1817Info1d: for Martha Crompton
Origins/Siblings of Sarah Elizabeth Lowther nee Oxley


This chapter links very closely with 1817info2a and 1817info2b as both involve the OXLEY family. John LOWTHER married Sarah Elizabeth OXLEY and her maiden name permeated through later generations, particularly Rachel Oxley LOWTHER/STUART. Reference is also made to the OXLEY in James Robert LOWTHER's Attestation papers. There are several spellings of Rachel.

OXLEY of Beverley

17 February 1722 William OXLEY, Cordwainer, apprenticed Rich. Fisher.
     William Oxley                               Richard son of Thomas and Ann
     |                                           |
     c.22may1751                                 c.06nov1754
     d.                                          d.
     |                                           |
     m.08aug1793 St. Mary and St. Nicholas,      m.07sep1802  St Mary and St Nicholas Beverley
     |           Beverley                        |             
     Sarah                                       Mary
     Clarkson of Meaux, widow                    Wise 
     |          Baptism at St. Mary and St. Nicholas Beverley
     William          Elizabeth        Richard         Robert             
     c.29jun1794      c.24jan1797      c.14mar1802     c.12mar1804
     d.1stQt1842      d.               d. retired      d.26may1866 Beverley            
     |                                 |  butcher      |
     m.15jul1824                       m.03dec1849     m.23jun1840   
     |                                 |               |
     Elizabeth                         Maria jane      Rachail (sic)
     Hobson                            Stevenson       Thompson dau of Mary and John
             Youngest daughter of the  b.....~1812     b.04jan1812
             late L Stevenson Grocer   d.              c.03feb1812 Bassall (Harton parish)
                                       |               d.1stQt1882 Beverley
  Thomas       Sarah        Richard       Rachel       Robert
  william      elizabeth                                             
  b.27jan1841  b.2ndQt1842  b.03may1843   b.2ndQt1845  b.3rdQt1846                    
  d.16mar1926  d.12jan1898  d.08oct1875   d.1stQt1938  d.....+1867
  |            |            | Bridlington Bournemouth   
  m.30may1864  m.1stQt1875  m.2ndQt1873
  |            |            | Hull
  Mary         John         Annie
  Hutty        Lowther      Abbott
  b.10jun1842  c.24oct1841  b.4thQt1843
  d...jan1916  d.28may1896  d.20jan1894
                            b.....~1874 Beverley
  dhand dhand dhand  

Yorkshire Gazette, Saturday 27th February 1836, page 3
BRADFORD WOOL MARKET February 25th last by Mr. Richard Oxley of Beverley, butcher. He discovered that the marks described with those on a lot of 29 sheep purchased by his brother the week proceeding of a man on the road, near Cherry Burton.
Mr. Oxley immediately gave information and on Thursday received from John Elrin of Woodmancy, who had seen his brother barganing for the sheep the name and description of the man, and the place of his abode, He Elrin being acquainted with him to be William Ride. Mr Oxley accompanied by a constable immediately proceeded to Huggate where Ride resided and succeeded in apprehending and bringing him to Beverley, where he was examined and committed to the East Riding House of Correction.

Hull Packet, Friday 7th June 1844, page 1
Richard Oxley and Robert Oxley, Beverley, in the county of York Butchers, under the firm of Richard and Robert Oxley, was this day dissolved by mutual consent. As Witnessed our hands this first day of May
Rich Oxley, Robert Oxley

1851 Census Sun/Mon 30/31st March 1851
Source:     FHL Film  TNA Ref H1O7
            Piece: 2359; Folio: 269; Page: 13; Sched: 40 
Dwelling:   40 North Bar Within    
Place:      St Mary's, Beverley, York ER, England

Name            Rel   Mar Age  Occupation                    Birthplace 
Robert Oxley    Head   M  47   Master Butcher  emp. one man  Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley    Wife   M  39                                 Yorks, Harton
Thomas W Oxley   Son   S  10   Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
Sarah E. Oxley   Dau   S   9   Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
Richard Oxley    Son   S   7   Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley     Dau   S   6   Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
Robert Oxley     Son   S   4                                 Yorks, Beverley
Mary North      Serv   S  22   House Servant                 Yorks, Witherwick
John Bateman    Serv   S  21   Butchers Journeyman           Yorks, Hull
Alice Gillbank  Serv   S  16   House servant                 Yorks, Kilnwick

1817info1d, sheet 2
1861 Census Sun/Mon. 7/8th April 1861
Source:     FHL Film  TNA Ref RG09
            Piece: 3568; Folio: 29; Page: 4; Sched: 13 
Dwelling:   North Bar st, Within    
Place:      Beverley, York ER, England

Name            Rel  Mar  Age  Occupation                    Birthplace 
Robert Oxley   Head   M   55   Master Butcher  emp. one man  Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley   Wife   M   49                                 Yorks, Harton
Sarah E. Oxley  Dau   S   19   Spinster                      Yorks, Beverley
Richard Oxley   Son   S   18   Butcher's apprentice          Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley    Dau   S   16   Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
Robert Oxley    Son   S   14   Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
Ann Porter     Serv   S   18   House servant                 Yorks, Riston
Charles Dove   Serv   S   20   Labourer                      Yorks, Beverley
Edwd Marshall  Serv   S   18   Butcher's apprentice          Yorks, Beverley

Robert Oxley (Snr.) died aged 62 in the second quarter of 1866 GRO ref: Beverley 9d 79)

PROBATE, York 1866
The Will of Robert Oxley late of Beverley in the county of York, Butcher deceased who died 25th May 1866 at Beverley aforesaid, was Proved at York by the Oath of Thomas Forge of Beverley aforesaid Gentleman, the surviving Executor.

