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John and Mary Craig

The First Generation in Canada

Craig craigcloser
  Craig tombstone, Maitland cemetery, Goderich close-up of the tombstone


JOHN CRAIG was born 1817 in either Ireland (census information) or Scotland (death registration), and died May 19, 1889 in Goderich, Huron County, Ontario. He married Mary CONNELY in Ireland (She was born in Ireland).

John is buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, section G, #75. He died of kidney disease/old age. He left real estate or money to all his children except James (probate #1915, Huron Co Surrogate Court, 1859-1890).

In the 1861 census, he was a tavern keeper in Goderich, where the family was living in a 2 storey frame house on 1/2 acre, with 2 cows and 1 pig. Although the family was in Canada by 1847, they do not appear in the 1851 census for Goderich town.

Mary died on March 13, 1886 and is buried with her husband. The cause of her death was bronchitis (registered by her son William). She died intestate and letters of administration were filed by husband John, for an estate valued at $960 (cash held in the bank).

According to son John's obit of 1909, John CRAIG once owned the schooner Kolfage. There was a schooner of this name that went ashore at Point Pelee and was towed to Malden in Sept of 1871 (source:

Children of JOHN CRAIG and MARY are:

i. Isabella, b. Abt. 1838 in Ireland; d. February 17, 1906, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario; m. 1. James JOHNSTON and 2. William STOWE. In the 1871 census, James JOHNSTON was a hotel keeper in Bluevale, Huron Co. He & Isabella had 7 children: William C., John C., Thomas, Mary, Hugh, Isabella and Elizabeth, all born between 1859 and 1871. James died on 9 Aug 1872 in Bluevale where he is buried. His tombstone says that he was 45 years old.

Isabella remarried, on 25 Nov 1873 to William STOWE and had two more children, Ann and Henry.

ii. James b. March 16, 1841, Ireland; m. Martha JOHNSTONE between 1861 and 1868, in Ontario.

iii. Ann Mary, b. October 30, 1846, Ireland or Ontario; m. James Gad PARSONS, February 17, 1870, Goderich, Ontario. James PARSONS was the son of Benjamin

iv. Catherine Jane, b. April 16, 1847, Canada West; d. October 20, 1880; m. George Forbes STEWART.

v. John Jr., b. February 16, 1849, Canada West; d. September 01, 1881, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario.

vi. William, b. May 24, 1851, Ontario; d. January 18, 1909, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario; m. Lilly A. CHAMBERS, d/o Joseph CHAMBERS & Eliza COONS.

vii. Grace Elizabeth, b. Abt. 1855; m. in March 1873 at Clinton, Huron Co., Alfred CHAMBERS, s/o Joseph CHAMBERS & Eliza COONS.



Children of JOHN CRAIG and MARY nee CONLEY


Son John C. JOHNSTON (b. abt 1861) married Elizabeth GEDDES in Listowel in 1884.  Their son was Frederick JOHNSTON b. 28 June 1885

Son Thomas JOHNSTON married Susan CAMPBELL on 30 Aug 1905 in Bluevale. 

Daughter Mary JOHNSTON (b. abt 1866 in Bluevale) married Benjamin John SAULTS on 23 July 1885 in Goderich twp.  Benjamin was s/o William SAULTS & Mary SWALLOW

Son Hugh C. JOHNSTON married Catherine May DINGMAN of 4 Feb 1907 in Toronto.  In 1906 he was in Tacoma Washington; 1914 in Saskatoon.

