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

John Gowdy[1]

Male 1827 - 1896  (69 years)


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    Event Map    |    All    |    PDF

  • Name John Gowdy 
    Born 1827  Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Find all individuals with events at this location  [2, 3, 4
    Gender Male 
    Interesting story 
    Occupation 1852  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    farmer 
    Occupation 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Farmer 
    Religion 1871  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Brethren in Christ 
    Occupation 1881  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Farmer 
    Religion 1881  Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Plymouth Bretherwn 
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-29676 
    Died 1896 
    Person ID I29676  Generations
    Last Modified 12 Jun 2019 

    Family 1 Mary Creighton,   b. 1830, , Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1884  (Age 54 years) 
    Married 1851 
    Children 
     1. Helen Goudy,   b. 20 Apr 1853, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     2. Anna Gowdy,   b. 18 May 1854, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 17 Jan 1926, Listowel, Perth County, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 71 years)
     3. Mary Gowdy,   b. 1855, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1906  (Age 51 years)
     4. Isabella Gowdy,   b. 1856, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1908  (Age 52 years)
     5. David Gowdy,   b. 1857, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     6. John Alex Gowdy,   b. 1860, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     7. William Thomas Gowdy,   b. 24 Feb 1862, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Oct 1949, Calgary, Alberta Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 87 years)
     8. Sarah Jane Gowdy,   b. 1866, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1899  (Age 33 years)
     9. Matilda Gowdy,   b. 1868, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1903  (Age 35 years)
     10. Emaline Goudy,   b. Aug 1870, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     11. Minnie Florence Goudy,   b. 1872, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     12. Johannah Miriam Gowdy,   b. 1874, Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
    Last Modified 14 Jun 2019 
    Family ID F7831  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 Mary G. Brokenshire 
    Last Modified 14 Jun 2019 
    Family ID F55742  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1827 - Belfast, Antrim, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - farmer - 1852 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1871 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Brethren in Christ - 1871 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsOccupation - Farmer - 1881 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsReligion - Plymouth Bretherwn - 1881 - Waterloo Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Notes 
    • The Gowdy, Ontario Branch

      The branch of the Gowdy family that is of greatest personal interest is that branch that was established by John Gowdy in Ulster, Ireland, about the year 1681, and from whom my mother's family is descended. (I) John Gowdy was born at Galston, Ayshire, Scotland in 1655. When 26 years of age he, accompanied by William Gowdy, a brother, removed from the ancient family seat on Cessnock Creek in Ayrshire and settled at Ballywalter, County Down, Ulster, Ireland. Nothing further is known about William, but John taught school until 1688 when he was ordained as minister of Ballywalter, which office he filled with distinction until the time of his death in 1733. Tradition speaks of him as "Gowdy the Prophet" by way of distinction among the minister of that name connected with Ballywalter. He was married, his wife's name being Margaret (1667-1725), to whom were born at least six children, one of whom was Rev. RobertGowdy. He succeeded his father at Bally waiter in 1734 and continued as pastor of that congregation until 1761. It is believed he died unmarried. Another son of John Gowdy, The Prophet, whose name cannot definitely be determined, acquired land near the Town of Cunningburn, about three miles from Newton- wards along the shore of Lough Strangford, where he engaged in farming. He was succeeded by his son, John Gowdy, who was born about the year 1740. He was married and had several children, but only two are definitely known, viz., (IV) Rev. James Gowdy, (IV) Rev. Andrew.

      (IV)Rev. James Gowdy was ordained a minister in the Presbyterian Church in 1790. He died in 1826 leaving at least one son, (V) James, who was a student in 1821, but of whom nothing further is known.

      (IV)Rev. Andrew Gowdy was ordained at Bally waiter in 1802 where for seventeen years he labored faithfully for the good cause. He married Matilda Porter, daughter of the Rev. James Porter of Grey Abbey who, along with Rev. Robert Gowdy, lost his life at the time of the rebellion of the United Irishmen in 1798. This Robert Gowdy's family connection is unknown. Andrew died suddenly in 1818 leaving a family of six, viz., John, James and Henry, who emigrated to the United States where they were associated with their uncle, the Hon. Alexander Porter, U.S. Senator. They all died unmarried; Anna and Matilda, and (V) Rev. Alexander Porter Gowdy, D.D., (1809-1858). He was born in the old Gowdy home, the manse at Ballywalter where he received his early education. Later he lived with his grandmother, Mrs. Porter, in Belfast, where he continued his studies with such good effect that he won several scholarships. As a climax to a distinguished career he received the highest honour that it was possible for his associates to bestow upon him in being appointed Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1857. The name of his wife was Isabella Kinross of Ayr. To them were born several children, one of whom was (VI) Professor Henry Gowdy, A.M.,
      D.C.L. He was born in 1848, became an eminent lawyer and professor of Civil Law at Oxford University, England, in 1893. He was the recipient of an Honorary L.L.D. degree from Edinburgh University where for a time he was Professor of Law. He was the author of several authoritative works on Scottish and Roman Law. He remained unmarried.
      A third son of John Gowdy, "The Prophet, whose name cannot definitely be determined, had a son, Alexander. He left the parental roof at Ballywalter and settled in Belfast where he married and had at least two sons, (IV) Joseph and (IV) John, who settled in Toronto and had five children, four daughters and a son.

