Person:Hugh Irwin (2)

Hugh Irwin
b.2 Nov 1843 Ireland
  1. William IrwinAbt 1842 - 1878
  2. Hugh Irwin1843 - 1929
  3. Elizabeth Irwin1851 - 1926
  4. Elliott Irwin1852 - 1933
  5. MARGARET Jane Irwin1853 -
m. 2 Jan 1873
  1. MARGARET Jane Irwin1882 -
  2. Hannah Lavina (Ina) Irwin1884 - 1902
  3. Abraham JOHNSTONE (JOT) Irwin1886 - 1948
  4. Mary Maud Irwin1889 - 1962
  5. ARTHUR Hume Irwin1891 - 1978
  6. William Robert IrwinAbt 1894 - 1902
  7. Ethel Gladys Irwin1897 - 1942
  8. Lillian Muriel Irwin1899 -
Facts and Events
Name Hugh Irwin
Gender Male
Birth[9] 2 Nov 1843 Ireland
Immigration[5] 1848 (?) Immigrated to Canada
Census[10] 1861 Goderich (township), Huron, Ontario, Canada
Residence[2] 1869 Chapman, Parry Sound, Ontario, CanadaMoved to Maganetawan
Census[1] 2 Apr 1871 Chapman, Parry Sound, Ontario, CanadaLot 96, Concession B, Chapman
Marriage 2 Jan 1873 Bracebridge, Muskoka, Ontario, Canadato HANNAH Jane Matthews
Physical Description[2] 31 Aug 1880 Maganetawan, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Census[3] 4 Apr 1881 Chapman, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Census[4] 6 Apr 1891 Chapman, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada
Residence[8] 1893 Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, CanadaMoved to Alberta
Census[9] 31 Mar 1901 Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada
Census[6] 6 Jul 1906 13, Edmonton, Alberta, CanadaSection 3, Twp 54, Range 22
Census[5] 1 Jun 1911 Hepnolte, Victoria, Alberta, CanadaTwp 54, Range 22
Census[7] 6 Jun 1921 Selkirk, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaPoint Grey
Death? 15 Jun 1929 Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Burial? 18 Jun 1929 Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, CanadaSt Paul's Cemetery, Agricola

Name and Relationships

Name: Hugh Irwin. Source is his 1873 marriage registration and grave marker.

Parents: Robert and Mary Irwin. Source is Hugh Irwin's 1873 marriage registration.

Spouse: Hannah Jane Matthews. Source is their 1873 marriage registration except her middle name is not listed.

Hugh Irwin was Elmer Irwin's great uncle. Unfortunately, Elmer never knew this great uncle because he had left for the West before Elmer was born.

Personal History

1843 - Birth: Several different birth dates and birth countries are listed for Hugh Irwin in various documents and it is impossible to know which one is correct in the absence of being able to find his birth registration. The 1861 census listed his age as 12 and born in Ireland (infers a birth year of 1849). The 1871 census listed his age as 23 and born in Ireland (infers a birth year of 1848). His 1873 marriage registration listed his age as 23 but born in Goderich Ontario (infers a birth year of 1850). The 1881 census listed his age as 34 and born in Ireland (infers a birth year of 1847). The 1891 census listed his age as 44 and born in Ireland (implies a birth year of 1847). The 1901 census listed his age as 56 and born in Ireland (infers a birth year of 1845). In this latter document, his birth date was listed as November 2 but his birth year is indistinct. The 1906 census lists his age as 62 and born in Ireland (infers a birth year of 1844. The 1911 census listed his age as 67 and born in Ireland. In this latter document, his birth date was listed as June 1843. The 1921 census listed his age as 78 (infers a birth year of 1843). His 1929 obituary listed his age as 86 (infers a birth year of 1843). His grave marker listed his birth year as 1843.

1848 - Immigration: It appears that Hugh Irwin, his brother, William Irwin and his mother, Mary Irwin, emigrated together from Ireland in 1848. Source is the 1901 Canada census. However, the 1911 census lists this immigration date as 1862 which would be impossible because Hugh was already living in Goderich in 1861 and several of his siblings were born in Canada in 1851-1852.

1851 - NOTE: The 1851 census for Goderich, Huron County, did not survive. Source is Library and Archives Canada.

1861 - Census: In 1861, Hugh Irwin 12, was living with the Hugh McCabe family (his maternal grandfather?) on a farm in Goderich Township, Huron County with his sister Margaret J. 8. His brother William 17 was living with William McCabe (his uncle?) at a nearby location in Goderich Township, Huron County (assume nearby because they were listed one after the other on the census form). Source is 1861 Census of Canada, Goderich Township, Huron County, Ontario. NOTE: Have been unable to locate Hugh's mother or father in this census.

1869 - Residence: In 1869, Hugh Irwin abt 26 and his brother William came to Magnetawan, Ontario from Goderich area. Source is provided by Hugh Irwin in the 1880 testimony for the Ontario Agricultural Commission.

