Middlesex County Ontario Indian Churches and Missions

The Missions of the Canada Wesleyan Conference among the Indians were instituted in 1822, two years before the Missionary Society was formed at Grand River, Brant County, Ont., with Rev. Alvin Tory, preacher.

In 1828, a mission among the Otchipwes, Oneidas and Munceys of Caradoc and Delaware was commenced, the membership being 15, increased in 1873 to 123.
Thomas Hurlburt was preacher from 1828 to 1833 inclusive;
Ezra Adams, 1833-4;
Solomon Waldron, 1835-40;
Peter Jones, 1840-3; with D. Hardie in 1843;
C. Flumerfelt in 1844;
Sol. Waldron, 1845;
Peter Jones, 1846-48; Abrarn Sickles being assistant from 1843 to 1870, with the exception of a few years;
Samuel D. Rice, 1849;
Samuel Rose, 1850-5, with John Sunday and A. Sickles, assistants;
James Musgrove, 1856-62, with Chase, Sickles and Matt. Whiting, assistants;
Francis Berry and Sickles served from 1864 to 1866.

In 1860, the Mount Elgin school was placed in charge of Reuben E. Tupper, and the mission in charge of Peter German, both of whom served until 1870. A year later, the school and mission work were reunited, with James Gray in charge. He was succeeded in 1872 by Ephraim Evans and Allan Salt, who were the preachers in 1873, the membership being then 141.

The Muncey Indian Mission of the Methodist Church of Canada was presided over from 1874 to 1880 by Thomas Cosford. Allan Salt assisted in 1874; Samuel Tucker, in 1875-7; Abel Edwards, in 1878-80; W. W. Shepherd and A. Edwards, in 1881-3, while Abel Edwards and W. W. Shepherd served in 1884, at the time of the second Methodist union.

In early years the old Indians arranged many, if not all of the marriages; later the young warriors arranged matters with the girl, and later still, even in this day, a system of promiscuous living together was introduced, not over one half of the number at present availing themselves of the marriage ceremony. In fact, in Nelson Beaver’s early years, girls did not run at large; but the matter of intersexual honor has now almost disappeared, and white children are also very common.

Indian Marriages

Rev. Ezra Adams, of the Wesleyan Methodist Church, joined the following natives in marriage during the years 1834-5:

Sept. 1, 1834: James Thomas, to Peggy;
Sept. 1, 1834: Seneca Jack, to Polly Beaver;
Sept. 1, 1834: Henry Maskarioorgaand, to Eliza.
Sept. 1, 1834: John Maskanonge, to Jane Stagway.
Nov. 12 1884: Talbut Chief, to Margaret Wabesenasequa.
Dec 2, 1884: James Tunkey, to Margaret.
Feb. 1, 1835: James Egg, to Matilda Quawi.
Feb. 1, 1885: James Kewaquam, to Polly Ohnahpewanoqua.
Feb. 15, 1835: George Peter, to Ohpetapowqua.

The following record by Solomon Waldron, minister of the Wesleyan Methodist Church at Munceytown, was made in 1836; David Sawyer, being a witness in each case:

Jan. 3, 1836: John Tomico, to Elizabeth Half Moon;
Jan. 3, 1836: Isaac Dolson, to Electa Tipic Kises
Jan. 3, 1836: Polly Quaitloo, to John Dolson.
Feb. 10, 1836: Joseph Deertail, to Nancy Loon.
May 3, 1836: Waginge Bond, to Nancy Caleb;
May 3, 1836: John Beaver, to Hannah Elmore;
May 3, 1836: John Beaver, 2nd, to Eliza Rishekains.
July 17, 1836: John Quaitloop, to Polly Bean.

Abram Sickles, an Indian minister, made the following returns in October, 1850:

May 14, 1848: David Lunduff, to Margaret Shallo, of Delaware.
Dec. 21, 1848: Daniel Ninham, to Margaret Doxdater, of Delaware.
Jan. 21, 1849: Nicholas Nicholas, to Mary Ann Williams, of Delaware.
June 17, 1849: Bapdist Sunmer, to Nelly Schegler, of Delaware.
June 17, 1849: Abram Schegler, to Susannah Williams, of Delaware.
June 19, 1849: John Bread, to Mary Island, of Delaware.
July 10, 1849: Charles Bateman, to Mary A. Ewerren, of Caradoc.
April 14, 1850: Peter Alvarn, to Margaret Andone, of Delaware.
Oct. 13, 1850: John Nicholas, to Margaret Elem, of Delaware.