Rachel's brother Thomas W was a butcher's apprentice with his uncle, still in Beverley.

1861 Census Sun/Mon. 7/8th April 1861
Source:     FHL Film  TNA Ref RG09
            Piece: 3569; Folio: 74; Page: 23; Sched: 134
Dwelling:   Butcher Row    
Place:      St. Martin's, Beverley, York ER, England

Name              Rel  Mar  Age  Occupation                  Birthplace 
Richard Oxley    Head   M   59   Butcher  Master emp 2 men   Yorks, Beverley   
Mary Jane Oxley  Wife   M   49                               Yorks, Beverley
Thomas W. Oxley  Neph   S   20   Butcher                     Yorks, Beverley
Ann Bielby       Serv   S   25   General House Servant       Yorks, Beverley
Mary  Botterill  Serv   S   13   General House Servandt      Yorks, Burlington(?)
Joseph Dunn      Serv   S   26   Butchers Servant            Yorks, Skipsea

Being a qualified butcher Thomas William and his uncle Richard decided to set up a partnership in a different location in Beverley. North Bar Street Within, (correctly Within the Bar or town gate) a more up market location is half a mile and seven minutes on foot from Butchers Row.

Beverley and East Riding Recorder, Saturday 12 January 1867, Page 4
TWO of the Sons of the late Mr. Robert Oxley, of Beverley, BUTCHERS, beg most respectfully to inform their Friends and Customers that they have purchased the old-accustomed premises in North Bar Street; and that from the 1st January next they will give up the Butcher-Row premises, and carry on their Business wholly in North Bar Street, and they ....

However, the partnership was short lived with the terminal sale of a vast amount of possessions. Was this the reason for his emigration to Canada?

Beverley and East Riding Recorder, Saturday 10th August 1867, Page 4
MR. WM. LANE begs respectfully to announce that he has been instructed by Messrs Thomas William and Richard Oxley, in consequence of their dissolving partnership, to SELL. AUCTION, on Wednesday, August 11th, 1867 upon their premises in North Bar Within,

The whole of the TOOLS, IMPLEMENTS OF TRADE, ...CARTS, HORSES, PIGS, &c., &c., viz.—Bay mare, Sportsman, four years old, bay horse, aged, black horse, aged, brown .. pony, seven years old, also ... It strong store pigs, spring carts with covers, 1 strong cart with shelvings, set silver-mounted ...harness, set cart gearing, several saddles and bridles, saddle horse, head collars, halters, rugs, &e., corn bin. carriage ... jack, wheelbarrow, sundry buckets, forks and shovels, sheep bars, grindstone, iron copper, large cinder riddle and ... fiamo, turnip cutter, bushel measure, broad step ladders, 1 round step do., blocks, pulleys and blocks, felling rope, pairs scales, pairs large do., pair steelyards, ...DO-st. iron weights, set brass do., pair steps, several bills, saws, and knives, large tin dripping bowl, a quantity of hooks, various sundry baskets, large sun shade, neat tray and board, deal table, shop desk, and good eight days’ clock. Also, .. Also, a very superior Stack Cover. Sale to commence One o’clock p.ra. Ladygate, Beverley.
TO BE SOLD AUCTION Mr. WILLIAM LANE, the King’s Arms Inn, Beverley, ...

Beverley and East Riding Recorder, Saturday 29th June 1867, Page 1
Begs respectfully to inform his friends and the public that he has DISSOLVED PARTNERSHIP with his brother, Mr. Robert Oxley, and will in future carry business on his own account on the premises Toll Gavel lately occupied by Mr Wm. Skinn, where be trusts to receive a continuance of their patronage and support.

Hull and Eastern Counties Herald, Thursday 28th January 1869, Page 1
late of Beverley, in the East-Riding of the County York and now of No. 70, Leonard-street, in the Borough of Kingston upon-Hull, Merchant’s Clerk, having been adjudged Bankrupt under a petition for adjudication . f .^ nkn filed in the County Court of Yorkshire, holden at Kingston-upon-Hull .....

1817info1d, sheet 3
1871 Census Sun/Mon. 2/3rd April 1871
Source:      FHL Film  TNA Ref RG10
             Piece: 4812; Folio: 87; Page: 17; Sched: 82  
Dwelling:    Sewerby Terrace
Place:       Sewerby cum Marton, Bridlington,, York ER, England

Name                    Rel  Mar Age  Occupation            Birthplace
Rachel Oxley           Head  Wid  59  Furnished Department  Yorks, Harton
Sarah Elizabeth Oxley   Dau   S   29  Domestic Servant      Yorks, Beverley
Richard Oxley           Son   S   28  Butcher unemployed    Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley            Dau   S   26  Domestic Servant      Yorks, Beverley

Note: Her son Thomas William OXLEY has emigrated to Canada in 1870.

