Waterloo Region Generations
A record of the people of Waterloo Region, Ontario.

Squire William E. S. Ellis[1]

Male 1776 - 1848  (72 years)


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  • Name William E. S. Ellis 
    Prefix Squire 
    Born 1776  Killashandra, Cavan, Ulster, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4, 5
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 1810  , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Assessment 1829  Waterloo Township - Beasley's Lower Block Conc. 2 Lot 10, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [6
    Interesting law, public service, pioneer, story 
    Land Bef 1831  Waterloo Township - Beasley's Lower Block Conc. 2 Lot 10, Waterloo County, Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [7
    Military War of 1812 - 
    • Served in the Flank company of the 2nd York Militia Regiment under Captain Applegarth. Militia rolls names on him and petitions for compensation after the war listing their homes as being in Block 2 or Waterloo
    Name Squire Ellis 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-27269 
    Died 23 Feb 1848  [3, 4, 5, 8, 9
    Buried Wanner Mennonite Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [5, 8
    Person ID I27269  Generations
    Last Modified 23 Feb 2021 

    Father Ellis,   b. Abt 1746, of, Killashandra, Cavan, Ulster, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID F40560  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Martha Elliott,   b. 1773, , Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 29 Sep 1861, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 88 years) 
    Children 
     1. Nancy Ellis,   b. CALC 4 May 1803, , Cavan Co, Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Feb 1889, Puslinch Twp., Wellington Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 85 years)
     2. David Ellis,   b. 5 Dec 1811, , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 5 Feb 1898, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 86 years)
     3. Jane Ellis,   b. CALC 24 Apr 1813, , Ireland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 May 1891  (Age ~ 78 years)
     4. Margaret Ellis,   b. 19 Feb 1815, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1891, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 76 years)
     5. Martha Ellis,   b. 1 Mar 1816, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1871, Walsingham Township, Norfolk Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 55 years)
     6. William E. Ellis,   b. 10 Feb 1819, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 31 Aug 1891, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 72 years)
    Last Modified 24 Feb 2021 
    Family ID F7105  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • In 1810 Jacob Shantz & wife & one child and Christian Shantz with wife & 8 children (he was distinguished as River Shantz) and half brother to Jacob's late father (Isaac) and Cornelius Pannebecker & family came in one company.

      In this same year 1810 came Henry Wanner with 3 sons and 6 daughters from Cumberland Co. Pa. He had two 4 horse teams and brought 6 cows along. In this came also one William Ellis (D. Feby. 28, 1848 and wife Martha D. Sept. 29, 1864) originally from Ireland, came from Pa. and settled near Hespeler of the present. Henry [Ellis] one of those sons was drafted and as he was not a member in the Mennonite church had to go in the War of 1812. On his return from battle he had all his cartridges left yet so he was asked why he did not shoot, to which he replied, why I looked & looked for a chance. He was too much of a Mennonite for a good soldier.

      This William Ellis, (who became a Captain of a company in the War of 1812), and John Erb were the two first Magistrates in this Waterloo settlement. As yet no Post Office was nearer than Dundas, and all legal business, such as Recording of Deeds, reports & returns of Tax collectors, had to be made at Little York (Toronto).

      Mennonite Immigration to Waterloo County, The Moyer Journal, Atributed to Samuel S. Moyer 1849-1941, Waterloo Region Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society

      _______________________

      His Excellency Major General Sir Peregrine Maitland Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Military Order of the Bath. Lieutenant Governor of the Province of Upper Canada.

      May it please your Excellency

      We the undersigned inhabitants of the Township of Waterloo and the adjacent Townships beg leave respectfully to represent - That in many instances they are put to great inconvenience in consequence of not having two resident Magistrates in this part of the District of Gore - And that it would greatly contribute to the general accommodation of the Inhabitants if in addition to the present magistrate William Ellis Esq. it would please your Excellency to name some other person to act in conjunction with him in discharge of the very important Office of Justice of the Peace.

      We therefore humbly petition your Excellency that you would please appoint Mr. William Scollick of the township of Waterloo as Magistrate for the District of Gore. And we confidently assure your Excellency that from the circumstances of the person herein nominated being a native of the County of Westmorland in England and his having already purchased an Estate in the Township of Waterloo. And since his residence amongst us uniformly conducted himself as a respectable and truly loyal subject. We think no other person in this vicinity could be named to discharge the duty of the appointment with greater satisfaction to the Inhabitants.