1871 - Census: At the time of the 1871 census, Hugh Irwin 23, bachelor, Farmer, was living by himself on a farm in Chapman Township (Lot 96, Concession B - is this location correct?? - shows something different on the Chapman Township map of 1879). NOTE: He was listed on the same census page as William Irwin which should mean that they lived near each other. Source is 1871 Census of Canada, Aumick Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario.

1873 - Marriage: On January 2, 1873, Hugh Irwin 23 (infers he was born in 1850), married Hannah Matthews 17 (this infers she was born in 1856) at Bracebridge, Ontario. Both were listed as Episcopal. The marriage registration listed Hugh's parents as Robert and Mary Irwin and Hannah's parents as William and Hannah Matthews. Strangely, it listed Hugh's place of birth as Goderich which is incorrect as he was born in Ireland. Witnesses were Wesley Hogan and Era June Galloway, Bracebridge. Source is their 1873 marriage registration, Macaulay Township, Muskoka District, Reg. No. 001098. NOTE: Hugh and William were married in the same year, within a month of each other. Interestingly, they were not listed as witnesses at each other's wedding. It is also interesting to note that in the various documents, Hugh was listed as being about 12-13 years older than Hannah. However, in the marriage registration, he was only 6 meaning that his age was misstated and should have been listed as 30.

1878 - Death of Brother: On March 26, 1878, Hugh's older brother William 36 died. Source is My Irwin Family by D. Smyth, Unpublished. The official cause of death on his death certificate said "Prostration - for four years" but the date he died was not listed. The death was not registered until May 15, 1878, almost 2 months after he died. Strangely, the informant on the death registration was Dr. Henry Taylor, Magnetawan, rather than a family member. D. Smyth wrote in My Irwin Family: "A pig got out and he chased it to try to catch it and died of a heart attack." She wrote that he was buried in Chapman Community Cemetery [2]. However, there does not appear to be a grave marker. His death registration does not list where he was buried.

1880 - On August 31, 1880, Hugh Irwin provided evidence to the Ontario Agricultural Commission about the "progress of agriculture in the District (Parry Sound) and the agricultural capabilities of the District". He said that I have been in the district nearly eleven years (means that he arrived in late 1869), I came here from the County of Huron, as a squatter before the survey. There were only two or three settlers here before myself. When I saw the soil I was pleased with it, and having no family, my brother and I concluded to try the country. I have 315 acres of land, of which 115 acres are cleared. I had only $250 when I came here, and I have followed farming exclusively, clearing some of the land myself and paying for the clearing of the rest. I have 100 acres in the village of Magnetawan, which is good land, and 200 acres out of the village, which is considerably broken, though the soil is good.

1881 - Census: On April 4, 1881, Hugh Irwin 34, Farmer, born in Ireland, was living on the farm in Chapman Township with his wife, Hannah J. 23, born in Ontario, German origin, and Hugh's s mother, Mary Irwin 60, born in Ireland, widowed. Source is 1881 Census of Canada, Township of Chapman, Strong and Joly, District of Muskoka. NOTE: It appears that his mother moved in with him after his brother, William, died in 1878 at the age of 35.

1891 - Census: On April 6, 1891, Hugh Irwin 44, Farmer, born in Ireland, was living on the farm in Chapman Township with his wife, Hanna Jane (? indistinct) 35, along with their four children, Margaret 9, Hanna 6, Abraham Johnston 4, Mary 2, his mother, Mary, 70, widowed, and two employees: Boland boys aged 16 and 18. NOTE: The image of the census is very indistinct - difficult to determine some of the names of the children. This census lists both of Hannah's parents as coming from Germany. She was born in Ontario. Source is 1891 Census of Canada.

1893 - Source lists Arthur Hugh Irwin and Johnstone (Jot) Irwin (died in 1948)(Sons of Hugh) as coming to Edmonton in 1893. In My Irwin Story, D. Smyth wrote that Hugh and his wife went west with a colony that got together and went west in the 1890's. NOTE: A colony was a group of people who typically had poor land and thought from stories they had heard about the west that it would be a much better life.

1901 - Census: On March 31, 1901, Hugh Irwin 56 (born 2 Nov 184? illegible), was living on a farm in Alberta near Fort Saskatchewan with his wife Hannah 40 (born 9 Nov 1860), their seven children: Irnie? 17 (born 22 Jun ?? illegible), Johnstone 14 (born 2 Nov 1886), Mary 12 (born 2 Mar 1888), Arthur 10 (born 28 Apr 1891), William 7 (born 22 Dec ?? illegible), Gladis 5 (born 28 Sept ?? illegible), Laura 2 (born 6 Mar 1899). In addition, the following people were included in the household: Hannah's father, William Matthews 74 (born 6 Jun 1826 in Germany), widowed, John ?? illegible 27 (born 4 July ?? illegible in Ontario from a German background) and Mary Irwin 81 (born 4 Mar 1820 in Ireland), mother, widowed. The record indicated that both Hugh and Mary Irwin immigrated to Canada in 1848. Source is 1901 Census of Canada, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta District, page 4.

