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Extracted from “The Descendants of Robert Dobson, 1818-1907, Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada”

by Earle Francis Dobson, B.Sc/Agr., Great, great, great Grandson of Robert Dobson, the Elder, 1798 - 1860. Uxbridge Printing Company Ltd, 1969

Robert Dobson, the Elder, was born in Yorkshire, England, on May 24, 1798 [G.V. Stovin write-up shows year as 1797]. He was the eldest of a large family of sons, but unfortunately of no daughters. As Robert was approaching manhood, the parents adopted into the family, a young girl, named Mary Dawson, born in 1791 [G. V. Stovin write-up shows born 1795]. The maiden was said to be very beautiful, and the prediction of a friend who said that the Dobson youths would be seeking her hand and heart came to pass. In a short time, Robert had married her, and we leave it to the succeeding generations to decide whether that marriage was "For Better" or "For Worse".

Robert and Mary lived in the town of Mickleby, Yorkshire, until six of their family of thirteen were born. Then in 1826, when their eldest son, Robert was seven years of age, they decided to leave the land of their birth and try their fortune in the new and better country, Canada, with its wealth of mines, forests and prairie lands.

After a long and tedious voyage across the Atlantic, in sailing vessels which were very slow, and required six weeks to make the journey which can be accomplished in a few days in modern times (1935), the family landed in Quebec, then called Lower Canada. There they remained for a year or two; then they decided to proceed father west-ward to Markham, Ontario. The final settlement was made in the Township of Reach, Lot 9, Concession 9. Here they bought from the Crown two hundred acres of Clergy Reserve Lands, for which they paid three dollars and seventy - five cents per acre.

After building a log house on the east half of Lot 9, they proceeded with the labour of chopping down the trees and clearing the land for grain and potatoes. The implements were very crude and awkward; the sowing was done by the use of a seed sheet, the grain was cut by means of a sickle and cradle, the womenfolk had to assist in binding the grain, the threshing was done by hand, by the use of a flail. The father often went a day's journey on foot, shouldering a bag of wheat , to a mill where it was made into flour.

Living as we do now, where we have a view of several miles and with neighbours almost within a stone's throw, it is difficult for us to imagine what it would mean to those town-bred people to settle down in a township covered by solid forest, where one could not see twenty rods, except skyward. At that time neighbours were few and far between, there being only forty families in all of Reach Township when the Dobsons arrived.

The Dobsons family grew to maturity in the pioneer home. Most of them lived to a ripe old age. The eldest son, Robert, celebrated his eighty - eighth birthday one week prior to his death. He attributed his longevity to regular habits of living and to his adherence to the maxim, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise" With the two exceptions of William, the delicate son, and John, who died in early manhood, this family all married, "begat sons and daughters" and their descendants are scattered over Canada from East to West. Many are in the United States.

In religion, the Dobsons were staunch Wesleyon Methodists. Their strong adherence to the faith and their unfailing zeal in things spiritual were inherited by their children and their children's children. Robert Dobson the Elder, died on August 25, 1860, at the age of sixty - three. His wife, Mary, survived him until January 14, 1879. They were laid to rest in a private burying place on their own farm.

Linked toMary DAWSON; Robert DOBSON, Elder; Robert DOBSON

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