Birthplace: Hugh Brinsmead was born in St. Giles in the Wood in Devon, England in 1839. He was the son of Hugh Brinsmead and Mary Anne Turner. He had two older sisters, Eliza and Mary Ann. Hugh's father was a Miller who died of an inflammation of the chest died just before he was born. (See: Hugh Senior's death registration). His sister Eliza died in infancy.
Early life: By the time the 1851 British census was taken, Hugh was living at New Bridge F Mills, Torrington, Devon. His mother obviously remarried since she is by that time shown as the spouse of John Ware, the Miller. He lives there with his sister Mary, a stepsister Eliza and a stepbrother Francis. The mill must have been quite large as there are four other millers living there as well, along with his mother's parents Robert and Mary Turner.
Voyage to Canada: We have no information about what led Hugh to emigrate to Canada. It may have been connections through the Methodist Church. He is said to have arrived at age 12 which would place the voyage about 1851 or 52. So far, searches of the various passenger lists have not born fruit.
Arrival in Canada: Hugh is listed in early Canadian documents as a wheelwright. In London, Ontario there existed a large carriage makers business called Plummer and Pacey - Wagonmakers. Plummer took his son into the business, which may have been what led Mr. Pacey to move to the smaller town of St. Marys near by. Hugh moved in with the Pacey family and worked in their wagon factory.
Marriage: Hugh married Ellen Pacey in St Marys at age 22 on April 21st, 1861. The announcement in the London Free Press on August 29th, 1861 reads:
Married. By the Rev. J. Shuttleworth, at the residence of the bride's father, on Wednesday, the 21st of August, HUGH BRINSMEAD to MISS ELLEN PACEY of the City of London.
1867 Perth County Directory: In 1867, the year Canada was founded, Hugh Brinsmead is listed as an agent, with a house of St. John Street in St. Marys.
1871 Census: The 1871 Census shows Hugh living in St. Marys, Ontario with his wife Ellen (29) and four children: Thomas (8), John (6), William (4) and Rachael (1). The electronic version misspells the name as "Bemmead". His occupation at this point is listed as a watchmaker. He is also said to have built a house in St. Marys, one side of which was occupied by the founder of the Eaton's Department store empire, Thomas Eaton.
1881 Census: The 1881 Census shows Hugh (Agent - 41), Ellen (39), children Thomas H (Printer - 18), John (Printer - 16), William (Student -14), Rachael (Student - 11), Annie (Student -6), Henry (4) and Elizabeth (2) all still living in St. Marys. They are listed as Methodists.
Move to Toronto: Sometime in the mid 1880's the family moved to Toronto. There, two of his sons worked in the printing trade. They later left Toronto moving north to the small town of Webwood, near Sudbury, where they established the local newspaper. Other children stayed in Toronto. The 1901 Toronto street directory shows Hugh Brinsmead (wagon maker) living at 206 Brunswick Avenue in a house owned by Robert McDowell. His son William (Watchmaker) is listed at the same address
Helen's Death: Hugh's wife Helen Brinsmead died on June 14th, 1913 in Toronto at age 72. Her address is shown as 3 North View Terrace T. G. Hosp. The cause of death is listed as Myocarditis leading to Heart Failure.
Hugh's Death: Hugh Brinsmead died on December 5th, 1920 and was buried four days later in Mount Pleasant Cemetry on Yonge Street in Toronto. The following obituary appeared in the local newspaper for St Marys:
Hugh Brinsmead - Hugh's Family - The Canadian Family Tree - West Country Roots - Meeting the Relatives - John Brinsmead
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