George Hespeler

ID # 6878, (1837-1910)
FatherJacob Hespeler (1811-1881)
MotherElise (Lissie) Diehl (1817-1881)
BirthGeorge Hespeler was born in April 1837 at Preston, Waterloo Twp., Wellington District. 
MarriageHe married Emma Augusta Willson, daughter of John Wesley Willson and Sophia Jane Nelles, on 24 February 1864 at Ontario, Saltfleet Twp., Wentworth County.
MS248 reel 17, Vol. 82, page 137,
Wentworth County Marriage Register

Extracted from a list of marriages solemnized by Rev. James L. Alexander of the U. C. of England and Ireland.

George Hespeler, 26, born Preston, residing Hespeler. Parents Jacob and Lissie.
E. Augusta, 21, born and residing Saltfleet. Parents John W. Willson and J. M. Sophia.
Witness H. E. Nelles of Grimsby
On Feby 24, 1864.

As is usually the case, the county marriage register entries do not show the exact location of the marriage. We do, however, have the following.

Refer to page 20, Vol. 6 of The Wentworth Papers, Craig Burtch, Early Ontario Newspaper Transcription Series, Global Heritage Press, 2012. This transcribes a marriage notice that appeared in the Thursday, February 25, 1864, edition of the Hamilton Evening Times.

This tells that on the 24th inst., George Hespeler of Hespeler, eldest son of Jacob Hespeler, married Emma Augusta Willson, the eldest daughter of John W. Willson of 'Ontario'. The wedding was held at the bride's father at Ontario and conducted by the Rev. J. L. Alexander, M.A., incumbent of Saltfleet and Binbrook and assisted by Rev. E. R. Stimson, incumbent of Berlin. This also describes Emma as the great granddaughter of the late Hon. John Willson. (See notes for Emma.)

A careful examination of the place name 'Ontario' in this situation has to do with the fact that the village of Winona in Saltfleet Township was originally named Ontario. After confederation, it was deemed in some circles inappropriate to have a village named Ontario in the Province of Ontario, in other words, Ontario, Ontario. See Ghost and Post Offices of Ontario, Floreen Carter, 1986, page 670. According to Library and Archives Canada, the name of the post office was changed to Winona on 1 April 1868. They also state that the name of the postmaster from 1 September, 1855, to 30 November, 1863, was John Willson.

DeathHe died on 23 September 1910 at Raleigh, Wake Co., North Carolina, at age 73. 
NoteOn the marriage registration for George Hespeler and Emma Augusta Willson, George shows his place of birth as Preston. The family was still in Preston as of the 1851 census where George is shown as age 15.

The family is in Hespeler as of the 1861 census and George is shown as age 24. The family is shown as 'Christian' in both the 1851 and 1861 censuses.

By the time of the 1871 census, George has been married to Emma Augusta Willson some seven years. He is shown as a Lutheran as well as a miller and distiller. Emma is shown as being Church of England and their two daughters are shown as being Church of England as well. As mentioned under notes for George's mother, also in George's household in 1871 is Henry Diehl, age 61, widower and Lutheran. He will be, in some manner not yet fathomed, a family connection. In 1871 George is 33 and so Henry is not old enough to be George's grandfather, but he may be an uncle. This tree treats Lissie Knoth as George's mother, but there is also a Diehl connection, probably Jacob Hespeler's first wife. We do not know that Elise Diehl (so named in some sources) was George's mother, but the possibility remains.

By 1881, the family is in Galt. George is shown as a manufacturer and the entire family is shown as being Church of England.

In 1891, the family is still in Galt. They are all shown as being members of the Church of England and George is shown as a 'saw mill owner'.

In 1892, Copp-Clark of Toronto published the Canadian Almanac and Miscellaneous Directory (price 20 cents). Beginning on page 58, The Militia List of the Dominion of Canada begins. On page 62 we find the 29th Waterloo Battalion of Infantry (headquarters Berlin). Listed he as the commanding officer is Lt.-Colonel George Hespeler of Gat.

By 1900, George and his daughters are in Chicago and appear in the census enumeration of that year. He is shown as a woolen manufacturer, a widower, and it is said that the family came to the United States in 1892. Death registration information found on Ancestry, but taken from a Family History Library microfilm, shows Emma's death to be in July of 1899.

The 1910 U.S. census taken at Raleigh, North Carolina, shows George, age 73, a widower, living on his own income. With him is his daughter Ella. Again, the page shows George's arrival in the U.S. in 1892.

George died the same year in Raleigh. Information for his passing is taken from a transcription of his death registration. This is provided by Ancestry, but refers back to a Family History Library film number.

North Carolina deaths 1906-1930

Col. George Hespeler, age 73y, 5m, 15d, birth year 1837.
Death date 23 September 1910
Death place Raleigh, Wake (County), North Carolina.
Father Jacob Hespeler, mother Lisse.
FHL film nbr. 4163100. 

Children of George Hespeler and Emma Augusta Willson

Last Edited27 Jul 2019