      (IV)Joseph the greatgrandson of John Gowdy, "The Prophet," (the writer's great grandfather), was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1787. Early in life he served his apprenticeship as a builder, specializing in artistic masonry in which he became very proficient. In Belfast he met Mary Ann Small, who became his wife in 1821. They, with their small family, came to Canada in 1828, taking up their abode in Guelph. Later they engaged in farming but again removed to the city where they spent their declining years. He died in 1856 after which his widow moved into a house owned by her son, Thomas. Here she resided until the time of her death, having as her constant companions her two grandchildren, who had been named after her: Ann Gowdy (one of whom was my mother). The Guelph Weekly Mercury and Advertiser in Oct. 1883, paid high editorial tribute to her memory. This marital union was blessed with six children, viz., (V) Alex., (V) John, (V) Annie, (V) Mary, (V) Thomas, (V) Edith.

      (V)Alexander, the eldest child of John and Ann Gowdy, was born in Ireland. He came to Canada with his parents and later removed to Howick Township where he engaged in farming. He was married and had a family of eight children, viz., Isaac (see below), John, the father of three boys and two girls, Joseph, Thomas, Andrew, Elizabeth, Sarah and Priscilla.
      Isaac, eldest son of Alexander Gowdy, had a family of four sons and one daughter, as follows: Norman (see below), Melvin, Chester, Harry and Elda.
      Norman Gowdy, eldest son of Isaac, entered the mercantile field at an early age, and served his apprenticeship with the Gordon Mackay Company of Toronto. Later he conducted businesses at Listowel, Walkerville and other points. At present he is in business at 48 King Street West, Kitchener.

      (V)John (my grandfather), was born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1827. Shortly after reaching man's estate he purchased the farm adjoining that of his father. In his earlier years he was exceedingly energetic in the working of his farm and God prospered him in his labor. For many years he lived upon the means which toil, application and care had through the Divine blessing accumulated. For many years he was a ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church in Guelph. In 1851 he was married to Mary Crichton. This union was richly blessed with a family of fourteen, (see below). In his later years he usually spent his winters in Jamaica, Bermuda or California. His wife died in 1884 and was buried in Los Angeles after which he moved to Kingston where he was again married, his second wife's name being Mary G. Brokenshire, sister of Rev. W. H. Brokenshire, eminent Kingston clergyman, who saw extensive service throughout Canada, the United States, Japan and in France during the Great War. John Gowdy died in 1896. The children of this union are as follows:

      (VI)Helen, who married George McAllister in 1879. They resided in their beautiful home on Waterloo Avenue in Guelph until the time of his death a few years ago. During the whole of his life he was exceedingly busy about his Master's business. This union has always been a very happy one and six children graced the family circle: John, who is in business in Guelph, being engaged in the manufacture of barrel sundries, Dr. John, Toronto; Mary, who became the wife of Arthur Dunning, prominent shoe merchant in Toronto; Asylvia, who became the wife of Robert Hamill, who is supervisor of Manual Training in the schools at Holyoke, Mass.; Emmeline, who became the wife of Leonard W. Chappie of Cobourg, Ont.; George, of Stratford, Ont.

      (VI)Anna, my mother. My parents were married in 1880 after which they took up their abode in Listowel where they resided until the time of their death in 1926. My father was a merchant and at various times owned stores in Listowel, Atwood, Sturton, New Hamburg etc. My parents were devout Christians. They were blessed with six children, all boys as follows: Alvin C. Bricker, who is at present engaged in the drug business at Espanola, Ont. Arthur K. Bricker, engaged in farming at Fenn, Alta. He had a splendid war record but is at present in poor health due to his overseas disabilities. Dr. Edwin G. Bricker, Winnipeg, Man., who has an outstanding record for civic activities; Dr. Calvin D. Bricker D.D.S., of Grenfell, Sask., who was a captain in the C. E. F. in France during the Great War; Jos. S. Bricker, D.D.S., of Vancouver, B.C., who is president of the B.C. Dental Association; Irwin Charles Bricker, the compiler of this article, engaged in the drug business for a number of years but is at present the postmaster at Elora. I served in France during the whole of 1916 with the 43rd Cameron Highlanders of Canada.

      (VI) Mary (1855-1906), third child of John and Mary Gowdy, married Jas. Gibbs and lived at Brantford. No family.

      (VI) Isabella (1856-1908), married Thomas Taylor and resided at Paris, Ont. They had a family of five boys.

      (VI) David, oldest son of John and Mary Gowdy, moved to California many years ago where he ran a chain of barber shops. No family.

