An American Family History

Hester Wilson Miller

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.

Hester Wilson Miller was born on July 14, 1814 in Cloughjordan, Tipperary, Munster, Ireland.

She married Thomas Miller in Ireland. Their children and life together are described in detail in the section on Thomas and Hester Miller.

She died in Kingston, Ontario on July 2, 1882 at the age of 68 of dropsy. The Rev. Dr. Wilson officiated at her service. She is buried with her husband in Cataraqui Cemetery, Section E.


Dropsy or edema, is an abnormal accumulation of body fluids that causes swelling. It is often caused by heart and kidney disease.

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.

    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.



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    ©Roberta Tuller 2019
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