In the second quarter of 1873, Richard OXLEY married Annie ABBOTT in Hull (GRO ref: Hull 9d 451).dhand

On 01 March 1875, Sarah Elizabeth OXLEY married John LOWTHER (GRO ref: Bridlington 9d 439).

York Herald, Saturday 8th March 1875, page 5
On the 1st inst., at Holy Trinity church, Bridlington Quay, Mr. John Lowther, merchant, son of the late Mr. J. B. Lowther, to Sarah Elizabeth, daughter of the late Mr. R. Oxley, all of Beverley.

See 1817info 1c for more information on John and Sarah Elizabeth LOWTHER.

1881 Census  Sun/Mon 2/3rd April 1881
Source:      FHL Film  TNA Ref RG11 
             Piece: 4799;  Folio: 15;  Page: 26;  Sched: 141                      
Dwelling:    2 Royal Crescent 
Place:       Bridlington, York ER, England

Name           Rel Mar Age Occupation            Birthplace
Rachel Oxley  Head  W  69  Lodging House Keeper  Yorks, Harton
Rachel Oxley   Dau  S  36                        Yorks, Beverley

There was no one else recorded in the house. Rachel OXLEY had no recorded occupation. Rachel OXLEY (Snr.) died in the first quarter of 1882 (GRO ref: Beverley 9d 82) aged 70.

Beverley and East Riding Recorder, Saturday 11th March 1882, page 5
March 5th, at Beverley, aged 70 years, at the residence of her son-in-law John Lowther, merchant, Crane Hill, Rachel, widow of the Late Robert Oxley, of Beverley.
Friends kindly accept this invitation.

1891 Census   Sun/Mon 5/6th April 1891
Source:       FHL Film  TNA Ref RG12
              Piece: 3960; Folio: 23; Page: 35; Sched: 236
Dwelling:     2 Royal Crescent
Place:        Bridlington Quays, Yorks ER, England

Name            Rel Mar Age Occupation            Status  Birthplace
Rachel Oxley   Head  S  46  Lodging House Keeper          Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley* Niece  S  14  Scholar                       Yorks, Beverley
plus 12 lodgers
1901 Census   Sun/Mon 31st March/1st April 1901
Source:       FHL Film  TNA Ref RG13
              Piece: 4525; Folio: 22; Page: 36; Sched: 243
Dwelling:     South View
Place:        Bridlington, Yorks ER, England

Name            Rel Mar Age  Occupation           Status  Birthplace
Rachel Oxley   Head  S  56   Loging House Keeper          Yorks, Beverley
Maria  Oxley* Niece  S  25                                Yorks, Beverley
plus 6 boarders
* Rachel OXLEY should be Rachel Oxley LOWTHER.

To complicate matters a third generations of Rachel OXLEY is listed in the 1911 census: This Rachel Oxley STUART née LOWTHER, allegedly married for ten years to Archibald R STUART. This relationship is discussed more in 1817info 2a.

1911 Census:      Sun/Mon 2nd April/3rd April 1911
Source:   TNA Ref:        RG14 PN  
          Reg. Gen. Ref:  RG78 PN  ; En.Dist: 526; Piece: 28894 Sched: 
          RegDist:  SubDist: Bridlington
Dwelling: South View, Vernon Road             
Place:    Bridlington, Yorkshire East Riding              
Rooms in dwelling, other than scullery, landing, lobby, closet, bathroom: 10
Years married: 10         
Children:      Alive one, dead none 

Name                   Rel  Mar  Age  Occupation            Status  Birthplace 
Rachel Oxley          Head  S   66   Lodging house keeper  Own account  Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley Stuart  Niece  M   34   Housekeeper           Worker       Yorks, Beverley
Bertha Evelyn Manly   Serv      19   Domestic servant      Worker       Yorks, Nafferton
Charity Pierey       Board  W   74                                      Cheshire, Highfield
Maud Mary Pierey     Board  S   30                                      Yorks, Lowthorpe

Thomas William OXLEY, 1840-1926, emigrates to Canada

In the second quarter of 1864, Thomas William OXLEY had married Mary HUTLEY (GRO ref: Glandford Brigg 7a 1344).

1864 Marriage at Barton on Humber, Lincolnshire
Thomas William Oxley, age over 21, son of Robert married On 30th May 1864 to Mary Hutty, age over 21 daughter of Peter Hutty.
1817info1d, sheet 4
Mary Oxley nee Hutty - 20kB jpg Thomas Oxley - 28kB jpg
Above: Mary Oxley née Hutty Above: Thomas Oxley

There were four children born in Beverley:

Thomas emigrated to Canada with his wife Mary and their four children amongst 491 passengers on the SS Prussian of the Allan Line from Liverpool to Quebec, arriving on 22 April 1870 as a 'farmer'. Emily is declared an infant under 1 year old but the text of this and her 'occupation' is indistinct.

Right: SS Prussian
SS Prussian - 26kB jpg
Thomas Oxley's immigration April 1870 - 66kB jpg Thomas Oxley's immigration April 1870 - 66kB jpg
Above: A composite image of Thomas Oxley's immigration in April 1870
Click on the image to open a scalable pdf image in a new window

Margaret died in October 1870 at Seneca, Haldimand, Ontario, aged 3. 3

For a short time they settled in Hagersville, Haldimand County, Ontario and then moved some 10 miles east to just north of Cayuga, in Seneca Township. Mary's parents with eight other children settled in Oneida some 10 miles north and across the Grand River.

