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

Martha Smith

Female 1809 - 1884  (75 years)


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  • Name Martha Smith 
    Born 24 Aug 1809  , Aberdeen, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 2
    Christened 13 Sep 1809  Old Machar, Aberdeen, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Gender Female 
    Rsrch. Note
    • Name: Martha Smith
      Surname: Smith
      Given Name: Martha
      Sex: F
      Birth: 24 Aug 1809 in Aberdeen, Scotland
      Christening: 13 Sep 1809 Old Machar, Aberdeen, Scotland
      Death: 14 Dec 1884 in Brantford Township, Ontario of Congestion of Lungs
      Burial: Greenwood Cemetery, Brantford, Ontario
      _UID: 4E8CF5CFF279D51181030000F6B84859C279
      Census: 1871 Brantford Township, Ontario
      Note:

      She arrived on the "British Ship Arkwright" at the port of New York on 4 May 1835, age 20 (was actually 25), Spinster, with her father James Smith 57, Seedsman, mother "Mrs Smith" 50, and four siblings.

      Married Thomas Knight of Scotland who was also a resident of Woolwich township (who lived across the road from the family of James Smith).

      Was the administrator of her first husband's estate which was settled in 1841 (her father and brother William between them had to post a bond of 1,000 pounds until it was legally settled). As there appeared to be no next-of-kin living in Upper Canada, she may have received from the estate about half that amount, i.e. 500 pounds. After paying off her husbands debts, she (her father?) may have received about half, i.e. 250 pounds.

      Martha received from her father James (1844) the following bequests:
      - the sum of eighty-seven pounds ten shillings currency.
      - one of two town lots in the village of Brantford (the other given to Sarah).
      Note no record has been found to date of the town lots mentioned in James' will.

      Martha must have married James Randall of Brantford township some time between 1845 and May 1849. James' brother Ephraim and sister Mary Jane are said (in the 1901 census) to have emigrated to Canada in 1847, so if James came at the same time, then they must have married about 1848.

      In Land Registry records for Lot 3, Crooks Tract (Concession 1) in Woolwich township there are two entries referring to Martha.
      18 Nov 1839 Thomas Knight et ux (i.e. wife) sold 90 7/8 acres to George Mackie (Instrument No. 556)
      22 May 1849 James Randall & Martha his wife formerly widow of Thomas Knight sold 40 acres (Instument No. 3098)

      The 1861 census for Brantford township, Ontario (P.9) shows James Randal 44, born England and "Mrs" Randal, 50, born Scotland (who must be Martha Smith), both U.P., living in a house with one farm worker but no children.

      Received the following bequests (1868) from her husband James Randall:
      1st - I give and bequeath to my wife all the household goods chattels and furniture which shall at the time of my death be in or about my dwelling house of outbuildings or grounds thereof.
      2nd - I bequeath to my wife the sum of Five Thousand Dollars to be paid to her as soon as the same can conveniently be paid to her after my death to be received by her in lieu of all Dower or claims to Dower she can or may have to or out of any lands or premises I may be possessed or entitled to at the time of my death and all claims for money received by me out of her late father's or former husband's estate and of all other monies received by me from any person or persons for her and in full satisfaction and discharge of the same and of all claim or claims thereto.

      In 1871 living at Concession II, lot 23, Brantford township, Brant County, Ontario, a widow, age 60, with her brother William Smith 59, Gardener, (married) sister Sarah Woodyatt (should be Walkinshaw) 50 and Joseph White 17, who was her first cousin one time removed.

      Received the following bequests from her brother William when he died in 1881:
      First - I give and devise to my sister Martha Randall widow of James Randall deceased and to my sister Sarah the Dwelling House Garden orchard and Stable now occupied by me To Have and To Hold the same during the term of their natural lives and the life of the survivor of them as joint-tenants.
      Second - I give and bequeath to my said sisters during their natural lives and the life of the survivor of them the horse harness and carriage with buffalo robes now used by me or which shall be at the time of my decease.


      Twelfth - I will and direct that during the lifetime of my said sisters and the survivor of them or the Executor or Administrator of such survivor shall lease or rent to one or more tenant or tenants for a money rent or upon shares as may be deemed expedient the lands herein before mentioned (except that portion thereof devised as herein before mentioned to my said sisters) for such terms not exceeding five years on possession as may be thought best.
      Twentieth - I further will and direct that my said sisters and the survivor of them shall have the right during their natural lives to cut and remove from the thirteen acres of wood land in the Tenth paragraph of this my will mentioned so much firewood as may be necessary from year to year for their own use.