      And your petitioners are in duty bound will ever pray

      --

      Waterloo
      April 23rd 1824

      Walter B. Davis
      Andrew Serares
      Jacob Holt
      Henry Panndeker
      D. Sharp
      Richard Ferguson
      William Ellis, J.P.
      John McCarther
      John Erb
      Abraham Panebaker
      William Bedntetr
      Jacob Gabel
      John Tasinbarger
      Sylvenus Cornell
      Ebocham Tasenbarger
      Ward Smith
      Christian Swartz
      John Erb Jn.
      Thomas Smith
      George Clemens
      James Henery
      Jacob C. Snyder
      John Bearty
      ? Zingler

      Upper Canada Sundries, Archives of Canada. Original, Film C4612, vol. 66, pages 3505-35007. Index, Film C9822, 1824, p. 27

      ___________________________

      William Ellis was born in Ireland in 1776, and emigrated to the U. S. in 1804 with his younger brother. 6 years later, he moved to U. C. and settled in Waterloo Twp. where he was appointed Justice of the Peace. He died survived by his wife and 8 children.

      The Christian Guardian 17 May 1848 pg 123

      _____________________________

      In these early times there was not much need of magisterial supervision, but, as much probably as a matter of compliment as anything else, in the fall of 1827 Dr. Dunlop, Messrs. Pryor, Brewster, Hodgert and Col. Lamprey received the Commission of the Peace, to which Mr. Strange was afterwards added. Previous to this, disputes were adjusted and petty crimes punished by the magistrates elsewhere, 'Squires Leppard and Smith being the magistrates in Woolwich, and 'Squire Ellis, of Fisher's Mills, and 'Squire Scollick, of Preston, in Waterloo. From what is stated by those settlers who were here at the time, these magistrates' courts were conducted more on the principles of equity than on the basis of law, the legal knowledge of their worships on the bench being of the most crude and limited nature, and their decisions being given as the result of their innate feelings of justice and their bard common-sense views of right and wrong; and who shall say that there was not as much even-handed justice meted out then as now, when, through the multiplicity of apparently conflicting statutes, law and justice do not always seem to go hand in hand? When the Guelph magistrates were appointed, however, a quantity of law books were procured, and being men of considerable education and ability, they at once assumed a high place in the estimation of the other justices of the peace, who were accustomed to refer unusually knotty points to them for decision.

      The annals of the town of Guelph, 1827-1877 By Charles Acton Burrows pg. 60

      ______________________________

      ELLIS FAMILY HISTORY

      Mr. Alfred Ellis of Maple Grove Farm near Hespeler, who observed his 92nd birthday on September 15th, reveals some hitherto unrecorded tails of early days in the country shedding sidelights on conditions in Canada in the early days.

      Mr. Ellis's grandfather, according to the former's reminiscences, Was the man who fired the first shot in the historic battle of Beaver Dams. A captain in the army, he went into active service immediately after the outbreak of the war of 1812-13-14 and when the men he was directing faced the enemy at Beaver Dams, so keen was the young officer to fight that he fired a shot before the general order to fire had been given.

      Captain Ellis was better known in this vicinity as Squire Ellis. He was the country's first magistrate and in addition was employed by the government to pay the Indians the wolf-pelt bounty.

      Although the times were troublous Squire Ellis lost no time in getting into action when Canada was invaded. As he bade farewell to his wife and young family before mounting his horse to ride to Niagara, he planted a staff in the ground. If it stood upright it was to be a sign that he would return unharmed from the War, he told his wife. Whether or not this superstition had any foundation is unknown. But it is known that the staff remained upright all the time its owner was away. It was still in position on the night at midnight when a noise at the door startled as she sat spinning, and without any other announcement her husband stood unharmed before her with his job of soldiering done. It is of interest that the old musket and bayonet used by Squire Ellis in 1812-14 are still valued possessions of the Ellis family.

      In Squire Ellis's time Indians were much dreaded. The Squire, however, did not appear to share the general fear. Indeed he seemed to have a special influence over the red men. One night when he was returning through the Woods on horseback, a little to the west of where Preston now stands., he heard cries of distress. On turning his horse and investigating he found an Indian white men whipping him.

      The Squire jumped off his horse, routed the men and untied the Indian He then gave his horse to the latter and took him home Where Mrs. Ellis cared for him until his wounds were healed.