1871 Census of Canada, township of Seneca, Haldimand, Ontario
Page 13, line 12-16

Names         Sex Age Country of birth  Religion Occupation Married
Oxley Tomas W  M  30  England           CofE     Labour        M
Oxley Mary     F  28  England           CofE                   M
Oxley Rachel   F   6  England           CofE
Oxley Robert   M   4  England           CofE
Oxley Emily    F   2  England           CofE 
1817info1d, sheet 5
The Thompsons’ Town: Family, Industry, and Material Culture in Indiana, Ontario, 1830–1900 4
Thomas William Oxley first showed up in Indiana** in 1870 as a clerk for Thompson II. Oxley worked as a clerk for Thompson between 1870 and 1871 for $20 per month: [a clerk respected by many in the town]. Part of his duties as clerk involved continuing a correspondence with Thompson whenever he was away from Indiana. Beginning in October 1873 there were numerous items of correspondence between both Thompson and Oxley. In addition Oxley executed a variety of business documents for Thompson including witnessing signatures on indentures In 1874 Oxley worked for Thompson issuing receipts for grains sold to Ruthven Mill. In a letter from 1875 he wrote, amongst other things, that the plaster mill was using too much water and Oxley encouraged Thompson to shut them down.

In the 1871 census Oxley was listed as 30 years old with 5 dependents. He was listed as a clerk for Thompson. He was said to have been born in England and was a Church of England member. According to the Census his wife was named Mary and they had 3 children: Rachel (b.1865), Robert (b.1867) and Emily (b.1869).

Apart from working for Thompson, from 1874 to 1877 Oxley worked as a postmaster in Indiana. Apparently he was not averse to doing labour for Thompson because in 1875 Oxley performed statute labour in Deans on Thompson's behalf. He also worked at other jobs for Thompson. In August 1876, October 1876 and in the early months of 1877 Oxley worked for Thompson as a teamster on Dam #1. The references to him as a postmaster and labourer are the last references to him in the Thompson business journals.

**Indiana is a ghost town in Haldimand County, Ontario, Canada. It was located on the north-east bank of the Grand River, north of Cayuga. The town flourished in the mid to late 19th century as a mill town and base for the river transport trade. Until the 1860s it was the largest industrial town in Haldimand County, but by 1905 it was largely abandoned. Part of the 1,200-acre (490-hectare) town site is now included in the Ruthven Park National Historic Site of Canada.

Haldiman County is due south of Hamilton, Ontario on the shore of Lake Erie. Seneca, Ontario appears to be an administrative district with York and Caledonia its settlements.

Map of Hamilton area - 93kB jpg
Above: A 1852 map of Hamilton area of Ontario locating Seneca, Haldimand, the Barton area by Hamilton and Oneida, where the Hutty's lived 5

By 1881, Thomas' family had grown and they had changed location to Barton, a suburb of Hamilton, Ontario on the shore of Lake Ontario.

1881 Census of Canada, Township of Barton, District 647 Wentworth South, Ontario
Page 3, line 12-22

Names              Sex Age Origin  Religion Occupation Married School
Oxley Tho. William  M  40  England   CofE   Butcher       M
Oxley Mary          F  38  England   CofE                 M
Oxley Rachel        F  16  England   CofE   
Oxley Robert        M  14  England   CofE                        Y
Oxley Emily         F  12  England   CofE                        Y
Oxley Fanny         F   9  Ontario   CofE                        Y
Oxley Anny          F   7  Ontario   CofE                        Y
Oxley William       M   6  Ontario   CofE
Oxley Walter        M   4  Ontario   CofE
Oxley Allace        F   2  Ontario   CofE
Green George        M  25  A.S.      CofE   Butcher

In 1891 Thomas has moved to Brenda, Selkirk, Manitoba (MB), moving some after the birth of Ada in 1882, and is now a farmer aged 50 with two farming sons. Thomas' settlement location is Part NW1/4, Section 20, Township 4, Range 26, Meridian 1 west of the principle meridian 1 near Winnipeg in the Province of Manitoba. Brenda, MB very close to the US/North Dakota border near the village Waskada MB and very close to Melita, MB (q.v.) some 360km west-south-west of Winnipeg. I suspect that the municipality of Brenda was incorporated in 2015 with Waskada because of rural depopulation.