Daughter Elizabeth JOHNSTON married William Charles ERNST on 20 April 1903 in Goderich.  William was a bar tender in Goderich at the time.  He was s/o John ERNST & Sophia RICHART


2. JAMES CRAIG was born March 16, 1841 in Ireland. In the 1861 census (Goderich) he was living at home, single, and his occupation was given as laborer. In the 1881 and 1901 census he gives his occupation as fisherman while in 1891 it was sailor


i. MARGARET J. CRAIG, b. 1868. Died 1 Nov 1887 of consumption, in Goderich. Her mother was the informant on the death registration (6850-87)

ii. JOHN FRANKLIN CRAIG, b. 1870, Goderich, d. 1947, Barrie, Ontario - married Lucretia NESS

iii. THOMAS CRAIG, b. 1873. In 1891: age 17, living at home (Goderich), printers apprentice. On 5 Sept 1895 he married Margaret WELSH in Toronto. At the time, Thomas was a clerk in Goderich. Margaret was d/o William & Lavina and she was born about 1873 in Uxbridge. Witnesses at the marriage were Dixon M. TOWNLEY & Sarah ELLIS, both of Toronto (reg # 15016-95). This WELSH family appears in Uxbridge in the 1881 census - father, William, was a brakesman, born in Ontario. Margaret was 8 years old, the eldest of three children - her siblings were Lenyard and Elizabeth.

Thomas died in March of 1904 and he is buried in Mt. Pleasant cemetery in Toronto with his mother who died a month before he did.

Margaret remarried in 1907 in Toronto, to John Michael GIBSON, age 25, born in & res of Toronto. On the marriage registration (1126-07) his father's name is given as Robert CRAIG; his mother was Mary BENNINGER.

Margaret GIBSON died 24 Aug 1921 in Toronto. I have not found any children for Thomas & Margaret.

iv. HATTIE CRAIG, b. February 10, 1878. Still alive & single & at home in 1901. She married William COSTIE in Feb 1912. William was born in Goderich, but resident of Saskatoon

v. EVA CRAIG, b. October 15, 1880. Still alive & single & at home in 1901. She was unmarried & living with her brother Frank in Toronto in 1911.

vi. PEARL CRAIG, b. September 14, 1883. Still alive & single & at home in 1901. She married Clinton Aubrey BARFETT, s/o Robert BARFETT & Minnie Alice Maud MASON & they had at least 2 children: Craig (1909) and Doris Martha Elizabeth (1907)

vii.FRANK E CRAIG, b. August 05, 1887. Still alive & single & at home in 1901. Frank was living in Toronto in 1911 (with sisters Hattie & Eva). There was a Frank Craig who died in Toronto in 1915, age 28, but I do NOT know if this is the right Frank (address 114 Yorkville Ave, traveller, single)


3. ANN MARY CRAIG was born October 30, 1846. She married JAMES GAD PARSONS February 17, 1870 in Goderich, Ontario, son of BENJAMIN and MARY PARSONS.

JAMES GAD PARSONS according to the 1881 census was mariner, age 34, of English ancestry, living in Goderich. In the 1901, census, age 57, and he earned $800 as mariner, working 8 months/year. By 1911 Ann Mary was a widow (& living with daughter Marion in Goderich)

James & Ann Mary are buried in Maitland cemetery

Children of ANN CRAIG and JAMES PARSONS are:

i. HARRY B. PARSONS, b. December 07, 1870, Ontario. 1901: at home, bank clerk, earning $900/year, age 30, single

ii. MARIAN PARSONS, b. February 22, 1872, Ontario. 1901, census, teacher earning $275/year, single, living at home

  • In Oct of 1913 Marion married Percival Thomas Eugene Colling NAFTEL, s/o Thomas NAFTEL & Mary Ann.

iii. JAMES RUSSELL WOOLRIDGE PARSONS, d. 26 Aug 1876 age 11 months

iv. LIONEL PARSONS, b. October 27, 1878, Ontario. 1901, census, living at home, clerk, earning $480, single

  • 1911 census, Lionel was on West St. in Goderich with his wife Hattie J. (born Dec 1885) and their daughter Mary C. PARSONS, born Jan 1910.
  • Lionel's wife was Huldah SAULTS, d/o Mary JOHNSTON & Benjamin SAULTS.  Lionel & Hattie/Huldah were cousins


4. WILLIAM CRAIG was born May 24, 1851 or 1953 in Ontario, and died January 18, 1909 in Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario. He married LILLY ALICE CHAMBERS.

