Looking at the Conner and Coltson's Directory for the County of Oshawa for 1869-1870 (Population about 3000), the following people are listed as living on Centre Street South:
• John Anderson, finisher
• James Gull, mason
• George Harper, carriage maker
• Michael W. Dow (of Michael and Morgan)
• R. McGee (of Farewell and McGee)
• Agustus Veal, blacksmith
Is one of these men the person who built my house on Centre Street in 1850? Probably not, as most of them would have been very young, and none of them are listed in the 1857 Lovell Directory. But it is possible that one of them lived in my house at that point in time - 1869 - 1870.
My house is the only one remaining from that era, the rest of the Centre Street houses are now gone. The only remaining houses were built in 1875, 1885, and two in 1890, according to the Heritage Oshawa Inventory.
On the 1851 Census there are two John Anderson:
John Anderson - Occupation: Labourer, Born: Scotland, Religion: Free Church, Age: 21, Marital Status: Single
John Anderson - Occupation: Labourer, Born: England, Religion: C. E., Age: 25, Marital Status: single
On the 1861 Census, there is a John Anderson in Oshawa, his wife was Ann (27 years old), his 2 year old daughter Febe.
Occupation: Cabinet Finisher, Age: 25, Marital Status: Married, Place of Birth: Scotland, Religion: Wesleyan Methodist, D.O.B. about 1836.
The Oshawa Vindicator reports the birth of a son to John Anderson on January 6, 1863, and a second son on March 30, 1866.
The 1866 Directory of Ontario Country lists John Anderson as a finisher.
On the 1871 Census there is a John Anderson in Oshawa
Occupation: Cabinet Maker, Age: 33, Place of Birth: Scotland, Religion: Presbyterian
The 1871 Ontario Directory has John Anderson still living on Centre Street and working as a finisher.
In the 1857 John Lovell - Canada Directory, there is listed a Gullock and Edwards, mason and builders.
On the 1861 Census, there is a James Gull in Oshawa.
Occupation: Mason, Age: 19, Marital Status: Single, Place of Birth: Scotland, Religion: C Of S, D.O.B. about 1842.
In the 1869 Directory, there is a John Gullock, mason.
In the 1871 Ontario Directory, there is a James Gall listed as working as a mason and living on Centre Street.
There are no Gulls or Galls listed as living in Oshawa in the 1871 census.
However there are two John Gullock:
JOHN T Gullock - Occupation: PAINTER, Age: 23, Place of Birth: ONTARIO, Religion: Bible Christian, Ethnic Origin: ENGLISH, D.O.B. about 1848.
JOHN J Gullock - Occupation: MASON, Age: 54, Place of Birth: ENGLAND, Religion: Bible Christian, Ethnic Origin: ENGLISH, D.O.B. about 1817.
There were no reports in the local newspaper for either surname.
The 1851 Census show two George Harper living in Oshawa:
George Thomas Harper - Age: 5, Birth Year (Estimated): 1846
George Harper - Age: 11, Birth Year (Estimated): 1840, Occupation: Labourer
There are no Harpers listed as living in Oshawa in the 1861 census.
The Oshawa Vindicator newspaper reports on the marriage of George to Carrie E. Mark on June 25, 1868. They report the birth of a son on March 8, 1869.
On the 1871 Census there is a George Harper in Oshawa
Occupation: Lawyer, Age: 27, Place of Birth: Ontario, Religion: Church of England, Anglican, Ethnic Origin: ENGLISH, D.O.B. about 1844.
In the 1871 Ontario Directory, there is a George Harper listed as working as a sawyer and living on Centre Street.
Michael W. Dow
I found a Michael William Dow on Ancestry.com, but nowhere else. He is not listed in the 1861 or 1871 Census as living in Oshawa. I could not find any information in the local newspaper or on FamilySearch.org.
In the 1869 Directory, there is listed Michael W. Dow living on Centre Street,
part owner of Michael and Morgan, general merchants, located at the corner of King and Simcoe.
In the 1871 Ontario Directory, Michael William Dow is listed as a produce dealer and living on Simcoe Street.
There are no McGees listed as living in Oshawa in the 1861 census.
The 1866 Directory of Ontario Country lists Robert McGee as an attorney and solicitor, Simcoe Street, near the Post Office.
The Oshawa Vindicator newspaper reports the birth of a daughter to Robert McGee on November 11, 1866. They report a second daughter on July 26, 1868 and a son on September 30, 1869.
The 1869 Directory shows an R. McGee, working for Farewell and McGee.
On the 1871 Census there is a Robert McGee in Oshawa:
Occupation: Barrister, Age: 35, Place of Birth: Ontario, Religion: Church of England, Anglican, Ethnic Origin: IRISH, D.O.B. about 1836.
The 1871 Ontario Directory lists Robert McGee working at Farewell and McGee, at the corner of Athol and Centre Street.
In the 1879 Oshawa City Directory there is a Robert McGee living on Lot 5 at Athol and Centre. That would be about where the City Hall is now. If he has lived there since before 1850, then we can eliminate him as the owner of my house.
There are no Veals or Veales listed as living in Oshawa in the 1861 census.
The 1866 Directory of Ontario Country lists Augustus Veal working as a blacksmith.
I found an Augustin Veale in the 1871 Census.
Occupation: Blacksmith, Age: 37, Place of Birth: England, Religion: Bible Christian, Ethnic Origin: English, D.O.B. about 1834
The Oshawa Vindicator newspaper reports a son born to Augustus Veal on February 17, 1868.
The 1871 Ontario Directory lists Augustus Veale working as a blacksmith and living on Centre Street.
In the 1879 Oshawa City Directory, there is an Augustus Veale listed as living on Lot 22 on Centre Street West - which I think would be the house on the south west corner of McGrigor and Centre. If he has lived there since before 1850, then we can eliminate him as the owner of my house.
FamilySearch.org has a Augustus Veal marrying an Ann Weeks on December 31, 1866. They baptized a daughter, Elizabeth Ann Veale, born September 4, 1874.
They also have an Augustus Veale married to Josephine Sowerby (a second wife?), and baptizing a son, Clinton A. Veale, born November 23, 1886. There was another son baptized, Loran Roy Veale, born on December 26, 1888.
The 1891 Census shows a Augustine Veale
Age: 68, Birth Year (Estimated): 1823, Birthplace: England, Marital Status: Married, Religion: Methodist
So only two eliminations - who does that leave?
• John Anderson
• Michael William Dow
• James Gull
• George Harper
Any information to share? Have I made any mistakes? Tell me - I love new information!!
~*~ by Catherine McDiarmid-Watt, author of OshawaJournal.com, researching her 1850's house, the history of old homes, the genealogy of the founding families in Oshawa - as well as citylife and farm life in the 1800's, with old news clippings, well-researched articles, and "then and now" photos with the help of her "history dogs", Denny and Dexter.
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