Second Generation: William Warner < William Warner

My 4th great grandfather

William Warner is my fourth great grandfather. The son of William Warner and Elizabeth White of the village of Howden in Yorkshire, England, he was born in Howden on March 27, 1789 and baptized there on June 21, 1789.1

He married Hannah Benson, but we don’t know when or where. We do know that they were a couple because they appear together on the baptismal records of two of their children, and his name appears on her burial record.* 2 6

William and Hannah are central characters for this website, because they are the couple who decided, around 1830, to leave England and to bring their family to North America.

William and Hannah came to Lower Canada (now Quebec) and settled on a piece of wilderness land in Frampton Township, south of Quebec City, where they gradually cleared and built a small farm.3 4

William would have been forty-two at the time of the census that was taken in 1831. Hannah was at least forty-five (according to that same census).4 There were nine family members living with them, including three who were “aged five years and under.” All of them, according to the census, were born in the United Kingdom and “arrived in the province [of Lower Canada] by sea, since the first of May, 1825.”

1831 Census for Frampton, Lower Canada (William Warner on line 21)5
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I have only found conclusive information about three of William and Hannah’s children. All three have living descendants whose connection to our family has been proven using DNA evidence (see “Related Posts” below):

  1. [First name unknown] Warner
  2. William Warner
  3. Maria Warner (later known as “Hannah Maria Warner”)

The baptismal records of Howden, Yorkshire and nearby Laxton list three other children who might be William and Hannah’s:

Because no maiden name is given for their mother we cannot be sure.

The family had moved to Montreal by the time of the 1842 census. They lived in Queen’s Ward, which later became known as the Quartier Saint-Antoine. It’s close to what we now call “Old Montréal.” William worked as labourer (the column for “trade or profession” was left blank and another column indicates that no family members were “engaged in commerce or trade.”

Page 1 of the entry for William Warner in the 1842 Census for Lower Canada (line 12)4
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Pages 2-3 of the entry for William Warner in the 1842 Census for Lower Canada (line 12)4
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Pages 4-5 of the entry for William Warner in the 1842 Census for Lower Canada (line 12)4
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Pages 6-7 of the entry for William Warner in the 1842 Census for Lower Canada (line 12)4
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The 1842 census was completed on February 1. William died a month later, on March 1, 1842. He was buried two days later in the “Poor Ground” of the St. Lawrence Protestant Burial Ground in Montreal.6 7

Burial record for William Warner in the register of the St. Lawrence Burying Ground (bottom left)
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Transcription: Warner poor g[round] / Wm Warner (lab[ourer]) died 1st aged 54 11/12 yrs + B[urie]d 3rd By Mr Thompson


* For an explanation of how I concluded that William and Hannah are my fourth great grandparents and William and Elizabeth are my fifth great grandparents, please refer to the two posts shown in “Related Posts” below.


1 GS Film Number: 558355. Digital Folder Number: 008087595. Indexing Project (Batch) Number: C00743-2. System Origin: ODM. “England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975”, database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NPMM-15P : 20 March 2020), William Warner, 1789.

2 William Warner and Hannah Benson appear as parents on the baptismal records of William Warner (1808–1845) and (Hannah) Maria Warner (1811–?). For sources, please refer to their pages.

3 Page: 63. GS Film Number: 2443959. Digital Folder Number: 004569587. Image Number: 00220. Indexing Project (Batch) Number: N04015-0. “Canada, recensement du Bas-Canada, 1831,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:VVMS-RS2 : 11 March 2018), Wm Warner, Frampton, Beauce, Quebec, Canada; citing p. 63, volume 4, MG 31 C1; Library and Archives Canada microfilm number C-719, Public Archives, Ottawa, Ontario; FHL microfilm 2,443,959.

4 Ancestry.com. 1842 Census of Canada East [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014. Original data: Canada, Lower Canada Census, 1842. Salt Lake City, Utah: FamilySearch, 2013. The 1842 census says that two of the family members (probably William and Hannah) had been in Canada for 19 years, meaning that they would have arrived in 1829 or 1830. The census entry covers eight pages but no information appears on the final page. The entry for William Warner is on line number 12, which can be used to track the information on pages 2 through 7.

5 The 1831 census (cited above) doesn’t give individual ages or the name of anyone other than the head of the family (William). It does, however, show the number, gender, and marital status of family members in various age categories. Only one married woman is listed (who must be Hannah) and she is listed in the category of “45 and over.”

6 Hannah’s burial record (Christ Church Cathedral, Montreal, 1850, Folio 34) says that she is the “widow of William Warner.” Institut Généalogique Drouin; Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Drouin Collection; Author: Gabriel Drouin, Comp.