 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," index, FamilySearch (accessed 6 May 2015), Washington Smith in entry for Louis Smith, 10 Dec 1922; citing London, Middlesex, Ontario, yr 1922 cn 21242, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 1,907,007.; Windsor Border Cities, 22 May, 1923.

29 "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," Database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:N34K-CQL: accessed 16 June 2015), Eliza Bish, 02 Dec 1930; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,892,693.

30 "Ontario Deaths, 1869-1937 and Overseas Deaths, 1939-1947," Database with images, FamilySearch (accessed 16 June 2015), James Wray, 09 Jul 1931; citing Essex, Maidstone, Ontario, 448, Archives of Ontario, Toronto; FHL microfilm 2,296,528.; Amanda’s year of death is recorded as 1952.

31 Edna Boarman death notice in Windsor Star, 13 August, 1938; "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947," Database, FamilySearch (accessed 16 June 2015), Edna Boarman, 11 Aug 1938; Public Board of Health, Archives, Springfield; FHL microfilm 1,953,322.

32 George’s year of death is recorded as 1923.

33 "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952," Database, FamilySearch (accessed 16 June 2015), Robert B Smith, 01 Nov 1936; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing; FHL microfilm 1,972,880.

34 "Michigan, Death Certificates, 1921-1952," index, FamilySearch (accessed 6 May 2015), Washington Smith in entry for David C Smith, 21 Apr 1927; citing Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States, Division for Vital Records and Health Statistics, Lansing; FHL microfilm 1,972,982.

35 David Scott died 7 June 1903 in Essex County. He worked as bartender in David Smith’s hotel. Ancestry.com. Illinois, Deaths and Stillbirths Index, 1916-1947 [database online]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011. Original Data: "Illinois Deaths and Stillbirths, 1916-1947." Index. FamilySearch, Salt Lake City, Utah, 2010.

36 Census of Canada for Maidstone Township, Essex North for 1911 and 1921.

37 Windsor Daily Star, September 1977.