1817info1d, sheet 6
Thomas Oxley's section - 93kB jpg
Above: Thomas Oxley's section marked red in township 4, range 20, west of the meridian
Thomas Oxley's land grant - 100kB jpg
Above: Thomas Oxley's land grant 6
1891 Census of Canada, Township of Brenda, District 647 Selkirk, Manitoba
Page 22, line 15-23 Date: 7 May 1891

Names         Sex Age Married  Origin   Religion Occupation Read  Write
Oxley Thomas   M  50  M        England    CofE   Farmer       Y     Y
Oxley Mary     F  46  M        England    CofE                Y     Y
Oxley Rachel   F  26           England    CofE                Y     Y
Oxley Emily    F  22           England    CofE                Y     Y
Oxley Fanny    F  19           Ontario    CofE                Y     Y
Oxley William  M  16           Ontario    CofE   Farmer       Y     Y
Oxley Walter   M  14           Ontario    CofE   Farmer       Y     Y
Oxley Alice    F  11           Ontario    CofE                Y     Y
Oxley Ada      F   9           Ontario    CofE                Y     Y
1901 Census of Canada, Township of Brandon, District 12 Arthur, Manitoba
Page 12, line 45-50 Date: 12 April 1901

Names         Sex Age Colour  Rel Status D of B   Origin  Immigration Religion Occupa Read Write Lang
Oxley Thomas W M  60  White  Head  M   27jan1841  England    1870        CofE  Farmer  Y    Y     E
Oxley Mary     F  58  White  Wife  M   10jun1842  England    1870        CofE          Y    Y     E
Oxley William  M  26  White   Son  S   11feb1875  Ontario                Meth  Farmer  Y    Y     E
Oxley Walter   M  24  White   Son  S   18nov1876  Ontario                Meth  Farmer  Y    Y     E
Oxley Ada      F  19  White   Dau  S   11sep1881  Ontario                Meth          Y    Y     E
Oxley Rachel   F  36  White   Dau  S   21mar1865  England    1870        CofE          Y    Y     E 

On 31 December 1902, Ada OXLEY married Wilbur A PAUL in Arthur. She died on 23 June 1903 in Melita.

1906 Prairie Census of Canada, Township of Brandon, District Souris, Manitoba
Page 4, line 24-30 Date: 24 June 1906
PO Address: Melita MB; Location: Section: 20; Township: 4; Range: 26; Meridian: W1 

Names          Rel  Sex Status Age Origin  Immigration Horses Milk cows Meat cows Sheep Pigs
Oxley TW      Head   M    M    65  England    1872       16       8         20     -     2
Oxley Mary    Wife   F    M    60  England    1872      
Oxley Will     Son   M    S    31  Ontario              
Oxley Walter   Son   M    S    29  Ontario              
Oxley Rachel   Dau   F    S    41  England              
Smith Stanley Serv   M    S    19  England    1905
1817info1d, sheet 7

Melita is 326km west-south-west of Winnipeg, 30km north of the US/North Dakota border and 28km east of the Saskatchewan provincial border.

1903 map of Manitoba - 113kB jpg
Above: 1903 map of Manitoba locating the township of Melita, the larger district of Brenda and the even larger area of Brandon, mentioned in the various census 7
1911 Census of Canada Date: 1 June 1911 Page: 2; Line: 42-43; 
Address: District: 23 Souris[ford]; Sub district: 8 Melita, Manitoba
Location: Melita; Dwelling: 22

Name                  Rel Sex Status Birth date   Age Place of   Year of    Nationality Racial  Religion  Occupation    Employee Education  Lang
                                                       birth   immigration              origin                                   Read Write
Oxley Thomas William Head  M    M    January 1841  70 England    1870        Canadian   English Anglican  City ch clerk    Y      Y    Y     E
Oxley Mary           Wife  F    M    February 1842 68 England    1871        Canadian   English Anglican  None                    Y    Y     E

It appears that Thomas had moved into the town of Melita, perhaps leaving the dram to his sons William and Walter, who would be listed separately. Thomas had been employed as a clerk, of some indistinct description, for 52 weeks in the year averaging 33 hours a week earning $700 in 1910. Thomas had C$2000 life insurance and Mary C$1000.

1921 Census of Canada Date: 1 June 1921 Page: 1; Line: 14-17; 
Address: District: 36 Souris; Sub district: 16 Arthur Manitoba
Type: Single house; Build type: Wood; Number of rooms: 9
Tenure: Owned 

Name             Rel Sex Status Age Place of   Year of    Nationality Racial  Speak Religion Education       Occupation
                                     birth   immigration              origin  En Fr          Read Write Status      Earning
Oxley William   Head  M    S     44 Ontario                Canadian   English  Y N    Meth     Y    Y   Mixed farm  Own a/c
Oxley Walter  Brother M    S     42 Ontario                Canadian   English  Y N    Meth     Y    Y   Mixed farm  Own a/c 
Oxley Thomas    Head  M    W     80 England    1870        Canadian   English  Y N    CofE     Y    Y   Nursery     Own a/c
Oxley Rachel     Dau  F    S     54 England    1871        Canadian   English  Y N    CofE     Y    Y   Housekeeper On farm

By Mary died between the 1911 and 1916 censuses. All the children except Rachel, who was looking after her 80 year old father, had moved away. I suspect that William and Walter had moved into a property on the family section as they were adjacent on the census return.

Thomas William OXLEY died in Melita, Manitoba on 16 March 1926. 8

1817info1d, sheet 8

Thomas' sister Rachel visits Melita, Manitoba

On 01 December 1915, a James Robert LOWTHER born in York, England and a rancher by trade, enlisted into the 1st Canadian Pioneers of the Canadian Expeditionary Force, aged 35 years and 3 months in Victoria BC as number 48755. He quotes his aunt, Miss R OXLEY of General Delivery, Melita, Manitoba, Thomas OXLEY's sister as his next of kin. In his will of February 1918 and on his US Border Crossing card of 12 December 1927, he quotes his sister Mrs Rachel Oxley STEWART of 'The Pines' Tadworth, Surrey as the beneficiary. Whilst the OXLEY is his mother's maiden name, his given date of birth is 10 August 1880.

