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Rev. Alexander M. Hamilton 

Rev. Alexander M. Hamilton

Male 1842 - Yes, date unknown

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  • Prefix  Rev. 
    Birth  6 Oct 1842  , Oneida Co., New York Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2, 3
    Gender  Male 
    Immigration  1847  , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Immigration  1847  [3
    Naturalization  1882  [1
    Occupation  1885  Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Winterbourne, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    minister 
    Occupation  1885  Gale Presbyterian Church, Elmira, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    minister of Gale Presbyterian Church 
    Naturalization  1886  [3
    Occupation  1901  Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Clergyman 
    Occupation  1911  Winterbourne, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Minister 
    Religion  1911  Winterbourne, Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Presbyterian 
    Eby ID Number  Waterloo-53448 
    Died  Yes, date unknown 
    Person ID  I53448  Generations
    Last Modified  10 Jul 2017 

    Family  Jeanie Smith,   b. 13 Jun 1856, Guelph Township, Wellington Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Children 
     1. Jane Watt Hamilton,   b. 11 Jun 1879, , Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. John Rennie Hamilton,   b. 19 Nov 1883, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Family ID  F13831  Group Sheet

  • Photos
    Rev. Alexander M. Hamilton 1903
    Rev. Alexander M. Hamilton 1903

  • Notes 
    • Mr. Gibson, I have been informed, went regularly once a month to Woolwich to minister ordinances to the people there attached to the Established Church. The congregation to which he preached is now the congregation of Winterbourne, the Rev. A. M. Hamilton, M.A., pastor, who has at this date been settled there for twenty-five years. When Mr. Gibson went to Woolwich he joined in wedlock many of the people who are there still there...1a

      1aEbenezer: A History of the Central Presbyterian Church, Galt, Ontario, with brief sketches of some of its members who have passed on the the other side, The Rev. James A. R. Dickson

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      Gale Presbyterian Church Begun: 1864

      Presbyterians in Elmira became associated with Chalmers Free (Presbyterian) Church in Winterbourne sometime after the split in the Presbyterian Church in 1844. This association, with services provided for both Elmira and Hawkesville from Winterbourne, continued until 1864 when the Rev. Edward Graham was called, and the Elmira Presbyterian Church was formed to minister to the growing number of Presbyterians in Elmira. A white brick church was erected in 1868 named in honour of Alexander Gale, a Professor at Knox College and Moderator of the Free (Presbyterian) Church from 1853 until his death on April 6, 1854. The church was opened and dedicated on October 18, 1868.

      With the departure of Rev. Graham in 1869, the church became variously a two-point charge with Hawkesville and a mission station. The resulting instability did little to provide direction for either congregation until finally Elmira and Hawkesville were united as one charge on September 12, 1876. Unfortunately, Rev. Andrew Dryburgh, the minister who was serving them so well, died on March 6, 1878. In October of that year Hawkesville reverted to a mission station and Gale was left on its own for a time. Infrequent services were held until July 21, 1885 when the congregation was reestablished and came under the guidance of Rev. Alexander M. Hamilton of Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Winterbourne.

      The congregation grew and gained strength. Alterations to the church were made in 1906 when a tower and Sunday School annex were added. In 1913 it became a separate congregation for awhile. Ten years later, on October 14, 1923, it was reunited - for the next 45 years - with Winterbourne. Separated from Winterbourne on May 14, 1968, Gale was assisted by Presbytery until 1976 when the congregation became self-supporting2a

      2aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose


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      Chalmers Presbyterian Church Begun: 1844

      The congregation's history is mingled with that of St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Winterbourne. Early services, begun c.1837, were for all Presbyterians. However, there was a split in the Presbyterian Church in 1844 which resulted in congregations belonging to the Presbyterian Church of Canada in Connection with the Church of Scotland and others belonging to the Free (Presbyterian) Church of Canada. The local congregation also split with the result that a new congregation of Free Church members was formed, to be called eventually Chalmers Presbyterian Church. These members were barred immediately from use of their former place of worship.
      The Free Church congregation therefore held services in the stone schoolhouse; as of 1847 a regular summer supply of student preachers was sent to the area by Knox College. In 1848 the congregation built their own frame church which was located behind the present Chalmers church. The first entry in Chalmers Session Book was dated December 31, 1857. Rev. George Cuthbertson had been ordained and inducted into Chalmers on October 7, 1857 and was to remain until March 5, 1862. He was followed by Revs. W.S. Ball (1863-1864), Edward Graham (1864-1869), and Hugh Thompson. In 1861 the United Presbyterian Church and the Free Presbyterian Church joined to form the Canada Presbyterian Church. On January 23, 1865 the church was referred to as Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Winterbourne, for the first time. The present church building was erected in 1870.

      The Union of all Presbyterian churches in Canada occurred in 1875. On May 1, 1876 St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church joined with Chalmers. The Rev. Alexander M. Hamilton began a ministry to the combined congregations on May 22, 1877, a ministry which was to last for 40 years. The 100th Anniversary of the church building was celebrated on November 22, 1970.3a

      3aWaterloo County Churches A Research Guide To Churches Established Before 1900 By Rosemary Ambrose

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      Rev. A. M. Hamilton, whose parents had come from Lanarkshire, Scotland, in 1835 and settled in Oneida County, New York State, was born at the latter place in the year 1842. In 1847 the family removed to Upper Canada - as Ontario was then called - to the Township of Onondago, Brant County. On a portion of the Grand River Reservation, which the Indians had surrendered, his father bought a farm. The house was of logs and contained one room with a large fire-place and an attic which was consigned to the boys of the family as a sleeping room. Mr. Hamilton attended the district school, mostly in the winter, while he worked on the farm in the summer. In 1860 he entered the Brantford High School, and obtained a first class County Board Certificate.

      He taught school three years near Brantford, and attended the Normal School at Toronto in 1863. He received a first class certificate, Grade B., then became principal of the school at Fredricksburg (now Delhi) in Norfolk County, where he taught two years. Then he returned to Brantford High School and spent a year there in preparing for the University. In 1867 he entered Upper Canada College and the following year taught school in Guelph Township. In 1870 he returned to the University and received the degrees of B.A. and M.A. in 1873 and 1874 respectively. He finished his course at Knox College in 1877 and was sent as missionary to Northend, Luther Township, then called Bell's Corners. Later he acted as missionary in Rosseau, Muskoka, and Blythewood, Essex County. After being received by the presbytery of Paris, he was sent as missionary to Silver Islet on Lake Superior. On the 22nd of May 1877 (26 years ago) he accepted a call from Chalmers Church, Winterbourne, and has remained there since, attending, besides, to the wants of the presbyterians at Conestogo about 12 years. Eighteen years ago, he undertook to serve the presbyterians of Elmira and has since done so with great faithfulness. Of the original 16 members under his charge, 5 remain. In all 129 names were entered on the communion roll of whom 43 are now members, the rest having been removed by death, certificate, etc. Baptism has been administered to seventy persons.4a

      4aEnterprising Elmira Souvenir, An historical, descriptive, and illustrated Book of the Village of Elmira, Waterloo County, Ontario, Canada, published by George Klinck, 1903.

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      Alexander wrote a short history of the Chalmer's Church in Winterbourne:

      A Few Notes on the Early History of Chalmers' Church, Winterbourne"
      - by Rev. A. M. Hamilton, M. A.


      The first Scotch settlers came into Woolwich and settled in the neighbourhood of Winterbourne between the years 1834 and 1837. These were accustomed in the old country to gather for worship on the Sabbath day and felt the want of a meeting place. For a time they met in the homes of each other and in the log schoolhouses after these were built. They were not satisfied with these places of worship, so about the year 1837 they met at the hotel situated at the corner about a quarter of a mile south of the present village and took definite action to provide a place to meet in. The tavern was kept by a Mr. Grant. A lot was obtained shortly after for church and burying ground from Mr. Luman Woodward, but the deed was not obtained until Dec. 7th, 1858, owing to Mr. Woodward not having taken out the Crown Deed. So they had the use of it for twenty years before they became owners of it. Mr. Robert Douglas bought the farm from the government as also the one on the other side of the road on which Mr. Bemis had settled, and from Mr. Douglas the church obtained the deed for the ground on which the church was built and also the cemetery. The movement to have a church visible would thus be in the present year 1919 just eighty-two years ago. Previous to the opening of the church, services were held for a time in the schoolhouse situated at Mr. Norman Snyder's gate on the south side, the grounds of which were also the graveyard for the community. The most of the bodies were removed to the church yard, but some sleep quietly beneath the action of the plough and the harrow and underneath the growing grain.....

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  • Sources 
    1. [S148] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1901, Woolwich F-1 Page 7.

    2. [S130] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1881, Div. 4 Page 2.

    3. [S348] Census - ON, Waterloo, Woolwich - 1911, Div. 13 page 8.

  • Event Map
    Event
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1847 - , Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - minister - 1885 - Chalmers Presbyterian Church, Winterbourne, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - minister of Gale Presbyterian Church - 1885 - Gale Presbyterian Church, Elmira, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Clergyman - 1901 - Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Minister - 1911 - Winterbourne, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Presbyterian - 1911 - Winterbourne, Waterloo Region, Ontario Link to Google Earth
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