|Upper Canada Land Petition|
Since February is Black History Month I've decided to talk about my black ancestor, Jonathan Butler. It's been a challenging search for Jonathan. Here is what Lorine McGinnis Schulze of Olive Tree Genealogy blog and I have been able to discover:
ca 1808 Jonathan arrives in Upper Canada (present day Ontario), possibly coming directly from Pennsylvania (as per his land petition) Whether he came as an adult or a child with parents is not known.
March 1816. Jonathan is found in Etobicoke (just west of the city of Toronto), possibly leasing land from Col. Samuel Smith (as per Character Certificate). Jonathan was almost probably at least 21 years of age at this time, thus a very rough estimate of his year of birth would be 1795 or earlier.
March 1819. Jonathan is a farmer with 50 acres in Toronto Township (as per his land petition). Toronto Township has the Etobicoke River on its eastern boundary. I believe this is possibly land he leased from Col. Smith.
April 1819. Jonathan is granted 100 acres of land in the Wilberforce Settlement (black settlement area) in Oro Township. (as per Land books) It does not appear he actually settled there (as per Gary French)
ca 1822-1838. 2 sons and 3 daughters are born in this time period. Names are not known (as per Assessment records)
1824. A son Allen is born in Toronto Township to Jonathan and wife Elizabeth Jenkins or Ginkins (as per 1851 adult baptism in Waterloo)
ca 1829 A son Harry aka Henry is born, location unknown
1832. A son George is born in Toronto Township.
1834, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1840: Jonathan is found with 100 acres in Woolwich Township, Gore District which was part of the Queen's Bush settlement area for blacks. He lives "west of the Grand River" and may be on Lot 88 (as per Assessment Records)
We find no trace of Jonathan after 1840. It is not known when his wife Elizabeth died and the only record of her is the mention in the 1851 baptism of their son Allen.