George Washington Russell

ID # 1572
MarriageGeorge Washington Russell married Rachel Vrooman, daughter of Adam Vrooman and Margaret Mattice, in 1804.
For the moment, this researcher has no idea when Rachel Vrooman married George Washington Russell. By all reasonable means, Solomon Skinner should have been the father of at least Margaret. It is now found that he was living much later, late enough that he could even reasonably be the father of Luther and Elizabeth Ann. This contravenes such information as Elizabeth Ann provided herself in her two latter marriage registrations. More confusion as added by the fact that we have evidence that Solomon Skinner was living probably as late as 1831, but certainly as late as 1830. This is still being actively researched, but based on what is now known to this point it's entirely possible that Rachel's marriage to Solomon Skinner was of short duration.

The 1949 Vrooman Family history book shows daughter Margaret as a Russell and we may reasonably document from census information that she was born about 1805. In line with this, the marriage of Rachel Vrooman to George Russell is shown as 1804. The real story may be quite different.
NotePage 66 of the Vrooman Family 1949 book states that Rachel Vrooman was married to 1) ...Smith (first name unknown) and 2) George Washington Russell. Solomon Skinner is not mentioned, though we are able to clearly document her marriage to Solomon. We are able to confirm Rachel's relationship to George Russell based on later marriage registrations for daughter Elizabeth. Apparently, when son Luther was born in 1823, they were living at 'Lundy's Lane'. This would be in Stamford Township.

The one piece of documentation that we have which records George Russell as the husband of Rachel is a document dated 11 February 1848, purporting to be a land transaction, 'bargain and sale', between Rachel Russell and Admiral Nelson Vrooman. Here, Rachel Russell is named as the wife of George W. Russell. This is for Rachel's Crown Grant of lot 2 of the 4th concession of King Township. The story is a bit more complex. See notes under Rachel.

More in the way of documentation for George W. Russell of Stamford, without mention of Rachel, does exist.

The first item shown has no sure support that it relates to George W. Russell, the husband of Rachel, though it is probable.

See microfilm C-6869, images 222-223, Upper Canada Sundries, for George Russell of Stamford and which is dated January 4, 1830. In this, it reads in part:

That your petitioner having purchased a U.E. right for which a location ticket was given to ...illeg...some years since, for 200 acres of land in the township of Garafraxa being lot 21 in the 2nd concession, etc.

What follows isn't clear, but, apparently, he has paid a portion of settlement duties and requests more time for the difference. Since this file seems to have dead-ended in the Upper Canada Sundries file, the Abstract Indices for Garafraxa were examined and his name does not appear therein. The original Crown Grant of this lot was to a Hannah Saylor (or similar last name) in 1822. The name of the original ticket holder in the above mentioned petition is rather illegible, but in any event does not resemble the name Saylor. Further, the sherriff of the Gore District sold the property in 1831 to a George Darcy, though the Saylors seem to be back in possession of it in 1833. Since the Abstract Indices were not written up until 1867, it's possible that the clerks of the day were uncertain as to situations that by that time were only of historical interest.

Abstract Indices for several concessions of Garafraxa have been examined to 1867, but no reference to George Russell has been found. It could be argued that this is a George Russell other than Rachel Vrooman's husband, and while this is possible it seems unlikely.

Another piece of documentation that we have, one that is much more certain, is a petition signed by numerous residents of the Niagara District in January of 1836. This is to be found on C-6890 of Upper Canada Sundries, images 685-689. The petition appeals to the Lieutenant Governor, Sir Francis Bond Head, to return the surrogate court from Niagara Town to Queenston, where it had been located for some years. Few of the signatories names are recognized by this researcher, though that of Samuel Street appears. Certainly, one of the signers is George W. Russell. At a guess, the persons signing the petition were from the Stamford and Chippawa areas and, possibly, further south. (The petition was denied on the basis that surrogate courts were always located in district towns, which in the Niagara District was Niagara Town, now Niagara-on-the-Lake.)

Finally, we have a list written in 1849 (see 1837-38 Rebellion Losses of Upper Canada - publ. 1849, 2013, image reprint CD, Milton, Global Heritage Press) which is that of claimants in the various district of Upper Canada and shows the amount of their claims and the amount allowed. George W. Russell appears as claim number 64 under the heading of the Niagara District. George claimed four pounds, ten shillings, and was allowed two pounds. As with the other claims, we are not told where George resided or the losses for which his claims were made. Some of the claims are showed as owing to the estates of some claimants, but since this is not the case with George, as with most other claimants, we must therefore believe that he was still living as of the time the list was drawn up.

In an effort to find a record for George Washington Russell, the registers of the court clerks of the land records office (available on microfilm at the Archives of Ontario) have been examined for Stamford Township, Drummondville, Elgin, and Clifton. These are all indexed. Also searched have been the abstract indices for the same municipalities. To date, however, no land transaction record for George W. Russell or Rachel Russell has been found. Based on the above mentioned land transactions of 1848 and 1854 relating to the King Township property, George and Rachel resided in Stamford in 1848, and Rachel at least was in Stamford in 1854. It is possible that if George and Rachel rented the property on which they resided that there would then be no record of a land transaction to be found. 

Children of George Washington Russell and Rachel Vrooman

Last Edited18 Dec 2018