In the 1916 Canadian census Rachel is recorded as living with her nephew Robert who appears to live some eighteen enumerator houses from his father, in Melita, a few doors away from her brother.

1916 Census of Canada Date: 1 June 1916 Page: 10; Line: 4-5; 
Address: District: 11 Souris; Sub district: Melita Manitoba

Name            Rel Sex Status Age Place of  Religion   Year of    Nationality Racial  Speak  Education  Occupation
                                     birth            immigration              origin  En Fr  Read Write 
Oxley Ths, Wm  Head  M     W    75  England  Anglican    1870       Canadian   English  Y N     Y    Y   Agent     
Oxley Rachel    Dau  F     S    51  England  Anglican    1870       Canadian   English  Y N     Y    Y   None
1916 Census of Canada Date: 1 June 1916 Page: 8; Line: 32-37; 
Address: District: 11 Souris; Sub district: Melita Manitoba

Name               Rel Sex Status Age Place of Religion   Year of    Nationality Racial  Speak  Education  Occupation
                                       birth            immigration              origin  En Fr  Read Write 
Oxley Robt        Head  M    M    49  England  Methodist   1870       Canadian   English  Y N     Y    Y   Cook
Oxley Sophia R    Wife  F    M    47  Ontario  Methodist              Canadian   German   Y N     Y    Y   None
Oxley Ernest W     Son  M    S    13  Manitoba Methodist              Canadian   English  Y N     Y    Y   Student                           
Oberlin Sarah M  M-i-L  F    W    77  Ontario  Methodist              Canadian   Scotch   Y N     Y    Y   None
Oxley Rachel      Aunt  F    S    71  England  Anglican    1915       Canadian   English  Y N     Y    Y   None
Sinclair Sadie A Lodger F    S    11  Manitoba Methodist              Canadian   Irish    Y N     Y    Y   Student

This accounts for quoting her name on James Robert LOWTHER's army papers.

In the census, Rachel is recorded as immigrating in 1915. Her arrival in in Melita is recorded in the local Melita news, after an adventurous journey. However, the paper records her returning home [Melita] having 'visit[ed] the old country', presumably the UK. However, Ancestry Canada has no record of a Rachel OXLEY arriving in Montreal prior to 03 October 1915. Similarly, there does not appear to be a record of Rachel OXLEY entering the UK at Liverpool before 17 November 1916. 9

This Rachel OXLEY was the sister of Thomas William OXLEY who had sold her bed and breakfast in Bridlington - see 1911 census and was moving to Canada. If the Melita New Era account is correct, it took Rachel four days to travel from Montreal to Melita.

Her original crossing was an eventful journey, recorded by eyewitness account of the voyage in The Times of 06 September 1915 - see below.

Right: An extract from the Melita New Era of 16 October 1915
Melita New Era October 1915 - 40kB jpg

Times banner 06 September 1915 - 14kB jpg
  The Allan liner Hesperian 2 was torpedoed at 8.20 on Saturday night off the coast of Ireland, 130 miles west of Queenstown.
DUBLIN 05 September
 The Allan liner Hesperian, under the command of Captain WS Main was torpedoed off Fastnet at 8.20 on Saturday night. She was bound from Liverpool to Montreal, and carried 314 passengers and a crew of about 250.
 The torpedo hit the forepart of the vessel. The liner did not sink, and immediate assistance was sent.
 The news that all passengers had been saved was circulated with the announcements that the ship had been attacked […]
 Major H Barree, a passenger, reported:-
 In company with brother officers was sitting on one of the upper decks after dinner about 8.20pm […] when suddenly I heard a loud detonation, the liner as the same time trembling terribly. All at once an enormous column of water about 50ft in height, was shot up into the air, and before we could realise what had occurred it came down on the deck with a terrible thud, flooding the deck and drenching myself. […] we ascertained from one of the officers that she had been torpedoed by a German

 submarine. It was at this time almost dark and of course, we could neither have seen a submarine nor a torpedo.
  Captain Main was on the bridge when the torpedo struck the ship, and his first order was to lower the away the lifeboats and see that the women and children on board were safely placed in them. […]
 He also gave instructions to have an SOS wireless message appealing for assistance, and had rockets fired to attract attention of any vessel in the vicinity. The Morse signal was also used. […] I learned from the captain himself, was 130 miles west of Queenstown. […]
 In lowering away of the lifeboat one of them got capsized, but this was the result of an accident as I understand the “falls” got jambed and someone cut the ropes to accelerate the lowering of the boat into the water [killing 32 people.]
 The torpedo hit the liner’s starboard side near the second bulkhead. I [Barree] went below to assist closing the bulkheads. […] When we returned on deck many of the boats were in the water full of men, women and children, and we helped lower the remaining boats and saw them safely laden with people [Captain Main and about 20 of his crew

