Wackley Family of Mitchell's Corners History

From: kosmachenko@cyberlink.bc.ca (Stephanie Osmachenko)

John & Dorothy (Downing) Wackley

John Wackley was born Aug.14,1817, in Hartland, Devon County, England to William and Ann (Morcum) Wackley. John was baptized on Aug.24,1817 in Morwenstow, Cornwall Co. England. He was the oldest out of seven children. William (John's Father) was a cordwainer and shoemaker.

Dorothy Downing (Wackley) was born on July 11,1811 in Morwenstow, Cornwall Co. England to James and Elizabeth (Cottle) Downing. Dorothy was the middle child of six childrem. James was a farm labourer and Elizabeth was a seamstress.

John's family was quite poor, so John was out working at a young age. He mostly worked at local farms with horses. By the age of 21 he started dating Dorothy. Within a year they were married on March 26,1840 in Morwenstow, England. Shortly after Dorothy became pregnant. On January 30,1841, she gave birth to a boy, who they called John Jr. But by Oct. 14,1841 he died of pheumonia. He was laid to rest in a parish cemetery in Morwenstow, England.

Early 1842 they moved, and once again Dorothy became pregnant. On Sept.04,1842 they had another son, called William. He was born with alot of heart problems and died Oct. 24,1842. He was buried at a local cemetery in Wellcombe, Devon Co. England.

On Feb.23,1844 they had another son called Jabez. By this time John and Dorothy were finding things pretty hard. John's two cousins were coming to the New World and were invited to come along. They packed up what they could and went by horse and buggy to Liverpool in July 1847 and could a Norwegian ship. It took 11 days for them to reach Canada.

John and Dorothy settled in Mitchells' Corner, Durham Co. Ont. They were granted a small section of land. John built a small two room shack, and a small barn. By July 23,1847 Dorothy gave birth to my Gr Grandfather Samuel. Before long they had three more children, Elizabeth, Mary, and Amos.

John was very handy with his hands. He was a farmer, and was always there to help with carpentry work. He helped build the first church in his community. John was the superintendent of the Columbus Weslyn Methodist Sunday School in Hampton, Ont. On Feb.15,1857 he gave up his position, in which time he was given a book as a token of their regard to him.

By the late 1850's John's two sisters and one brother and their spouses came to Canada. They were Ann (Wackley) and her husband George Hooper, Betsy (Wackley) and her husband John Heard, and Thomas Wackley and his wife Maria Cornish. They all lived at first in Hampton, Ont area.

On Mar.18,1860, John was driving his wagon and team of horses from Oshawa, Ontario, when suddenly the wagon flipped over. John died later that day of inflammation. Dorothy fretted over her husband's death, that she died of a broken heart on Feb.02,1861.

John's sisters Ann and Betsy took in the children. Jabez married in 1863. Jabez and his wife and brother Samuel moved to Dundalk, Ont. Elizabeth and Mary worked as servants in Hampton, Ont. till they married in the 1870's to two Moynes brothers, Isaac and William. And the youngest child Amos worked on the railroad till he got hurt badly. He moved to the USA and married Rhonda Orr in 1893 in Kenton , Ohio.

P.S. Wackley is also spelled today as Wakley and Wakely.

Submitted by:

Stephanie Osmachenko


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