Thomas Miller is what we call an end of the line relative. He is my direct descendant but as I stated in my last post I’m not sure who his parents are. He was born around 1836 in Ireland. His wife, Catherine Young, was born in 1837 in Ontario, Canada. Her parents are John Young and Catherine Smeltzer. Records in Ireland show Millers and Youngs living in Kilcooley, Tipperary, Ireland.
Stories from other family members say that Thomas and Catherine married in Goderich Township, Huron County, Ontario and walked 30 miles to their farm in Kinloss, Bruce County, Ontario. They were married by a Bible Christian minister (a Methodist sect) on March 6, 1855; Thomas was 21 years old and Catherine was 20 years old.
Times were tough at the beginning. In 1858 and 59 a drought destroyed the crops. Bruce County Council raised money to help the destitute settlers. Thomas and Catherine one of the first pioneers in Kinloss and they worked hard. Most of the work was done in spring, summer and fall. Thomas did the heavy work of clearing trees, preparing the land and growing major crops. Catherine did the berry picking, preserving food, and taking care of the children. Tending animals was a shared chore. They had 12 children, 7 sons and 5 daughters, who helped out as soon as they were old enough. The last child was born when Catherine was 44. I believe they lived on three farms different farms during their married life. In later census reports Thomas’ occupation is a livestock dealer or cattle dealer so it looks like he decided to focus on raising cattle.
Their sons, Jacob, Thomas, John, James, William, Henry, and Joseph married and moved away when they were old enough; some out west, to the States or to farms nearby . The daughters Mary Jane, Elizabeth, Margaret, Catherine, and Lydia married and moved with their husbands.
In 1904 their son John Wesley died but I’m not sure where. On January 2, 1909 at the age of 71 Catherine passed away. In 1911 Thomas is living by himself doing odd jobs. Most likely he had help from sons and daughters in the area. At the age of 84 Thomas passed away near London, Ontario at the home of his daughter Mary Munro. His body was shipped by rail to be buried in the Kinloss Cemetery beside his wife.
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