An American Family History

William Buell

  also spelled Bull  

Hebron, Connecticut was incorporated in 1708 in Hartford County. It became part of Windham County in 1726 and part of Tolland County in 1785.

William Buell was born in 1751 in Hebron, Marlborough County, Connecticut. He was the son of Timothy Buell and Mercy Peters.

He married Martha Naughton (Norton).

William Buell, Jr. (1776),
Andrew Norton Buell (1778)
Joseph Peters Buell (1780),
Timothy Buell (1782),
Anne Buell, (1785, married Andrew Prevost),
Sabrina Buell (1787),
Phoebe Buell (1790, married Stephen Richards), and
Martha Buell (1795, married Marcus Burritt).

His second wife was Margaret Berkley Barnard.

William remained loyal to the British during the American Revoltuion.

In 1779 he joined Robert Rogers’s King’s Rangers.

In 1784 he moved to Elizabethtown (now Brockville) and built the first house there.

William Buell was commissioned justice of the peace for the Luneburg District on July 24, 1788 and for the Midland District on July 15, 1796.

About 1795, he built a flour mill on the 2nd Concession of Elizabethtown.

In 1800 he was elected to the House of Assembly representing Leeds County.


On a complaint being made upon Oath by William T. Slater against Elkany Billings. The Court ordered that the said Elkany Billings should be bound by Recognizance in the sum of one hundred pounds together with his two Surities], William Buell and Jonathan Mills Church, each to be bound in Recognizance in the sum of fifty pounds that the said Elkany Billings shall appear at the next Assizes to be holden in this District to answer to the complaint exhibited against him. The Court also orders that the Complainant William T. Slater should be bound over to appear and prosecute his complaint at the next District Assizes.. in the sum of one hundred pounds.

William Buell deposeth on Oath he is afraid that William B. Sowl will take his life therefore prays that said Sowl do give security of the Person admited to Bail upon paying his fees. Ordered that William B. Sowl be bound in Recognizance in the sum of fifty pounds and that his Surities John McDonald and John Lehy be bound each in the sum of twenty five pounds...

About 1809, he opened the first school in Brockville.

During the War of 1812, Timothy and William, Jr.served in the Leeds County Militia.

In 1820, he built the first stone house in Brockville.

In Brockville on Sunday morning the 7th instant Mrs Martha Buell consort of William Buell Esquire aged 62 years — The deceased was one of those who on the torch of war being lighted in America at the commencement of the evolutionary struggle were compelled with her parents to leave her native soil and find shelter and potection under the British Government in Lower -Canada. (from The Montreal Gazette, December 27, 1823.)

He died from cholera during the epidemic of 1832.

At Brockville on the 8th instant William Buell, Esq. aged 81. Mr. B. after the revolutionary war immigrated from the States to the Canadas and entering the British army was after active employment presented by the Government with land on which the principle part of Brockville is now built. (from ThebMontreal Gazette, August 14, 1832.)

The American Revolution was ended in 1783 when the Treaty of Paris was signed.


Brockville, Ontario was called Elizabethtown. The area was first settled by English speakers in 1785, when Americans who had remained loyal to the crown fled to Canada after the American Revolution.




from History of Leeds & Grenville

Among the United Empire Loyalists who sought refuge in Canada were the original pioneers of the Buell family. From the hour when the first rude shanty was built upon the site of Brockville. down to the present time, the descendants have been intimately associated with the control of public affairs, not only in the town, but also throughout the county.

William Buell, Sr., was of English descent, both upon his father and mother s side. He was the son of Timothy Buell and his wife, Mercy Peters, and was born at Hebron, in the then English Colony of Connecticut, on the 5th of October, 1751.

His mother [Mercy Peters] was a descendant of the Rev. Dr. Samuel Peters, who at the commencement of the American Revolution was Bishop of Connecticut, and wrote a history of that colony, which has recently been republished under the editorship of his great-grandson, S. Jarvis McCormick, Esq.

When the war broke out, Mr. Buell remained loyal to the British Crown, and as soon as was practicable made his way through the wilderness to Montreal, where he received an ensign's commission in the "King's Rangers," subsequently becoming lieutenant. His service extended over a period of seven years, and during a portion of the time he acted as quarter-master. He was frequently detailed to carry important despatches from the authorities in Canada to the British commander at New York, and on many occasions met with hair breadth escapes. He was twice taken prisoner by the insurgents, but succeeded in effecting his escape, and was also present at the surrender of General Burgoyne.

On the 10th of March, 1782, he was married at St. Johns, Lower Canada, to Martha Norton, whose father was an U. E. Loyalist who had removed to Canada from Farmington, Connecticut. A family of nine children was the result of this union. Of these children,

William Buell, the younger, represented the County of Leeds in the Parliament of Upper Canada for several years. He was a Lieutenant-Colonel of the Militia, and for about twenty-five years publisher and proprietor of the Brockville Recorder.

Andrew Norton Buell, the second son, studied law, and, while a student, wrote the first editorial which appeared in the Brockville Recorder. He was for several years Treasurer of the Counties of Leeds and Grenville, and a short time Registrar of the Court of Chancery, Clerk of the Crown and Pleas in the Court of Common Pleas, and subsequently for about twenty-five years Master and Accountant of the Court of Chancery.

Phoebe Buell, a daughter, married Stephen Richards, Sr. . .

After the termination of the Revolutionary War, Mr. Buell, Sr., was placed upon the half-pay list, and retired from military service. In 1785, accompanied by his wife, he removed to Upper Canada, settling upon the present site of the Town of Brockville, then a wilderness. He received a grant from the Crown of the land upon which the central portion of the town was subsequently built, where he settled, and erected the first house.

About the year 1800, Mr. Buell, after a contest with Reuben Sherwood, a Provincial Land Surveyor, was elected a member of the House of Assembly for Upper Canada, for a term of four years.

Mr. Buell donated to the Counties the land upon which the Court House was built, and also the sites for the Presbyterian, Baptist, first Methodist, and Roman Catholic Churches.

His first wife died on the 7th of December, 1823, in the 61st year of her age. About the fourth year after her death,

Mr. Buell married Mrs. Margaret Bernard. One daughter was the fruit of this marriage; she married Robert Findlay, who is a resident of Brockville.

Mr. Buell was upright and honest, and very kind to the poor. He was generous in his character, liberal in his politics, and highly respected.

He died at Brockville on the 8th day of August, 1832, in the 81st year of his age. His remains, and those of his first wife, were originally interred within the limits of the town, but have since been removed to the Brockville Cemetery, west of the town, where fitting monument has been erected to their memory by their second son, Andrew Norton Buell...

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©Roberta Tuller 2020
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