The HARRIS FAMILY were originally of Dutch extraction but had settled in America long before the Revolution. In 1776 the family were at Poughkeepsie and with the exception of Myndert, they all decided to support the revolutionists. Myndert however stood by King George, served during the War in the quarter-master department at New York and at the close of the War retired with his family to Digby, N.S. Dissatisfied with that country, Mr. Harris journeyed to Newark, Upper Canada, by way of New York and the Hudson and, through the representations of Captain Walton, settled at Smith’s Creek in 1793. He resided in this neighborhood until his death in 1823 at the age of 75 years. His family consisted of four sons and six daughters. Of these MYNDERT, JUN. died at Port Hope in 1878, aged 92 years. He was the father of Thomas Harris of Wesleyville and of the late Joseph Harris of Port Hope. HANNAH married first Seth Soper and had two daughters. One of these was the mother of J. D. and S. S. Smith. She afterwards married John Burnham. SARAH married Elisha Jones and had three daughters, one of whom was the mother of Dr. L. B. Powers.
Elias Smith, the founder of the SMITH FAMILY, owned large property in New York and Harland at the time of the Revolution. He succeeded in selling the Harland property for £7,000 but lost his New York property by his adhesion to King George. This city property was in 1830 valued at a million dollars. He came to Port Hope in 1797 and with Captain Walton received a Crown Patent of the Town site. Of his large family JOHN DAVID is of most interest to Port Hope citizens. He was born in New York in 1786 and came to Port Hope with his father. Until his death in 1849 he was a prominent citizen of the ‘Town and held the offices of Magistrate and member of the Legislative Assembly for some time. Of his nine sons and three daughters, ELIAS P. was for many years Manager of the Bank of Upper Canada. He was the father of J. D. and S. S. Smith and the late Mrs. John Smart. DAVID was a lumberman at Consecon ; JOHN S. was a lawyer in Toronto, Cobourg and Port Hope ; JAMES became Judge of the County of Victoria ; Wm. M. was a doctor in Port Hope ; MRS. J. B. HALL ; ROBERT CHARLES, father of R. C. Smith, was a lumberman ; SIDNEY was a lawyer in Cobourg and for a time Post Master General of Canada ; JOSEPH S. ; WALLACE W. ; MRS. T. C. CLARK ; MRS. WELLINGTON.
The WARD FAMILY are of English descent. Their founder, Captain Thomas Ward, was born in London in 1770 and came to Canada with Governor Simcoe in 1791. He was one of the first statute lawyers of Upper Canada and one of the first benchers of the Law Society of the Province. Until 1808 he was Registrar of Northumberland County, residing at Brighton. In that year he became Registrar for Durham and removed to Port Hope. In later life he also held the offices of Judge of the County Court and Clerk of the Peace for the Newcastle District. In 1847 he resigned from the Registrar’s office in favor of his son George C. and his death took place in 1861. All his family of eight children are now dead. Among them were Mrs. J. T. Williams, George C. and Ely W., all three well-known in Port Hope. H. A. Ward, Esq., M.P. is the only surviving son of the late George Ward.
John Tucker Williams, the founder of the WILLIAMS FAMILY, came to Canada during the War of 1812-15 and commanded a vessel on the Lake during that war. He finally settled at Port Hope. During the Rebellion of 1837 he commanded the Durham Regiment ; later represented the County in Parliament and was the first Mayor of Port Hope. His death took place in 1854. Of his family of seven children Mrs. Wm. Fraser, Mrs. Charles Seymour and Charles Williams still survive. His eldest son Arthur Trefusis Heneage was born June 13th, 1837 and was educated at Upper Canada College and Edinburgh University. He was a most public-spirited man and held many responsible positions in the Town and the country. He was Colonel of the 46th Regiment and saw service during the Fenian Invasion and the North-West Rebellion. He also served in both the Local and Dominion Houses. His lamentable death to which reference has already been made occurred July 4th, 1885. In 1859 he married Emily, daughter of Hon. Benjamin Seymour and by her had five children. On Wednesday, Sept. 4th, 1889, Sir John A. MacDonald unveiled a statue, erected in his honor on the Market Square, and by this means the memory of this worthy citizen and soldier is perpetuated.
The BURNHAM FAMILY whose names are familiar in a large section of Ontario are the descendants of four brothers, Asa, John, Zaccheus and Mark, who came to Ontario from New Hampshire. Mark, whose name is more particularly associated with Port Hope, was born in 1791 and came to Canada in 1812, settling first at Cobourg. In 1830 he removed to Port Hope and continued the mercantile business there for ten years. Besides being a successful merchant he was a musician and composer of some talent. He died in 1864. His third and only surviving son is H. H. Burnham, Esq., a prominent and respected citizen of Port Hope.
The CHOATE FAMILY comprising a father and two sons left Enfield, New Hampshire about the year 1798 and settled near Hamilton, Ontario. A few years later, Jacob, one of the sons, bought a farm near Cobourg. There he resided a short time and then came on to Smith’s Creek, where he engaged in the hotel business until 1816, his tavern being the progenitor of the present Queen’s. During this time he purchased the lands at Belmont and finally removed there. He was the father of four sons and two daughters.
Of these Nathan, the eldest son, born in March 1805, became the proprietor of Belmont and a prominent agriculturist of the district. For more than fifteen years he was President of the Durham Agricultural Society. On his death, July T0th, 1891, the Belmont Estate descended to his son Asa, whose lamentable death, August 28th, r90r, has so recently occurred. Of this family there still survives Nathan B. Choate of Iowa, Miss Elizabeth Choate of Port Hope, Mrs. Herriman of Lindsay, and Mrs. Meeking of Hope Township.