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Re: Jack Stafford & Dicie Miller in Oklahoma
Posted by: Mike Stafford (ID *****5493) Date: February 21, 2006 at 18:03:02
In Reply to: Re: Jack Stafford & Dicie Miller in Oklahoma by Shelia Moss of 5171

Thanks for the correction. I must have had a senior moment.

Your Jack is really John Pirrie Stafford. More to follow:

Ancestors of John Pirrie "Jack" STAFFORD - 21 Feb 2006


1. John Pirrie "Jack" STAFFORD was born in December 1885 in Yorktown, Northwest Territory, Canada. Another source has his birthdate as 12 Oct 1885. He immigrated in 1898 to U. S.. He appeared on the census in 1920 in Warrenton, Warren Co., Georgia. Listed as Jack Stafford, an actor, with wife Miller, an actress, in a traveling show. He died on July 19, 1978 in Maple Creek, Saskatchewan, Canada.


2. Obadiah STAFFORD was born in October 1841 in Ontario, Canada. He appeared on the census in 1881 in Flos, Simcoe Co., Ontario, Canada. Listed as a farmer (English) with wife Elizabeth (Irish), 2 daughters Fanny & Levina and a son Obadiah. All Church of England. He appeared on the census in 1900 in Twp. 163, Range 87, Ward Co., North Dakota. Listed as Obediah Stafford, a stockman, with wife Elsie and sons John and Joseph. Father born in Canada and mother born in Ireland. Naturalized for 11 years. Elsie's parents born in Scotland. 2 of her 3 children living. He died in Saskatchewan, Canada. My grandfather was the illegitimate son of Margaret McQueen who married Frank (Francis) Stafford who, in turn, was the illegitimate son of Elizabeth Booth. I found Frank Stafford when he was 10 in the 1871 census when he was living in Flos Township in Simcoe County, Ontario. He lives with his father, [?] Obadiah, mother, Elizabeth, sister, Fanny, and a labourer, a hired man I suppose, called George Martin. Obadiah is a farmer, age 29, Church of England, English origin, but born in Ontario. Elizabeth is 33, Irish origin, born in Ontario. She, Francis, and Fanny, age 2, are all Church of England. George Martin, age 25, is Presbyterian, and of Irish origin, also born in Ontario. They can all read and write except Fanny.
The land was purchased for Obadiah from the crown in 1862, which was the year he married, and almost two years after Francis was born. It is about half a mile south of the village of Allenwood, and a couple of miles east of Allenwood Beach on the shore of Georgian Bay. At the time of the purchase Obadiah was living in Innisfil Township, which is closer to Barrie. The gentleman who bought the land was a farmer in Innisfil called William Booth. He is the father-in-law of Obadiah.

By JIm Stafford, a descendant.

Obadiah and Elizabeth purchased land in Flos Township and started to raise their family. They may have eventually moved west (Saskatchewan/Alberta) in the 1890's or early 1900's to take advantage of land grants.

He was married to Elsie PIRRIE about 1883.

3. Elsie PIRRIE was born in October 1856 in Scotland. Obadiah STAFFORD and Elsie PIRRIE had the following children:

       1       i.       John Pirrie "Jack" STAFFORD.
              ii.       Joseph "Joe" STAFFORD was born in June 1889 in Canada.


4. James STAFFORD was born about 1813 in England. I checked all the James Stafford's in the 1871 census and found only one likely candidate to be the father of Obadiah Stafford. In the 1871 census he is a bricklayer living in East York, which was east of Toronto. He is 58 years of age, born in England, Church of England. He lives with his wife, Susan, age 56, also of England; his son John, age 21, born in Ontario; and James Payne, age 58, a black labourer from the United States, who probably worked for James Stafford. All can read and write and have no infirmities.

I also found him in a directory. He was living in the village of Doncaster. That village was located just east of the Don River and would be very close to the present Danforth Avenue before it crosses the Don River in Toronto. He was there in the 1871 directory and also in the 1866 directory. He is not included in the 1861 census but is there in 1851 where he is listed as a labourer, born in England, age 39. The other members of the family include his wife, Susan, born in Ireland, age 38, and four children, all born in Canada. They include Fanny, age 14, Obadiah, age 12, Edwin, age ten, and John, age three. They all belong to the Church of England, and they live in a one-story, shanty house.
The name, James Stafford also occurs in unfortunate circumstances in the Toronto Herald on January 20, 1848. The newspaper reports that an inquest was held on the body of Mrs. Jane Wheeler who was beaten to death by her husband at James Stafford's below the Don Bridge. I don't have any other information about this incident but this is very likely our James Stafford. The life of a bricklayer was harsh and brutal in those days and was reflected in the life styles of these people.

