An American Family History

Elizabeth J. Miller Seale


Bessie Seale
from Hester Miller Johnson's
photo collection


George Seale
George Seale
photo courtesy of Dianne Seale Nolin

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.

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

Elizabeth J. Miller Seale was born in August 4, 1845 in Ireland. She was called Bessie. Her parents were Thomas Miller and Hester Wilson. She immigrated to Canada in 1847 when she was about two years old.

She married John Seale who was born in Ontario on October 26, 1842. His parents were John Seale and Elizabeth Hunter.

Seale Family
John and Bessie Seale
photo courtesy of Dianne Seale Nolin

John and Elizabeth's children were
George J. Seale (June 1, 1877), 
Thomas Milton Miller Seale (1878, died as an infant),
Charles Wilson Seale (December 16, 1879), and
Thomas Alexander Seale (September 17, 1881).

 Seale Family
The Seale Family
photo courtesy of Dianne Seale Nolin

At the time of the 1881 census they were living in the Cataraqui Ward of Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario. They lived next door to Bessie's parents, Thomas and Hester Miller. John was working as a tailor.

In 1891 they were still in the Cataraqui Ward. They were living with Bessie's father, Thomas. John was working as a contractor.

At the time of the 1901 census they were still living in Kingston Cataraqui Ward, A-3. The household consisted of John who was 58 and a carpenter, Elizebeth (sic) age 55, George J. age 23 who was a stenographer, Charles W. age 21 who was a clerk, and Thomas A. age 19 who was a carpenter, and Thomas's wife Emma (Mitchell), age 18.

Bessie Seale
photo courtesy of Dianne Seale Nolin

John died in Kingston on October 25, 1908 at the age of 66. He is buried in Cataraqui Cemetery in Section E.

Elizabeth died August 27, 1910 of apoplexy. (A sudden impairment of neurological function, especially that resulting from a cerebral hemorrhage; a stroke.)
Children of Thomas Miller, Sr.
and Hester Wilson
  • John Wilson Miller
  • Elizabeth J. Miller Seale
  • Benjamin Craig Miller
  • Thomas T. Miller, Jr.
  • On August 10 1850, the Cataraqui Cemetery in Kingston, Ontario was founded to meet the needs of recent immigrants who were not members of churches. The cemetery was outside the city, non-denominational, and anyone could be buried there. It was designed as a serene garden.

    The peak period of Irish immigration to Canada was during the Great Famine between 1845-1849. Most immigrants went to Canada because the fares were lower. Ships that reached Canada lost many passengers and even more died while in quarantine. From the reception station at Grosse-Ile, most survivors were sent to Montréal. The typhus outbreak of 1847 and 1848 killed many of the new immigrants. An economic boom following their arrival allowed many men to work in on the expanding railroad, in construction, in the logging industry, or on farms.

    Seale Family
    The Seale Family
    photo courtesy of Dianne Seale Nolin

    The Great Famine or the Irish Potato Famine was between 1845 and 1852. About a million people died and a million more emigrated. It was caused by a potato blight. The famine permanently changed Ireland.



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    ©Roberta Tuller 2020
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