An American Family History

Thomas Miller and Hester Wilson

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists."
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
Queen's County, Ireland
Loughborough Township, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada
Pittsburgh Township, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada
Kingston, Frontenac County, Ontario, Canada

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.

Thomas Miller married Hester Wilson in Ireland before 1842. They belonged to the Church of England. Their son John Wilson Miller was born in 1843 and their daughter Elizabeth J. Miller Seale (Bessie) was born in 1845.

The family immigrated to Canada about 1846. Benjamin Craig Miller was born in Canada in 1847.

 In 1851 they were living in Loughborough Township. Loughborough is in Frontenac County just north of Kingston. Thomas T. Miller was born there in 1853.

At the time of the 1861 Census, they were living in Bedford. Bedford is north of Kingston. In 1871 they were living in Pittsburgh Township which is just east of Kingston.

The family appeared in the 1881 Canadian Census in the Cataraqui Ward of Kingston in Frontenac County, Ontario. At that time, only Thomas was still at home. They lived next door to Bessie and John Seale.

Kingston Directory 1878-79

Hester died on July 2, 1882.

In 1891 Thomas was living with John and Bessie Seale.

Thomas Jr. died in 1890.

Thomas died on September 4, 1895. Thomas and Hester are buried together in Cataraqui Cemetery with their son Thomas and some of John Wilson's children who died as babies.



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.

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




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.

Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
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