By Jim Stafford, a descendant. He was married to Susan.

5. Susan was born about 1815 in England. James STAFFORD and Susan had the following children:

              i.       Fanny STAFFORD was born about 1838 in Canada.
       2       ii.       Obadiah STAFFORD.
              iii.       Edwin STAFFORD was born about 1842 in Canada.
              iv.       John STAFFORD was born in 1849 in Ontario, Canada. Possibly # 56355.


8. Obadiah STAFFORD immigrated in 1817 to Canada - via New York. He died before September 5, 1832. He was born in Derbyshire, England. I found an earlier Obadiah Stafford who may have been the father of James Stafford. I have no evidence that they are related but there are several connections. The name, Obadiah, is one connection. I wondered who else would name their kid "Obadiah" unless they had a father of that name. However, that name crops up every now and then in those censuses so it wasn't as unusual in the early nineteenth century as it is today.
Obadiah Stafford and Daniel Stafford received immigration passes from the British Consulate in New York in 1817. They are both listed as having the occupation of 'mason.' They are both from Derbyshire. Daniel left his family in England.
In 1819 Obadiah Stafford applied for a land grant in Upper Canada. The Ontario Provincial Archives has a copy of his petition. It is not easy to read but the following is as much as I could make out:
The petitioner, Obadiah Stafford, now of the Town of York, Farmer, humbly showeth, that your petitioner is a native of Derbyshire in England, that he is first arrived in this province, that he has a wife and two children, that having the means to cultivate a new farm, he is desirous to become a settler, that he has taken the oath of allegiance required by law and has never received any land order for land from the crown.
Therefore your petitioner humbly prays that Your Excellency may be pleased to grant him an allotment of land as an Emigrant Settler, subject to the payment of fees under present regulations.

And petitioner will ever pray,

York 18th August 1819 Obadiah Stafford

The land records show that he was awarded 100 acres. The next record shows that 100 acres were also awarded to Joseph Stafford, also from Derbyshire. He apparently has no family, but is a Dsch [Discharged] Soldier, Royal Marines. Thus, it appears that Daniel, Obadiah, and Joseph are related, and came to Upper Canada at about the same time. Obadiah Stafford settled in the township of Chinguacousy, which is in the area where the Pearson International Airport is presently located. It was settled mostly by United Empire Loyalists from the United States and contained some of the richest farmland in southern Ontario although the early settlers had to put up with a lack of accessible water.
Obadiah was successful in gaining patent to his land. In those days a settler had to build a house that was at least 16' by 20', clear half the roadway in front of the lot, clear and fence five acres of land, and pay fees to the surveyor, inspector, and colonial government.
For some reason he wanted to move on - maybe he couldn't stand the arrogant Loyalists who were the bulk of his neighbours in Chinguacousy - so he applied for more land in 1824. This petition is even harder to decipher but reads to the effect that he is:

. . . a Native of England, with a wife and three children. He gratefully acknowledges a location of 100 acres in Chinguacousy which he has improved and for which he has received a patent. This petitioner is of the ability and ?????? to improve an additional grant and humbly ??????? two hundred acres of land in addition to his fees.

He got 100 acres by an order-in-council and had to pay the location fee. His land was in the Township of West Gwillimbury, which is in the southern part of Simcoe County. This is up toward the area where William Booth later located and where we first find evidence of the younger Obadiah Stafford, so the connection is very possible. The dates also make the connection between the older and younger Obadiah's possible. The first Obadiah had two children in 1819. One of these could have been James Stafford who was born in England in 1813 according to the 1871 census.
Obadiah Stafford moved back to the area northeast of Toronto. He is a member of the First Regiment, East York Militia in 1828-29 and is less than forty years of age. He wrote his will on February 28, 1832. It is virtually illegible but makes the point that he is a bricklayer in the Township of York, is "weak in bodily health" and refers to his wife, Susan, and unnamed children who are not yet of the age of majority. He also names Joseph Stafford as one of the executors of his will. The most significant fact that I can make out in the will that connects Obadiah to James is the statement that Obadiah is a bricklayer and that he lives in the Township of York. All of this evidence tells me that the two are directly related, and are probably father and son.
The will is registered in the Probate Court of Upper Canada on September 5, 1832 so Obadiah Stafford must have met an untimely death shortly before that date. His ill health may explain why we do not find him farming his own land in West Gwillimbury.

By Jim Stafford, a descendant.

There are land grants and land transactions (1819 & 1824 York) for Obadiah Stafford at the Provincial Archives of Ontario. Obadiah STAFFORD had the following children:

       4       i.       James STAFFORD.

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