intended to stay on board.]
 Later on, when one of his Majesty’s ships came upon the scene and sent boats to the disabled and sinking liner.[…] The liner was down by the bow to about 35ft, but the water was more or less confined to the forward part of the steamer, Captain Main was in great hope of being able to bring her into port. […]
 The first Government ship to come to out assistance arrived at 9.30pm and she at once proceeded to get the survivors out of the lifeboats. The second vessel arrived about 10.30pm and did likewise, everything being carried out in a most credible manner. Soon after a third vessel, also one of HM ships, came to the scene to render help.
 […] I put a lifebelt round my wife and also one on myself, and was commanded by one of the officers to get into a boat.
 In out boat there were in all 45 persons including several Canadian military officers and men, other passengers, several stewards, and a few firemen.
 When we were lowered into the water the lifeboat was rowed away a safe distance from the liner. […] After two hours in the boat a vessel came up and took us out of the boat.
1817info1d, sheet 9

On 08 September 1915, The Times Dublin Correspondent telegraphed that HESPERIAN SURVIVORS - Survivors from the Hesperian, to the number of 539, arrived in Dublin from Cork yesterday morning, and afterwards travelled by special steamer to Holyhead. The Times continued to follow the diplomatic arguments for attributing blame for the sinking of the Hesperian. ADMIRALTY PROOF OF ENEMY ATTACK […] the explosion was of such a kind that it must be inferred that it had been caused by a mine rather than a torpedo. […] The explosion was of the type caused by a torpedo, and this is conclusively proved by a fair-sized fragment of the torpedo (now in the possession of the Admiralty) which was picked up on board the ship before she sank. On 25 September 1915 The Times printed a German rebuttal: THE TORPEDOING OF THE HESPERIAN A GERMAN DENIAL BERLIN SEPT. 24 The German Admiralty contracts the statement of the English Admiralty, circulated through Reuters, regarding the Hesperian case, by announcing that it has now been definitely established the Hesperian was not sunk by a German submarine. […] The New York Times reports from Newport News that Captain Smellie, of the steamer Crossby, says he saw the Hesperian being torpedoed.

The ship never made it. On 6 September 1915, Hesperian succumbed to the waves, sinking some 37 miles from land and not far from the Lusitania wreck.

Right: SS Hesperian
SS Hesperin - 19kB jpg

Shortly after, Rachel made a second journey.

Rachel OXLEY, aged 69, was a passenger number 7 on the Canadian Pacific's SS Missanabie which departed Liverpool on 24 September 1915 bound for Quebec, arriving 03 October 1915. She is registered as visiting her brother [Thomas W England. The passenger manifest declares she carried C$75 equivalent to about £1,700 today. 10

Right: Canadian Pacific Missanabie
SS Missanabie - 23kB jpg

Finally, on 17 November 1916, Rachel, aged 76, return to Liverpool aboard the Canadian Pacific's SS Missanable from Montreal for an onward journey to Tadworth, Surrey.

Richard OXLEY 1843-1900

1881 Census  Sun/Mon 2/3rd April 1881
Source:      FHL Film  TNA Ref RG11 
             Piece: 4750;  Folio: 62;  Page: 19;  Sched: 48
Dwelling:    Hen Gate 
Place:       St Marys, Beverley, York ER, England

Name            Rel  Mar Age Occupation  Birthplace
Richard Oxley  Head   M  38  Butcher     Yorks, Beverley d.1900
Annie Oxley    Wife   M  36              Yorks, Beverley d.1894
Rachel Oxley    Dau   S   6  Scholar     Yorks, Beverley d.1915
Maria Oxley     Dau   S   5  Scholar     Yorks, Beverley
1891 Census   Sun/Mon 5/6th April 1891
Source:       FHL Film  TNA Ref RG12
              Piece: 3907; Folio: 63; Page: 2; Sched: 11
Dwelling:     Walker Gate
Place:        St Marys, Beverley, Yorks ER, England

Name             Rel Mar Age Occupation  Status    Birthplace
Richard Oxley  Head   M  48  Butcher               Yorks, Beverley
Annie Oxley    Wife   M  46                        Yorks, Beverley
Rachel Oxley    Dau   S  16                        Yorks, Beverley
Maria Oxley     Dau   S  15                        Yorks, Beverley

Their deaths

Beverley and East Riding Recorder, 27 January 1894, Page 5
January 20th, at Beverly, aged 50 years, Annie wife of Richard Oxley, Butcher.

Beverley Independent, 15 December 1900, Page 4
Oxley; - 8th December at the residence of his sister, South View, Bridlington, aged 57 years, Richard son of the late Robert Oxley, of Beverley, Interred at Beverley on Monday, December 10th
1817info1d, sheet 10
In Affectionate Remembrance
The Beloved Wife of
of Beverley
who died January 20th 1894
Aged 50 Years.
The Lord gave, and the Lord
Hath taken away, Blessed be
the name of the Lord.

Also of
Husband of the above
who died at Bridlington
Decr 8th 1900
Aged 57 Years.
the beloved Daughter of the above
who died Nov. 20th 1915.
Aged 41 Years.

