Week 4 – Curiosity

Curiosity is defined as having a strong desire to know or learn something. Today my curiosity leads me to wonder – Who was Margaret Robinson?

Margaret Robinson

The only information about Margaret Robinson prior to her death comes from the details held in the Canadian Census documents.

The first mention of Margaret Robinson was on the 1861 Canadian Census. She was living in Kingston with the family of my second great-grandparents, Joseph Jamieson and Mary Ann Robinson. Mary Ann’s age was recorded as 26 and Margaret’s was recorded as 27.[1] Given the reported ages of the two woman one might conclude that Margaret was the unmarried sister of Mary Ann.

On the 1871 Canadian Census Margaret was still living in Kingston with Joseph and Mary Ann. Mary Ann was recorded as being aged 38 and Margaret was recorded as being 40.[2]

In 1881 Margaret was once again found on the census living with Mary Ann and Joseph but Mary Ann’s age was 45 and Margaret’s age was recorded as 55.[3]

Margaret died in Kingston on 21 May 1889. The information on her death certificate names Joseph as the informant and her age is reported as being 72.[4]

On 21 May 1889 Margaret’s death notice appeared in The Kingston Whig Standard. It gave her age as 72 and mentioned that she was originally from County Tyrone. Unfortunately, there was no clue to her relationship to the Jamieson family.[5]

Clipping from The Kingston Whig-Standard – Newspapers.com
The Kingston Whig-Standard (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) · 21 May 1889, Page 1, Downloaded on Jan 10, 2022

On 23 May 1889 a death notice appeared in the Weekly British Whig with even less information.[6]

Clipping from The Weekly British Whig – Newspapers.com
The Weekly British Whig (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) · 23 May 1889, Page 1, Downloaded on Jan 10, 2022

I know that Joseph and Mary Ann were both living in Montreal at the time of their marriage in 1850, but there is little detail on the marriage document, and no mention of the parents of either is made.[7]

Did Margaret and Mary Ann leave Ireland on their own or were there other family members who went with them to Canada? As there are few immigration records available for this time, this information remains unknown.

Based on the ages recorded on the various documents, Margaret could be 1-18 years older than Mary Ann, making either relationship possible.

So, the question remains. Who was Margaret Robinson? Was she my third great-grandmother or sister to Mary Ann?


[1] 1861 Canadian Census, Library and Archives Canada, https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/.

[2] 1871 Canadian Census, Library and Archives Canada, https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/.

[3] 1881 Canadian Census, Library and Archives Canada, https://www.bac-lac.gc.ca/.

[4] Death record for Margaret Robinson, 21 May 1889, Ontario, Canada, Deaths and Deaths Overseas, 1869-1946, Ancestry.com.

[5] Obituaries, Kingston Whig Standard, 21 May 1889, p. 1, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/92241198/the-kingston-whig-standard/?xid=637&_ga=2.41192290.1364587820.1641863883-509320698.1641863883.

[6] Death Notices, Weekly British Whig, 23 May 1889, p. 1, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/92241008/the-weekly-british-whig/?xid=637&_ga=2.118968265.1364587820.1641863883-509320698.1641863883.

[7] Marriage of Joseph Jamieson and Mary Ann Robinson, 19 August 1850, Québec, Canada, Vital and Church Records (Druin Collection), 1621-1968, Ancestry.com.

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