1906 - Census: On July 6, 1906, Hugh Irwin 62, was living on a farm (Section 3, Twp 54, Range 22, W4 meridian) in Alberta with his wife Hannah, 5?, and their five children: Abraham 19, Mary 16, Arthur, 14, Ethel 10 and Lily 8, along with Hannah's father, William Matthews, 74, widowed, emigrated from Germany in 1866. Source is 1906 Census of Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta, Sub-district 13, Edmonton District, Alberta. NOTE: There is no mention of Hugh's mother Mary in this census.

1911 - Census: On June 1, 1911, Hugh Irwin 67, was living on a farm in Alberta near Fort Saskatchewan (Section 3, Township 54, Range 22) with his wife, Hannah, 55, (born June 1856) and their five children whose initials only are given in the census: A.J. (Son) 25 (born Nov 1886), M.M. (Dau) 21 (born Mar 1890), A.H. (Son) 19 (born Apr 1892, E.G.? (Dau) 13 (born Sept 1898), L.M. (Dau) 11 (born Mar 1900), and his mother Mary, 98 (in this census, her birthday is listed as Feb 1813). This census listed both Hugh and his mother as immigrating to Canada in 1862. Source is 1911 Census of Canada. NOTE: It is interesting that Mary Irwin is listed in this census because she apparently died a few months earlier on Feb 16, 1911 (as listed on her grave marker).

1921 - Census: On June 6, 1921, Hugh Irwin 78, was living at 8361 Selkirk, Point Grey, Vancouver with his wife Hannah J. 64, and his daughter Lillian M., 20. Source is 1921 Census of Canada, Point Grey, Vancouver, BC.

1927 - Death of Wife: Hannah Irwin died on June 25, 1927 in Edmonton. Source is her death registration, Alberta Provincial Archives, Ref. No. 101-401. She was buried in St. Paul's Agricola Cemetery, with an inscription "Beloved wife of Hugh Irwin". Source for location of cemetery burial and inscription is a photo of grave marker.

1929 - Death and Burial: Two years later, Hugh Irwin 86, died on Saturday evening June 15, 1929 in Edmonton Alberta. Source is Obituary in The Record, Fort Saskatchewan, June 19, 1929 and Alberta Death Index, #101-461. He was buried beside his wife, Hannah Matthews, in St. Paul's Agricola Cemetery, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta. Source for burial is a personal photo of grave marker.

Grave Marker: HUGH 1843-1929. St Paul's Agricola Cemetery, Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta

NOTE: The following family members are also buried in this cemetery. Mary Irwin (Hugh's mother) died Feb 16, 1911. Inscription reads "aged 95 years". On another side of this same grave marker, Hugh's daughter, Hannah Lavina is listed. She died Nov 10, 1902. Inscription says `Aged 18 years, 6 mo. (means that she was born June 22, 1884). On a third side of grave marker: William Robert Irwin, Died July 15, 1902. Aged 8 years. Three other of Hugh's children: Arthur Irwin, 1891-1978, Margaret Irwin, 1898-1962 and Johnstone Irwin, 1888-1948 are listed on separate grave markers. Source for all of the above is personal photos of grave markers.

  1. Aumick Lake, Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada, in Canada. 1871 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image 4396312 00354, Page 5, Family 20, Line 8, 2 Apr 1871.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ontario Agricultural Commission, in Report of the Commissioners. (Toronto)
    Vol 5, Appendices K to S, Appendix R2 Evidence, Page 34, 1881.
  3. Chapman, Strong and Joly Townships, Muskoka, Ontario, Canada, in Canada. 1881 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image e008080115, Page 8, Family 39, Line 9, 4 Apr 1881.
  4. Chapman and Croft, Muskoka and Parry Sound, Ontario, Canada, in Canada. 1891 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image 30953 148156-00632, Page 15, Family 71, Line 7, 6 Apr 1891.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Hepnolte, Victoria, Alberta, Canada, in Canada. 1911 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image e001933939, Page 19, Line 1 , 1 Jun 1911.
  6. 13, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, in Canada. 1906 Census of Northwest Provinces. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image e001212845, Page 8, Line 33, 6 Jul 1906.
  7. Selkirk, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in Canada. 1921 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image e002876566/178177, Page 6, Line 42, 6 Jun 1921.
  8. Northern Alberta Pioneers and Old Timers Association
    List 2.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Northwest Territories, Alberta, Canada, in Canada. 1901 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image z000178404, Page 4, Line 37, 31 Mar 1901.
  10. Goderich, Huron, Ontario, Canada, in Canada. 1861 Census of Canada. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada: Library and Archives Canada)
    Image 4391554 00361, Page 28, 1861.