Cowin, Maebelle: Alfred Robert & Jane (JACKSON) FISHER and Family


by Maebelle Cowin

I first located Alfred and Jane Fisher in Cobourg, in 1871. They had emigrated from London, England. They sailed on the vessel, the Tweed, on June 24th. 1870 and arrived in Quebec, July 12th. Jane, I've been told, was an only daughter by her mother's first marriage. Her mother then remarried and had a daughter, Charlotte and a son, George. I have the death certificate for Jane and it states her mother's first name was Mary.

Alfred Robert Fisher 1830 - 1923

When the Fisher's came to Cobourg, Alfred was listed as a machinist. He was born December 13th., 1830 and Jane was born January 22, 1831 in London. They were married October 6, 1851, in All Saints Church in Lambeth, London, England. The marriage certificate shows Alfred as a stone mason. It gives no father for Jane, but shows Alfred's father as Thomas, a stone mason.

At the time of their arrival in Cobourg there, were seven children. Charlotte Jane the oldest, born August 10, 1852, Matilda, born November 13, 1857, Alfred Francis, born June 20, 1859, Arthur Robert., born May 28, 1861, William, born October 31, 1863, Emily, born October 3, 1865, (the 1871 census shows Emily as a son called Henry) and Lucy Maria, born April 11, 1868. A son George, born 1865 had died at the age of six months. Jessie Hannah was born in Cobourg, February 19, 1871. St. Peter's church records states the family moved away.

Jane (Jackson) Fisher 1831 - 1917

Thanks to a family Bible, which Jessie's granddaughter has, I was able to find that the family relocated in Port Hope for a short time. Their last child, a son, Harry Herbert, was born August 5, 1874 in Port Hope and baptized in St. John's Church. As I knew some of the family had lived in the Minden area I checked the 1881 Census for Minden Twp. and sure enough there they were. By this time Charlotte had married, Emerson Johns, in 1877. Matilda had married a William Gillbard in 1874,(St. Peter's church records). With the death of William in 1883 Matilda remarried to Edward Wilson. They later moved out west. Matilda had three girls by Gillbard, Ada, Lilly and Ellen. Alfred Sr. according to the census was a farmer, and possibly a well driller.

They moved from Minden to Saskatchewan where they were homesteaders in 1890 (homestead files) in the Perley district near Saltcoats. Alfred is now 60 years old. They later moved into Saltcoats where I found them in the 1901 Census. Now Alfred is a marble worker.

Harry was still living with Jane and Alfred in 1901 and listed as a farmer. Harry later applied to homestead. I have no trace of him marrying. Harry later moved further west to Seattle, Wash, USA and is buried there.

Alfred Jr, also applied as homesteader in the Saltcoats area, but didn't have an easy job of it. In the 1901 census, he was listed as a painter, and wasmarried with a family. His wife was Emma, and their children Nellie, 10, Lucy, 9, Emily, 7, and Elsie, 4. Later there was a son Robert. Jessie, was also in Saltcoats. She had married Thomas Bradford, born May 23, 1870, a Hardware Merchant. They had two sons Alexander, 7 and Walter, 3. (1901 Census)

Fisher Home 1912 Saltcoats SK

I found Arthur married with wife Mary Jane listed in the 1891 Census.

In 1897 Arthur died of typhoid fever at the age of 36 and is buried in Saltcoats Cemetery. A newspaper clipping states he left his widow and a small child. At that time he was in the Perley district farming. She sold off everything and moved away. Apparently she moved with her son, Arthur Dunbar Fisher to Port Arthur.

Lucy married Alfred Helson and raised her family: Harry, Arthur, George and Frederick in Peterboro as did Emily who married Angus McIntosh. Her children were Wilbert, Mary, William, Lionel, Alfred and Donald.

Charlotte and Emerson raised their family mainly in Port Hope, after living briefly in Minden and Cobourg. They had 5 children. Steve, Ed, Henry, Cal, and Mabelle. My grandmother, Mabelle, married Jack Toms and they lived on Ball Street in Cobourg.

After many years of not knowing anything about William, except what my Mom had told me, that is, that he went west to Seattle, Wash. and was Salvation Army. In 2005 Adrienne (Hall) Stevens found this to be true and she was able to trace the descendants of William and his wife Clarissa. William had married in Ontario, then moved to the USA. Their children were William, Bertha, Dora, Flossie, and Ruth.

Jane passed away at the age of 87, November 14th, 1917, and is buried in Saltcoats Cemetery.

Alfred Robert Fisher passed away at the age of 93, on Dec 26, 1923. His burial place is unknown as yet. (Recorded 2006)