In the 1881 census William was a hotel keeper in Goderich. In 1889 he was at the Huron Hotel, Goderich. In 1896 he was at the International Hotel, Kingston St., Goderich. He died in 1909 of cirrhosis of the liver which he’d had for about 1 year , with the immediate cause of death being "repeated hemorrhages". He is buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, section G, #75


i. ALFRED CRAIG, b. 1876; d. August 21, 1877, Goderich, Huron Co.,

ii. MARY ELIZABETH CRAIG, b. April 28, 1877; d. 1964; m. J.H. HAYES. buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, Ontario.  Mary was living with her widowed mother in Goderich in 1911 (Mary was age 33, single).

iii. ETHEL ALFRETTA CRAIG, b. July 26, 1879, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario; d. 1961; m. HARRY OSWALD STURDY, November 14, 1907, in Goderich.

  • Harry was a clerk in 1907. Alfred Fenton STURDY and Laura CRAIG were the witnesses at the wedding. Both Ethel and Harry are buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, Ontario,
  • In the 1911 census, Ethel & Harry are in Goderich, with two children: Laura P. born May 1908 and Alfred B. born 1909
  • Next to them in the 1911 census were Harry's parents, Oswald & Catherine STURDY & Harry's siblings.
  • Harold was born 3 Sept 1880 in Goderich and he died in 1968.

iv. WILLIAM ALBERT CRAIG, b. March 1881; d. July 13, 1881, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario.

v. LAURA LORNE CRAIG, b. March 30, 1882; on 29 Oct 1914 she m. William Harold BLACKSTONE (1882-1954). Buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, Ontario.  William was a confectioner in Goderich.

vi. JOSEPH CHAMBERS CRAIG, b. April 26, 1883; d. 1967; m. EDITH HENRY. Buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, Ontario, where he also has a memorial in the veterans plot as he was : 654328, gunner, Motor Machine Gun Brigade.  Joseph & Edith were married on 26 April 1923 in Windsor.  Edith was d/o John HENRY & Margaret Ann BRYERS.  Witnesses at the marriage were Constance & Wesley R. JOHNSON of Windsor.  At the time, Joseph was a foreman in Goderich and Edith was a resident of Windsor (age 30, born in England)

vii. EDWARD CAMPAIGNE CRAIG, b. June 16, 1886.  WW1 CEF attestation papers are online.

viii. WINONA B. (Nona) CRAIG, b. June 10, 1887; d. 1933, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario.

ix. HARRY CRAIG, b. December 16, 1888.

x. WILLIAM A. CRAIG, b. February 20, 1891; d. 1964; m. SARAH J. SANDERSON, April 24, 1909, Goderich. They too are buried at Maitland cemetery, Goderich, Ontario. In 1909, William was a jeweler, religion was Episcopalian. Their eldest child was Anna Lenore CRAIG, born Jan 1911.

xi. SON (Unknown name) CRAIG, b. March 1896. He was born on St. Patricks Day and his birth was announced in the "Goderich Star", March 20, 1896

In the 1911 census, Lilly Alice CRAIG, born 1855, was a widow living in Goderich with children, Mary E., Laura, Joseph, Winona & Edward, as well as son William & his wife Sarah & his daughter Anna.


5. GRACE ELIZABETH CRAIG (called Elizabeth) was born about. 1855. She married ALFRED CHAMBERS, on 28 March 1873 in Clinton, Huron Co. Alfred gives his occupation as engineer on both his marriage registration and on his daughter Mabel's birth registration. In 1906 he was in Port Huron - he is also in Port Huron in 1909 according to William CRAIG's obituary. Alfred was s/o Joseph CHAMBERS & Eliza COONS. He had at least two siblings, David CHAMBERS (who was in Port Robinson in 1909) and Lilly A. (who married Wm CRAIG, see above).

In the 1881census, Alfred and Elizabeth were in Goderich and Alfred's occupation is, once again, engineer.

