Issac Woolner – Emigrated to Canada 1832

Issac Woolner (1792 -1860) emigrated to Canada with his wife Sarah Hembling and their 6 children in 1832.  Isaac served in Her Majesty’s 43rd Light Infantry Regiment (1812-1819) and intended to petition for a veteran’s land grant.  As one of the earlier settlers of what is now Ontario, Canada, Issac’s arrival in Canada is documented in a 1896 Biographical History.

Waterloo Township History
Waterloo Township History

Their arrival was filled with tragedy. They docked at Hamilton, Ontario in the third week of June 1832 but unluckily sheltered at a house where the ‘former residents had died of cholera.’  Many of the family came down with the disease while traveling to the Bridgeport area.   Issac’s wife Sarah and their youngest child James died.

Since widowed Issac was without his homestead, he placed his daughters Martha (b.1820) and Hannah (b.1825), and his three sons Abraham (b.1822-1838), Issac (b.1824), and Jacob (b.1826) in foster care until he became settled.  This full story is in Eby Book Volume 2 – Page 685. and continues to page 686.  Many of the children remained in foster care, and by my count, two of the veteran’s children (Hannah and Jacob) became part of the non-violent Mennonite community as the following story relates (sounds like it also draws from Eby):

Jacob Woolner, Mennonite Preacher

Issac obtained his land grant and remarried.  Eby wrote, “His second wife was Bridget Connor, widow of Mr. Connor.”  They had 6 children:  Ann, Abraham, William, George, James and Mary Jane, married to Joseph Carr (Kerr).


The 1851 Canada Census showed this second family in Garafraxa, Ontario.  In addition to the 6 children Ezra Eby named in  his Biographical History of Waterloo Township, there is a Moriah (Maria?) who will be 18 yrs old on her next birthday. (The census asks for next age, not current age).  There is also a Walter Connor listed on the same census immediately after the Woolners.  Could this be Bridget’s son with her first husband? Could Moriah be her daughter?  What was Bridget’s maiden name?

In 1851, the children would be the following ages on their next birthday: Ann(16), Abraham(14), William(12),  James(10), George(8),  and Mary Jane(6)

When the 1861 Census is taken, Issac Woolner has passed away.  He died in 1860 at the age of 68.  They now live in a log house built in 1855.  In the 1851 Census Bridget appears as his wife, now she appears as Ann.   The family appears incorrectly as Wolloner with two l’s and not two o’s.

Compared to the 1851 census, the oldest child Ann is missing and so is Moriah. Why would 58 yrs old Bridget go by her daughter Ann’s name?  Is daughter named after her mom? With child Ann absent did Bridget revert to Ann?

Isaac Woolner Family 1861
Isaac Woolner Family 1861

The remainder of the enumeration is as expected: Abraham (‘Age Next Birthday’ is 21); Bridget / ‘Ann’ of Ireland (w/b 59); William (w/b 20); James (w/b 19); George (w/b 17); Mary Jane (w/b  15).

Mary Jane Woolner would soon marry Joseph Carr/Kerr and they would begin their own family.  James and George are Woolner family names and Mary Jane used them for her own children.  What is becoming more clear, there is very little we know about Bridget/Ann Connor.

The author’s direct line appears in BLUE.

Barnabas Banghart – 1850 U.S. Census – Move from NJ to MI

In 1850, Barnabas Banghart (Age 36) had settled in Oakland County, Michigan with his wife Rosetta (25) and their children Nelson (5) and Mary (3).  Farmers with property valued at $1,000.  The entire family was originally from New Jersey including the young children so they are fairly recent arrivals.

New Jersey to Michigan
New Jersey to Michigan

The U.S. Census, along with military records, are most useful in tracking family when they start to move across the country.  No local organization has the resources to track where their residents go after they leave the area.  Around the early 1800’s, Banghart family members started to leave New Jersey, where they had lived for over 100 years, and spread into the new territories and States.

This data was enumerated on 16 August 1850.  Working from the listed ages backward we can obtain approximate family birth years. Nelson would be born ‘about’ 1845 (1850 -5) and his sister Mary about 1847. Since she was born in New Jersey, there is about a three-year window to answer the question… when did the family move?

