Posts Tagged ‘Priscilla Martin Haskett’

A Brief History of My Line of Hasketts (with Info on My Great Grandfather’s Siblings)

May 20, 2014

My wife has been researching her genealogy for years, meeting relatives and learning family history. I had been interested in mine too, but waited too long until everyone who could answer questions had been long gone. I had access to a brief direct male line leading back to 18th century Tipperary, a remembered family legend concerning Haskett’s serving under Cromwell (with the source tape missing and the person who recorded it, my namesake Great Grandfather’s youngest sister, gone these past twenty years), and not much more. Searches online and through’s paid membership resources came up fruitless.

I knew my Great Grandfather had a twin brother named Gladwyn. For years I knew nothing about him, whether he married and had a family, if the Haskett’s I was tracking down in Kelowna and Penticton, British Columbia, were descendants of his (they weren’t.) All I was able to find online was the date of his death and the location of his grave.

When my wife and I found ourselves vacationing in the Canadian Okanagan last Summer we made a stop at Lakeview Cemetery in Penticton. We located Gladwyn’s grave and found an adjacent grave for a Helen Ruth Slater. We didn’t know the name, but we took pictures of the beautiful location and my wife shared the story on her genealogy blog. Within two weeks of posting we were contacted by Gladwyn’s grandniece, Jennifer, who by sheer coincidence happened to do a websearch and found Tammy’s post.

We learned that Helen was Gladwyn’s daughter, and we were given names of his other descendants. After years of always hitting a brick wall I was finally getting somewhere. Between my parents and I we made contact with various shirttail cousins and have finally started to learn some family history.

When Jennifer my Second Cousin Once-Removed contacted us she shared some typewritten notes her Grandmother had put together. With her permission I’m sharing the first family history I’ve been able to get my hands on.

[This space will show the family photo of George and Minnie Haskett, with their 8 children, whenever I get it scanned]


WILLIAM MILFORD HASKETT was born in County Tipperary, Ireland. He came to Canada with his wife and small family in 1818. They settled in the heavily forested 5th Concession of London Township. There he built a small log house using canvas for windows and doors, and their immigrant trunks for barriers against wolves, bears and nocturnal wildlife that sniffed around for food.

In the early days Wm. Haskett walked to Toronto to earn money as a painter to support his young family. In time he was able to purchase a horse to ride to Toronto. This early Haskett and his family were industrious!! Eventually Wm. secured farms for each of his 4 sons. His 2 daughters also married farmers. His own retirement home was built on his son Nelson’s farm. It was said that he continued to be a great walker until the year of his death at the age of 91 years.

His children were Eliza (married to John Geary 1833), John, Thomas (married Hannah Talbot 1833), ROBERT (married to Priscilla Martin 1839), Nelson and Mary Ann.

ROBERT HASKETT and his wife, PRISCILLA MARTIN HASKETT had 5 children –Mary Jane (married G. Caning?), Eliza (married Myles Young), GEORGE MARTIN (married MARY JANE ‘MINNIE’ RORKE), William (married Annie Douglas), Frances (spinster).

GEORGE MARTIN HASKETT left school at an early age to drive the coach from London to Owen Sound. Eventually he moved to Owen Sound where he served an apprenticeship with a hardware merchant. In 1865 with his brother William he started a hardware business in the village of Markdale. Along with his activity in the business field George also served the community as a director in the Agriculture Society, as a village councillor and later as Reeve of the township. He did not marry until 1886 when he was in his mid-forties. His bride, Minnie Rorke was 27. With the success of his hardware business, George was able to have a large comfortable home built for his bride. She called their home ‘Sunny-home’. George and Minnie raised a family of 8 children which included 2 sets of twins. Their names were George Chester, William Mcfarland, Merwyn Young, Gladwyn Washington, Harold Rorke, Kendall Richardson, Laura Kathleen, Constance Amelia Sadie.

George was seriously ill (skin cancer?) in 1912 and died in 1912. [hand corrected from 1913.] He and Minnie had been married for 28 years.

MINNIE continued to live in the Markdale home with Kathleen, Ken and Connie until 1916 when she sold both the hardware block and Sunny-home. During the next 8 years she lived in Simcoe, Toronto and Brockville with family members. In 1924 she travelled to Western Canada and bought 2 adjoining bungalows in Vancouver. There she created her ‘little grey home in the west’ a home of the heart for Chester, Glady and her grandchildren Helen and Billy



With the outbreak of World War 2 Minnie sold her Vancouver property and moved to Penticton to live with Glady and his children. In 1943 health problems (glaucoma) dictated that she move back to Eastern Canada. She found a warm welcome in Toronto in Chester’s home, and good medical care arranged by Ken, and extra support from Kathleen and Bill and their families. She died in Chester’s home in August 1946.


MERNIE was the first to leave Markdale when he travelled to Brownlee, Saskatchewan to work for his father’s friend, George Butchart, in 1913. In Saskatchewan Mernie married Alyce Maguire, teacher, and daughter of an American family who owned 3 hotels in Saskatchewan. When ‘local option’* was passed, the Maguire family moved to Olympia, Washington. Mernie and Alyce also moved to Olympia about 1925 and established a permanent home there, and a successful fuel business.

BILLY and KEN were trained as jewellers and watch-makers first in Markdale, later in Toronto. In time both moved on to successful careers in optometry.

CHESTER and GLADY worked in Northern Ontario and British Columbia in the accounting and bookkeeping services of construction companies engaged in road building and elevators.

HARRY died suddenly (peritonitis) shortly after beginning studies at the University of Toronto in 1914.

GLADY and KEN served overseas in World War 1. Glady suffered severe leg injuries at Vimy Ridge. Ken returned to civilian life a marked ‘hearing loss’.

KATHLEEN attended Business College in Owen Sound and then worked in the Markdale Agricultural Office. She married the local Ag. Rep. and together they farmed happily in the Simcoe area.

CONNIE graduated from the University of Western Ontario in 1918. After obtaining a teacher’s certificate from the University of Toronto in 1919, she travelled west to teach in Neepawa Manitoba. She married a merchant in 1928 and lived in Neepawa for the rest of her life.

‘Local Option’ — I think this had something to do with the selling of liquor during the years when Prohibition was determined by certain governments, provincially or federally.


Thank You to Jennifer Kerr Williams for making contact and providing me with this history.