1857-1929

Fifth Generation: William James Warner < James Warner < William Warner< William Warner < William Warner


William was the second-born child and the eldest son of James Warner and Margaret Ann Quinn. He was born in Toronto on July 24, 1857.

As the first son, he was named after his grandfather, William, and his father, James.

He had nine siblings:

  1. Martha Warner
  2. Robert John Warner
  3. Hannah Maria Warner
  4. Thomas Benson “Tom” Warner
  5. Elizabeth “Daisy” Warner
  6. Sarah “Sadie” Warner
  7. Edward Warner
  8. Ella Warner
  9. Harold Rix “Harry” Warner

William married Elizabeth “Lizzie” Clark in Toronto on March 10, 1877. They were both nineteen. They would live part of their married life in Toronto and part in Brockport, in upstate New York. William became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1882 (according to what he told the census taker at the time of the 1920 US census).

They had four children, of whom one died in infancy and one was stillborn:

  1. Anna Ethel “Annie” Warner
  2. William Robert “Willy” Warner
  3. Helena M “Lena” Warner
  4. A stillborn baby girl

Their daughter Lena died in August, 1891 at the age of one. Lizzie died in New Hamburg, Ontario in March, 1892, while trying to give birth to their stillborn daughter. She was thirty-four.

By the end of that same year, 1892, William had moved to Detroit with a widow from New Hamburg named Anna Elizabeth O’Connor (born Anna Elizabeth Otto). He was thirty-five and she was twenty-seven.

They told everyone they were married, and she took Warner as her last name, but it would be another twenty-three years before the wedding actually took place, on March 29, 1915 in Windsor, Ontario. By that time he would be fifty-seven and she would be forty-nine.

Anna had a son from a previous marriage, whom William informally adopted:

  1. Ralph Ira Warner (who had been born Ralph Ira O’Connor)

Together, William and Anna would have one child, a daughter:

  1. Maud E “Maudie” Warner

That brought their surviving blended family to six, the adults William and Anna, and the children Willy, Annie, Ralph and Maudie.


William died in Detroit on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1929, and was buried in an unmarked grave in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Detroit.

You can visit his grave (virtually) here.


To be continued ...