Richard and Annie Oxley's grave - 101kB jpg
Above: New Walk Cemetery, Beverley (north of St. Mary's Church)

End notes

  1. 1901 Canadian census
  2. Canada, Incoming Passenger Lists 1865-1935, Ancestry
  3. Canada, Census Mortality Schedule 1871, Ancestry
  4. Laura Kathleen Quirk, Wilfred Laurier University p415 (Accessed: 10 February 2022)
  5. McMaster University Digital Archive (Accessed: 09 February 2022)
  6. Land Grants of Western Canada, 1870-1930 Search data base, page 6 (Accessed: 13 February 2022)
  7. Election districts Manitoba 1903 (Accessed: 08 February 2022)
  8. Manitoba Death Index, Ancestry
  9. UK Incoming Passenger lists 1878-1960, Ancestry
  10. Canada Incoming Passenger Lists, 1865-1935, Ancestry

With thanks to Chris Glass for his research.

More information 1
Return to text Canadian land allocation system

The land system in western Canada was based on a unique checkerboard survey developed for the Prairies by the Canadian government. This system covered 200 million acres and is the world's largest survey grid laid down in a single integrated system. It led to the creation of more than 1.25 million homesteads.

Right: Thomas Oxley township and section map

The basic unit of the survey is the 36-square mile township, which is divided into 36 sections.

Sections are divided into four quarters or into sixteen legal sub- divisions. They are numbered from 1 to 36. Each section was approximately one square mile, 640 acres, divided into quarters of 160 acres.

Townships are numbered from south to north starting at the United States border. They are numbered from 1 to 129 and 141.
Thomas Oxley township and section map - 34kB jpg
Ranges are numbered from east to west starting from each meridian, except for the west-to-east numbering used for the principal meridian. Ranges are numbered 1 to 34.
The federal surveyors established seven meridians, which acted as baselines for surveying and numbering the townships. The first (or principal or prime) meridian was established on the international border, near Emerson, Manitoba, at longitude 97° 27' 28'' W (of Greenwich). The second meridian falls on the 102° longitude, near the present-day Manitoba-Saskatchewan border. The third meridian falls on the 106° longitude (Saskatchewan). The fourth meridian falls on the 110°, which is the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. The fifth meridian falls on 114° (Alberta). The sixth on 118° (Alberta).
Townships are described according to the last meridian that lies to the east of the township. Therefore, a homestead in southern Alberta is described as "W4M" or "W4" or west of the fourth meridian.
Melita: Part NW 1/4, Section 20, Township 4, Range 20 Meridian 1W.

Source: Land Grants of Western Canada, 1870-1930 (Accessed: 13 February 2022)

1817indo1d, sheet 11

More information 2
Return to text The sinking of the Hesperian

Hesperian, of the Allan Line, was a cargo and passenger steamship built by the Scottish shipyard Alexander Stephen and Sons, Ltd., of Linthouse, Glasgow, Scotland. She was launched on 20 December 1907 and embarked on her maiden voyage on 25 April 1908 on the Liverpool – Québec – Montréal route. The ship was named after the Garden of the Hesperides of Greek Mythology, a mythical land to the west, near the Atlas Mountains […] Hesperian was a single-funnel, double screw ship 485.5 feet (147.8 meters) in length and 60.3 feet (18.3 meters) wide. Her size was 10,920 gross registered tons. She could accommodate 210 passengers in first class, 250 in second class, and 1,000 in third class. Starting in January 1910, Hesperian was contracted out to the Canadian Pacific Line. The Allan Line was founded in 1854 as the 'Montreal Ocean Steamship Company ' The company was later known as the Allan Line after one of its founders, Hugh Allan. The line was then under contract with the Canadian Government for conveyance of Assisted Passengers.

The German submarine SM U-20 of the Imperial German Navy under the command of the 30-year- old Kapitanleutnant Walther Schwieger was about 85 miles off of Fastnet Rock, Ireland, on the evening of 4 September 1915. Schwieger sighted Hesperian steaming at full speed just hours after the ocean liner had left Liverpool. Through his periscope, he saw Hesperian zigzagging towards him. Even though he did not know the identity or the purpose of the ship, he made the decision to attack. As he did with Lusitania, Schwieger fired a single torpedo at his target.

The week prior to the sinking, Count Bernstorff, the Imperial German Ambassador to the United States, had assured Washington that "passenger liners will not be sunk without warning" following the Lusitania sinking. When word reached Germany of Walther Schwieger’s actions, Schwieger was ordered to Berlin in order to justify his actions and apologize officially. He was accused of having sunk another unarmed passenger liner without warning, despite the explicit directions given to submarine commanders not to do so. Kaiser Wilhelm did not want to risk further provocation of the United States. Schwieger complained about his unfair treatment, but in 1917, Schwieger would be forgiven by Berlin. He received Germany’s highest decoration, Pour le Mérite, also known informally as the 'Blue Max.'

Schwieger would be killed in action in World War I when his command, the SM U-88, was lost with all hands, presumed to have struck a mine north of Terschelling while outbound from Germany for the French coast.

Source: RMS Hesperian (Accessed: 10 February 2022)

Back to top - 2kB jpg
Previous - 6kB jpg Next - 6kB jpg To Martha Crompton's tree - 2kB jpg
Use portrait to print - 5kB gif
This page was created by Richard Crompton
and maintained by Chris Glass
Frontpage icon - 4kB jpg Version A4
Updated 14 February 2022