Glassford Emigration                                                               James 1781 / Peter 1803 / UEL / 20th Century NA / Australia
The Glassford Family's path from Scotland cannot be traced to a single event but documentation suggests that a series of events took place. Some of these events involve descendants of James Glassford (Born 1623 as identified by William Glassford Genealogist) and in this family's case we have 2 recorded emigrations to Canada in the 19th century, one to the Kingston Area and the other to the Toronto area. There are also UEL other Canadian immigrations that have not as yet been  linked to James and have occurred in the 18th century or before. This data give evidence of a possible early emigration from Scotland to Ireland and then to North America. The destination for the immigration was also not uniquely Canada but also included immigration to the United States, some of which were Loyalists and later emigrated a second time and this time came to Canada.

Another source of emigrants were convicts who were transported from Scotland and England, Peter Wilson Coldham’s investigations into this area as documented in his book "English Convicts in Colonial America” is used as a reference in the Passenger ships lists and includes a Richard Glasford who was transport to Maryland in 1720. Richard's connection with the family has not been found.

Connections have also been made that show additional emigration to North America and Australia in during the 20th century.

Other Glassford lines have been found via census and other records that were living in Canada and the United States in the 1800's but as yet I have no emigration details to add to this section.

Family Emigration with Confirmed Linked to James Glassford of 1623
James Glassford (1781 - 1840) the eldest son of Robert (Born 1756)

The available information indicates that a branch of the GLASSFORD family emigrated to North America  in 1820 when James Glassford (1781-1840) the eldest son of Robert and settled on a farm (called Waterston) outside Glenburrnie of  near Kingston, Upper Canada (Ontario) and later members of it moved to the Canadian Parries and British Columbia. In addition, to farming, James was also a Cabinet Maker and some of his pieces (an oak bed, dresser and wash stand) are in the possession of his 2nd great grandson. The use of the name Waterston may originate two generations earlier when James' grandfather, George, married Mary Orr the daughter of Robert Orr Esq. of Waterston, in approximately 1745. Another interesting connection here is that the 1878 land records shows farms in the same area belonging to Orr’s their relationship to Mary would be interesting to find.

The story of James’ trip from Scotland and his family settling as recounted in letter by the wife (Ann Paterson) of his great grand son   Harry McLeod Blacklock (grandson of Margaret Yates Glassford and William Blacklock ) in 1937 to her daughter Catherine [Blacklock] Evans.
 "James Glassford Sr. and his wife Jane [Jean] Boyd and four children, James Jr., William, Margaret and Janet [Jean] left Paisley Scotland and sailed from Glasgow on the Earl of Buckinghamshire .[ right is a copy of the title page of a narrative about the ship and the settlement published in 1821 about the Buckingham. The ship burned a year after James and his family came to Canada] for Canada in 1820. On the same ship (the Buckinghamshire) the Glassfords were sailing to the new world were Mr. & Mrs. Hugh MacDonald whose son John later became Sir John A. McDonald, first premier of United Canada
Figure 2-8. Cover page from a narrative about the Earl of Buckingshire.
They were eight weeks crossing the Atlantic Ocean and then travelled from Quebec to Kingston, Ont. by stage and boat and settled in Barriefield. In 1836, he purchased the land now known as the Craig farm (then called Waterston.), and in 1837 bought the land now known as the Blacklock farm, from John Mowat, merchant of Kingston"

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If you have any questions or concerns or wish to provide or obtain additional information please contact Gary Ernest Glassford


Family Emigration with Confirmed Linked to James Glassford of 1623
Peter Glassford (born 1803) the 4th son of Robert (1765)

Another branch headed by Peter Glassford a Presbyterian minister (born 1803) the 4th son of Robert came to Canada in 1854. Peter was married in Bath, Ontario and died in Vaughan just outside Toronto. Peter’s sister, Jeanie Glassford (born 1799) married Robert Stobo and they emigrated in 1825 to Canada. Both Jeanie and her husband are buried in Glen Williams, Ontario. Peter and Jeanie were James’ 4th Cousins. This line seems to have been linked to the church in most generations and in 1904 Robert James Matthew, son of Peter represented Ontario at the 4th Worlds Sunday School Convention in Jerusalem. Rev. Peter’s emigration to Canada is recorded in "A Dictionary of Scottish Emigrants to Canada before Confederation" Vol. 1 by the OGS 1986. However, he is recorded as Glassfurd not Glassford. The dictionary however, does provide some background information which allow the verification of his identity.

