The Jeremiah Scripture Family

The Scripture family in Cramahe Township goes back to Jeremiah Scripture (1773-1836). He was one of the original settlers of the area, and in fact his elder sister Olive (1766-1845) was married to the man who orchestrated the original settling of the Township by Europeans, Joseph Keeler (1763-1839).

Jeremiah Scripture was the son of Jeremiah Scripture (1746-1811) and Abigail Brigham (1751-1806) of Tolland, Massachusetts. He had been living in Tyringham, Massachusetts when, at the age of 20, he accompanied his sister and her entrepreneurial husband in the first wave of immigrants to the Cramahe area. One reference states that he settled near where the Keeler group landed “at a point which is now the borderline of Cramahe and Haldimand Townships”. However, the 1797 and 1799 censuses both place him in Concession 1, Lot 6 of Cramahe Township. Haldimand Township is to the west of Cramahe but Lot 6 is on the eastern side of the original Cramahe Township. Because the first 10 Lots of Cramahe Township were severed when Brighton Township was created in 1851, Lot 6 is now in Brighton Township. Concession 1, Lot 6 was officially granted to Scripture in 1807.

Scripture travelled back to Massachusetts when his mother died in 1806 and remained there until 1811. He then returned to Upper Canada and settled on a 333.3 acre farm on the Cramahe-Haldimand border. He had owned 200 acres in Concession 4, Lot 31 since 1809, which is about a mile east of the Haldimand Township line. It is unclear if this was part of the property referred to. Whether it is or not, at least some of the 333.3 acres must have been in Haldimand Township because he owned no other Cramahe property at the time and because he was listed in Haldimand censuses after 1813. In fact, he is listed in the Haldimand census for 1806 as well, so it appears that he may have moved there from Concession 1, Lot 6 before he temporarily moved back to Massachusetts. He sold Lot 6 in 1808. He also purchased the southern part of Concession 2, Lot 35 in 1832.

Scripture was a farmer. He served as an officer in the 1st Northumberland Militia Regiment. When he died in 1836 he was buried in a Methodist church cemetery (the reference for this doesn’t say where), but a few years later he was disinterred and reburied in Union Cemetery in Colborne.

Jeremiah Scripture married Submit Curtis (1785-1858) in about 1804 in Upper Canada. Submit was the daughter of Thomas Curtis (1759-1809) and Vallonia Nelson (1765-1794) of Onondaga County, New York. It is unclear what brought Submit to Canada and her meeting with Jeremiah.

Jeremiah and Submit Scripture had eight children:

  1. Mary Porthema Scripture (1805-1863) married Henry Porter (1805-1870) in about 1831 and had three children as far as can be determined: William P. (1833-1905), Mary (1835-1914), and George (1848-1849). William was born in Galt, Waterloo County, but Mary and George were born in Cramahe Township and Mary died in Cramahe in 1863. Henry Porter appears in Cramahe censuses for 1839 through 1861. He was a farmer.
  2. Thomas Nelson Scripture (1808-1862) appears in the Whitby censuses for 1851 and 1861 as a tavern/hotel keeper. He married Elizabeth Bates (1824-1906) in Pickering, Durham County in 1839 and had six children: Sarah (1847-1906), Thomas Nelson (1848-1909), Elizabeth (1849-1863), Emma (1851-?), William Henry (1857-1917), and George B. (1860-1928). All of these children were born in Whitby and none was ever a resident of Cramahe.
  3. Vallonia Eleanor Scripture (1809-1874) married Hiram Purdy (1822-1890) in Colborne in 1842. They had four children: Robert S. (1844-1876), Henry Cardin (1846-1908), Mary Cordelia (“Minnie”, 1848-1911), and Elisha Burritt (1854-?). She lived in Cramahe Township for the rest of her life.
  4. Sarah Sophia (“Sally”) Scripture (1810-1852) married Abiel Convers Richardson (1800-1850) in Cobourg in 1829 and Aaron B. Hainer (1815-?) in Ottawa County, Michigan in 1851. With her first husband she had nine children: Sarah Sophia (1830-1850), twins born 1830, Anna Curtis (1832-1919), Timothy (1835-1868), Jeremiah O. (1836-?), Cordelia (1838-1889), George Washington (1840-1936), and Simeon (1845-?). Judging by the birthplaces of her children, Sally was living in Whitby in 1830, Cramahe in 1835, and Michigan after 1840.
  5. Julia Anna Scripture (1812-1888) married Levi F. Dudley (1800-1887) in 1831 and had nine children: Austin (1833-?), unknown (1836-1850), Martha (1838-?), Phylinda F. (1840-?), Tyler (1842-?), Monroe (1843-1926), Norman V. (1847-?), Eugenie Alberta (1856-?), and Dow (1856-?). She died in Cramahe in 1888.
  6. Simeon Liberty John Scripture (1815-1877) was a farmer as per the 1851 and 1861 Haldimand censuses. He married Angeline Simmons (1824-1894) in Colborne in 1847. Angeline was the granddaughter of early Cramahe settler Smiton Simmons (1768-1865) and the older sister of prominent Colborne businessman Daniel Lewis Simmons (1830-1915). They had four children, all of whom were residents of Cramahe Township: Rachel Maria (1848-1887), Jeremiah Chauncey (1851-1938), Stephen Henry (1853-1915), and Florence D. (1858-?). These children are discussed more fully below. The only Cramahe property that Simeon Scripture owned was the southern half of Concession 5, Lot 28, which he held from 1846 to 1848.
  7. Robert Scripture (1818-1899) was another farmer. He married Fidelia Purdy (1826-1912) in 1843 in Cramahe and had three children: Hiram Jeremiah (1846-1918), Thomas Nathaniel (1848-1909), and Jeremiah C. (1850-?). These children were also Cramahe residents and are also discussed more fully below. Fidelia Purdy was the elder sister of Hiram Purdy, who was married to Robert Scripture’s sister Vallonia (see above). Robert Scripture died of uremia (kidney failure) in Brighton in 1899. He purchased farmland in Concession 4 as follows: part of Lot 31 in 1836, part of Lot 32 in 1843, part of Lot 26 in 1845, part of Lot 25 in 1847, and part of lot 26 in 1857. He sold bits and pieces of this land between 1855 and 1889.
  8. George Scripture (1826-1893), yet another farmer, married Jane Ann Walker (1830-1870) in 1851 and Mary Matilda Walker (1838-1927, Jane’s cousin) in Castleton in 1872. He had three children with each of his wives. With Jane he had Emma Elizabeth Sophia (1852-1915), Curtis John Comfort (1856-1934), and Wesley George Whitfield (1859-1935) and with Mary he had Ernest Thomas (1874-1883), Anna Belle (1879-1969), and Frank William (1885-1966). The first four children were residents of Cramahe. These children are discussed more fully below. The last two were born in Michigan and never resided in Cramahe. By 1879 George Scripture had moved to Michigan and he died there in Cass City in 1893. While he lived in Cramahe Township George Scripture owned the southern half of Concession 5, Lot 28 from 1848 to 1872, the southern half of Concession 5, Lot 15 from 1864 to 1869, and all Lot 23 in Castleton from 1866 to 1871.

Children of Simeon Liberty Scripture (1815-1877) and Angeline Simmons (1816-1871):

  1. Rachel Maria Scripture (1848-1887) married labourer William W. Peck (1849-?) in Colborne in 1873. One record suggests she died in New York.
  2. Jeremiah Chauncey (“Jerry”) Scripture (1851-1937) was born in Haldimand Township and was still living there with his parents and working as a farmer in 1871. The censuses from 1881 through 1921 place him in Cramahe Township. His occupation has been variously listed as farmer, lumberman, machinist, and proprietor of the Scripture Brothers saw mill and foundry. He married Gretta Margaret Waite (1874-1923) in Cramahe Township in 1894, and had two children: Simeon Daniel (1894-1972) and Charles Lester (1896-1976). These boys were both Colborne residents and will be discussed further below. Jerry Scripture died of chronic myocardial degeneration in Colborne in 1937. He owned several properties in Cramahe at various times. He purchased Reid Lots 260-267 in 1879 and owned them at least through 1921. These properties lie along Victoria Street south of Creek Street. In 1885 he added Reid Lot 274 to the southern end of these properties, so his land along Victoria Street stretched from Creek Street to Colborne Creek. In 1918 he purchased Lots 1 to 10 in Park Block L, extending his holdings even farther south. He also owned the southern 33 acres of Concession 2, Lot 35 from 1882 to 1885, about 80 acres of farmland in the northern part of Concession 1, Lots 29 and 30 after 1908, and 30 acres in Concession 3, Lot 11 after 1914. One would be tempted to think he probably resided on his property along Victoria Street but the only record of an address is the 1911 census, in which his address is listed as King Street.
  3. Stephen Henry Scripture (1853-1915) was the other Scripture involved in Scripture Brothers sawmill and foundry. He was listed at various times as a machinist, mechanic, “general agent”, and carpenter. Stephen Scripture married Isabella Pirie (1854-1944) in Colborne in 1886. They had two children: Eva A. (1891-1981) and an unnamed male (?-?). He died of pernicious anemia in Colborne in 1915, actually just the day before his uncle Daniel Lewis Simmons died in the same place. Eva Scripture, teacher, married John Blackhall (1876-1960), manager of the Dominion Express Company, in Colborne in 1926, although both were residents of Toronto at the time. Eva died in 1981 and was buried in Union Cemetery in Colborne. Stephen Scripture owned Lot 274 just north of Colborne Creek along Victoria Street from 1878 to 1885. He also owned 33 acres in Concession 1, Lot 31 from 1885 to 1893 and Reid Lot 52 on Norton Lane after 1908. He lived on Norton Lane in 1911.
  4. Florence D. Scripture (1858-?) married engineer William W. Peck (1849-?) in Colborne in 1889. Peck was the widower of her late sister Rachel.

