Township Facts-1878:

By an act passed in 1851, portions of Cramahe and Murray were constituted a new township under the name Brighton. It is bounded on the north by Seymour, on the west by Cramahe, and on the east by Murray, and on the south by Lake Ontario. Area, 46,719 acres; population, 3,734; valuation, $1, 333,024. The names of the early settlers of Cramahe and Murray, of course belong also to Brighton, which was formed out of the parts of each.

The Village of Brighton located in the township of the same name, was incorporated in 1860. It is a port of entry, and is situated about 1 1/2 miles north of Presque Isle Harbour. It is an important station on the Grand Trunk, has daily mails and telegraph offices, being 22 miles from Cobourg, 92 miles from Toronto, and 241 miles from Montreal. Population about 1,700 in 1878, whereas the population was only 500 in 1852. There are two gristmills, a plaster mill and tannery in the place, and a large amount of commerce carried on. Presque Isle Harbour, is a mile and a half distant; it is a splendid sheet of water, some fifteen miles in circumference, the sufficient depth of water to guarantee the safety of vessels entering. There is a printing office and newspaper-- the Brighton Ensign. The churches are four in number, viz: Church of England, Wesleyan Methodist, Episcopal Methodist, and Presbyterian. There is a fine brick school building. The post office villages in Brighton township are, Smithfield, Hilton, Newcomb's Mills and Codrington.

Pioneer Family Sketches, Contributed by:

EDMONDS -- by Michelle KNOLL

PETERSON -- by Michelle KNOLL

GAINFORTH -- by Sherry



WERDEN -- by Deborah WORDEN


 Early Settlers:
The names of the early settlers of Cramahe and Murray, of course belong also to Brighton, which was formed out of the parts of each.

James Carl KEMP, J.P., born in Ameliasburgh in 1802,married in 1822, and brought up a family of eleven children in the township of Cramahe, and is perhaps now the oldest living native of the place. He has a distinct recollection of the early settlers in the old township. They correspond with those already given under the head of Cramahe. The old gentleman's reminiscences are very interesting.

John E. PROCTOR, farmer, merchant and mill owner, was born in the place. His father, Isaac, who came in from Vermont, took up land in the old township of Cramahe, many years ago.

John LOCKWOOD was the first postmaster. His son T.C. LOCKWOOD, in the office succeeds him. Milton K. LOCKWOOD, another son, is the collector of customs.

There is a printing office. The Ensign newspaper was originally established by Peter BEGG, and afterwards by J. B. BENSON, who purchased the plant.

Richard SPENCER, son of Hazelton SPENCER, an old grantee of lands in Murray, formerly published the Brighton Flag. Brighton harbour was originally known as Freeman Point and Gosport.

The Government sold lots to private parties, who have built wharves. Wharves are owned by J.D. MCKENZIE, Colin MCKENZIE, A. MCCALLUM, and Capt. W. QUICK. The Government expended $30,000 in 1875, in dredging a new channel. The harbour is free.

Pioneer Families:


John EDMONDS was living with his brother's family, Matthew EDMONDS and his wife, Mary [JONES] EDMONDS in Brighton Township in 1851, according to census records. Matthew and Mary have five children appearing in the 1851, 1861 and 1871 Brighton Census: Sarah, b. 1845; Sabrina Elizabeth, b. 1848 who m. Ira ANSON and both are buried in the Hilton Cemetery in Murray Township; Pheobe, b. 1852 who m. John ABERNATHY; Manley Matthew, b. 1857 who m1. Anna L. SMITH and m2. Ruth WESSELS; and Robert, b. 1872. All family members were born in Ontario.

Contributed by: Michelle KNOLL at


James PETERSON and his wife, Sarah [PHILIPS] appear in the 1851 Brighton Census living on Concession 5, Lot 5 with their children: John, William, Eliza Ann, Margaret, Sarah, Helen, James, Emma and Charlotte.

Submitted by: Michelle KNOLL at


Horace PLUMPTON and his wife, Charlotte [ ? ] moved to Brighton Township with William and James PLUMPTON, their sons. They lived on Concession 10, Lot 2. William and his wife, Sophia [NELSON] lived across the street. It is believed they moved to Brighton area after arriving in Hallowell Township, Prince Edward County, between 1830 and 1835.

Submitted by: John E. PLUMPTON at


Early family:Calista SANFORD, born 1804 in US and daughter of Elisha SANFORD and Mary DORMAN was married in Brighton 16 Nov 1829 to Henry M. STICKLE. The STICKLE's later moved and settled in Cobourg.

Submitted by: Sanford Researcher at

Top Text

The GAINFORTH Family lived in Brighton and Murray Townships.
Contributed by: Sherry at

The PEARSON Family of Brighton.
Contributed by: Judii REMPEL at

The WERDEN Family lived in Brighton as early as 1836.
Contributed by: Deborah WORDEN at

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