His certificate reads as follows: “I certify that the above marriages were performed by me within the period included between the first and last on the list; and that my not having made the returns within a year after the first was solemnized, arose from my ignorance of the law being an Indian and not long resident.”

English Church Members

The principal Munceys, who were members of the English Church in 1847, were
Henry C. Hogg, catechist
Mrs. Hogg
J. Wampum (Kachnakaish), interpreter
Mrs. Wampum
Ann Johnston (Ainhahwooky)
Capt. Wolfe (Weirchawk)
Phoebe Hank (Aishkunkg)
Mary Hank (Tahtapenawh)
David Hank,
Abram Hoff
Wm. Waddilove (Shapaish)
John Smith
Mary Delaware (Waimlaish)
Moses Shuyler
Mary Wilcox (Papatahpahnelaiky)
David Bear (Maquah)
Thomas and Nancy Wahcosh.

In 1851, Rev. R. Flood was appointed to the Muncey Mission.
In 1859-60, Rev. A. Potts presided over the English Church at Munceytown.
H. C. Hogg’s name appears as an incorporated member in 1857.
In 1861-2, Rev. R. Flood took charge of this and the Delaware Church.
In 1865, Rev. H. P. Chase was appointed over L Paul’s, at Muncey, and St. John’s, at Chippewa.
In 1869, Zion Church, of the Oneidas, was established.
In 1885, Rev. A. G Smith took charge of the three Indian Churches.

The Oneida Methodist Mission was part of Muncey until 1871 when William Cross was appointed preacher.

The Oneida Indian Mission of the Methodist Church of Canada succeeded the Weslevan Mission in 1874, with William Cross preacher.
In 1877 Elisha Tennant took charge;
in 1879, Benj. Sherlock; in 1880-3,
Erastus Hurlburt with A Sickles; in 1884,
E. Hurlburt at Muncey, with John Kirkland and Sam. G. Livingstone at the College

Elgin Industrial Institution may be said to date back to 5, when Peter Jones collected moneys in England and Scotland and had his Indians contribute also. In 1847-8, the buildings were erected, and in 1849 the Institution was opened, with Rev. Dr. Rice, Superintendent. Since that time the names of Methodist ministers, connected with the Institution and Mission, are named in the history of the Mission. In June, 1887, W. W. Shepherd, present Principal, reported favorably of this school.

Loyal Orange Lodges. In connection with the churches and schools, there are a few Loyal Orange Lodges, the members of which parade on every 12th of July with band and regalia. As a rule, fire-water is freely used on the occasion; but the Lodges, after all, compare very favorably with those of their white brethren. The tribes have also an agricultural organization and an annual fair.

W. A. & C. L. Goodspeed. History of the County of Middlesex, Ontario: from the earliest time to the present, containing an authentic account of many important matters relating to the settlement, progress and general history of the county, and including a department devoted to the preservation of personal and private records, etc. London: W. A. & C. L. Goodspeed, Publishers, 1889.

1 thought on “Middlesex County Ontario Indian Churches and Missions”

  1. Carolyne virginia lain

    I was born Carolyn Virginia Dolson, April 14, 1943. My mother was Dorothy Edna Dolson and her father was Gus Nichols Dolson. I was given for adoption to Ray Milford Cowell and Elsie Kate Cowell, and my name was changed to Carol Cowell at that time (1945).

    Just prior to my biological mother’s passing in 1985, she made it known that I am of Native blood but she did not elaborate any further. Since that time I have been trying to find out enough to claim my heritage. At seventy-three years of age, I only want to know where I really belong and to be able to obtain my status and status for my two remaining children, grandchildren, etc.

    Is there any way you can help me? My email is lakeshorelunch@yahoo.ca and my name is Carolyne Virginia Lain. I anxiously await your reply, asap, as I am in ill health. Thank you very much.

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