Barnabas Banghart (1814 – 1885) is son of Michael Banghart Jr (1772 – 1846) and Elizabeth Cummins (1776 – 1845) from Oxford, Warren, New Jersey.  Rosetta M Shannon (1825 – 1903) is daughter of David Davis Shannon (1792 – 1884) of Oxford, Warren, New Jersey.  Nelson Banghart would enlist to fight in the Civil War.

Edward Henry Young – 1920 U.S. Census – Farmer

In 1920, Edward and Hattie (Wendell) Young were farmers in Coshocton County, Pike Township, OH.  A great record of the entire Young family is the 1920 U.S. Federal Census.  They lived by Cooperdale near Frazeysburg, OH.

Edna Carol Young - 1920 U.S. Census - A Young Family
Edward and Hattie Young – 1920 U.S. Census – A Young Family

They are listed as follows:

  • Edward (36)
  • Hattie (35)
  • Alice (16)
  • Homer (15)
  • Lawrence (13)
  • Wilma (9)
  • Edna (3)
  • Winona (1)

Ty Warren Brodhagen (1960 – 1989)

This is an active entry and will be revised.   Unlike 100 years ago, many fewer relatives die at a young age.

In part, this website is a response to the passing of Ty Warren Brodhagen at 29 years old.  Ty was born in Kalamazoo, MI in 1960 to James Brodhagen and Sandra Lee Needham.  Ty died November 28, 1989 while playing pick-up basketball with childhood friends and co-workers at the high school gymnasium.  This year (2014) is the 25th anniversary of this event.

Unknown to everybody, Ty had a congenital heart condition that left him vulnerable to viruses and environmental stress.  A multi-sport athlete Ty was in excellent condition.  But he had a latent health issue.  Prior to the basketball game Ty felt fatigued and had cold symptoms, during the game he couldn’t quite get his breath.  He collapsed.  His passing was sudden and frightening for all his friends who rushed to get help and administer care.  This was before cell phones so calling for help required breaking into a locked school office.

Ty’s grandfather Leonard Brodhagen (1911 – 1989) had just died the previous month so Ty’s sudden passing was a double trauma for the family.  After these events much of his family lost touch with each other.  This is also an effort to remember and rediscover the past.

Joseph Kerr – Census of Canada – 1871

On July 1, 1867 Canada became a country and started to celebrate Independence Day.  Originally called Dominion Day.  This is when the single Province of Ontario (called Canada) was divided into two provinces – Ontario and Quebec.  This new political division was then combined into a new federal system of government with the British colonies of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.   The Constitution Act of 1867 (modern reference) thereby united these colonies/provinces into one country called Canada. Though the British Government kept some political control for more than a century.

Joseph Kerr and Canada Census - 1871
Joseph Kerr and Canada Census – 1871

The 1871 Census of Canada is the first for the new country.   In District 34: Province of Ontario, Sub-District Division 2 – Garafraxa East Dwelling 33 dwelt Joseph Kerr (Age 28, Irish Origin) and Mary Jane (Woolner) Kerr (Age 25, English Origin).   Joseph is identified as a Presbyterian and Mary Jane as Church of England.

Joseph Kerr Family - Canada Census 1871
Joseph Kerr Family – Canada Census 1871

The Joseph Kerr Family 1871 census enumeration detail crosses to a second page.    On this second page are the Kerr children James and George.  Also in the house is Mary Jane Woolner’s older brother George Woolner.  Is this perhaps the old Woolner property?

At this point in time Mary Jane and George should have been the last children to leave their parents home (unless it was Mary Jane’s mother who left.)  It is unclear where Ann/Bridget Woolner, a widow of 10 years, is now living.  The 1871 Canadian Census (Sub-H, Div-2) has an Ann Woolner living in East Garafraxa, Wellington Centre, Ontario. It states Ann Woolner is 64 which is about 4 years younger than we might expect.

On the bottom of this second census image is a James Connor, age 66, widower, Irish, Church of England.  Ann Woolner’s previous husband was a Connor.  Even though Bridget’s 1st husband died, James Connor may still have a relationship with him.  We have so few leads about Bridget Connor that every possible lead needs consideration.

Discovering A Family's Roots