Children of Robert Scripture (1818-1899) and Fidelia Purdy (1820-1912):

  1. Hiram Jeremiah Scripture (1846-1918) was a farmer according to most records, although the 1881 Brighton census lists him as a baker. He appears in Cramahe censuses for 1861 and 1871. After that he moved to Brighton, where he died of pernicious anemia in 1918. His wife was Elizabeth Esther Steenburgh (1854-1935), whom he married in 1876. There were three sons: Percy Blake (1876-1880), Thomas Wesley (1880-1881), and Robert Brock (1883-1954). Percy and perhaps Thomas were born in Cramahe (meaning that Hiram didn’t move to Brighton until after 1876 at least) and died as small children. Robert was born in Brighton and was never lived in Cramahe. Hiram Scripture owned land in Concession 4, Lot 26 from 1869.
  2. Thomas Nathaniel Scripture (1848-1909) was a farmer in Cramahe in 1871, and editor in Brighton in 1881, a book publisher in Toronto in 1891, and an insurance broker in 1901 and 1909. He married Ellen Mry Onion (1848-1936) in Colborne in 1871. He died of pernicious anemia in Toronto in 1909. Thomas Scripture owned 50 acres in Concession 5, Lot 13 from 1876 to 1878.
  3. Jeremiah Scripture (1851-?). The only reference seen to this Scripture was his inclusion with Robert and Fidelia Scripture and family in 1861. There are also a couple of genealogies that list him as the son of Robert and Fidelia, but they cite only a Cramahe census record for “Jeremiah Scripture” in 1871. This record is actually for Jeremiah Chauncey Scripture, son of Simeon Liberty Scripture. Was there another Jeremiah Scripture (cousin to Jeremiah Chauncey) or was Jeremiah Chauncey Scripture living with his uncle in 1861?

Children of George Scripture (1826-1893) and Jane Ann Walker (1830-1870):

  1. Emma Elizabeth Sophia Scripture (1852-1915) was living in Cramahe Township in 1861 and 1871 but married James Beach Siple (1851-1931) in 1874 in Oxford County, Ontario and lived the rest of her life there. The Siples don’t appear to have had any children.
  2. Curtis John Comfort Scripture (1856-1934) appears in the 1861 and 1871 censuses, but by 1880 he was living in Sanilac County, Michigan. He seems to have moved around quite a bit after that. Censuses and reported birthplaces of children suggest that he was in Michigan in 1880, South Dakota in 1889, Seattle in 1890 and 1892, “Northwest Territory” in 1893 and 1894, Montana in 1897, North Dakota in 1900, Spokane in 1906, and Seattle again in 1905, 1906, 1910, 1915, 1916, 1924, 1930, and 1934. He married Anna Rose Mielke (1874-1954) in 1888 and divorced her in about 1906. He then married Nancy Ella Thompson (1861-1948) in Seattle in 1916. Curtis Scripture had six children with his first wife: Carrie May (1889-1980), Emma Maude (1890-1951), Nellie Victoria (1893-1919), George Curtis (1894-1962), Lillian Grace (1897-1998), and Birdie Aileen Ruth (1905-1906). In 1880 he was a farmer, in 1892 a labourer, in 1900 a carpenter, and in 1910 an express driver.
  3. Wesley George Whitfield Scripture (1859-1935), like his brother Curtis, was a resident of Cramahe in 1861 and 1871 but moved to Sanilac County, Michigan by 1880. He married Cynthia Vianna Carothers (1863-1937) there in 1885. Their children were Ada May (1885-1966), Maud L. (1889-1976), Floyd Wesley (1890-1962), a daughter (1893-1900), Florence E. (1893-1905), Elva J. (1896-1977), Nellie G. (1900-1960), Lila G. (1905-1999), and Ethel I. (1907-1998). In the mid-1890s the family was living in South Dakota and by 1900 they had moved in Minnesota. Wesley died in Minneapolis in 1935. In 1885 he was a farmer, in 1900 a teamster, in 1910 a farmer again, in 1920 a watchman for a milking machine company, and in 1930 a teamster again.

