Green Family, Guelph Township


This family setting was likely taken at the Green farm on Whitelaw Road, just west of Guelph, Ontario, in Guelph Township, perhaps about 1914.

Back row: Unknown (George Green?) (holding daughter Eva?), Unknown (perhaps Esther Richardson’s husband, James Hillis), James Green (hat), Annie Alice Green (Barber), Arthur Green, Gordon Barber

Front row: Ann Elizabeth (Lizzie) Wilson Green, Esther Green Richardson (elderly lady) and to her left, Esther Richardson (half-sister of James Green). The children are unknown.




Esther Green (Richardson)

This is poor photograph, but a close-up of a larger Green family photo, of Esther Green who was born at Rudland, Kirkbymoorside Parish, North Riding of Yorkshire, on the 20th of August 1835. She died on January 1st, 1917 in Guelph, Ontario, Canada.


Esther had a very difficult life, at least at its beginnings. She was the daughter of poor coal pit miners, like many of the Greens of that time, and lived at Moor Houses, Rudland. Her parents were James Green (1797 –  1854 and Sarah Ward (1805 – 1895).

As a young teenage she had to find a way of helping the family and would have gone to the local (Kirkbymoorside?) marketplace at the appointed time(s) of the year, looking to be employed as a servant girl or maid.

She was taken as a servant by the Moon family, then residing at Cowl House, Bransdale. The family was that of George Moon, a young widower. Without benefit of marriage (and perhaps she was ‘forced’), she became pregnant by George with James Green who was born at Moor Houses, Rudland, Kirkbymoorside Parish, 25 OCT 1857.

Subsequently, Esther married local west Bransdale farmer, Ralph Richardson (1839 – 1906). James Green her son was raised by a sister of Esther, Elizabeth (Betsey) – Mrs. Anthony Clarkson Dennis.

Ralph Richardson and Esther Green were married at Salton, NRY, a few miles south of the town of Kirkbymoorside, on the 23rd of October 1860. Shortly after, she and Ralph came to Canada (via Boston), as their eldest, Sarah Jane, was born there, 15 JAN 1860. The next daughter, Mary Ann was born in Ontario and then John R. (Ralph?) who was born in Nassagaweya Township, Halton County, Ontario

The family came next to Eden Mills, Eramosa Township, Wellington Co., Ontario, where Ralph was a ‘waggon-maker’ and blacksmith. Later the family resided in nearby Rockwood, Ontario, also in Eramosa Township.

Ralph and Esther Richardson are buried in the Presbyterian Church Cemetery at Eden Mills, Ontario.

Ralph and Esther (Green) Richardson’s children were:

Sarah Jane Richardson 1860–1952

Mary Ann (Annie) Richardson 1863–

John R Richardson 1865–

Mary Ann (Annie) Richardson 1867–1936

Esther Richardson 1869–1953

Elizabeth Richardson 1872–1895

William Ralph Richardson 1874–1888



Hannah (Wood) Wilson

Hannah Wood was born in Glaisdale, North Riding of Yorkshire on the 2nd of March, 1819. She died at Cowl House, Bransdale on the 11th of November, 1896 and is buried at Cuckan, Bransdale (the head of the dale, in St. Nicholas Church, a chapelry of Kirkbymoorside Parish) in the North Riding of Yorkshire, England.


Hannah was the daughter of George Wood (1779 – 1829) and Ann (Nancy) Gatenby (1802 – 1885) of Glaisdale.

Hannah married Newark Wilson at St. Mary’s Parish Church, Whitby, Yorkshire. His residence at the time of the marriage was Bagdale, Ruswarp, Whitby. Subsequently, they moved to Bransdale, beginning at William Strickland’s Mill (house) and then farming for many years at Cowl House, west Bransdale in Kirkbymoorside parish.

Their children were: George (1846 – 1918) and twins: Ann Elizabeth (Green) (1856 – 1924) and Mary Jane (Atkinson) (1856 – 1900).



A Wee Girl on a Sad Day

Here is my father’s mother – Alice Annie Green standing by the graves of her grandparents, in England in 1896. Annie was born in 1890 at Cowesby, North Riding of Yorkshire, where her father James worked as ‘a hosteler’ (he looked after horses) on the Cowesby Estate.


I think the photo captures a visit back to Bransdale at the time of her grandmother’s funeral and burial. The photo is taken high in the ancient, quiet cemetery grounds of St. Nicholas chapel, Cuckan, Bransdale.

St. Nicholas was a chapelry of Kirkbymoorside parish in the North Riding of Yorkshire. This little church provided a place of meeting and worship, and intermittent sacrament reception, as the remote dale was situated some distance from Kirkbymoorside and Helmsley, towns to the south.

Less than a mile south in West Bransdale was Cowl House where Newark Wilson (1819-1890) and his wife Hannah (Wood)(1819-1896) farmed for many years. Formerly, it belonged to Green relatives, the Moon family. Newark was also a blacksmith and though born in Housyke, NRY and marrying Hannah in Whitby, they had started their life in the dale with his working at the Brandale Mill of Sir William Strickland.

Annie came with her family to Canada, on the SS Canada, in 1906. They settled first in Winnipeg where she worked for a number of years with the T. Easton Company before the family removed to a Whitelaw Road farm in Guelph Township, where she met and married Gordon Barber whose father owned a nearby 100 acre farm, at the corner of Whitelaw and Paisley Roads.

James Green Family

Though Newark and George had come earlier and helped to build the railway in western Canada,  James and Elizabeth Green brought the rest of their family in 1906. traveling 3rd Class on the SS Canada.

They settled first in Winnipeg before removing to Guelph Township, Wellington County, Ontario.

(back l-r) Newark, George, Arthur, Tom (front l-r) Annie Alice, Elizabeth, James


The Green Brothers


Tom was the youngest son (top left), born in Cowesby, Yorkshire 4 APR 1889. Newark was the eldest (centre), born in Bransdale, Yorkshire in 1879. George Green (right) was the second son, born in Cowesby, 23 JUN 1883. Arthur (bottom left), was also born in Cowesby, 12 JAN 1888.

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