      (VI) Edith died when a child.

      (VI) John Alex., resided at High River, Alta. Not married.

      (VI) William Thomas, engaged in grain growing at Sheppard, Alta. He married Priscilla Morley of Rockwood, Ontario, and had three sons and two daughters.

      (VI) Sarah Jane (1866-1899), unmarried.

      (VI) Matilda (1868-1903,. She married Alfred Shannon, printer of Kingston, Ont. They had four children, one of whom, John, served in the C. E. F.

      (VI) Emiline, who married Thomas Huffman, druggist at Napanee, Ont. They had three children. She at present resides at Freeman, Ont.

      (VI) Minnie Florence, married Dr. W. E. Wray. He died in 1926, while she still resides in Toronto. Their children are four sons and a daughter.

      (VI) Joanna Miriam, married John Taylor, one time Superintendent of the Penman Mills at Paris, Ont. At present they live at Richwood, Ont. He is an apiarist and an astronomer of considerable note. Their children are two daughters and a son.

      (V) Edith, third child of Joseph and Mary Gowdy was mar
      ried to Captain George Bruce. He was an alderman in the City of Guelph for a number of years, member of the Board of Education, Past-President of St. Andrew's Society, member and trustee of Chalmers Church for nearly forty years. He was an Ensign in the Fenian Raids of 1866. He, with his brother Alex., built St. Andrews, Chalmers and the Baptist churches in Guelph. He died in 1908. They had a family of four.

      (V)Mary Gowdy, married Thomas Whitelaw, being left a widow in 1896. They farmed near Guelph and left a family of six children-four boys and two girls.

      (V)Thomas Gowdy (1851-1914), the fifth child of Joseph and Ann Gowdy was born in the village of York. When quite a young man he moved to Guelph where for the greater part of his life he engaged in various lines of business. He acted as Aider- man for a great many years and was Mayor for the years 1889 and 1890. He was one of the original directors of the Guelph Junction Railway, president of the Toronto Lime Company, a director of the Dominion Life Insurance Company, the Wellington Mutual Fire Ins. Company, director of the Guelph Hospital Board etc. He was twice married, first to Mary Ann Cunningham. To them was born a daughter-Annie Elizabeth (see below). His second wife was Margaret Moore, to whom he was married in 1864. This union was blessed with nine children: (VI) Joseph, Thomas, Alexander, William, Newton, Samuel, Angus Bannerman, Margaret, Edward James and Nettie May. In 1914 Thomas died in his 83rd year following an accident. An obituary notice in the Guelph paper stated that "He was one of the pioneer citizens of Guelph and to him is due a great deal of the credit for building up the city.

      (VI)Annie Elizabeth, eldest daughter of Thomas Gowdy, married John Kennedy, to whom were bom three children: David, Thomas and Dorothy. Mr. Kennedy was elected Mayor of Guelph on three occasions. They received Their Majesties King George and Queen Mary when they toured Canada as Duke and Duchess of York.

      (VI)Joseph, the first son of Thomas and Margaret Gowdy, was born 1865 and died 1927. He was for many years a coal merchant in the City of Guelph, being in partnership with his brother, Samuel.

      (VI) William was for a time manager of the Toronto Lime Company.

      (VI) Angus is a Great War veteran and is engaged in the banking business.

      (VI) Margaret, the oldest daughter of Thomas and Margaret Gowdy, married Professor J. B. Reynolds, who for five years was president of the Manitoba Agricultural College. Later he filled the same office in the Ontario Agricultural College, Guelph.


      (V) Margaret Ann, sixth child of Joseph and Ann Gowdy, was born on the old Gowdy homestead near Mosboro. She married Thomas Carter and had a family of ten. They spent their later years in Guelph. Her death removed the last member of the Gowdy family.

      (V) Isabella, youngest child of Joseph and Ann Gowdy, married Thomas Grewer and died in Mount Forest leaving no children.

      I think it may be claimed without much fear of contradiction that few families played such a conspicuous part in the upbuilding of a Canadian city as did the descendants of that ancient and distinguished family, Gawdy, that came to Canada from the fountain head on the banks of Cessnock Creek in Ayrshire, Scotland.

      Waterloo Historical Society Twenty-Sixth Annual Report 1938, Kitchener, Ontario

  • Sources 
    1. [S4] Vit - ON - Marriage Registration.
      Joseph K Bricker Born: North Dumfries Age: 27 Father: David Bricker Mother: Hannah Bricker Born: abt 1853 Spouse: Anna Goudy Age: 25 born: Waterloo Father: John Goudy Mother: Mary Goudy married 7 Jan 1880

    2. [S131] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo Twp. - 1851, Div 2 Pg 99.

    3. [S604] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo South - 1871, Div. 1, Pg. 21.

    4. [S178] Census - ON, Waterloo, Waterloo South - 1881, Waterloo S. Twp. 1881 Div 1 Page 31.