Charles Grant

M, #288, b. about 1810, d. before 1851
Father-CanCharles Grant1 d. 9 Oct 1847

Family 2

Esther McWilliams b. 27 January 1810, d. 11 November 1881
Children
Family BackgroundGrant - Klinger Ancestry and Allied Families
ChartsDescendants of Charles C. Grant
y-DNA Charles Grant

KEY EVENTS:

     Charles was probably born about 1810.2 Charles and (?) Catherine Wilson, daughter of Widow Mary Wilson, may have been married on Tuesday, 21 August 1827 in Home District (now York County), Upper Canada (now Ontario), by Rev. James Harris, Presbyterian.3 Charles and Esther McWilliams, daughter of Caleb McWilliams and Hepsabet Wheeler, were probably married about 1830.4 Charles may have died before 1851.5
     
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NARRATIVE:

     A great deal of mystery continues to surround Charles, his origins, and his outcome. While he likely was born in the early 1800's, even this cannot be known with certainty. As to where he was born, this is again a mystery. It could be that he was born in Canada, but then again he may have been born in the fledgling United States or in Europe. What we do know of him is signified more by his absence. Nevertheless, as in all things, the simplest explanation is usually the most probable one. Putting aside the whereabouts of his birth, we can look to King Township in York County (formerly the Home District) of Ontario as the scene of at least a very important portion of his life. We may actually know more about his putative father. Charles Grant may have been one of the two known sons of Charles Grant, who were, somewhat unfortunately for us modern researchers, named Charles Grant and Charles Collins Grant.1,6 Examination of records in King Township in the mid-1800's reveals a Charles Grant who died in 1847, leaving a will made out in 1845. In this will he names his wife, Christiana, as his executrix, and two sons, Charles and Charles Collins Grant, to each of whom he leaves a shilling. It seems entirely possible that our Charles is one of these two sons. As this has been the working presumption since the finding of this probate record, I will hereinafter refer to these three (Charles and his two sons) as Charles Senior, Charles Junior, and Charles Collins, in order to lessen the confusion.6 The reference to Esther Grant's husband, "C. C. Grant," on her tombstone in Goshen, Indiana, seems to lend weight to the possibility that our Charles Grant is the same as Charles Collins Grant. (That said, to call this evidence underwhelming is something of a gross overstatement.)7
     We do not know who his mother was. His father, Charles Grant, married Widow Christiana Mills on 20 May 1813 in Sandwich (now Windsor), Essex County, Ontario.8 Christiana may or may not have been his mother. We suspect that he was born before their marriage, but it can't be known at this time with any certainty.
     His marriage to Catherine Wilson, while a possibility, is far from certain. What is certain is that the daughter of the Widow Mary Wilson was considered a spinster - which may not have indicated that she was actually all that old - and resided in Vaughan Township of the Home District. So too did her husband, Charles Grant, a "yeoman and bachelor." Unfortunately for us, this description could apply to either one of the sons of Charles Grant Senior. So it remains uncertain which Charles Grant (Charles or Charles Collins) married Catherine.3,9
     His marriage to Esther McWilliams, while more certain, has no supporting marriage record that we have been able to find. Esther was likely one of the several children of Caleb McWilliams and Hepsabet Wheeler. Following Charles' apparent early death, she was left alone to raise their five children, which must have been quite a challenge for a woman who was far from wealthy. No record has been found indicating that she ever remarried.7,10
     More mysteries surrounding Charles Senior and his boys are raised by the probate record of Christiana Grant, wife of Charles Senior. Dated 28 Nov 1850 and apparently written while Christiana was residing in Vaughan Township, York County, Ontario, she left her entire estate, which consisted of 30 pounds still owed to her by Thomas Beynon, some unclear remainder of the debt owed by Rowland Burr, and household goods valued at 5 pounds, to Sarah "Sally" Lawrence, wife of James Lawrence, of Vaughan Township. She further named Mr. Lawrence as one of her executors. No mention is made of either Charles Junior or Charles Collins in the will. However, the record indicates that there existed some question as to the veracity of the will, such that several people were called to make affidavits that she was indeed of sound mind when it was made. Among these affidavits there is mention made of an earlier will, although its contents are not revealed. More importantly, one witness reports that Christiana had a "drunken" stepson, and that she intended to leave him nothing. This suggests that at least one of her sons is a stepson, likelier the elder one, Charles Junior. It further suggests that the other is no longer living. Quite possibly Charles Collins had died sometime before 1851.
Last Edited5 Sep 2016

Citations

  1. [S1128] Supposition made by Author (Seattle, Washington) based on the preponderance of evidence. No record definitively establishing parentage has been found.
  2. [S900] Supposition made by Author (Seattle, Washington) based on the preponderance of evidence. No birth record has been found.
  3. [S1391] Home District, Upper Canada Marriage Registers, Volume 8: no record number, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Hereinafter cited as Home District Marriages, Vol. 8.
  4. [S1055] Supposition made by Author (Seattle, Washington) based on the preponderance of evidence. No marriage record has been found.
  5. [S231] Christiana Grant, Vaughan Township, York County, Upper Canada estate file Folio 489 (Register 9), Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah, supposition based on information given in this record. Hereinafter cited as York County estate file.
  6. [S230] Charles Grant, King Township, York County, Upper Canada estate file Folio 468 (Register 9), Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah. Hereinafter cited as York County estate file.
  7. [S424] Oak Ridge Cemetery (Goshen, Elkhart County, Indiana), Ester Grant marker; personally read, 1996.
  8. [S915] Charles Grant and Christiana Mills marriage, 20 May 1813, in Parish Registers, 1802-1827, St. John's Anglican Church (Sandwich), Public Archives of Ontario, Ottawa, Ontario. Hereinafter cited as St. John's Parish Registers.
  9. [S1392] Supposition made by Author (Seattle, Washington) based on the preponderance of evidence. No definitive supporting records have been found.
  10. [S391] Esther Grant death notice, Goshen Times, Goshen, Indiana, 17 November 1881, page 3. Hereinafter cited as Goshen Times.
  11. [S797] Kalamazoo County Marriage Liber 4: 367, no. 5711, Kalamazoo County Clerk's Office, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Hereinafter cited as Kalamazoo County Marriage Liber 4.
  12. [S644] James Grant entry, Elkhart County Death Registrations, record 197 (filed 10 January 1904), Elkhart County Health Department, Elkhart, Elkhart County, Indiana. Hereinafter cited as Elkhart County Deaths.
  13. [S191] Elaine Bourke, "Elliott," e-mail message from e-mail address (Etobicoke, Ontario) to Compiler, 2 August 1997. Hereinafter cited as "Elliott."