The Paterson Family

From Dumfriesshire, Scotland to Ontario, Canada


Overview of Family Tree
eight generations / see where you fit in


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My father was Murray Frear Coleman.  His mother was Margaret Paterson.  Her father was John Creighton Paterson.  John's father was James Paterson Jr., which makes James my second great grandfather.

James Paterson Jr. was born on May 31, 1829, in in the town of Lochmaben which is in the county of Dumfriesshire in Scotland.  Dumfriesshire shares a border with England.  His parents were James Paterson Sr. (1799-1868) and Jean Richardson (1803-1874).

James married Jane Irving on May 30, 1847, in Applegarth which is a parish north of the town of Annan, also in Dumfriesshire.  Jane was born on September 3, 1826, in the town of Dumfries.  James and Jane had 12 children: Jane (b. 1848), Mary (b. 1850), James (b. 1852), Margaret (b. 1854), Edward (b. 1855), John Creighton (b. 1857), Christina (b. 1859), Janet (b. 1861), Agnes (b. 1863), Sarah (b. 1864), Andrew (b. 1866), and William (b. 1868). 

Sarah and William both died as infants.  Agnes was listed on the 1871 census records but nothing can be found for her after that. 

James was a farmer.  The 1851 census showed him as a farmer's son and employed as a farmhand.  At that time his wife and two children (Jane and Mary) were living with him as was his mother-in-law.  The 1861 census also listed him as a farmer on Barrasgate Farm in Cummertrees.  At this point, he and his wife had seven children, the youngest of whom was Christina.  The 1871 census in Scotland said that he had a farm of 225 acres on which he employed five laborers and one boy.  They were still living at Barrasgate Farm.

James and his family immigrated to Canada in 1880 and settled in Chatham, Ontario.  They followed their son John who had immigrated to Chatham the prior year. 

In 1891, the census of Canada shows James and Jane and their son Andrew (then 24) living on a farm in Chatham.  They were just down the road a bit from their their son John Paterson and his wife Fannie and their four children, Agnes, Isabelle, Mabel, and Margaret.  The census also listed John's occupation as a farmer.  The 1901 census listed James and Jane and showed that their son James (age 30) and daughter Mary (age 50) were living with them.

On June 14, 1897, the Chatham Daily Planet published a story about a celebration of the 50th wedding anniversary of James and Jane.  At this event, dozens of people gathered at their home in Chatham, which was called the "old homestead." Ten of their children were in attendance as were 41 grandchildren.  It must have been quite a celebration.  The story noted that the party ended in the wee hours of the morning, with the guests singing "Auld Lang Syne."  The newspaper in Annandale, Scotland also published a short account of this anniversary celebration.

The 1901 census of Canada shows James and Jane, both living near Chatham, with their son James (age 30) and their daughter Mary (age 50) living with them.  Mary was listed as a widow. 

Jane died on February 11, 1902, and James died on August 23, 1905, both in Chatham, Ontario.  They are buried in Maple Leaf Cemetery in Chatham.  Unfortunately, the grave stones in the part of the cemetery where they are buried have been cleared and the area is now kept as mowed grass.

For detailed notes on the life events of James Paterson Jr., click here.

There are now about 350 people listed in the family tree headed by Edward Paterson (1750-1832) and Jane Paterson. (1765-1830).  Edward and Jane were the grandparents of James Paterson Jr.  Many of these descendants immigrated from Scotland to North America.  These immigrants settled in various cities in the Great Lakes region, such as Chatham (Ontario), Brantford (Ontario), Cleveland (Ohio), and Detroit (Michigan).

Whether any Paterson descendants still bear the family name is unknown.  Surnames of descendants in various sub-branches of the Paterson family tree include: Basler, Coleman, Fletcher, Hodgson, and Stacey.

This website is dedicated to James Paterson and Jane Irving, as well as their ancestors , descendants, and relatives.  I hope that all living members of this extended family will enjoy reading about their family's history.

                                                                                                -- Thomas F. Coleman
                                                                                                    April 4, 2012

 James Paterson and his family lived on Barrasgate Farm in Annan, Scotland.  This is the farm today.