Surname Saturday: Considering The Devlins

At the moment, I have only one Devlin in my family tree; Mary was one of my third-great grandmothers. I admit to not having done much searching for her, because I’ve been focusing on my prairie families a generation or two later. Most of Mary’s children went to Manitoba in the 1890s, and after finding what I could on them, I backtracked to find out what happened to the daughters who stayed in Ontario. In this recent post about Mary’s daughter Annie Lloyd, I speculated that since Annie was listed in the 1891 census as the niece of Simon and Jane Young, Jane may be Mary’s sister.

Here is my thought process and analysis of supporting documents:

1. I originally started off wanting to trace William and Mary’s daughters. I used the 1881 census to get the most complete list of their children, and followed up with the 1891 census to see who was still living at home. Then I knew whose marriage or death certificates I should be looking for.

2. Annie Lloyd died in 1892 in Mulmur, but she wasn’t listed as living with any of the Lloyds. I searched the census for any teenaged Annies living in Ontario.

3. Annie Sophia Lloyd is listed as a tailoress living in Bentinck, Ontario. She is the niece of the head of the house, Simon Young. My thought was that if this is my Annie, Simon’s wife Jane’s maiden name would be Lloyd or Devlin. (Or not, because the census can be unreliable for accurate reporting on relations. Jane could be a cousin and called herself an aunt due to age difference or the enumerator made an assumption.)

4. Jane Young died in 1910 in Hanover, Ontario (about 25 kilometers from Bentinck). On the death registration, her parents are listed as Devlin and Brownlee.

5. Simon’s household in Hanover in the 1911 census consists of himself and a housekeeper, Mary Graham. This is William and Mary’s oldest daughter. She had been married to a man named Murdock Graham, and the birth month on the census matches the birth date on her death certificate, but off by one year.

6. In an index of Ontario Marriages 1800-1901 on, there is a marriage in 1866 in Bruce between a Simon Young and Jane Darlin (which I am betting is a mistranscription of Devlin). Jane’s parents are listed as Samuel and Margaret.

7. The only census which shows Jane living with Samuel and Margaret is 1851, and they are in Albion, Ontario. They are neighbours with a Brownlee family.(Samuel is a widower by 1861, and Jane is still at home.) There is no Mary living in Albion, but the woman I believe to be my Mary Devlin would have been living in York, as a servant for the Nunn family. One of the neighbouring farms had a family of Lloyds, headed by a William the right age to be my great-great-great grandfather. I know that Mary and William were married before 1855, so it would have made sense for them to be neighbours.

8. If Jane and Mary aren’t sisters, they are close enough in age to be close like sisters. There was a Devlin family in Albion in 1851 headed by a William, and Mary could be their daughter. There is also another Devlin family that Samuel’s daughter Ellen married into in 1867, and Mary could belong with them. All I can be sure of right now is that Mary has some connection to the Devlins who lived in Peel and Grey Counties.


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