Known children of GRACE CRAIG and ALFRED CHAMBERS are (other children?):

i. GARNET W. CHAMBERS, b. 1882; d. April 21, 1886, Goderich, Huron Co., Ontario. The cause of death: lesions on the brain. This death was registered by William Craig (uncle). Garnet is buried at Maitland cemetery

ii. MABEL ALICE CHAMBERS b. 13 Jan. 1874, birth reg # 9788-74

iii. LILLIE CHAMBERS, b. abt 1876 (age 5 in 1881 census)

iv. ALFRED CHAMBERS Jr., b. abt 1880 (age 1 in 1881 census)

6. JOHN CRAIG Jr. John. Living with his brother William in the 1881 census. Occupation is master mariner, age 32, single.

7. CATHERINE JANE CRAIG was born in Ontario on April 17, 1847. She died on 20 October 1880 in East Saginaw, Michigan, leaving two children. There was a short death announcement in the Huron Signal (Goderich) on 29 Oct 1880. Her husband was George Forbes STEWART who was born in Scotland in about 1834. George & Catherine are in East Saginaw Michigan in the 1880 census with their two children, Mary Jane and John. Mary Jane was born in Goderich on 31 Oct 1875 (birth reg has been found, but I don't have the number). John was born about 1879.



The family of John Franklin Craig and Lucretia Margery Ness

JOHN FRANKLIN CRAIG was born 1870 in Goderich, Huron County ,Ontario, and died 1947 in Barrie, Ontario. He married LUCRETIA MARGERY NESS June 15, 1896 in Barrie, Ontario, daughter of JOHN NESS and MARTHA HARRISON.

In both the 1881 and 1891 censuses John Franklin is living at home in Goderich. In 1891 he gives his occupation as tailor. In 1896 both John Franklin and Lucretia were resident of Barrie & their wedding was announced in ‘The Northern Advance’ (the Barrie newspaper) although Lucretia is mistakenly called Louise. In 1901 they are living in Barrie with their 2 sons, Otto and William and John Franklin is a merchant & tailor. Although family called him Franklin, he was John on all documents.

John Franklin and Lucretia are buried at Barrie Union Cemetery (215 & 216 C)

Children of JOHN CRAIG and LUCRETIA NESS are:

i. OTTO VERNON CRAIG, b. October 28, 1896, Ontario; d. 1967 & buried in Mt. Pleasant cemetery in Toronto, married Jessie May McDONALD

ii. WILLIAM JOHN CRAIG, b. January 02, 1901, Barrie, Ontario; d. 1981, Barrie, Ontario (Barrie Union cemetery). In 1927 he married Joan HARGREAVES (1904-1998)

iii. HAZEL MARTHA CRAIG, b. 1904, Barrie, Ontario; d. 1995, Barrie, Ontario; m. JAMES GEORGE ROGAN (1902-1995), both are buried at Barrie Union cemetery

iv. FRANKLIN ERNEST CRAIG, b. 1906, Barrie, Ontario; d. 1972, Barrie, Ontario; m. MARY J. ANNAND (1913-1 Oct 1978)

v. CLAUDE CHARLES CRAIG, b. 1909; d. 11 OCt 2002; m. MARGARET ISABEL GRUETZNER (1913-1996)

vi. RUTH MARGARET CRAIG, b. 1916, m. Kenneth John McDONALD.  Ruth died 18 April 2002

vii. JOHN (Jack) BADEN CRAIG, b. 1912, Barrie, Ontario; d. 1984, Barrie, Ontario; m. DOROTHY SYLVIA JANE HUNTER (1922-1971). Both are buried at Barrie Union cemetery


Otto Vernon CRAIG married Mae MacDonald in 1923 in Bridgeburg Ont. She died in Sept of 1963 and her obituary was in the Toronto Telegram of Wed. 4 Sept 1963: CRAIG, Mae - At Womens College Hospital on Sunday Sept 1, 1963, Mae, beloved wife of Otto V. Craig of 26 Gardiner Rd., Forest Hill village, sister of Mrs. David Blumenthal of Tampa Florida, Alex C. MacDonald of Cooksville and Mrs. W. W. Parslow of St. Croix Virgin Islands. Private funeral service was held in the chapel of Morley S. Bedford 159 Eglinton Ave. West (at Lascelles Blvd) on Tues at 3 p.m. Interment Mount Pleasant Cemetery