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Masts of HMS Warrior 1860

Henderson family

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 Part 2: James Henderson (1827 - 1913)


Emigration to Canada and working life

James Henderson was the youngest child of Charles Henderson and Lillias Kirkwood. He was born January 1821 in Stirlingshire, Scotland. His father emigrated to Canada in 1838 and James followed in either 1840 or 1842. It is not known when the rest of his family came. The Hendersons settled in Welland County, Ontario. After spending three years in Chippawa, the family moved to Crowland Township.

James was a farmer, probably like his father, and owned 100 acres next to the town of Crowland itself, with Lyon’s Creek running through it. James became a reeve (the elected head of the township, like a mayor) and such was his standing in the community that he featured in one of the biographical sketches in ‘The History of Welland County Ontario, 1887’:

Mr. Henderson is one of the prosperous and progressive farmers of Crowland. He has filled many important public positions. On several occasions he has been reeve of his adopted township, and is one of the most useful members of the county council. For four years he was a member of the board of license commissioners [issuing licenses for the sale of alcoholic beverages]. For twenty-five years he has been a justice of the peace. He is an elder of the Presbyterian church, and an earnest advocate of the cause of temperance. He is a Reformer in politics; has been treasurer of the County Reform Association and president of the Crowland Township Association.


Marriage to Maria Brookfield

James married Maria Brookfield (1833 - 1896) in 1853. (More information about Maria and the Brookfield family can be found in the Brookfield section.) They had three children: Mary, Charles and Lillias. Maria died after a year-long battle with consumption (tuberculosis) 10 October 1896. James died 27 May 1913 in Thorold Township. The cause of death was listed as ‘senile decay’.


 Children of James and Maria

Mary (1854 - ?) was born 22 September 1854 and married William H. Gainer, a farmer who was deputy reeve and then reeve of Thorold Township in the 1880s and 1890s. They had two sons, Charles J. and Jacob Hamilton.


More information about Charles (1857 - 1940) appears in Part 3.


Lillias (1858 - ?) was born 19 June 1858 and married farmer Horace Hibbard Beam on 18 October 1893. They lived in nearby Willoughby Township and it is probable that they never had any children. Horace died 09 April 1936 and Lillias a decade later 26 January 1946. [1]


Next: Charles Henderson



[1] Jubilee History of Thorold Township and Town from the time of the red man to the present’, August 1897 (; Ontario, Canada Marriages, 1857-1924, Census of Canada 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911, OneWorldTree (