GLASSFURD, Rev. Peter ca. 1800- 29 August 1873 from Glasgow s/o Robert merchant and  Jean MacDougall. Matric. University of Glasgow 1816. To Vaughan Twp. York County Ont. 1854. Relief and UP min. @ Alnvick 1838-42, min @ Leitholm 1842-49, min. Albion Vaughan. m 1856 Anna d/o James Harris qv ch 1 Robert, 2  Dr. William,  3 Charles, 4 Emma, 5 Jean.

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If you have any questions or concerns or wish to provide or obtain additional information please contact Gary Ernest Glassford

UEL and Other Families With No Confirmed Links to James of 1623

Other branches may have come over to Canada and the United States earlier such as Richard the convict or as is suggested by the following samples from various publications.

  1. The Montreal Herald which on July 13,1820 announced the marriage in Montreal (Pte. Clare) of an Ann Amelia Glassford youngest daughter of James Glassford to  William Whitney also of Pte. Clare.
  2.  Upper Canada Sons and Daughters of the United Empire Loyalist (Vol. 1) records indicate direct connections to Glassfords as well as connections via marriage. One of these includes a John Glassford who was living in Matilda Township with his family which included a daughter  Jane who married Henry Coons of Matilda and they applied for a  UEL land grant on June 18, 1799. This infers that John and his family came to Canada in 1798 at the latest and their route was via the US.
  3. Ontario People from 1793 to 1803 also indicate that a Glassford was in Ontario in this period with the names John, Lyttle, Paul and Robert in the Matilda and Lancaster townships. Although for these there is some confusion in the recorded spelling of the name, as it appears to have been spelled for these individuals as "Glafsford" indicating a double or long s sound, Glassford, and "Glasford"  using only a single s, during the same 1793 to 1803 period.
  4. Early Ontario Settlers identifies a John Glassford (ref. no. H392) was living in Upper Canada with a wife and 2 boys and 2 girls over the age of 10 years prior to 1800. In addition a Robert Glassford (ref. No. H393) is also listed with no dependants.
  5. The first year of Canadian census was 1871 and in it are recorded a number of entries that suggest that other branches of the family may have emigrated at the same time. Some examples are:
    1. The Essex /Kent record shows a John Glassford who was born in Quebec and at the time of the census was 92 years old making him born in 1779 in Quebec (Ontario or Upper Canada did not come into existence until 1790’s and before that the entire British area was known as Quebec so the specific location of his birth is difficult to identify) .
    2. The Stormont , Dundas, Glengary, Prescott, Russell record identifies a Little Glassford who was 75 at the time of the census and born in Ontario so his parents would have emigrated in at least 1796.
    3. The Halton Peel record indicates that a John Glassford age 68 and his brothers Thomas (64) and William (60) were born in Ireland and then immigrated to Canada. The existence of an Irish branch of the family may mean an earlier emigration from Scotland to Ireland took place, or it may be a situation of mistaken identity caused by the method used to collect the census data. (it  was not uncommon for completed data to be obtained via information from neighbors if the official recorder could not get information directly)
  6. "The County Marriage Register 1858-1869" provides some additional links, which cannot at this time be traced directly into the family. In reviewing these entries it should be noted that both single and double "s" Glassfords are include as well. The Registry has also made some assumed corrections by adding a bracketed "s". There is also some confusion, as probable siblings appear to use different spellings. (Section 4.0 details this data)
  7. The "Early French Canadians" book refers to settlers and their occupations between 1600 and 1900 and includes a James A.,  A.J..,  and a Mrs. M.A. who were living in Montreal in 1851 -1871 acting as forwarders, shipping agents and importers and can not be tied to the James connection.  No record of the "Kingston" branch going back to Montreal exists,  so this suggests that another branch, which  unlike James did not travel to Ontario after landing in Quebec. 

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If you have any questions or concerns or wish to provide or obtain additional information please contact Gary Ernest Glassford

20th Century Emigration to North America

Information on another series of emigrations from Scotland come from a letter that was sent to Charles Glassford (my 2nd  cousin  twice removed) in 1938 by an Ethel Glassford. Ethel and her husband had emigrated to Saskatchewan in 1919 and her letter provides some links to  other  Glassford emigrations during the early 20th century.  I have not been able to verify the linkage between my family and Ethel’s husband or confirm her knowledge of her husband's family's movements.