      The April 1881 census shows the widowed sisters Martha Randall 71 and Sarah Walkinshaw 62 living at Concession II, Lot 23, Brantford Township,with their nephew James A. 28, farmer, who had inherited the farm from his uncle William. Martha presumably lived there with her sister and nephew until her death in 1884.

      Brantford Weekly Expositor, December 19, 1884, p.8
      DIED
      RANDELL -- On sunday the 14th inst. Mrs. James Randell, in the 75th year of her age.

      Change Date: 23 Feb 2011 at 14:47:00
    Name Martha Knight 
    Residence 1837  Brantford, Brant Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Eby ID Number Waterloo-99111 
    Died 14 Dec 1884  Brantford Twp., Brant Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 4
    Cause: congestion of lungs (1 week) 
    Buried Greenwood Cemetery, Brantford, Brant Co., Ontario Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I99111  Generations
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2020 

    Father James Smith,   b. Abt 1763, Aberdeen, , Aberdeen, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 12 Jun 1844, , Brant Co., Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 81 years) 
    Mother Patience Austin,   b. Abt 1763, , England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F29115  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Thomas Knight,   b. Abt 1812, of, Woolwich Twp., Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1840  (Age ~ 28 years) 
    Married 1837  , Ontario, Canada Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    Last Modified 17 Feb 2020 
    Family ID F25506  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Notes 
    • From: P.M.Smith@iaea.org

      I recently received a photocopy of the estate file of the first husband of Martha SMITH, eldest daughter of my great great grandfather James Smith, who emigrated from Aberdeen to Canada in 1835 and first settled in Woolwich township. Martha's husband Thomas KNIGHT died presumably quite unexpected on 11 Aug 1840, and no will was found. As next of kin, Martha, assisted by her father and her brother William, signed a document which obliged them to pay to the then Lieutenant-Governor, Sir George Arthur, the amount of one thousand pounds, but that if a certain condition was met then the obligation was cancelled. My gggf and his son William also had to swear that they were both "worth five hundred pounds over and above what will pay all his debts" - i.e. this estate file is a family-history gem.
      On top of the difficulty in reading the handwriting, and coping with the legalese, it appears that a whole sentence was left out of the document when it was being prepared, presumably by copying from a similar document, and this sentence is crucial to understanding what they were expected to do. I found the text of a very similar obligation (albeit from 1791) in the Internet and hope I have re-created the missing sentence correctly.
      I have several questions as to such an obligation: I believe that if Martha made a full inventory of her late husbands assets, paid off his debts and collected in any money owing to him, presented this inventory to the Surrogate Court, which would then distribute the left-over assets according to English intestate laws from the era of Charles II and James II, then she (and her family) need not pay, but there are other interpretations, so I would welcome hearing how it really worked.
      The amount of one thousand pounds appears to be very high - can I assume this was in some relation to the expected size of the estate? There is an inventory with the estate file but it appears to show that Thomas Knight had more debts than assets when he died.
      Peter Smith Vienna, Austria
      PS If anyone recognizes the name Thomas Knight of Woolwich township, I would appreciate knowing more about him. The estate file mentions it was believed he had no other next-of-kin in Upper Canada. I found his name in a set of census and assessment returns for Woolwich township for 1837-1840. His property was near the present village of Winterbourne.


      Branch Notes Vol 28 No 4, Waterloo-Wellington Branch, Ontario Genealogical Society 2000

  • Sources 
    1. [S1289] News - ON, Brant, Brantford - Brantford Expositor, Dec 19, 1884 pg 8.
      RANDELL -- On sunday the 14th inst. Mrs. James Randell, in the 75th year of her age.

    2. [S1754] Church Records - Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Old Machar, christening of Martha Smith; FHL microfilm 991,142.
      Martha Smith, chr. 13 Sep 180-9 Old Machar, Aberdeen, Scotland, b. 24 Aug 1809 d/o James Smith & Patience Austin

    3. [S26] Lower Canada Marriage Bonds (1779-1858), C-6786.
      Name of Future Husband: KNIGHT, Thomas Res: Woolwich Township, Halton County Name of Future Wife: SMITH, Martha Res: Brantford, Wentworth Reference: RG 5 B9 Volume: 33 Bond Number: 5824 Date: 1837-03-30

    4. [S713] Vit - ON - Death Registration, death certificate 1521 (1884), Martha Randall.
      Marthan Randall, d. 14 Dec 1884 Brantford Township, b. Scotland, aged 76y, cause: congestion of lungs (1 week)

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 24 Aug 1809 - , Aberdeen, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChristened - 13 Sep 1809 - Old Machar, Aberdeen, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1837 - Brantford, Brant Co., Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 1837 - , Ontario, Canada Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsBuried - - Greenwood Cemetery, Brantford, Brant Co., Ontario Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth