778 Morganston Road, Morganston

(1860)
Roll No. 1411-011-050-23300 – Cramahe Township Ontario

Gothic Revival Cottage

The property at 778 Morganston Road, in the hamlet of Morganston, is obscured by many mature trees. It has had several additions, such that it is difficult to ascertain the architectural style, but it does resemble the Gothic Revival style with a steep peak and palladium window on one facade. The house is part of a working farm with a number of barns and outbuildings.

The principal building is clad in the red brick common to Cramahe Township and the additions are of various materials, mostly wood. There are several access/egress points which complicate the architecture, but it was once a true Gothic Revival with cross gable roof line, tall narrow windows and at least one chimney still intact.

History or Associative Value

The tale of this property evolves down the family line of 15 year old Isabella Grant (1783-1826). Her father, Alexander Grant (1734-1813), who was a member of the Executive Council of Upper Canada, the governing body under Lieutenant-Governor Colonel John Graves Simcoe. In a bid to establish landed gentry in Upper Canada, similar to that in England, each member of the Executive Council was granted 6000 acres of Upper Canada, later Ontario, with an additional 1200 acres for each of their children, thereby creating persons of substantial landholdings overnight.

The house sits at the end of a long driveway which provides absolute privacy.

Additional Historical and Genealogical Information

778 Morganston Road, Morganston, Ontario Cramahe Township, Concession 9, Lot 23

In 1798 each of the members of the Executive Council of Upper Canada (the governing body under Lieutenant Governor Simcoe) received for their services a land grant of 6000 acres for themselves and 1200 for each of their children. This apparently was at least in part an unsuccessful attempt on the part of Governor Simcoe to establish a landed gentry in Canada, similar to that in England at the time. One of Executive Councillors was Alexander Grant (1734-1813) and one of his children was 15-year-old Isabella Grant (1783-1826).

The 200 acres in Concession 9, Lot 23 made up part of Isabella’s 1200 acres. She married William Gilkinson (1777-1833) in 1803 and on her death in 1826 the property went to her eldest son David Gilkinson (1803-1851). Four years later David transferred title to his father on 1 September 1830, and his father transferred it to second son, and David’s brother, Jasper Tough Gilkinson (1814-?) on 7 March 1833. It does not appear that any of the Gilkinsons were ever residents of Cramahe Township.

Local ownership started on 23 May 1843 when Jasper Gilkinson sold all 200 acres to George Brintnell (1805-1877). Brintnell and all subsequent owners of the property were farmers. His wife was Sarah M. Crandell (1807-1871, m. 1829). They had eight children: Asa (1830-1911), Joel (1831-1896), Sarah Ann (1835-1905), George N. (1839-1863), Mary Jane (1841-1931), Eliza (1844-1936), Stephen (?-?), and Evelyn (?-?).

Between 1858 and 1865 the southern 100 acres in Lot 27 passed back and forth among Brintnell family members, winding up back in the hands of George Brintnell. The northern 100 acres had gone to George’s son Joel on 12 November 1858. On that same day the southwestern 50 acres went to son Asa. On 20 January these 50 acres went back to George and on the same day all 100 acres in the southern half of the lot were deeded by George to his daughter Mary Jane, who was married to William Anson Latta (1835-1903, m. ca. 1860). Then, again on the same day, William and Mary Jane Latta transferred them back to George.

George Brintnell retained ownership until 9 January 1875, when he sold his 100 acres to George McKague (1839-1926) and Robert James McKague (1836-1920) of Hamilton Township. George and Robert were married to sisters Maria (1852-?) and Caroline (1846-1925) Eagleson. George remained a resident of Haldimand Township and sold his share in the land to his brother on 27 October 1879. Robert moved to Cramahe with his wife and three children: William (1871-1972), Ida Lillie (1876-1954), and Arthur Edmond (1877-1957). Four further children were born in Cramahe: John Bruce (1880-1972), James Hedley (1882-1968), Charles Hilton (1884-1970), and Ella Beatrice (1885-1909).

Robert McKague transferred ownership to his son John on 19 March 1914. John’s wife was Lena Maud McGregor (1879-1967, m. 1907). They had five children: John Clarence (1908-1988), Robert Eric (1910-?), George Wilfred (1912-1933), Ethel Maud (1913-1988), and Florence (1917-2013).

George Brintnell purchased all 200 acres in Lot 27 for $400 in 1843 and sold the southern 100 acres for $5500 in 1875. This would suggest considerable improvement to the property and it seems likely that he was responsible for construction of the house sometime between those years.

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