William came with his parents to what was then Lower Canada (now Quebec) sometime between 1825 and 1830. The family settled, and gradually cleared and built a farm, on a piece of wilderness land in the township of Frampton, south of Quebec City.
William married Sarah Leitch in the Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in Quebec City, on July 31, 1832. He was twenty-four and she was about twenty-seven.
Sometime between 1833 and 1836, the couple moved from Frampton to Montreal, where three of their children, Sarah, Hannah and James were born. About 1840, they all moved from there to Yorkville, Ontario. Yorkville is now almost in the heart of downtown Toronto, but it was then a prosperous village a few miles north of the city limits.
William died of tuberculosis (what was then called “consumption”) at the end of May in 1845, at the age of thirty-seven. He left Sarah a widow with two small children, James (eight) and Hannah (six). Sarah was about forty.
He was buried in the York General Burying Ground on June 1, 1845. The cemetery was at the corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street (now one of downtown Toronto’s busiest intersections) and was popularly known as “Potters’ Field,” because it was the first cemetery in Toronto that was not affiliated with any specific religion.
The burying ground was closed ten years later and all the remains were gradually removed, over the following two decades, to other cemeteries in the city. William’s remains were moved to the Toronto Necropolis Cemetery, where he was reinterred, on October 25, 1873, in Section P, Plot 74.