Children of George Scripture (1826-1893) and Mary Matilda Walker (1838-1927):

  1. Ernest Thomas Scripture (1874-1883) moved with his parents to Sanilac County, Michigan and died there at the age of 9.
  2. Anna Belle Scripture (1879-1969). Never a resident of Cramahe.
  3. Frank William Scripture (1884-1966). Never a resident of Cramahe.

Children of Jeremiah Chauncey Scripture (1851-1937) and Gretta Margaret Waite (1874-1923):

  1. Simeon Daniel Scripture (1894-1972) was a mechanic living in Colborne as per his attestation papers for the Canadian Expeditionary Force in 1916. Another set of attestation papers have him as a mechanic living in Toronto in 1917. Private S. D. Scripture appears on the Colborne cenotaph as having served in France. When he married Kathleen Jean Jamieson (1894-1967) in Colborne in 1919 he was a farmer. He had two children: Jerry Harold (1922-2008) and Rosemary Jane (1924-1979). He died in Colborne in 1972. Simeon’s middle name is unclear. There are numerous genealogies in that list it as “David” and numerous others that list it as “Daniel”. His birth record says “David S.” but his marriage record and two separate sets of attestation papers list his name as “Simeon Daniel”. “Daniel” is used here because he signed his marriage certificate “Simeon Daniel Scripture”.
  2. Charles Lester Scripture (1896-1976) was, like his brother, a mechanic living in Colborne as per his Canadian Expeditionary Force attestation papers signed in 1916. Unlike his brother, however, he doesn’t appear to be on the Colborne cenotaph. He is not in the 1921 Colborne census, but he apparently died there in 1972.

Another brother of Jeremiah and Olive Scripture, who lived for a while in Cramahe Township was Simeon Liberty Scripture (1775-1853). He appears in Cramahe censuses for 1821 through 1825. He was born in Tyringham, Massachusetts and married Nancy Anna Spencer (1782-1848) in 1798. He moved to Madison County, New York in 1817 and then to Northumberland County, Upper Canada by 1819. He was still in Canada (Haldimand Township) in 1828, but by 1840 he was living in Otsego County, New York. In 1843 he moved to Warren County, Illinois, where he died in 1853.

Simeon and Nancy Scripture had three children:

  1. Fanny Minerva Scripture (1800-?) married farmer Spencer H. Smalley (1799-1864) in New York sometime before 1825. There is no direct evidence that she was ever a Cramahe resident, but her children born between 1830 and 1836 were born in Canada and a child born in 1838 was born in New York. This tracks her father’s movements quite closely. The Smalley family also accompanied Simeon to Warren County, Illinois, so it is reasonable to hypothesize that they might have been with him in Cramahe Township as well. There were six children: Clinton (1825-?), Jay E. (1830-?), Vanessa (1833-?), Frederick (1834-?), Mary (1836-?), and Helen M. (1838-?).
  2. Eliphat Spencer Scripture (1801-?) was living in Northumberland County at least in 1828, so he was likely a resident of Cramahe when his father lived there. By 1855 he was a mechanic living in Brooklyn, New York with his wife Mary (ca. 1796-?) and children Sumner E. (ca. 1828-?), Helen E. (ca. 1834-?), and Jenette M. (ca. 1836-?). In the 1860 and 1865 censuses he was a machinist living in Brooklyn with wife Amanda (ca. 1805-?) and daughter Mary (ca. 1851-?). If Mary was born in 1851, why didn’t she appear in the 1855 census? Sumner Scripture was born in Canada, but whether this was in Cramahe Township is uncertain.
  3. Clarissa Maria Scripture (1804-1829) married Elijah Felt (1798-1849) before the rest of her family moved to Canada, and was never a resident of Cramahe.

It is interesting to note that brothers Hiram and Thomas Scripture and their cousin Stephen Scripture all died of pernicious anemia. This stems from an inability to properly absorb vitamin B12, and can have a hereditary component. Hiram, Thomas, and Stephen are the only three Scriptures who had the disease according to available records, but cause of death is unknown for most of their relatives and it wouldn’t be surprising if the problem was more widespread in the family.