April 19th 1938

Dear Mr. Charlie
... [39 words omitted]
I will try & give you a line up on what I know or heard of the Glassfords since I married
into the family in Glasgow. (Scotland) during the war years, Well the family was know as
Samuel Glassford his wife Mary, who was originally a Miss McCelland of I think Irish
descent these were my husbands parents, & father in law always spoke of a brother of
his called James who was in his teens and went to the States & as far as I understand
became very well off. In other words made good, he for his brother Sam to come out to
him but Sam would not go. He stayed in Glasgow & married the previously mentioned
lady. The brother James was so annoyed over this that all correspondence between the
brothers ceased but the father in law heard James married & had a family in Boston &
strange to say since I came to Canada I have seen by American papers that the Cheif of
Police department is a Glassford of high standing & mother brother holding high rank
in naval or air profession I may be wrong but I imagine these may be sons of James as
he was supposed to have acquired a lot of wealth that ends all I know of James
(or rather heard) ...[183words omitted]
.... My husbands brothers & sisters are all fairly well scattered about the second named
John died in the States years ago leaving a wife and family who will all be young men
now. Sam has retired near Edinburgh (Scot) he was travelling manager for a big firm
of the name of Dunsan chocolate manufacturers in Edin. They have just son named
Norman , & took a ship to New Zealand for a year, change & holiday before they
settled down for good. Richard was an insurance agent in Glasgow also Thomas was in
ship yards on Clyde, James & family also sister Frances & her husband are some where
in the States  & the sister Mary died in her teens ...

... my husband came to Canada in 1919 & I followed in July 1920 with my  two eldest
children we settled 16 miles south of Aneroid on a general rock pile if rocks were money,
well then I would be rich. ... [576 words omitted]

Sincerly Yours
Ethel Glassford

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If you have any questions or concerns or wish to provide or obtain additional information please contact Gary Ernest Glassford

20th Century Emigration to Australia

In my searches of the Internet I have made some contacts that have allowed me to expand the family
ties to include Australia. One tie is to John Glassford and his wife Nicole, John is my 6th cousin once removed.

 To dear Gary,

Hi, my name is Nicole, I'm Johns' wife, I saw your letter and have some
information for you. Johns' family tree also started back in 1623 or
that's as far back as we've been able to go. Johns' Uncle Rod did all
the checking quite a few years ago. We have a large chart that goes back
to a James Glassford in 1623, our family tree goes like this: James
James 1655, James 1678 eldest son of James, William 1719 sixth son of
James, Matthew 1755 third son of William, David 1800 fourth son of
William, James 1850 not sure which son he is I do know there where 5
other children, David 1880 son of James there where 5 other children one
other son Crichton who was killed in W/W 1, then comes Atholl who is
Johns' dad, [10 words omitted]. Atholl had only one other sibbling Roderrick
[15 word omitted]
I know that David was in Australia in 1914 however I don't know who was
the first one to come to Australia [64 words omitted]

Good luck with your search, reguards  Nicole Glassford.

Another contact from down under that I have not been able to tie into the family comes from a
Cameron Glassford and his sister Greer. Cameron data also provides another source of Glassfords
coming to North America this century.

[21 words omitted]
My father is John Millar Glassford, born 5th March 1922 at Gateside,
Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire Scotland. His father is William Glassford born
around 1888, we can't find out when he was born, but he is the last child
born to the family. We think it was at 144 Claythorn St, Glasgow and was
married April 25th 1919 to Helen Burnside Millar born December 16 1898 at
Coalburn Lanarkshire. He had an older sister Agnes who married a John Brock
and a bother David who went to America but that is all we know. William and
David's father was David Glassford but we don't know when he was born but
apparently it was at Skelmorlie Scotland and died in his early 40's. He was
married to Margret Bailey Craig born 18?? at Wishaw Scotland. My sister
Greer says that David Glassford of Skelmorlie had a father named David
Glassford as well. These Davids are due to the way tradition said children
were to named. My sister understands the system. The other bit of
information says the ancestral home of our Glassfords was Highthorn.
Hopefully there maybe some sort of tie in with this. If I can help you with
something let me know.

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If you have any questions or concerns or wish to provide or obtain additional information please contact Gary Ernest Glassford