An American Family History

William Byrne and Sarah Long

The Province of Upper Canada was established in 1791 to accommodate Loyalist refugees from the United States. It included all of Southern Ontario and part of Northern Ontario.

William Byrne and Sarah Long married about 1820 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

William and Sarah's children included:

Anne Jane Byrne Connolly (about 1825, married Christopher Connolly). Jane died young and her children were adopted by Samuel Miller in Yonge Township, Leeds County, Ontario.

William Byrne (1841, married Sophia Dwinnell). Sophia's family lived in Yonge Township.


The Battle of the Windmill was in November, 1838. Loyalists defeated an invasion attempt by Hunter Patriots, led by  Nils von Schoultz, who were attempting to overthrow British rule. The battle was at a windmill two miles east of Prescott.


In 1841 the Act of Union united Upper and Lower Canada (which became Canada West and East) into the Province of Canada, under one government, with Kingston as capital.


The first European settlements in Ontario were after the American Revolution when 5,000 loyalists left the new United States.

Patrick Burns was born in 1801 in Ireland. He married Mary Webb.

James Burns 1828 -
Mary Burns 1828 - 1908
John Burns 1831 -
Elizabeth Burns 1834 - 1911
Samuel Burns 1839 - 1925
Julia Burns 1842 - 1900
Patrick Burns 1843 - 1927

In 1835 John, Patrick and Matthew Byrne signed a petition in Leeds County. John and Patrick were in Yonge Township as early as 1832.

John Byrne 1813-1888 buried Holy Japanese Martyrs Cemetery
Leeds Co. His wife was Ellen Freeman 1817-1892

Michael Byrne 1807-1847 Holy Japanese Martyrs

Ellen Byrne 1858-1918

Patrick and John Byrne appeared on the census lists of Yonge Township, Leeds County Ontario in the 1840s.




from The Rear of Leeds and Landsdown

Patrick Byrne wrote to the Crown lands office in February 1834 to inform them that

I am a poor Emigrant arrived Here from Ireland in the year 1832 with a family and Being unable to purchase Land and also unable to proceed any further up Country I made Bold to Settle on and improve a small parcel or tract of Land which was unoccupyed, in the township of Landsdown, Being called a gore or Commons between Landsdown and Yonge and Marked Letter A in the 13th Cone, of said township of Landsdown, computed to Be about 25 acres... and provided your Honour Would Be pleased to Let me reside on this lit[t]le tract[,] as my acquaintance Lives Convenient to, I think I can procure a Little Livelyhood for my family and if you should feel Disposed to Sell the Same I hope I shall soon be able to purchase it. Your Circular Letter to that Effect will Confer a Living and Assylum on your poor Most ob[e]d[ien]t Humble Serv[an]t.

The Province of Quebec was founded in 1763 after the Treaty of Paris transferred the colony of Canada from France to Britain.



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©Roberta Tuller 2023
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