      One morning the Indian attempted by means of signs to give his benefactors a message but they failed to understand. Shortly afterwards he left the farm. A year later a b and of Indians approached the house with 2 Indian ponies. Since he did not know what they wanted the Squire put his children in the house, took out his gun and went out to meet them. The Indian he had rescued the previous was in the front rank. He came forward, three this arms about the Squire while two other Indians presented him with the span of Indian ponies.

      In telling the story the Squire's grandson reported that it was a legend in the family that the ponies were kept on the farm until they died and that in the year 1885 a matched span of Indian ponies - probably offspring of the original pair - were shown by the Ellis family at Harley Fair and took first prize for being the "fastest walkers".

      Interest in horses came naturally to the country's first magistrate. The chronicle of his family shows that he was a born in County Cavan, Ireland, a gentleman farmer who was educated, in good circumstances and who maintained a stable of good horses and kept his own hounds.

      Squire Ellis was born in 1776 and married in 1799. When his first two children were still small tots he and his wife crossed the ocean and had the grief of having their first son die during the hazardous voyage.

      At first they settled in Pennsylvania but in 1810 with other Loyalists they came north to Canada and settled on 230 acres which they bought from the Crown (George IY) near what is now Idylwild.

      Their first home was built of logs on the side of a hill facing the south with an everlasting spring near by. (The Spring is now in existence). The house was a three storey structure with cellar, kitchen and fireplace, in front of which the Squire joined many hand in wedlock. As much as seven hundred pounds of maple sugar was often stored in the old attic. The house old is still standíng and is in good repair.

      Mr. Ellis recalls that his grandparents had eight children, one of whom, David, was his father. The latter settled a few miles north of the original home on a farm which is the home of his nonagenarian son.

      On Feb 8, 1892, Mr. Alfred Ellis married Mary Jane Clemens, daughter of Aaron Clemens of Fisher's Mills. Mr.s Ellis died June 8, 1945. The four children of this marriage are still living. Carl, who was the reeve of Waterloo Township, is now the farmer instead of his father. Elena, now Mrs. Alvin Gingrich lives in Hespeler, and Lourene and Ella are employed in Kitchener.

      (Adapted in part from Pieces of Eight - New Record Sept. 18, 1940)

      Waterloo Historical Society 1947 Annual Volume

  • Sources 
    1. [S9] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Canada Museum und Allgemeine Zeitung (1835-1840), 10 Dec 1835:15.
      1 Dec 1835 Georg Clemens, son of Georg Clemens, m. Miss ---- Ellis, daughter of Wm Ellis, who also performed the ceremony. All are of Waterloo.

    2. [S952] News - Christian Guardian - Death Notices from the Christian Guardian 1836-1850, 8 Apr 1846 - Obituary of David Ellis Sr.

    3. [S952] News - Christian Guardian - Death Notices from the Christian Guardian 1836-1850, Obituary of William Ellis 17 May 1848.

    4. [S2653] aaaaWaterloo Twp. 1861, Sect. 11 Page 75.

    5. [S2173] Find A Grave, Cemetery, W., America, N., Municipality, W., & Cemetery, W. (1776). William Ellis (1776-1848) - Find A Grave Memorial. Retrieved 5 September 2020, from https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/110878390/william-ellis.

    6. [S1319] Assessment Roll - ON, Waterloo Twp. - 1829-1830.

    7. [S1322] Land - Founding Families of Waterloo Township 1800-1830, 24.

    8. [S163] Cemetery - ON, Waterloo, Cambridge - Wanner Mennonite CC#6479 (formerly Waterloo Township).
      Sacred to the memory of / William Ellis, Esq. / who died / Feb.23,1848 / aged (72) years / verse

    9. [S244] News - ON, Waterloo, Kitchener - Deutsche Canadier (1841-1865) - Index to Births, Deaths and Marriages Announced in the Deutsche Canadier, Berlin, Canada West. originally indexed by Simone Nieuwolt and Sylvie Kuppek..organised by Rosemary Ambrose, 10 Mar 1848 Page 11.
      William Ellis Died 24 Feb 1848 72 years old.

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1776 - Killashandra, Cavan, Ulster, Ireland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsImmigration - 1810 - , Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsAssessment - 1829 - Waterloo Township - Beasley's Lower Block Conc. 2 Lot 10, Waterloo County, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsLand - Bef 1831 - Waterloo Township - Beasley's Lower Block Conc. 2 Lot 10, Waterloo County, Ontario Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Wanner Mennonite Cemetery, Cambridge, Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth